Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn: An Analysis

I love the autumn season. I MISS the autumn season. Living in Thailand for the past couple of years, I have not experienced fall in all its glory and I miss it. This time of year brings thoughts of the colorful season, and those thoughts inevitably turn to names (of course). What's the history with the seasons as given names? How have Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn fared over the years?

It's probably no surprise that Autumn has been the most widely used season name since 1880. But here are some things that you may not know...

The total number of babies recorded as given season names since 1880 are as follows: Autumn 104,370; Summer 69,831; Winter 5,895; and Spring 3,269.

Autumn has been used since the 1910s, Summer since the 1940s, and Spring and Winter made their debuts in the 1950s.

While Autumn, Summer and Winter have all increased in usage over time, Spring's heyday was in the 1970s. More babies were named Spring in the 1970s than in any other decade, and the name has actually decreased steadily in usage since.

Spring is the only name of the four that has not been given to boys.

The 1970s were the only decade in which more babies were given a season name other than Autumn: Summer was more popular by over 1,600 babies. Although, another name did come close... Spring came to within 11 babies of Autumn in the 1950s.

There are some weird spikes in the use of these names:
  • The name Spring was given to 41 girls in 1955, 104 girls in 1956, and then 77 girls in 1957, continuing to go down from there until the late 1960s. 
  • In 1977, only 29 girls were given the name Winter, but in 1978, that number jumped to 137 and then to 249 in 1979. The name went back to the 100s in each year after that until 1983 when the number dipped back under 100 (it rose again in 1994 and hasn't looked back since then). 
  • Between 1974 and 1979, the number of babies named Summer jumped from 314 to 2,446. The biggest increase was between 1978 (1,073) and 1979 (2,446). The name then went back down in the 1,000s for the next decade.
In contrast to those ups and downs, Autumn had a very gradual increase in popularity throughout the years.

The names' peak years were:
Autumn - 1998 (4,206)
Spring - 1976 (250)
Summer - 1998 (2,558)
Winter - 2013 (418)

Currently, Autumn and Spring are holding steady in their numbers at opposite ends of the spectrum (Autumn has the most uses and Spring has the least). Summer is on a slight and gradual decline, and Winter keeps surging upward.

So, what is your favorite season name? While I love the actual seasons of spring and autumn, I have always loved the name Summer. It sounds so cheery and bright.



  1. Winter is my new favorite for a middle name lately. I've always loved Summer though. It's just so cute and warm and happy. Not too fond of the other two.

  2. I love the name Winter and it is what I would like to call my baby girl. I think it's a name is more sophisticated than Summer which for me conjours this extremely girlie girl image. Winter for me suits well into adulthood and best of all there won't be umpteen people at school with the same name.

  3. My first daughter was born May 2014 and we named her Autumn. I have no particular reason other than it sounds beautiful to me when paired with our middle name Elaine. Our last name means Valley. It fit. Then I had another girl just this May (2016). They are 2 years apart minus 8 days. We named her Summer Rose. I poured over countless girl names like Olivia, Ruby, Athena, and very nearly decided on Audrey Summer. In the end, I didnt like have two A names. So it became Summer. If we have another girl, we may go with Winter Elise. And if its a boy, we are clueless to find a suitable name to match autumn and summer without naming him a season. I wouldnt like Winter or Spring for a boy at all. I love my seasonal babies. I dont regret naming them after seasons at all.


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