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?


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