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The Names that Do—and Don’t—Hold Power in Washington

February 4, 2021 LauraWattenberg 4 min read 5 Comments
"I'm sorry, Dave" (image from the film 2001 A Space Odyssey)

The Brady Bunch? In. Dave and Jen? Out. Oh, and women? Yeah, they’re still out too. Those are a few of the conclusions from a review of the names that rule in American government. I tallied the given names of over 900 current high-ranking US public servants, including congresspeople, cabinet […]

Name This Name Style

January 22, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 32 Comments
Illustration of an upward graph with a question mark

A name trend requires a common thread: a style link that makes a whole group of names rise and fall together. It might be a shared suffix, or meaning, or linguistic origin. Occasionally it’s something more elusive—a theme you recognize but can’t easily define. That’s the case with a new […]

Shockingly Rare Names for Boys

January 14, 2021 LauraWattenberg 1 min read 2 Comments
Photo of surprised baby

Let’s talk about a rare boy’s name. Really rare. A name that isn’t ranked in the current top 1000, or even the top 2000. A name rarer than Theophilus, or Dinero, or Supreme. A name like Brad. Among grown men, of course, Brad is hardly a curiosity. It was a […]

Nicknaming In Reverse

January 6, 2021 LauraWattenberg 3 min read 7 Comments
Ace playing card edited to say Aceton

It’s 1946. The girls’ nicknames Judy and Trudy are the height of charm. But while Judy springs from the youthful hit Judith, Trudy is short for the tired old standby Gertrude. What’s a trendy, Trudy-loving parent to do? The answer for some was Trudith, a 1940s-only concoction born of a […]

5 Names that Mattered in 2020

December 22, 2020 LauraWattenberg 6 min read 1 Comment
Elon Musk holding baby

The pace of news was set to double-time in 2020, and name news was no exception. Names made headlines as they were chosen, abandoned, celebrated, mocked, debated and redefined. These five names made their mark on a year like no other. COVIDThe many names given to the virus that paralyzed […]

Breonna is the 2020 Name of the Year

December 17, 2020 LauraWattenberg 5 min read 3 Comments
Protester holding sign: "BREONNA'S LIFE MATTERED"

The symbolic power of names was front and center in 2020. Physicians and politicians wrangled with the implications of different names for the virus that brought society to its knees. Brands with “nostalgic” slave names like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben were finally retired. And throughout, a rallying cry reminded […]

A Roze is a Roze: The New Spelling Shifts

December 4, 2020 LauraWattenberg 4 min read 1 Comment
"Brooks" replaced by "Broox"

Even creative spelling has its rules—and those rules are changing. For generations, two letters have reigned supreme the realm of creative name spelling: Y and K. Parents replaced workaday vowels with Ys in names from Lynda to Paxtyn, and Cs with Ks in names like Karter and Khloe. The two […]

What is Your Pick for the Name of the Year?

November 17, 2020 Namerology 1 min read 35 Comments
NOTY nominate now banner

What name is a time capsule of this year? What is the 2020 Name of the Year? Every year, we ask the name-savvy public to weigh in on the Name of the Year. This year it may seem a tall order, asking a single name to capture such a momentous […]

Parents are Breaking the One-Word Barrier

October 29, 2020 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 3 Comments
Header image: "Namerology Trends"

Another baby name barrier is falling—a big one. Even this age of creative, high-impact naming, baby names have generally remained single words. But not any more. American parents have started to create names out of phrases. Compound names like Mary Kate or Jon-Michael have always been common enough, as have […]

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