Friday, December 26, 2014

Name Madness 2014 - FINAL ROUND


Can you believe it's time for the final? Just in time for the last week of the year. We started out with 64 names and now we are down the final 4 (2 boy names and 2 girl names). What are the final matchups? Let's take a look at the results from Round 4...

Vivien 70%
Dorothy 30%

June 53%
Greta 47%

Rhys 53%
Quinn 47%

Dean 42%
Harrison 59%

Vivien seems to be unstoppable, as she has defeated her opponents quite convincingly each week. Does June have a chance against her?

And while Harrison won with a higher percentage in Round 4, Rhys has been mightier in the previous rounds. It seems to be anyone's game.

Did you have any idea these names would be in the final? If you did, you surely had a leg up on me!

Let's get to it! You have until Thursday, January 1, 2015 to vote. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Winners of Name Madness 2014 should be published on Friday, January 2, 2015. Have fun!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Name Madness 2014 - Round 4


Thank you to the 63 people who voted in Round 3! We are getting closer and closer to the final, so let's waste no more time and get to the results...

Vivien 68%
Viola 32%

Bette 49%
Dorothy 51%

Marlene 21%
June 79%

Greta 60%
Ingrid 40%

Alec 30%
Rhys 70%

Quinn 62%
Colin 38%

Dean 63%
Laurence 37%

Gable 48%
Harrison 52%

While some were quite convincing wins, check out Bette/Dorothy and Gable/Harrison! Those two matches were close the entire time the polls were open. In other news, Vivien continues to overpower her opponents and June trampled poor Marlene. Now onto the Elite Eight!

What do you think of these matchups? Vivien/Dorothy... two names that were huge in the 1920s (although Vivian was bigger than Vivien). June/Greta... the month name and the Swedish nickname for Margaret. Rhys/Quinn... Welsh versus Irish. Dean/Harrison... battle of the monikers that are famous as both first and last names. I'm not sure how you are going to choose!

You have until Thursday, December 25 to vote. I know it's a holiday week, but there are only four matches, so please set aside the short seconds it will take to fill out a ballot! Vote only once and for only one name in each match. Winners of Round 4 and the ballot for Round 5 should be published on Friday, December 26. Have fun!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Decades List - The Boys of the 1910s

Continuing our Decades List series... These are the Top 100 names historically that made the list for the 1910s decade because the average percentage of use for these names in that ten year period was the highest out of all of the decades. Meaning, this is the decade in which these names were used the most since 1880.

I will need to split the rest of the series into boys and girls because there are too many names to put in one post. So, let's look at the boys of the 1910s!

Carl - Peaking in 1915, Carl reached as high as #22 and was a steady presence in the Top 100 from 1880 through 1979. As a variant of the popular Charles, it is still one of the top 600 names in the US, but slowly slipping in the ranks.

Chester - Even though it left the Top 1000 after 1995 and continues to show decreasing numbers, Chester was a top name for almost 50 years around the turn of the century. It attained the rank of #53 in 1919.

Clifford - Clifford's popularity was at its height in 1918, although its highest rank was #57 in 1909. While Clifford no longer ranks in the Top 1000 and its nickname Cliff may not bring too many to its side, can we consider the up-and-comer Ford? That option could make the name more attractive to those wanting to honor a special Clifford in their lives.

Edwin - Speaking of honor, Edwin is a name present on both sides of my family and was therefore one of the first names on my radar. It ranked as high as #52 in 1919, but had its highest percentage of use in 1915. Edwin is still one of the top 300 names in the United States and is the real first name of astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Francis - A very popular saint name, Francis ranked at #29 in 1915. Its female counterpart, Frances, soared during the same decade, topping out at #8 in 1918. Needless to say, there were a lot of baby Francis/Franceses around in the 1910s/1920s. A new wave of Francis/Franceses may be on the horizon however, as both names have recently made the turn in the ranks from downward to upward.

