Monday, May 18, 2015

Unisex Names of the 2014 Top 1000

There are 67 names in the 2014 Top 1000 that charted for both boys and girls. More if you count the ones that are spelled differently. It's quite interesting to see which gender has taken over the name, as well as which names are given to a fairly close amount of boys and girls. Let's take a look (name with the most babies is in bold)...

Alexis 1,172 Alexis 4,188 3,016
Amari 970 Amari 585 385
Angel 6,255 Angel 1,179 5,076
Ariel 319 Ariel 2,419 2,100
Avery 2,269 Avery 9,517 7,248
Azariah 264 Azariah 278 14
Blake 4,913 Blake 499 4,414
Cameron 7,013 Cameron 524 6,489
Carter 10,599 Carter 355 10,244
Casey 519 Casey 352 167
Charlie 1,670 Charlie 1,432 238
Dakota 876 Dakota 1,136 260
Dylan 10,350 Dylan 822 9,528
Eden 447 Eden 2,117 1,670
Elliot 1,750 Elliot 367 1,383
Elliott 1,574 Elliott 329 1,245
Emerson 1,048 Emerson 1,670 622
Emery 361 Emery 2,026 1,665
Emory 252 Emory 373 121
Finley 829 Finley 1,498 669
Harley 407 Harley 940 533
Harper 327 Harper 9,564 9,237
Hayden 2,851 Hayden 1,656 1,195
Hunter 8,759 Hunter 362 8,397
Jayden 12,878 Jayden 569 12,309
Jessie 280 Jessie 504 224
Jordan 6,810 Jordan 1,300 5,510
Jordyn 239 Jordyn 2,533 2,294
Justice 518 Justice 756 238
Kai 2,387 Kai 262 2,125
Kamryn 216 Kamryn 850 634
Karter 2,103 Karter 273 1,830
Kayden 4,691 Kayden 391 4,300
Landry 270 Landry 269 1
Leighton 240 Leighton 568 328
Lennon 358 Lennon 399 41
Logan 13,579 Logan 828 12,751
London 433 London 3,264 2,831
Lyric 255 Lyric 1,210 955
Micah 3,612 Micah 264 3,348
Milan 748 Milan 424 324
Morgan 402 Morgan 2,984 2,582
Oakley 394 Oakley 362 32
Parker 5,677 Parker 1,386 4,291
Payton 406 Payton 2,397 1,991
Peyton 1,828 Peyton 4,426 2,598
Phoenix 901 Phoenix 629 272
Quinn 868 Quinn 2,539 1,671
Reagan 205 Reagan 2,882 2,677
Reese 403 Reese 1,960 1,557
Remington 1,101 Remington 410 691
Remy 424 Remy 278 146
Riley 2,429 Riley 4,761 2,332
River 1,223 River 703 520
Rory 741 Rory 326 415
Rowan 1,531 Rowan 770 761
Ryan 9,026 Ryan 603 8,423
Rylan 1,726 Rylan 339 1,387
Rylee 247 Rylee 2,753 2,506
Sage 399 Sage 834 435
Sawyer 3,571 Sawyer 955 2,616
Skylar 409 Skylar 4,732 4,323
Skyler 911 Skyler 1,070 159
Tatum 462 Tatum 828 366
Taylor 691 Taylor 3,782 3,091
Teagan 212 Teagan 1,272 1,060
Zion 1,471 Zion 295 1,176

I have quite a few observations here...

  • Of the 67 names, the boys control 33 and the girls control 34.
  • Azariah has always been close, but while it started out controlled by the boys in 1972, the girls took over starting in 1998.
  • Jordan is controlled by the boys and Jordyn is controlled by the girls.
  • Cameron is controlled by the boys and Kamryn is controlled by the girls.
  • Look how close Landry is! We'll have to wait and see if the girls take over in 2015!
  • Lennon has always been controlled by the boys, until now! 2014 marks the year that the girls take over the famous musician's surname.
  • Oakley is another name that could easily be taken over by the girls in the near future.
  • The girls have comfortably taken over the Pa/eytons.
  • While both spellings of Skylar/Skyler are controlled by the girls, more girls are given the Skylar spelling and more boys are given the Skyler spelling.

Several of the above names have alternate spellings (i.e., Azaria, Ryann), but I did not add them to the numbers because I thought it was interesting to just see the straight comparison of names.

