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The Two Biggest Stories from the Annual Baby Name Data

September 7, 2020 LauraWattenberg 3 min read 5 Comments

The two biggest baby name stories of 2019 were more about substance than style. The top hitmakers—the late hip-hop artist Nipsey Hussle and the film The Hate U Give—made their marks across names as varied as Kross and Sekani, Ermias and Seven. In the process, they helped define a cultural […]

graph of gender ratio of -i names from 1900-2018, in the shape of a sharp bell curve

The Three Ages of -i Names: An American Tale

August 20, 2020 LauraWattenberg 4 min read No Comments

Name endings can define style eras. The names Marlene and Carlene sound like babies of the 1940s, while Marleigh and Carleigh have the touch of the new millennium. But for names ending in -i, the story is more complicated. It’s a tale of three different American eras. As you can […]

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How a Traditional Name Can Thrive Today

January 12, 2020 LauraWattenberg 3 min read 1 Comment

These are tough times for classic names. Even names that have stood as gold standards for timelessness are falling out of fashion: William, Katherine and Elizabeth have hit all-time popularity lows. Yet even in this naming climate, some traditional choices are thriving. Names like Amelia, Sebastian and Naomi have reached […]

The 3 Biggest Baby Name Trends of the Decade

December 30, 2019 LauraWattenberg 4 min read 10 Comments

Name trends can sneak up on you. They move bit by bit, shifting your expectations along the way. As time goes by, you might even forget that Penelope used to sound old-fashioned instead of trendy, or that you marveled at your first sighting of Jaxon-with-an-X. Here’s your reminder of how […]

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

October 17, 2019 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 7 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, […]

Shockingly Rare Names for Girls

August 13, 2019 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 2 Comments

It’s no secret that Jill is no longer the height of baby-name fashion. The name’s all-time peak was back in 1966. But would you have guessed Jill was more old-fashioned than Dorcas? More unusual than Zerenity? Baby name statistics tell us that’s reality. Jill may still sound comfortably familiar, but […]

These Names Are Right Back Where They Started

August 6, 2019 LauraWattenberg 2 min read No Comments

50 years later, they’re just where they started out. The names Althea, Elvis and Trevor are exactly as popular today as they were in 1969. That makes them, by one measure, the most stable possible names over the past half century. But the two-point snapshot of stability doesn’t tell the […]

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