Howard - Howard may have only fell out of the Top 1000 after 2012, but it actually ranked as high as #24 in 1919 and 1920. If it were to ever make a comeback, one of the main reasons would have to be the adorable nickname Howie.

Irving - Irving only got as high as #93 in 1911 and was only in the Top 100 for 3 years. The most interesting factoid about the name is that it was popular among Jews as an "American-sounding form of Hebrew names beginning with I such as Isaac, Israel, and Isaiah." (

Joseph - Joseph is a powerhouse, having been in the Top 100 for every year since 1880. In the 1910s, more than 2 boys per 100 were named Joseph. It was ranked at #5 for 6 of the decade's years. Currently, it is tied for the second lowest rank it has ever been at #20 (lowest rank was #22 in 2011).

Julius - A name that jumped off and on the Top 100 list between 1880 and 1912, Julius reached its highest rank in 1883 at #88, but had its highest percentage of use in 1912. Its usage has slowly decreased in subsequent years, and currently remains in the Top 400.

Lester - While it was a pretty steady presence in the Top 100 for almost 50 years, Lester never got above #52 in the ranks and that was in 1906. Its highest percentage of use for the decades was in the 1910s however, and it has only gone down from there, falling out of the Top 1000 after 1999.

Lloyd - Lloyd attained its highest popularity in 1918 when it ranked #51. It has since left the Top 1000 (after 2002), but is hanging around a bit as it hasn't dropped too far below it.

Louis - The regal Louis had its highest ranking in 1882 at #18, but its peak percentage of use was in 1914. It has decreased in usage since then, but has never fallen below #353 and is currently on a slight upswing.

Maurice - The saint name Maurice and its counterpart, Morris, both peaked in the 1910s. Maurice reached #94 in 1914 and still ranks among the top 600 names in the United States.

Milton - Milton reached its pinnacle at #64 in 1912. Seemingly considered an "old guy" name, it hasn't ranked since 2008, but is still considered popular in Sweden.

Morris - As mentioned above, Morris rose along with Maurice, climbing to #82 in 1912. Even though Morris ranked higher than Maurice, the French version of the name still ranks, while Morris fell out of the Top 100 after 1994.

Russell - Russell's highest percentage was in 1914, while its highest rank was #48 in 1904. It still remains one of the top 500 names in the US.

Sidney - Like Francis, Sidney has a female equivalent. Unlike Francis, Sidney for boys was popular many years before Sydney was for girls and never ranked as high. Sidney reached its height in 1912 at #80. It is also still in the Top 1000, but just barely.

Stanley - Stanley peaked at #34 in the mid-1910s. While it has become a top 100 name in England, it is slowly falling away in the States, ranking at #679 in 2013.

Victor - Victor has one of the most, if not the most, irregular record when it comes to the Top 100. Between 1885 and 2003, the name entered and left the Top 100 18 times. It reached its pinnacle at #63 in 1918. Currently, Victor is #142, the lowest rank it has ever had.

Vincent - Another very irregular record is the one held by Vincent. Between 1910 and 1994, Vincent entered and left the Top 100 nine times. Oddly enough, and as proof of its weird track, it reached its highest percentage of use and highest rank (#58) in the 1960s but had its highest use in a decade in the 1910s. Even now, it is possibly on its way back into the top rankings as it sits at #101 after falling to #123 in 2002.

Virgil - Virgil was present in the Top 100 for several years between 1904 and 1922, but never ranked higher than #93 (1907). It fell out of the Top 1000 after 1991.

Wilbur - Wilbur was only in the Top 100 for nine years, mostly in the 1910s. It peaked at #91 in 1913, which happens to closely coincide with the death of Wilbur Wright in 1912. Not sure if there really was an influence there, but other than the pig in Charlotte's Web, Mr. Wright is probably the most famous Wilbur out there.

Willard - Another "Will" name, Willard reached #58 in 1915 and slid down from there, exiting the Top 1000 after 1989.

