Monday, April 28, 2014

My Interview at Waltzing More Than Matilda

Anna from Waltzing More Than Matilda is a great name blogger from Australia. She concentrates on all the name news of her native country, including celebrity baby names, most popular names, and birth announcements, as well as writes about general name analysis and gives advice. She also does an awesome job at interviewing her fellow name bloggers, and I am so honored to be the most recent subject! Check it out and stick around to see all she has to offer on the rest of her amazing blog!

P.S. You can also find out the reason why I haven't been blogging as much in recent months...


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A *ton of Great Names!

2 ton
Photo by Kat Gloor via Flickr

I think we were all pleasantly surprised at Idris Elba's choice of Winston for his newborn son this past week. The baby is most likely named after Idris' father, also named Winston, but the moniker is most widely known from Winston Churchill. In fact, the most the name was given to boys in a year was in 1943 with 548 births. In 1941, 542 boys were given the name and in 1942, 522 boys were given the name. But while we may imagine Winston as being a very 1940s' name, the next most popular year for Winston is 2012, when 393 boys were given the name.

Names that end with -ton are currently quite plentiful. As with -son names, it seems as though parents are adding -ton to other sounds and names to make something not commonly heard. Not surprisingly, most -ton names are masculine, however there are several given to both genders and a few given to girls alone.

A few interesting tidbits about -ton names:

Colton is the most popular -ton name in any given year ever (looking at the raw numbers). In 2012, the name was given to 6,318 boys. This is followed by Colton in 2011 (5,579 boys), Ashton in 2004 (5,427 boys), and Peyton in 2009 (5,307 girls) and Colton in 2010 (5,307 boys). Other names near the top are Dalton (peaked in 1998), Easton (peaked in 2012), Preston (peaked in 2007), and Payton (for girls, peaked in 2009).

Ever wondered what -ton name was given to the most babies each year?

  • Milton 1880-1903
  • Alton 1904
  • Milton 1905-1959
  • Clayton 1960-1961
  • Milton 1962
  • Clayton 1963
  • Clinton 1964-1984
  • Clayton 1985-1989
  • Colton 1990
  • Dalton 1991-2002
  • Ashton 2003-2005
  • Preston 2006-2007
  • Peyton (girls) 2008-2009
  • Colton 2010-2012

The sudden and brief jump in Alton's popularity in 1904 is due to Alton Parker's campaign for President in that year. He lost quite handily to President Theodore Roosevelt, although I wonder if most of those Altons were born in the southern states, as those are the states he won.

The use of -ton names has obviously escalated in recent years. I can only look at the percentages of use from 1938 onward, but here are the total percentages of -ton names every 10-20 years (percentage of -ton names given per total boys or girls born each year)...

Girls Boys
1940 0.0037% 0.7226%
1960 0.0019% 0.4469%
1980 0.0115% 0.5555%
1990 0.0641% 0.8946%
2000 0.3078% 1.5240%
2012 0.5432% 2.2613%

Now let's just take a look at the -ton names given in the soon-to-be-outdated numbers of 2012...
Note: I've only included the names given to at least 50 babies, except in the cases where the name was given to both genders, or the name was interesting to me.

Alston 68
Alton 164
Anton 201
Axton 222
Barrington 10
Benton 237
Bolton 7
Brayton 105
Brenton 226
Brexton 51
Brockton 23
Broxton 30
Bryceton 21
Bryston 60
Bryton 126
Burton 36
Canton 19
Carlton 99
Cashton 89
Charlton 20
Clifton 129
Clinton 226
Coleton 87
Colston 80
Creighton 67
Daxton 388
Denton 52
Drayton 78
Elton 55
Fenton 34
Gaston 25
Grayton 12
Hamilton 56
Harrington 9
Heston 48
Hilton 21
Holton 30
Jaxton 515
Kashton 86
Kelton 193
Kenton 160
Kipton 94
Klayton 79
Kolton 790
Lofton 11
Milton 168
Newton 15
Princeton 313
Quinton 490
Shelton 61
Stockton 57
Thornton 8
Trenton 1494
Treyton 110
Triton 63
Washington 13
Wellington 24
Weston 2270
Winston 393
Zaxton 9