There are also several names in the Top 1000 that are basically the same name but spelled differently for boys versus girls. Here is what I found...

Adrian 6,659 Adrienne 339
Adrien 284
Braylen 752 Braelyn 705
Braylon 822 Braelynn 537
Francis 589 Frances 481
Karson 1,028 Karsyn 433
Noah 19,144 Noa 284
Rene 286 Renee 276

So, what do you think? Do you see any of the unisex names switching sides any time soon?


Friday, May 15, 2015

2014 Top 1000 Analysis

Last week, I went over the changes in the Top 100 and now that I've had more time I'm going to analyze the Top 1000! Here are some numbers and observations for your pleasure!

Note: According to the SSA website, the Top 1000 represents about 74% of all names for U.S. births in 2014.

New to the Top 1000 with rank and change in numbers:

BOYS                                                 GIRLS
783 Bode +178 607 Aranza +439
850 Axl +152 571 Montserrat +325
898 Coen +87 591 Monserrat +290
852 Finnley +83 658 Maisie +215
981 Bodie +81 685 Remington +170
863 Henrik +79 801 Ariadne +150
957 Anakin +75 776 Thea +146
846 Dariel +71 755 Khaleesi +125
951 Dash +64 892 Zendaya +123
871 Graysen +64 849 Jessa +119
883 Ford +63 778 Naya +115
939 Vivaan +61 968 Karter +106
995 Reyansh +60 891 Holland +93
882 Dimitri +58 905 Anniston +92
874 Eliezer +57 944 Frida +87
992 Boden +56 950 Ayva +83
893 Leighton +56 866 Bonnie +79
879 Agustin +53 838 Collins +79
988 Maddux +52 948 Avalynn +77
903 Chevy +49 918 Kinslee +77
953 Khalid +49 875 Hadleigh +74
897 Anton +48 985 Rosalyn +73
984 Kylen +48 993 Cordelia +65
959 Emmet +44 961 Julieta +65
974 Jayvion +39 934 Reina +62
982 Brayson +38 956 Remy +60
958 Baylor +36 951 Stevie +60
935 Gordon +36 954 Azariah +59
991 Ayan +34 943 Clementine +57
976 Koen +34 907 Emmeline +56
1000 Rylen +34 921 Addilynn +55
975 Kaison +32 976 Magdalena +55
966 Damari +30 959 Milani +51
952 Eliseo +29 908 Faye +50
960 Judson +25 936 Alisa +49
985 Yehuda +19 949 Dalia +46
987 Howard +15 920 Aubriella +42
998 Leif +11 958 Mattie +37
941 Noa +37
989 Aanya +36
981 Landry +36
982 Aya +33
995 Nala +31
974 Pyper +31
975 Antonia +29
967 Riya +27
973 Louisa +26
997 Cambria +17
999 Kaelynn +14

Dropped from the Top 1000 with change in numbers:

BOYS                     GIRLS
Damion -79 Britney -99
Isiah -77 Kaya -97
Bently -77 Karly -75
Xavi -51 Rihanna -60
Juelz -50 Carley -59
Deegan -44 Nahla -58
Sidney -43 Regan -56
Krish -41 Karissa -55
Corban -38 Kaylyn -54
Tristin -34 Kyndall -53
Cortez -34 Belinda -53
Yair -31 Makena -52
Izayah -31 Luz -52
Aditya -30 Audrianna -52
Jorden -29 Aleigha -52
Jamar -29 Deanna -50
Davon -28 Kourtney -47
Todd -26 Giavanna -47
Jaylin -24 Araceli -47
Demarcus -23 Saniya -46
Yadiel -22 Gwyneth -45
Camryn -22 Roxanne -44
Brendon -22 Campbell -44
Deon -21 Krystal -40
Leroy -20 Lillyana -38
Denzel -20 Giada -35
Antoine -19 Karis -34
Dangelo -16 Charlize -33
Brysen -14 India -32
Graeme -13 Destinee -31
Gilberto -13 Kaylen -30
Garrison -6 Haleigh -29
Jakobe -4 Jurnee -28
Pierre -3 Shannon -21
Tyrell -2 Tess -17
Brenton -2 Charity -14
Immanuel +1 Ali -14
Branden +2 Rayne -12
Dalilah -12
Sarahi -10
Ayana -10
Cristina -9
Karma -7
Lyra -2
Devyn -2
Avalyn -1
Princess 0
Bayleigh +3
Jayde +6