Woodrow - There is no question where the popularity of Woodrow came from. Woodrow Wilson ran for President in 1912, the same year the name Woodrow entered the Top 100 (it ranked at #234 in 1911). It remained in the Top 100 for the majority of his two terms in office, peaking at #44 in 1913 and has since decreased in use by a large amount.

Wow! What a great list! I especially love Victor and Vincent and wonder why their popularity wavers so much. It surprised me to find that Maurice still ranked while Morris did not. Is it the French twist to the name that makes Maurice more popular or is it the link to the cat in the 9Lives commercials that makes Morris less popular? I personally would love to see Morris rise again, but the numbers do not show that possibility any time soon.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Name Madness 2014 - Round 3


Thank you for another great round of Name Madness! After 87 votes, we have some fascinating results. There were a few cases in which one name was not chosen over the other, producing percentages that don't equal 100%, but I went with it.

Here are the results (winners in bold)...

Angelina 18%
Vivien 82%

Viola 64%
Ava 37%

Bette 80%
Carole 20%

Dorothy 64%
Drew 37%

Monroe 46%
Marlene 54%

Ginger 26%
June 74%

Greta 62%
Gwyneth 38%

Ingrid 54%
Hattie 46%

Alec 62%
Spencer 38%

Rhys 61%
Rex 39%

Quinn 55%
Clark 45%

Colin 56%
Cooper 44%

Dean 67%
Marlon 33%

Laurence 62%
Kiefer 38%

Gable 56%
Gregory 44%

Harrison 59%
Heath 41%

After walloping Annette 82%-18% last week, Vivien does the same to Angelina this week! Bette also has a very convincing win over Carole. The closest matchups were Monroe/Marlene and Ingrid/Hattie, but the boy matchups were all fairly close.

Now it's time for the Sweet Sixteen! Wow. In looking at Round 3, I see some really great matchups and cannot wait to see what you all choose!

Because I will be on vacation next week, you only have until Thursday, December 18 to vote. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Winners of Round 3 and the ballot for Round 4 should be published on Friday, December 19. Have fun!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Most Popular Christmas Names Overall

After reading this post on Nameberry the other day, I was inspired to go to my name sums database (all given names since 1880 totaled) to see which Christmas names have been given the most overall. Here is what I found...

How interesting that the top names just happen to be the names of Jesus' parents!

This is such a great list of names, and not just for babies born over the holiday season. Which is your favorite?


Monday, December 8, 2014

Name Madness 2014 - Round 2


Thank you for the tremendous turnout in Round 1! Ninety-four of you voted... THANK YOU! And an additional thank you goes out to Appellation Mountain and Name News for posting links. I hope the trend continues with the next round!

Now down to the results. There were several very close matches as well as some blowouts. A couple of you have voted for both options on some of the matchups, so a few of the numbers do not equal 100%. Please remember next time to vote for one option! There was even a tie on one of the matchups... Carole vs. Sandra was close the entire week! So, I have to be the good/bad guy and break the tie. I know half of you will be happy with my pick!

Here are the results (winners in bold)...

Angelina 56%
Winona 45%

Annette 18%
Vivien 82%

Audrey 50%
Viola 51%

Ava 64%
Veronica 37%

Bette 83%
Thelma 17%

Carole 51% (tie break)
Sandra 50%

Dorothy 53%
Sally 48%

Drew 64%
Rita 36%

Ethel 48%
Monroe 53%

Gilda 43%
Marlene 57%

Ginger 51%
Loretta 49%

Greer 40%
June 61%

Greta 70%
Julie 30%

Gwyneth 56%
Jayne 45%

Halle 30%
Ingrid 71%

Harlow 37%
Hattie 64%

Alec 51%
Spencer 49%

Basil 78%
Rock 22%

Burgess 15%
Rhys 85%

Charlton 40%
Rex 60%

Chase 44%
Quinn 56%

Clark 68%
Orson 32%

Colin 60%
Orlando 41%

Cooper 53%
Olivier 48%

Dean 60%
Montgomery 40%

Denzel 38%
Marlon 63%

Diesel 29%
Laurence 72%

Errol 44%
Kiefer 56%

Gable 62%
Keaton 38%

Gregory 66%
Humphrey 34%

Harrison 60%
Hugh 40%

Heath 60%
Hudson 41%

Besides Carole/Sandra, check out Audrey/Viola, Ginger/Loretta, and Alec/Spencer! So close. Meanwhile, poor Annette, Thelma and Burgess couldn't break 20%. Were they so unlikable or are Vivien, Bette and Rhys that much stronger? I guess we'll see in the next round.

