Friday, August 30, 2013

Names Ending in -ler

Image via Wikipedia

I've been watching some episodes of the TV show Friends lately, and while Rachel is a personal favorite name of mine, the character name that sticks out the most to me is Chandler. There was even an episode about his name, when Phoebe was trying to decide on a name for her unborn nephew and decided to choose between the names Joey and Chandler. After Joey criticized the name Chandler, Chandler agreed that it is a "stupid" name and said he was going to change it. All of this was an effort to get Phoebe to choose his name, which she did. Her nephew was then born a girl, but the baby girl was still named Chandler, much to the adult male Chandler's chagrin. So, how many "little baby girl Chandler"s were born in 2012?

This train of thought led me to develop the following list... the -lers!

Adler 18 153
Bayler 6 14
Bryler 14
Candler 5 5
Chandler 160 590
Chanler 11
Chyler 20
Cutler 48
Cuyler 15
Cyler 25
Daler 5
Fuller 11
Kailer 17
Kayler 5 8
Keiler 5
Keller 23 170
Kepler 19
Kesler 17
Kessler 7 16
Keyler 14
Khyler 5 25
Kinsler 13 64
Kiyler 6
Kohler 7
Kutler 6
Kyler 77 1320
Miller 47 178
Myler 5
Ryler 30
Sadler 7
Sailer 5
Sandler 8
Sayler 24
Schuyler 18 36
Schyler 8 9
Shyler 5
Siler 9
Skiler 5 7
Skyler 828 1209
Steeler 5
Syler 58
Taeler 5
Tayler 116 38
Tyeler 8
Tyler 173 7628
Wheeler 17
Wrangler 15
Xyler 19
Zyler 77

Names ending in -ler are not a hugely popular bunch, save Kyler, Skyler and Tyler. But there are some great finds in the list, such as Adler, Keller, Kinsler, and Sadler. I also have to say that I prefer the original Schuyler spelling to Skyler.

What is your favorite name ending in -ler?


Monday, August 26, 2013

I Names: Then and Now

Although it wasn't planned, these "Then and Now" posts on beginning letters are becoming a series of sorts. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

In 1880, Ira and Isaac were the two boy I names in the Top 100. They fell out after 1898 and in 1911, Irving briefly appeared for a few years. But from 1915 until 1981, there were no boy I names in the Top 100. In 1982, Ian broke in and was joined by Isaac (again) in 1995 and Isaiah in 1996.

In 1880, Ida was the only girl I name in the Top 100. In a few short years though, Irene joined Ida in 1883, and then Inez joined both of them in 1908 for six years. Ida fell out after 1931 and Irene fell out for good after 1950. From 1951 until 1997, there were no girl I names in the Top 100. In 1998, Isabella jumped in, followed by Isabel in 1999 and Isabelle 2005. While Isabel fell out after 2008 and Isabelle fell out after 2009, Isabella still remains strong.

In 2012, Ian, Isaac, and Isaiah are the boy I names and Isabella is the only girl I name in the Top 100. Looking beyond the 100, other I names in the Top 500 include Ivan, IsabelleIzabella, Ivy, Iker, Isla, Israel, Iris, Ismael, Imani, Izaiah, Itzel, Issac, and Ibrahim. Just out of curiosity, I checked the Top 500 in 1880 and found some other great finds: Iva, IrvinIna, Irma, Idella, Irwin, Iona, Isom, Ila, and Iola.

The letter I makes a few different sounds at the beginning of names, and those sounds may depend on how you pronounce them. According to my ears, of the I names in the Top 500, eight make the "eye" sound, seven make the "ih" sound, and two make the "ee" sound. Do you prefer one sound over the others?

What is your favorite I name? Do you think Ira, Irving, Ida, Irene, Inez or any of the other names from 1880 would ever come back?


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Boy -sons

OK... we've looked at the -son names given to both boys and girls in 2012, as well as the -son names given to only girls in 2012. Now, let's look at the long list of -son names given to only boys in 2012. Most of them are various spellings of one name, so I will shorten the list first by gathering those spellings, but you can see the entire list of names in alphabetical order along with their number of births at the end of the post.