Top Movers Up with change in numbers and (2014 Rank):

1. Oliver +2116 (#32) 1. Olivia +1308 (#2)
2. Sebastian +1707 (#34) 2. Harper +1296 (#11)
3. Logan +1256 (#13) 3. Nora +1206 (#49)
4. Carter +1045 (#27) 4. Ariana +1065 (#37)
5. Grayson +996 (#63) 5. Evelyn +1045 (#16)
6. Noah +965 (#1) 6. Everly +1042 (#178)
7. Karter +929 (#194) 7. Daleyza +976 (#227)
8. Luke +885 (#28) 8. Skylar +957 (#48)
9. James +799 (#9) 9. Scarlett +918 (#30)
10. Theodore +778 (#126) 10. Paisley +878 (#53)

Top Movers Down with change in numbers and (2014 Rank):

1. Jayden -1834 (#15) 1. Sophia -2657 (#3)
2. Jacob -1360 (#4) 2. Nicole -827 (#129)
3. Joshua -997 (#25) 3. Samantha -810 (#33)
4. Christian -905 (#42) 4. Addison -762 (#24)
5. Brayden -873 (#62) 5. Hannah -748 (#28)
6. Justin -858 (#96) 6. Makayla -711 (#123)
7. Tyler -833 (#72) 7. Isabella -623 (#4)
8. Jase -826 (#105) 8. Alexia -607 (#270)
9. Ryan -824 (#37) 9. Kaylee -588 (#52)
10. Gavin -820 (#60) 10. Alexis -607 (#64)

The Increase of Presidential Names

Not only are Carter #4 and Karter #7 on the list of Top Movers Up, but Theodore is #10 (+778), Lincoln is #11 (+761), and Harrison is #12 (+682). Other classic names related to presidents are also increasing: James is #9 (+799), Henry is #21 (+503), and George is #27 (+449). Kennedy was 27th on the list of Top Movers Up for girls (+510). Further down the list of boys are Grant at #82 (+210), Walker at #88 (+200) and Abraham at #125 (+142). Arthur added +114, Franklin +101, Hayes + 82, Wilson +69, Nixon +37, Jefferson +20, and both Clinton and Pierce +9. And most excitingly, Ford made a big move entering the Top 1000, for the first time since 1951, with an increase of +63! For the girls, Mckinley added +60 and Monroe stayed even. On the downside, Tyler took a huge hit (-833) as did Jackson (-432), Taylor (-132) and Reagan (-4) on the boy's side, while Taylor fell by -343, Madison by -318 and Reagan by -151 on the girl's side.

Where Have All the -aiden's Gone?

As Abby noted in her great analysis of the 2014 list, names rhyming with Aiden are decreasing. I noticed this in my research as well, so I thought I would show the numbers (as I love to do). Here is a list of all the -aiden names in the Top 1000 separated into columns of those that went up and those that went down:

UP                           DOWN
Kayden +280 Jayden -1834
Kaiden +155 Brayden -873
Zayden +106 Ayden -468
Raiden +89 Aidan -390
Rayden +66 Cayden -341
Caiden +56 Jaden -340
Aaden +34 Aiden -279
Aidyn +8 Jaiden -206
Jadon +7 Caden -179

Kaden -177
Hayden -100
Braden -72
Braydon -63
Braeden -45
Jaydon -39
Adan -38
Braiden -24
Aydan -12
Zaiden -11
Aydin -9

There are twice as many names decreasing as there are increasing. For the most part, the newer names Kayden, Zayden and Rayden are still increasing, while Jayden, Brayden, Hayden, and Aiden are decreasing. But the most telling thing is the total amount of increase and decrease. The nine names that increased produced a rise in 801 babies named an -aiden name, while the twenty names that decreased were reduced by a total of 5,500. So, there were 4,699 less babies with -aiden names in 2014 than there were in 2013.

