Ooo nah nah, what's my name?
May 15, 2015 9:17 AM   Subscribe

What would your name be if your parents gave you the name that was as popular now as your name was when you were born? Data from the Social Security Name site (2014 data just released).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (216 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oooh, this is neat, thanks!

Best,
Anya
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:21 AM on May 15, 2015


Let's see...My name was the third most popular when I was born, so my name today would be...Mason. Wha...Mason?!?! WTF?!?!?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:21 AM on May 15, 2015


Anytime. Love, Hayden
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:21 AM on May 15, 2015


All of my alternate names are horrible or misspelled (Chanel? Melonie? Jesusa? Ardis? GERALD?!?) and so I am very happy being Eleanor.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:21 AM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Tragically, my brother's name showed up fewer than five times the year he was born (and probably every year since the Bible was published) so I can't tell him that if he were born today he'd be "Robespierre" or something.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:22 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


My 2014 name is pretty close to my actual name in length, origin, and overall mouthfeel. My 1910s name, on the other hand, is Clyde, and I'm just going to start using that from now on.
posted by theodolite at 9:22 AM on May 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Dances with Captain Underpants
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:22 AM on May 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Mine would be Abigail, a name that I hate. I'm not crazy about my name either, but it's preferable to Abigail.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:22 AM on May 15, 2015


Ugh another last-name-used-as-a-first-name-by-aspirational-white-people. Good that I'm already living in Palo Alto.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:23 AM on May 15, 2015


Brody? jeez
posted by GallonOfAlan at 9:24 AM on May 15, 2015


-- Ryder
posted by Space Coyote at 9:24 AM on May 15, 2015


My (decade of dad's birth) name is (my dad's name)!

My name for several other decades (including the current) is "William."
posted by grobstein at 9:25 AM on May 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Seriously if I am going to have a traditionally masculine name I would hope to rate better than Melvin or Gerald, thank you very much 1930's and 1940's.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:26 AM on May 15, 2015


My name today would be Audriana.

If I use the more common spelling, my name today would be Isabel.

Using the more common spelling gets me the *best* names from previous four decades, as well. To wit: Mercedes, Bobbi, Toni, and Candy.
posted by gaspode at 9:28 AM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Most of my alternative names by decade are Charles, William, and George.

I don't wanna be a Windsor!
posted by m@f at 9:29 AM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


My name today would be Sophia. And it looks like none of my other decade names are that bad either.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:30 AM on May 15, 2015


My 2015 name of Elsa is far more palatable than my 1920s name of Orpha. Mainly because one is just one letter away from orphan. Which is what I would have been if my name had been Orpha.
posted by teleri025 at 9:30 AM on May 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Hmm, my name is the 86th most popular girl name from 1978. Today I would be Khloe. Glad to have dodged that bullet.

However, I would have enjoyed being given the 86th most popular name from the 1970's (Yvette) 1930's (Lola) or 1920's (Bonnie).

Both 1980's and 1950's give me Priscilla. Dear god.
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:30 AM on May 15, 2015


According to this, in 1890, 1900 and 1910 there must have been a rage for assigning girls names to boys (Margaret, Ruby, Margaret). I think something might be broken in their algorithm.
posted by yoink at 9:30 AM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


My 1960 name would be my mom's name! Funny. She was born in 1955.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:31 AM on May 15, 2015


If I was born in the 1980s, shouldn't my 1980s name be... my name?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:31 AM on May 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


Alexander.

Sigh
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on May 15, 2015


If I was born in the 1980s, shouldn't my 1980s name be... my name?

I was wondering that too. Maybe they average the entire decade for that part?

- Aiden
posted by Aznable at 9:33 AM on May 15, 2015


Yeah, Overlapping Elvis, I noticed that as well. Your name rank is calculated by year but your decade name is calculated by decade. Didn't anyone QA this before it went live?
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:34 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


(My 1940s name was almost my actual name and the name I'm using for an authorial stand-in character ...set in the 40s)
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 AM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


If I was born in the 1980s, shouldn't my 1980s name be... my name?

Well, yes, but your parents clearly screwed up.
posted by rtimmel at 9:34 AM on May 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Keira. I like it! Feels like a got a decent prize out of the Cracker Jack box for a change.
posted by puddledork at 9:34 AM on May 15, 2015


James.

Since I'm the only Thomas in both my parents' families, this would have worked just as well.
posted by tommasz at 9:37 AM on May 15, 2015


Interesting to watch the decline of a name. For example, apparently no girl in the US was named Elfrida after the 1950s, though it was the 337th most popular name in 1900. By 1930, its popularity was the same as the name "Female" for a girl born in 1990 which, I assume, was some kind of placeholder for a name yet to be chosen.

Or maybe I'm reading this incorrectly -- It gives the popularity of a name in a certain year, but then gives you your, say, "1950s" name. Is that for the whole decade of the 1950s?
posted by klausman at 9:37 AM on May 15, 2015


It's funny, all my alternative names for the other decades have the same juuuuust slightly off feel that my real name does. Like, not popular names by any stretch of the imagination, kind of old-fashioned for their time, but definitely names people would know.