What do you think of the results? Any huge surprises or disappointments for you? Is there any name you are ecstatic it's still around?

Now on to Round 2!

You have until Sunday, December 14 to vote. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Winners of Round 2 and the ballot for Round 3 should be published on Monday, December 15. Have fun!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Name Madness 2014 - Round 1

I narrowed down the names of hundreds of actors and actresses to 64 contenders (32 girls and 32 boys). I hope you like my picks! They were put in alphabetical order and then the match-ups were set by putting the first against the last, much like March Madness rankings. I am so in love with how the match-ups fell. Some are perfectly matched (Basil vs. Rock) and some are just hard to choose (Audrey vs. Viola)... for me, anyway!

Where did the names come from? Here is a quick rundown of the contenders...

Angelina - Angelina Jolie
Annette - Annette Bening, Annette Funicello
Audrey - Audrey Hepburn
Ava - Ava Gardner
Bette - Bette Davis, Bette Midler (pronounced differently)
Carole - Carole Landis, Carole Lombard
Dorothy - Dorothy Dalton, Dorothy Dandridge, Dorothy Gish, Dorothy Lamour, Dorothy Malone
Drew - Drew Barrymore
Ethel - Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Merman, Ethel Waters
Gilda - Gilda Gray
Ginger - Ginger Rogers
Greer - Greer Garson, Jane Greer
Greta - Greta Garbo
Gwyneth - Gwyneth Paltrow
Halle - Halle Berry
Harlow - Jean Harlow
Hattie - Hattie McDaniel
Ingrid - Ingrid Bergman
Jayne - Jayne Mansfield
Julie - Julie Andrews
June - June Allyson, June Lockhart
Loretta - Loretta Young
Marlene - Marlene Dietrich
Monroe - Marilyn Monroe
Rita - Rita Hayworth, Rita Moreno
Sally - Sally Field
Sandra - Sandra Bullock
Thelma - Thelma Todd
Veronica - Veronica Lake
Viola - Viola Dana, Viola Davis
Vivien - Vivien Leigh
Winona - Winona Ryder

Alec - Alec Baldwin, Alec Guinness
Basil - Basil Rathbone
Burgess - Burgess Meredith
Charlton - Charlton Heston
Chase - Chevy Chase
Clark - Clark Gable
Colin - Colin Farrell, Colin Firth
Cooper - Gary Cooper, Jackie Cooper
Dean - Dean Jagger, Dean Martin, Dean Stockwell, James Dean
Denzel - Denzel Washington
Diesel - Vin Diesel
Errol - Errol Flynn
Gable - Clark Gable
Gregory - Gregory Peck
Harrison - Harrison Ford, Rex Harrison
Heath - Heath Ledger
Hudson - Rock Hudson
Hugh - Hugh Grant, Hugh Jackman
Humphrey - Humphrey Bogart
Keaton - Buster Keaton, Michael Keaton
Kiefer - Kiefer Sutherland
Laurence - Laurence Olivier
Marlon - Marlon Brando
Montgomery - Montgomery Clift, Robert Montgomery
Olivier - Laurence Olivier
Orlando - Orlando Bloom
Orson - Orson Welles
Quinn - Anthony Quinn
Rex - Rex Allen, Rex Harrison
Rhys - Rhys Ifans, John Rhys-Davies, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Rock - Rock Hudson
Spencer - Spencer Tracy

You have until Sunday, December 7 to vote. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Winners of Round 1 and the ballot for Round 2 should be published on Monday, December 8. Have fun!