Other Interesting Tidbits
  • Only one boy separates Philip from Phillip. And for the first time since 1960, Philip is the more popular spelling! Philip went up 25 boys from 2013 to 2014, while Phillip went down 71 boys.
  • Paisley and Paislee are two of the top 30 movers up (Paisley is the #10 Mover and Paislee is the #28).
  • Emerson and Emersyn both increased by 147 girls (Emerson to 1,670 and Emersyn to 742).
  • Ariana and Arianna are only 3 spots away from each other on the 2014 Top 1000 chart. Ariana is #37 and Arianna is #40. In 2013, Arianna was #44 and Ariana was #54, so not only did they both rise, but Ariana became the more popular spelling.
  • Valeria is ranked #175 and Valerie is ranked #176 with only 11 girls separating them. Valeria is on the rise, while Valerie is on its way down.
  • Only 37 girls separate Montserrat and Monserrat, which were two of the highest debuted girl names of 2014. 


Saturday, May 9, 2015

2014 Top 100 Analysis

With the release of the name data for 2014, I will need to update Name-alytics and get it out as soon as I can. (Those who have purchased the book will receive the updated version for free via email. Those who want to buy the book, keep an eye out and I will let you know when the updated version is available!) In the meantime, here is an analysis of all the captivating information!

  • Changes in the Top 100... 

NEW GIRLS: Alice, Eleanor, Hadley, Isabelle, Jasmine and Vivian.
NEW BOYS: Asher, Leo, and Ryder.

GIRLS ON THE OUT: Jocelyn, Kayla, Makayla, Morgan, Nicole, and Sydney.
BOYS ON THE OUT: Damian, Jase, and Tristan.

Alice returns to the Top 100 at #97 after an absence of 58 years. Even more impressively, Eleanor returns at #78 after an absence of 72 years. Hadley is brand new to the Top 100, and enters at #99. Reentering at #96, Isabelle was previously in the top group for five years ending in 2009. Jasmine just left the Top 100 after 2012, so it's appearance at #100 is somewhat of a surprise. And Vivian continues its rise upwards by returning at #98 after 80 years of absence.

Asher is new to the Top 100 at #93. Leo returns to the list at #97 after an absence of 77 years. And Ryder returns at #95, after previously being present for just one year, 2012.

How fascinating that both Kayla and Makayla dropped out of the Top 100! And not only was I wrong about Jayce entering the Top 100, Jase tumbled as well. That leaves only Jace in the Top 100, but he decreased in numbers as well, so it looks like that trend is on its way out. Jason, on the other hand, went up by 18 boys.

  • Want to know some justification for why I was shocked Emma moved into the #1 spot? She actually fell in terms of popularity in numbers and in percentage. 77 less girls were named Emma in 2014 than in 2013 and her percentage of use fell from 1.0881% to 1.0729%. As you will see later, Emma was able to rise to #1 due to the significant decrease in the use of Sophia.

  • There is a decrease in the percentage of use for the #1 girl name in 2013 (Sophia at 1.1022%) versus Emma's percentage 2014 (1.0729%). 

  • The opposite happened on the boy side. Noah remained in the #1 spot and increased in number and in percentage. 965 more boys were named Noah in 2014 than in 2013, and his percentage of use rose from 0.9040% to 0.9431%.

  • The names in the Top 10 are more widely spread out in use in 2014 than in 2013. The total percentages for the Top 10 boy names are 7.9979% in 2014, versus 8.1538% in 2013. For girl names: 7.7266% in 2014 versus 7.9076% in 2013. This would suggest parents are looking at more of a variety of names for their children. To give perspective on this, take a look at the top names in the past... in 1880, 8.1546% of boys were named John and 7.2384% of girls were named Mary... and those are the percentages of just ONE NAME.

  • Interestingly, Oliver and Olivia were the biggest jumpers for boys and girls in the Top 100! Parents of boys and girls alike are loving the "Oliv-" beginning. The following are the top 10 jumpers for each gender (*including those new to the list):

Oliver +2,116
Sebastian +1,707
Logan +1,256
Carter +1,044
Grayson +996
Noah +965
Luke +885
James +799
Lincoln +761
*Asher +581

Olivia +1,308
Harper +1,296
Nora +1,206
Ariana +1,065
Evelyn +1,045
Skyar +957
Scarlett +918
Paisley +878
Annabelle +791
Aria +789

  • The Top 100's biggest droppers were Jayden and Sophia! Jayden fell out of the Top 10 and Sophia fell out of the #1 spot. Here are the top 10 droppers for boys and girls (*including those that fell off the list):

Jayden -1,834
Jacob -1,360
Joshua -997
Christian -905
Brayden -873
Justin -858
Tyler -833
*Jase -826
Ryan -824
Gavin -820

Sophia -2,657
*Nicole -827
Samantha -810
Addison -762
Hannah -748
*Makayla -711
Isabella -623
Kaylee -588
Alexis -568
Nevaeh -556

  • Trend-watching by observing the numbers of the Top 100 names (not the ranks)... 

