What are the most popular baby names of the past 100 years? Trends come and go, but has the big picture changed?
Is there a “before” and “after” moment in modern American history? A time when the trajectory changed, when we started living and thinking differently?
A French genealogy site offers the chance to look at four centuries of baby name popularity. What new questions can such a long view answer?
On this election eve, let’s take a moment to remember some past times when Americans were challenged, or inspired, and some of the values that united us. 1918: PeaceAs Armistice finally brought an end to the horrors of the First World War, parents celebrated with baby names that reflected the […]
There’s nothing subtle about a name like Danger. Its meaning is spelled out right in front of you, with attitude to match. Meaning-first names, drawn straight from the dictionary or from history, are a growing element of contemporary, high-impact name style. They can be as fresh and bold—or as personal […]
He’s a duke, he’s a rake, he’s a Sebastian. Welcome to the world of Regency romance.
My hometown has three colleges, a proud literary heritage, and a really sketchy name. Amherst, Massachusetts was named in 1759 by a colonial governor in honor of Lord Jeffrey Amherst. Lord Jeffrey was a British commander during the French and Indian war whose military techniques included biological warfare and genocide. […]
What will baby names look like for the rest of 2020? It’s a deeper question than it may seem, because names are more than just fashion statements. They’re reflections of parents’ attitudes and obsessions, hopes and dreams. That makes names a barometer of a nation’s state of mind—especially in a […]
The mighty have fallen. The names that ruled over the English-speaking world for centuries have been deposed, and I can prove it with a single chart. Take a look at this past vs. present view of some classic names, 1900 vs. 2018: The 2018 column shows the number of American […]
On December 7, 1941, the world shifted: the Japanese bombing of a U.S. domestic naval base brought America into World War II. You can see the country’s move to wartime thinking play out in pre vs. post-Pearl Harbor baby names. What’s more, you can see direct echoes of the attack […]