Monday, April 22, 2013

A Case for the Letter: M - Boys

the letter M
Photo by Cynthia Del Giudice via Flickr

In my previous "Case for the Letter" posts, I went a little overboard with information. I really enjoyed the research for them though, and want to continue producing the results. I found that the most interesting findings, to me, were the historical changes in the names that started with the letter. So, I'm going to stick with that and leave the rest out... for now.

The following is a chart of M boy names that have ranked in the Top 200 in the decades from the 1880s through the 2000s. It is fascinating to see how the names have gone up and/or down throughout the decades, as well as which names disappeared and appeared.

Some observations/questions:
  • Only three names have been consistently on top since the 1880s: Manuel, Martin and Michael (although Martin is threatening to drop).
  • Several names dropped off the chart after making a jump in the previous decade: Marshall, Merle, Mike, and Mitchell. What happened to make them drop so rapidly?
  • Several names dropped off the chart only to come back after a few decades: Mark, Matthew, Maurice (which dropped off again), and Max.
  • Spelling variations of popular names temporarily charted in a few decades: Marc, Mathew, and Micheal.
  • Max was a top name early on, and has made a reappearance recently, while Maxwell only recently showed up on top (and Maxwell ranks higher than Max).
  • Will Malachi and Micah suffer Malik's fate and fall off the chart when the 2010s are over, or will they climb higher?
  • Random thought... seeing Mack and Malachi next to each other makes me think that Mack could be a cute nickname for Malachi.

Which of these Top 200 names is your favorite? Can you think of any other M names that could enter the cart in the 2010s? Do you have any other observations?

The M girl names analysis will come in a few days.


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