While Sophia fell, Sofia rose. Sophie fell along with Sophia. While Isabella fell, Isabelle rose right into the Top 100. Both Ariana and Arianna rose. Zoey rose, but Zoe fell. Both Chloe and Khloe fell. Both Aubrey and Aubree fell. Both Lillian and Lily fell.

Jaxson, Jack, and Jaxon rose (in the order of most to least increase), while Jackson fell. Aiden, Ayden, Brayden and Jayden all fell. Only one -ayden name rose and that was Kayden.

  • The boys had quite a few more Top 100 names go down in number than the girls.
So much information to take in in such a short time! Do you see any other interesting tidbits?


Friday, May 8, 2015

Was I Right?

By now, you may have already seen the new 2014 SSA baby name list. The new #1 for the girls is Emma! That was a complete shock to me. But most of the Top 10 names themselves haven't changed... James is new on the boy side (replacing Jayden) and Charlotte is new on the girl side (replacing Elizabeth).

A month ago, I made predictions on name that I thought would enter the Top 100. Here are the results...


2013 Rank: #107
2014 Rank: #97
Difference: +10
Result: I was right!

2013 Rank: #127
2014 Rank: #103
Difference: +24
Result: Almost!

2013 Rank: #528
2014 Rank: #286
Difference: +242
Result: Wow. A huge increase. But nowhere close to the Top 100... yet.

2013 Rank: #383
2014 Rank: #178
Difference: +205
Result: Another huge jump, and a bit closer to the Top 100!

2013 Rank: #119
2014 Rank: #98
Difference: +21
Result: Yay, me!


2013 Rank: #104
2014 Rank: #93
Difference: +11
Result: Winner!

2013 Rank: #143
2014 Rank: #119
Difference: +24
Result: Closer.

2013 Rank: #146
2014 Rank: #150
Difference: -4
Result: BOO! Not only was I wrong, but it went down!

2013 Rank: #112
2014 Rank: #97
Difference: +15
Result: Goodie!

2013 Rank: #169
2014 Rank: #163
Difference: +6
Result: Not impressive.

The overall scoop? Out of the 10 predictions, I was right about 4 of them. Not too bad, I suppose. All except one made moves up the chart, so I was mostly on the right path at least. ;)

What are your thoughts on the new list? Lots more to observe...


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Predictions for the 2014 Top 100

It is now April, which means we can officially say the 2014 SSA Popular Baby Names list will be out next month! It's Christmas in May for name enthusiasts and I, for one, can't wait to see what names made their move upward last year. I am not one who likes to make predictions, but there is something about this list that forces me to go out on a limb.

Here are 10 names I think have a chance to jump up into the Top 100 for 2014...


2013 Rank: #107
Once ranked as high as #8 in the 1880s and early 1900s, Alice is currently in the news as being one of the top contenders for the new English princess. But the name has already been climbing gradually among American parents since the 1990s and does not have too far to go to break into the Top 100. If it doesn't do it this time, a Princess Alice will surely help make that final push for 2015.

2013 Rank: #127
Cora has been rising from elegant obscurity since the 1990s, even before the influence of Downton Abbey's matriarch Lady Cora (but she didn't hurt the name either). This would be a return to the Top 100 for Cora, which made it as high as #15 in 1880 and remained in the Top 100 through 1912.

2013 Rank: #528
Frozen came out in November 2013. With an entire year of Queen Elsa under parents' belts and the fact that the Elizabeth nickname was already gaining steam since the late 1990s, it would be no big surprise to see Elsa move up in 2014. The question is, can it jump more than 428 spots into the Top 100?

2013 Rank: #383
For a name that was barely even used for girls before 2000, Everly has made huge strides in the past couple of years. Honestly, this is my most far-reaching pick for Top 100 this year, but I think it has tremendous potential, especially after receiving some status in the celebrity baby name realm. I also love that I picked this name to enter the Top 1000 back in 2012 (which I got right)!