Aason, Aceson, Aeson, Ason, Ayson
Braeson, Braison, Brason, Brayson, Breyson
Briceson, Brison, Bryceson, Brycson
Caeson, Caison, Cason, Kaeson, Kason, Keison
Carlson, Karlson
Carrson, Karrson
Chason, Chayson
Coleson, Colson, Coulson, Kolson
Cyson, Khyson, Kison, Kyson
Daison, Dason, Dayson
Drayson, Dreyson
Erickson, Ericson, Erikson
Garrison, Garyson
Graceson, Graeson, Graison, Grason
Hason, Hasson
Jacson, Jakkson, Jakson, Jaxxson
Jaeson, Jahson, Jaison, Jasson, Jayson, Jaysson, Jeison, Jeson, Jeyson, Json
Jaimeson, Jamason, Jamyson, Jaymason, Jaymison
Jeferson, Jefferson
Jetson, Jettson
Larson, Larsson
Lason, Layson
Mackson, Macson, Makson, Maxson
Masson, Meyson
Matheson, Mathison
Matson, Mattson
Naason, Nason, Nayson
Nelson, Nilson
Nickson, Nixson
Taison, Tayson
Tison, Tyeson
Traeson, Trayson, Treson, Treyson
Willson, Wilson

A couple of interesting finds...

  • I am really liking Aceson. It, and it's various spellings (Aeson is actually the most popular), could make a splash, especially with Ace being on the rise. I think it sticks out to me personally because of my fondness for sound-alike Asa. 
  • Branson is quite popular among this bunch (see below)... possibly due to Downton Abbey?
  • Why is Byson used, but not Bison?
  • Eliason also sticks out to me. It seems to be a logical go-to for those wanting to honor an Elias or Eli.
  • Grayson is on the list for both boys and girls, but alternate spelling Graceson could put a twist on this whole list by being able to honor a woman in the family... son of Grace?
  • I never thought there could be so many spellings of Jason, but there are and Json takes the cake. (I actually like the look of Jaeson though.)
  • And some of the spellings of Jameson produce a pronunciation dilemma... is it JAY-meh-son or JAY-MAY-son?
  • In my look at Kel- names, I mention Kelson as an option, and now I say it could be a strong option for those wanting to honor a Kelly (or Kelli). :) 
  • The various spellings of Mackson/Maxson could allow parents to honor a Mack OR a Max... but people on the playground may never know the difference.
  • We have Herson and Myson, why is there no Hisson or Yourson?
  • Have you ever considered Vinson? It could be an alternative to Vincent as well as a way to honor a Vince or Vincent.

What other observations can you make from the list? What is your favorite -son name for a boy?

As promised, the above list in alphabetical order with their number of births for 2012:

Aason 5
Aceson 15
Aeson 36
Alson 7
Andersson 5
Anson 157
Ason 7
Ayson 27
Benson 429
Braeson 8
Braison 23
Branson 338
Brason 9
Braxson 10
Brayson 179
Brenson 8
Breyson 14
Briceson 11
Brinson 7
Brison 71
Bronson 296
Bryceson 25
Brycson 5
Byson 6
Caeson 11
Caison 22
Carlson 9
Carrson 13
Cason 581
Chanson 9
Charleson 5
Chason 42
Chayson 10
Clayson 7
Coleson 59
Colson 144
Coulson 12
Cyson 7
Daison 14
Dason 26
Davidson 25
Davison 15
Daxson 13
Dayson 52
Denilson 20
Dennison 6
Dickson 6
Drayson 36
Dreyson 29
Dyson 95
Eason 127
Eddison 25
Edenilson 7
Edinson 9
Edson 59
Eliason 5
Elson 25
Erickson 22
Ericson 16
Erikson 16
Everson 17
Ferguson 6
Garrison 197
Garyson 5
Gerson 101
Graceson 10
Graeson 48
Graison 22
Grason 23
Hanson 43
Hason 8
Hasson 6
Henderson 19
Henson 14
Herson 8
Hutchison 7
Hutson 27
Iason 5
Ison 9
Iverson 27
Jacson 7
Jaeson 20
Jahson 5
Jaimeson 7
Jaison 36
Jakkson 5
Jakson 41
Jamason 14
Jamerson 13
Jamyson 5
Janson 25
Jasson 16
Jaxxson 17
Jaymason 11
Jaymison 12
Jayson 804
Jaysson 5
Jeferson 17
Jefferson 393
Jeison 13
Jenson 111
Jerison 5
Jerson 32
Jeson 5
Jetson 18
Jettson 8
Jeyson 16
Johnson 63
Json 7
Judson 177
Jyson 5
Kaeson 61
Karlson 5
Karrson 6
Kason 767
Keison 10
Kelson 40
Kenson 17
Khyson 7
Kingson 9
Kison 6
Kolson 25
Kyson 334
Larson 35
Larsson 5
Lason 8
Layson 5
Leeson 5
Liedson 5
Mackson 10
Macson 6
Makson 5
Manson 9
Marson 5
Masson 16
Matheson 8
Mathison 6
Matson 11
Mattson 7
Maxson 44
Meyson 5
Monson 8
Myson 16
Naason 5
Nason 24
Nayson 9
Nelson 461
Nickson 19
Nilson 11
Nixson 7
Nosson 52
Orson 31
Pason 5
Patterson 11
Paxson 39
Peterson 14
Rawson 6
Rayson 14
Richardson 9
Rickson 6
Robertson 6
Robinson 58
Robson 6
Ryerson 6
Ryson 16
Sampson 38
Samson 277
Stetson 163
Stevenson 13
Taison 12
Tayson 40
Tennison 6
Thompson 35
Thomson 7
Tison 12
Traeson 8
Trayson 23
Treson 7
Treyson 113
Tryson 6
Tyeson 16
Vinson 36
Watson 81
Wesson 87
Williamson 5
Willson 11
Wilson 418
Winson 12
Woodson 15
Yeison 19


Friday, August 16, 2013

The Girl -sons

We have already taken a look at the -son names given to both boys and girls in 2012. Now let's go through the -son names given to girls only:

Aadison 5
Addisson 5
Addyson 1262
Adyson 7
Alisson 312
Allinson 5
Allisson 77
Allyson 1263
Allysson 21
Alyson 551
Alysson 78
Attison 5
Ellason 14
Ellyson 36
Emyrson 7
Kennison 6
Krimson 9
Krymson 8
Maddison 903
Maddyson 49
Madisson 18
Madyson 479
Matison 7
Season 5

Most of them are just spelling variations of names given to both genders: Addison, Allison, Crimson, Ellison, Emerson, and Madison. But there are a few that are just for girls:

Allinson - I am not quite sure why this name is only given to girls, even historically, but it is. One reason could be because it is similar to Allison in sound. As for namesakes, there is an Allinson Flour company in the UK named after Thomas Allinson, a doctor who pushed the use of whole grain in bread. Is this name more popular in the UK and only now starting to appear in the US?

Kennison - This name has been given to boys previously, but to girls more so and even then not to very many. I am surprised it's not more popular in general. I would think "son of Ken" would be an option to those parents wanting to honor and Ken or Kenneth, but I see that Kenson might be the more attractive alternative. I'm sure there are several namesakes with the last name Kennison as well as a city in West Virginia that could account for the use of the name, but I am still stumped as so why it's used on girls more than boys.

Season - Obviously a word name, this is the least confusing of the three. If Winter, Autumn and Summer can be names for girls, why not Season?

What do you think of these girl -sons? Any insights on these names are more than welcomed!

A look at the boy -sons will come next week...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Unisex -sons

There are a lot of names out there that end in -son. Originally, most (but not all) of those names were for sons named after their fathers. For example, Jackson means "son of Jack" and Anderson means "son of Andrew". The fact that there is a "son" in the name makes it seem masculine, but quite a few of these names are being taken over, or at least borrowed, by the girls. There are also a lot of -sen and -syn names that sound the same, but for this post we are just going to take a look at the -sons.