Afton M-23, F-90
Aniston M-6, F-163
Arlington M-11, F-9
Arrington M-13, F-9
Ashton M-2792, F-171
Aston M-155, F-6
Boston M-481, F-49
Braxton M-2984, F-27
Brighton M-155, F-76
Britton M-111, F-85
Brixton M-64, F-15
Carrington M-35, F-94
Charleston M-50, F-25
Clayton M-1355, F-8
Colton M-6318, F-5
Dalton M-1219, F-7
Dayton M-416, F-16
Easton M-3926, F-52
Ellington M-18, F-32
Halston M-10, F-10
Hampton M-71, F-6
Houston M-214, F-6
Karrington M-6, F-58
Keaton M-743, F-44
Kensington M-7, F-150
Kerrington M-5, F-50
Kingston M-1763, F-9
Langston M-168, F-24
Layton M-399, F-33
Leighton M-181, F-518
Lexington M-27, F-47
Leyton M-108, F-18
Paiton M-8, F-54
Patton M-48, F-6
Paxton M-1487, F-48
Payton M-587, F-2918
Peighton M-7, F-185
Peyton M-2065, F-4447
Preston M-2919, F-14
Remington M-666, F-159
Seton M-8, F-5
Stratton M-47, F-5
Sutton M-159, F-240
Tayton M-60, F-5
Triston M-347, F-5
Tryston M-56, F-5

Anniston 202
Kenzington 52

The girls have taken over all forms of Peyton, and the Leighton spelling of that name. Girls also carry Afton, Aniston, Carrington, Ellington, Karrington, Kensington, Kerrington, Lexington, and Sutton, no doubt due to the feminine nicknames some of them offer (Annie, Carrie/Kerri, Kenzie, Ellie and Lexi).

It's also interesting to note the number of place names, as -ton is a place name suffix.

What is your favorite -ton name? Do you prefer to see it only on boys, girls or both?


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

*phi* Names

Image by Mike Litwin via Flickr

The most popular girl name in the U.S.A. right now is Sophia. It has been on top for the last two years and has a great chance of staying in the top spot for 2013. Parents must really like the look and sound of it! While it has the popular "ah" sound at the end of it, its middle syllable seems quite unique... besides Sophia/Sophie, there have only been a few names in the Top 100 with a *phi* throughout the years: Josephine for girls and Philip/Phillip for boys. And when considering the sound, there is only Effie, Phyllis, and the alternate spelling of Sofia found in the history of the Top 100. This seems to be a group of letters that is immensely popular in the current name on top, but not as much elsewhere.

A quick pronunciation guide is in order. There are three ways to pronounce *phi*. There is fee as in Sophie, there is fi (short i) as in Philip, and there is fy as in Sapphire. The fi pronunciation is most popular with boy *phi* names, while girl names are mostly split between fee and fi.

Now let's take a look at other *phi* names parents are currently using! Here are the names from 2012 and the number of babies given each name...

Apphia 8
Delphine 34
Josephina 73
Josephine 1,921
Phia 5
Philippa 51
Philomena 40
Saphia 5
Saphira 129
Sapphire 126
Seraphim 12
Seraphina 149
Seraphine 23
Sophia 22,158
Sophie 4,532
Sophina 14

Memphis 302
Nephi 13
Phi 5
Phil 16
Philbert 6
Philemon 16
Philip 705
Phillip 873
Philippe 21
Philippos 5
Philopateer 15
Phineas 103
Theophilus 35

Note: I only listed the more popular spelling of each name and I listed any name given to both genders on the side where it was given the most. I also didn't include double names, such as Annasophia, Sophiagrace and Sophiamarie.

The main thing that jumps out at me is the huge gap between the number of girls named Sophia and the combined number of the rest of the group. It's obvious that Sophia is "the" name in this category, but if people want an less popular option, there are some fantastic options on this list to consider.

A little off topic but definitely of interest, there are a few instances where parents have replaced *fi* with *phi* in given names. In 2012, six girls were named Phinley and eight girls were named Phiona.

Do you have a favorite *phi* name? I personally love Josephina, with "Fina" as her nickname. Admittedly, that is the thought that inspired this post.