2013 Rank: #119
Speaking of celebrity baby names, how much love has Vivian and Vivienne received in the past several years? That fact and knowing the name has gradually grown in usage since the 1980s, makes Vivian a pretty strong possibility to take over a spot in the Top 100. It held a spot from 1911 through 1934 and ranked at #64 at its highest, so it is not too far of a reach to expect it back there soon.


2013 Rank: #104
Biblical names are both classic and on the rise. Asher is one of the latter. Admittedly, Asher doesn't have far to go to make it into the Top 100, but year by year, it just keeps gaining ground so this could be the year it will slip into the top group.

2013 Rank: #143
Another Biblical name that is slowly clambering up the ranks, Ezra has been given to boys since 1880 but it is currently at its highest rate of usage. It also has the cool "z" sound that could help it continue to rise right into the Top 100.

2013 Rank: #146
Jace and Jase are now firmly in the Top 100, so why shouldn't Jayce join them? I really don't see a reason why all three can't be in the top, especially with the continued popularity of Duck Dynasty and the ongoing need to vary the spelling of trendy names.

2013 Rank: #112
Leo was a steady Top 100 name from 1882 through 1937, but never made it higher than #38. Its raw numbers are reaching almost the same amount now as they were back then and they continue to soar. Leo is a true example of the old becoming new again and re-entering the Top 100 would be additional proof to support that assertion.

2013 Rank: #169
The name Maddox wasn't even given to children before 1995 (at least it wasn't recorded until then), but it seemed to really start rising after Angelina Jolie used the name for her first child in 2002. At the rate it keeps rising I don't see it slowing down and the continued appeal of the "x" should help propel it into the Top 100 soon.

What do you think? Do you agree with any of these names or do you see a different name joining the Top 100 for 2014?


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Naming Your New Baby - 1979

A friend of mine gave me an old pamphlet entitled "Naming Your New Baby" that was published in 1979. The above picture is the helpful information presented at the beginning, but the rest of the pamphlet is a bunch of name suggestions. I found it all very interesting. Included in about 1,000 names, there was a fascinating mixture of classic and modern names alongside some pretty unusual choices for such a short list. Here are some of the name suggestions that really caught my eye...



Were they seriously still suggesting Adolph as a baby name in 1979? Although 44 boys were given the name in 1979.

Why suggest Bonny instead of Bonnie? The more popular spelling was obviously Bonnie... 1,626 girls were named Bonnie in 1979 while 81 were named Bonny.

And, as an example of some of the very rare names on this list, where did Chalmers, Durward and Erskine come from? Only 5, 6, and 17 boys were given those names, respectively, in 1979.

These suggestions are just so random, but oh so fun!

Which of these would you use?


Friday, January 30, 2015

THE Names

I am currently in love with the name Thea. The debate between Thea on its own or using it as a nickname for Theodora is ongoing. In any case, I decided to look up the popularity of both, as well as other names that begin with The- (with the th pronunciation; I do not include Theresa or Therese). There are several fabulous one!

Theodore is, of course, the most popular of the bunch. 2,397 boys were given the name in 2013 and it ranked at #170. Theodor was given to 45 boys.

Theo is the second most popular, given to 358 boys in 2013. It ranked at #666.

The first girl's name on the list is Thea! The short form for Theodora (as well as Dorothea) is more popular than the long form. It was given to 209 girls in 2013, but it was not ranked. I also found 18 girls were named Theia.

Next comes Theodora. 94 girls were given the name in 2013, and 15 were named Theadora.

Theodore, Theo, Thea, Theodora all showed increases from 2012. Will they continue to rise? We'll see when the 2014 numbers come out in May!

Now let's check out the rest of the THE names from 2013...

Theron* M 86
Theophilus M 37
Theseus M 31
Thelma F 19
Theon M 15
Thelonious** M 14
Theodoros M 14
Theoden M 13
Theory F 9
Theodis M 8
Theda F 7
Thessaly F 5
Theofanis M 5

*There were also 6 boys names Theran and 5 boys named Therin. Not sure if they are all pronounced the same, as Theron could be pronounced like Charlize Theron's name or with the first syllable stressed.