There are over 300 -son names in the 2012 Beyond the Top 1000 names list. I have gathered them all and decided to concentrate first on the names given to both boys and girls. Here they are with the number of births in 2012:

Addison 8122   169
Adison 126   12
Alison 1179   5
Allison 5387   8
Anderson 44   1239
Bryson 8   3995
Carson 151   4566
Cayson 5   247
Crimson 59   32
Dawson 31   1027
Edison 13   301
Ellison 234   43
Emerson 1301   828
Emmerson 134   9
Gibson 10   247
Grayson 177   4671
Greyson 40   2216
Harrison 15   2111
Hudson 72   4194
Jackson 22   12388
Jameson 46   1795
Jamieson 5   34
Jamison 47   530
Jason 6   5699
Jaxson 10   3634
Jaymeson 5   26
Kaison 5   149
Karson 63   833
Kayson 23   440
Lawson 17   487
Madison 11319   30
Maeson 10   50
Maison 18   202
Mason 80   18856
Mattison 73   6
Mayson 44   338
Morrison 8   51
Payson 111   59
Pearson 9   46
Peyson 19   16
Pierson 5   132
Reason 5   8
Tennyson 15   32
Tyson 5   1343
29078 73104

Just a few thoughts on the above...

Names Dominated by Girls
As seen by the numbers above, Addison and its spelling variations, Ellison, Emerson and its spelling variations, and Madison and its spelling variations are originally boy names taken over by girls.

Alison/Allison is a diminutive of Alice and therefore originally female. Crimson is a word name and therefore basically unisex.

The only other name on the list that is dominated by girls is one that stuck out to me: Payson/Peyson. Is its use solely due to the character on Make It or Break It? Is it used because it's a twist on Peyton? Is it used by parents who love the few US cities that also carry this name? I'm not sure if it was originally male or not, but it's used mostly on girls nowadays.

The rest of the unisex -sons are predominantly given to boys.

Boy Names on Girls
Some of these predominantly male names are a surprising find on girls. Girls named Emerson and Madison are expected, however girls named Harrison and Jackson are not. What makes some of these more "girl" than others? With the big 4 mentioned above, it is probably the feminine nicknames in Addie, Ellie, Emmy and Maddie. Jackie has been used as a girl nickname for years, as has Jamie and Andie, so why hasn't Jackson, Jameson or Anderson taken off with girls? Now that I think of it, Hattie would be a cute nickname for a girl Harrison (Harry or Henry... Harriet or Henrietta... Hattie). But the rest of the other male-dominated names listed above are pretty masculine. I'm sure some of them were named after a loved one, but in any case I would love to know the individual stories behind the names!

As a side note, I'm digging girls named Gibson and Tennyson.

What do you think about this list? Any observations, true loves, or true dislikes?

More analysis of names ending in -son later in the week...


Thursday, August 8, 2013

N Names: Then and Now

There were NO boy names that started with N in the Top 100 in 1880. Norman showed up sporadically starting in 1886 and then stuck around after 1897. It was the only N boy name on top until 1955, when again, there were none. Not until 1972 did both Nathan and Nicholas come on the scene and then Nathaniel joined in 1978. Noah showed up in 1995 and finally Nolan appeared in 2011. Other than Norman, all of these names are still in the Top 100 and have had their strongest years in the 2000s. So, unlike F boy names, N boy names are coming more into fashion now than before.

What about the girl N names? Well, in 1880, there were 4 of them in the Top 100:


What a fascinating group of names! Nannie disappeared from the top for good after 1889, Nettie fell out after 1901, and Nora dropped after 1905. Nellie stuck around until 1925; Norma and Nancy kept her company for a few years, entering the Top 100 in 1918 and 1919 respectively (Nancy also briefly appeared in 1917). Norma eventually fell off after 1947 and left Nancy alone at the top for 21 years, until 1969 when Nicole jumped in, followed by Natalie in 1976 and Natasha in 1980. Nancy stayed firm until after 1978. Nicole's popularity brought Nichole into play, albeit temporarily, from 1982 through 1985 and Natasha fell after 1989. The 2000s gave us Nevaeh in 2005 and Natalia for brief appearances in 2006 and 2010. Nicole dropped out of the Top 100 after 2007, but soon after was replaced by Naomi in 2010. So, while we started with four rather nicknamey names in 1880, we are now with three very different names in Naomi, Natalie and Nevaeh in the Top 100. Naomi is the only one currently on the upswing.

