Monday, June 17, 2013

H Boy Names: Then and Now

In 1970, H boy names disappeared from the Top 100. One did not appear in the Top 100 again until 1993. What's the deal?

In 1880, there were nine boy names that started with H in the Top 100:


Between 1880 and 1970, two other H names entered the Top 100:


But they all slowly dissipated and disappeared altogether from the top after Henry fell out in 1970.

In 1993, Hunter appeared to save the H's. Hunter was the only H in the Top 100 until Hayden entered in 2002, and then Henry rejoined the elite in 2006. The three of them hung out in the Top 100 together until 2012, when Hayden fell off and Hudson joined the group.

As I discovered previously with the letter R, analyzing the history of names for a specific letter reveals some interesting trends. Henry is a classic that lasted the longest and then returned to the Top 100 after disappearing for 36 years, and Harrison is also currently climbing, but the other older H boy names have vanished in exchange for the new Hayden, Hudson and Hunter. Harvey and Hugh might slowly be turning things around, but the rest are still falling if they haven't already fallen out of the Top 1000 already. And check out the sounds... the new sound seems to be Hu- ("huh")... no more Her- or Ho-, and Har- with the "har" pronunciation is barely surviving with the possible resurgence of Harvey and with the "hare" pronunciation is surviving with the rise in Harrison. The only surprise to me is that Harry keeps decreasing in popularity. Maybe it's due to the movement away from nicknames as given names, because Henry and Harrison are on the rise again; some parents may choose to go with one of those and use Harry as a nickname.

What is your favorite H boy name? Are there any of the "old" names you would like see return to the top?

Note: For a look at the history of H girl names in the Top 100, click here.


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