A Revolution

July 9, 2008 at 9:14 am (Uncategorized)

According to this story, the most popular baby names in the US have changed dramatically from the traditional and staid names that topped the list in 1950. The author, Jeanna Bryner, cites Nicole Kidman’s new daughter, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban*, as evidence of a new trend of babynaming which, in Bryner’s view, reflects an “ever-increasing diversity of names for which the inspirations range from the calendar to languages from afar.”

So, how do the names compare? Well, take a gander at the top American boy/girl names from 1950:

1. James / Linda
2. Robert / Mary
3. John / Patricia
4. Michael / Barbara
5. David / Susan
6. William / Nancy
7. Richard / Deborah
8. Thomas / Sandra
9. Charles / Carol
10. Gary / Kathleen

Perfectly “normal” Anglo names, with a few Latinate (Linda, Charles) and Hebrew (Deborah, David, Michael) names thrown in. Compare this to the new diversity of last year:

1. Jacob / Emily
2. Michael / Isabella
3. Ethan / Emma
4. Joshua / Ava
5. Daniel / Madison
6. Christopher / Sophia
7. Anthony / Olivia
8. William / Abigail
9. Matthew / Hannah
10. Andrew / Elizabeth

Whoah! Emma? Abigail? Matthew? ELIZABETH? That’s downright CRAZY! So diverse and unusual! What are most Americans thinking, naming their kids such exotic monikers as Anthony and William? My god, those kids are going to be teased right out of the schoolyard!

*Mind you, Nicole Kidman is Australian and Keith Urban is a New Zealander. But whatever, they speak English and they’re famous; so they count as American, right?



  1. zantimisfit said,

    I’m actually kind of surprised as the normal-ness of this list. Ya know I started to notice parents giving their kids “unique” names a little after the movie “Splash” came out. That’s where that awful “Madison” come from.

  2. Ten Feet of Steel said,

    This is actually much more interesting than that article:


  3. Quiconque said,

    Ooh, that is cool. Multicolored graphs that magically appear are always better than dry text. Also, I learned that my name (at least my spelling of it) has never been trendy, and neither has Tenfeet’s. La Belle Helene’s name, however, enjoyed landmark popularity around 1910.

  4. ashyknees said,

    Yahoo news, why do you tempt us so? If only your stories were as cool as the babynamewizard thing.

  5. Ten Feet of Steel said,

    What I found interesting on that graph is that Jose is ranked at 32 for boys’ names now. Which is significant but would never come to light in an article like that one at Yahoo.

  6. ashyknees said,

    I was shocked by the level of popularity that Mildred once had.

  7. jadelaide said,

    the name madison should just be banned. BANNED.

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