What do you think about the progression of N names in the Top 100? The boys are straight forward with the addition of Biblical and other classic names, but it's interesting how all the girls start out a little informal (as a lot of names were back then) and become pretty conventional with Natalie and Naomi. Nevaeh is an exception, of course, as it is "heaven" backwards and not very conventional, but it has quite a following and could remain at the top for a while longer. Do you have any other observations about these possible trends?

Check out similar posts on the history of F names and H boy names in the Top 100 since 1880.


A More Comprehensive Playground Analysis

Name Nerds has used the entire name list to compile a playground analysis for the top 7000 names! An amazing feat and some awesome reading. Take a look!




Monday, August 5, 2013

Where Are They Now?: An Update

Back in January, I completed a series called "Where Are They Now?" in which I took the Top 100 boys and girls names from 1911 and analyzed where they ranked in 2011. It was an attempt to see if the "100 Year Rule" was an accurate rule, but it ended up giving me a lot of interesting information that I wanted to update using the 2012 data. You may need to refer back to the summary article to understand the following...

First, the names that were Steady on Top continue to be steady. None of them have fallen out of the Top 100.

Second, all the names that were the "100 Year Rule" Contenders remain in the Top 100. These were the names that fell from the Top 100 after 1911, but have since reentered it.

Third, the "It" Names... the names that were on the rise after falling from their 1911 ranks but haven't quite reached the Top 100 yet. While most of them have continued to rise, I found a few names that actually went down in rank and number from 2011 to 2012:



None of these dropped by a huge amount though, so we'll see if they regain interest in 2013. Most notable from the "It" list though is the fact that Violet reentered the Top 100 in 2012, putting it officially in the "100 Year Rule" Contender category.

Fourth, the names in the Down But Not Out category provided more fascinating finds. Including the 2012 data, ten of them have had three years of increasing numbers:



So, they are definitely not out and could very well be headed for the "It" name category in the coming years. Several others have had increases from 2011 (Harold, Carl, Roy, Eugene, Leonard, Frederick, Melvin, Marvin, Alvin, Margaret, Dorothy, Ruth, Marie, Frances, Irene, Martha, Ann, Alma, Mattie, Jessie, and Rosa), but we'll see if that continues into 2013.

Lastly, since it is the 2012 data we are looking at and the "100 Year Rule" would only be in affect if we also looked at the 1912 data, let's do that. The new names in the Top 100 in 1912 and where they stand now:

Arnold (out of the Top 1000)
Everett (currently at #214 and rising)
Glenn (out of the Top 1000)
Julius (currently at #331 and rising)
Wilbur (out of the Top 1000)
Woodrow (out of the Top 1000)

Marian (out of the Top 1000)
Wilma (out of the Top 1000)

None of these names fit the "100 Year Rule" as I define it, but Everett and Julius are on the rise after falling out of the Top 100 and could be considered "It" names. The names that fell from the Top 100 in 1912 were Allen, Ben, Eddie, Jessie (b), Johnnie, Luther, Georgia and Lula.

What do you find interesting from the above data? Any names you see coming back sooner rather than later?


Thursday, August 1, 2013

F Names: Then and Now

In 1880, there were 5 boy names that started with F in the Top 100:


In 1932, Franklin was added to the mix (probably due to President Roosevelt). In 1958, Frank was the only F boy name left in the top, and it finally fell after 1988. There hasn't been an F boy name in the Top 100 since.

In 1880, there were 4 girl names that started with F in the Top 100:


By 1915, only Florence and Frances remained, and in 1943 only Frances remained. However, Frances fell out after 1955 and there were no F girl names in the Top 100 for over 30 years, until Felicia briefly broke in for the years of 1986 and 1987, and then not again until Faith entered in 1999.

As of 2012, Faith is the only F name in in the Top 100. Is F an unattractive sound for parents nowadays? I don't really see any reason as to why F names are not more popular other than the style of name. The names that were in the top in 1880 stayed in the top for quite a while, but all of them are considered pretty old and dated. There are several other F names that make it into the current Top 500: Fiona, Francisco, Fernando, Finn, Fabian, Fatima, Felix, Frank, Finley (g), Fernanda, Francesca, and Finnegan. So F names are not completely down and out, they are just rare.

What is your favorite F name? Would you like to see any of these "old" F names return to the top?