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The Tradition-Shattering Names of Rural White America

November 6, 2019 LauraWattenberg 4 min read 8 Comments

It has become a familiar part of America’s modern political narrative. The white, small-town experience is portrayed as the most traditional American experience. Some elevate it as an ideal, the model for returning the nation’s culture to an earlier, prouder time. Others see it as just one element of a […]

Raindrop and Liquid Names are Still Flowing

October 31, 2019 LauraWattenberg 3 min read No Comments

Imagine a name as smooth as a flowing stream, as glossy as a raindrop. It shouldn’t be hard to imagine, because those names are all around us. Six years ago I first described a huge wave of “liquid” and “raindrop” names that was defining the sound of the times. A […]

Where Are the Scream Queen Baby Names?

October 24, 2019 LauraWattenberg 3 min read No Comments

Why aren’t more babies named after horror movie victims? If you think the answer is self-explanatory, I can’t blame you. It’s not as if they make Nightmare on Elm Street-themed nursery décor. We expect baby planning, and baby naming, to be about inspiring role models and rosy dreams of the […]

Racer, Trooper, Charger and All the Names that “Do”

October 17, 2019 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 6 Comments

It’s not just Carter and Cooper anymore. Check out some of the types of “doer” names that have appeared in the US baby name statistics in recent years: Fishing, hunting, camping: Angler, Camper, Caster, Tracker, Trapper Speed and sport: Catcher, Driver, Fielder, Racer, Sailor, Striker, Wheeler Rodeo and horses: Breaker, […]

A Goodbye Party for English Baby Names

October 10, 2019 LauraWattenberg 3 min read No Comments

Not long ago, Nigel Smith discovered he was an endangered species. Smith had always known that his first name wasn’t the height of fashion. Still, it came as a blow to learn that in a recent year the UK’s Office for National Statistics hadn’t recorded a single newborn Nigel. Zip, […]

New Sortable, Searchable USA/England Name Stats

October 8, 2019 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 1 Comment

Come play! The Namerology popularity chart is now updated with current stats for every baby name used in measurable numbers in the USA or England/Wales last year. That’s a total of 36,460 different names to dig into. You can search and sort names by letter sequences, popularity range, and popularity […]

Of Travolta and Machiavelli

September 26, 2019 LauraWattenberg 3 min read 1 Comment

Surnames are baby names. From the days of Warren and Shirley to Todd and Tracy to Hunter and Mackenzie, surname crossovers have been a staple of American baby naming. British Isles surnames, that is. The hundreds of popular crossovers all come from English and Celtic stock. Parents won’t venture further […]

Join a Survey on American Jewish Names

September 18, 2019 LauraWattenberg 1 min read No Comments

Here’s an opportunity to help advance name knowledge. Researchers at Hebrew Union College and the University of Southern California are conducting an online survey about American Jewish first names. They’re looking at names from many directions: choices and perceptions, religion and identity, history and geography—even how we name pets. I’m […]

Noms de Scam, Coming to a Phone Near You

August 29, 2019 LauraWattenberg 3 min read No Comments

Rachel from Cardholder Services is a legend. Her robocalled promises to lower credit card interest rates have kept enforcement agencies busy for years. The Federal Trade Commission even has an official Rachel FAQ. But one question it doesn’t answer. Why is she named Rachel? The name wasn’t just a random […]

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