** There were also 5 boys named Thelonius.

Theron means "hunter" in Greek. Theophilus is Biblical, as Luke wrote the book of Acts to him, and means "friend of god" in Greek. Theseus was a hero in Greek legend. Theon has Greek roots, but is currently popular from a character in Game of Thrones. Theda is another nickname for Theodora. Thessaly is the name of an area in Greece. And Theodis and Theofanis (spelled Theofanes) also have Greek origins. As you can see, most THE names are Greek.

What about the non-Greeks? Thelma was invented for a Norwegian novel. Thelonious is a Latin form of Tilo, which is German. Theoden comes from The Lord of the Rings. Theory is a word.

Because of my love for all things LOTR, I happen to adore Theoden. Thessaly also catches my eye, although some could see it as a tongue-twister.

Which is your favorite THE name?


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Spellings of Katherine

As we read in Name-alytics, there are three spellings of Katherine that have been in the Top 100... Catherine, Katherine and Kathryn (the Big 3). Catherine reached its peak in 1914, Katherine reached its peak in 1988, and Kathryn reached its peak in 1951. That alone is quite fascinating to those interested in the history of name popularity, but it is not enough to satisfy my detail-specific thirst.

How have each of these spellings fared over the years in comparison to each other as well as to other spellings of the name? The graph below shows each spelling's percentage of use from 1938 through 2013. (My database only has the percentage of use information from 1938 onward because the raw data from the SSA is not available prior to that year.)

If I only wanted to prove that the Big 3 were and are the dominant spellings over the years, you can see it here. But even more interestingly, you can see where exactly the spelling preference changed from Catherine to Katherine. In 1973, parents made the switch from C to K, which probably goes along with the trends of the time.

Another impressive pattern you can recognize in the graphic are the two humps. In the 1940s and 1950s, there is a swelling of usage for all of the Big 3, with Catherine taking the lead, followed by Kathryn, and then Katherine. The 1960s and 1970s brought a decrease in usage, and then another boom occurred in the 1980s and early 1990s, this time with Katherine taking the lead, followed by Kathryn, and then Catherine, who only seemed to go down from its peak in the 1950s.

To take this observation even further, I present the next graph. Because they are Top 100 names and therefore subjects of my Name-alytics research, I have the percentage of usage data for the Big 3 from 1880 through 1937...

Do you see the slight hump in the 1910s? And Catherine and Katherine may very well be coming down from another hump occurring off-graph prior to 1880. You can also see exactly how popular Catherine was at its peak... 8 out of every 1,000 girls were named Catherine in the mid-1910s. Catherine was more popular at its height than Katherine or Kathryn ever were at theirs.

But let's move on. Referring back to the first chart, starting in the late 1990s, and continuing currently, you can see the trend is moving away from Katherine, no matter how you spell it. Katherine is still the most popular of the Big 3, but Catherine overtook Kathryn at the turn of the century.

As for the non-Big 3 spellings, the upswing of Katherine and Kathryn in the 1980s helped Katharine have a rise in popularity during that time as well. Katharine still has the highest popularity out of the rest, followed by Katheryn, Cathryn, Catharine, and Catheryn. (There are plenty of other spellings of Katherine that have been used... I just chose to concentrate on these for the purposes of this post.)

So, what does all of this mean? Well, Katherine has shown to be quite a roller-coaster of a name. Making this discovery leads me wonder if the wave will continue and another influx of Katherines will appear in the next decade or so. If so, I wonder which spelling will take control then? What do you think? Will Catherine join the trend towards older favorites and come back into the forefront?


Friday, January 2, 2015

Name Madness 2014 Winners!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome to the post announcing the winners of Name Madness 2014! As we may have surmised from the entire tournament, one matchup was a blowout, while the other was tremendously close. Forty-five of you voted, and the results are...

Vivien 67%
June 33%

Rhys 49%
Harrison 51%

Congratulations to Vivien and Harrison!

Vivien continued her dominance, wiping out June the same way she did against Annette, Angelina, Viola, and Dorothy.

Only one vote separated Rhys and Harrison. Harrison also beat Hugh, Heath, Gable, and Dean on his path to glory.

So the Hollywood Names battle ended with a 1930s-1950s starlet name and a 1930s-1950s star surname/modern action star given name as the victors. Is this how you would have predicted the outcome? Are you happy or disappointed with the results?

One sidenote... do you like the spelling of Vivien? Interestingly, Vivien Leigh's birth name was Vivian. The spelling was changed when she started acting.

Thank you so much for making this tournament and fun success! Onto the 2015!