A funny coincidence: my brother and his wife were born in different decades, and his name for her decade is her (unisex) name, same spelling and all. o_O
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:38 AM on May 15, 2015


Marco? How awful...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:38 AM on May 15, 2015


Preston. Fine, but where's my yacht?
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:38 AM on May 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


I had no idea Marilyn was a boy's name in the 30s
posted by griphus at 9:38 AM on May 15, 2015


Also, “Kaeden”?
posted by griphus at 9:40 AM on May 15, 2015


Chaim.

Other decade names: Luther, Kiel, Luigi, Sherwood, Donato, Hezekiah, Calvert, Benard, Gilmer, Seldon, Belton, Humphrey.

Something about this list is either more Jewish or more stringently Protestant than I would have expected.
posted by brennen at 9:41 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


My name is Bentley, rather than Martin.
posted by beagle at 9:42 AM on May 15, 2015


Bohdi? Fuck off. I'm being trolled.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:42 AM on May 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Wow. There are a surprising number of decades where I would have ended up a "Walter."
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 9:43 AM on May 15, 2015


My (middle) name would be Kaylee. Gag me.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 9:44 AM on May 15, 2015


OverlappingElvis: "If I was born in the 1980s, shouldn't my 1980s name be... my name?"

A decade-long birth would have killed your mother.

sincerely,
Josiah.
posted by boo_radley at 9:45 AM on May 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I had no idea Marilyn was a boy's name in the 30s
Tons of "-lyn" names used to be men's names. That was just on my mind because I dealing with a male "Jacklynn" at work recently. I thought it was odd and then I remembered "Lynn" and "Evelyn" were men's names and it was a little less weird. (He goes by "Joe" or something. )
posted by lesli212 at 9:45 AM on May 15, 2015


Addison.

Ugh.
posted by asockpuppet at 9:45 AM on May 15, 2015


"Xzavier"? That's not a name, that's a Scrabble victory.
posted by uosuaq at 9:46 AM on May 15, 2015 [24 favorites]


Hmm.

So if I was born now, I would be a boy named Joshua, who, after deciding to change genders (probably at a much younger age than I did, the lucky brat) would settle upon Khloe.

Which I guess I can support, given that Chloe was one of the names I considered. I'm really not down with her choice of eccentric spellings though; I feel that "Chloë" is a much superior one.

Still. Best of luck, little Josh/Khloe.
posted by egypturnash at 9:47 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


2000s name: Cassandra
1990s: Kathleen
1980s: Tammy
1970s: Traci
1960s: Rita
1950s: Jeanne
1940s: Thelma
1930s: Ida
1920s: Genevieve
1910s: Charlotte
1900s: Nettie
1890s: Charlotte

I... don't like any of these. Except maybe Genevieve. I'd prefer that over my current middle name, which I'm not thrilled with. If only I could age myself by about 60 years.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 9:47 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I apparently narrowly missed being named "Bambi." Also, my 1890's name is Donie and my 1910's name is Queenie, which are both excellent.
posted by Missense Mutation at 9:48 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The name "Female" comes from medical people treating illiterate maternity patients and their offspring, cruelly. The patient usually a non or poor English speaker, would ask for help in pickimg an auspicious American name for their new baby. The personnel would say "Feemali" is a name the higher classes use, the trustimg patient would accept the name and then Female would be entered, just like Orangello, or Meconium. Yes they used to do this to people, not so much anymore.
posted by Oyéah at 9:50 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Melissa. Ew.
posted by caryatid at 9:51 AM on May 15, 2015


My name is no longer in the Top 100. Boo hoo hoo!

I like how I would have been named Lawrence in one decade and Larry in another.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:51 AM on May 15, 2015


Mine is Abrielle, which I think is some kind of medication. I'm surprised, because usually when I look for my name in Social Security data, it tells me I don't crack the top 100.

Heading backward:
2000s: Karah
1990s: Rashida (as a Parks and Rec fan, I approve)
1980s: Katrice (what)
1970s: Ronald (WHAT)
1960s: Jonnie (...)
1950s: Lavina (not even Lavinia)
1940s: Elinore (I thought it said Elsinore and liked being a castle)
1930s: Oneida (really)
1920s: Odie (I am a cartoon dog at this point)
1910s: Eugene (stop)
1900s: Mariana (okay, that one's nice)
1890s: Clella (I think this one escaped from the Snuffy Smith comic).

I'm going to keep Ilana, thanks.
posted by ilana at 9:52 AM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I want to make one of these things called "what would your Ellis Island name be?" and just have it return "Smith" for any input.
posted by griphus at 9:52 AM on May 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Leah. I'm not unhappy with this.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 9:52 AM on May 15, 2015


I had the 91st most popular name given to babies the year I was born. In 2014 the same-ranked name was ...Sophie. Just Sophie. My first thought that that was a nickname, and of the third-most popular name of the year, to boot! The thought of that many people sharing my name makes me glad to have the name I have, even if isn't my favorite.
posted by PearlRose at 9:52 AM on May 15, 2015


I was born in the early eighties, and I didn't have to check the Social Security register to tell you that the most popular girl's name from that time was Jennifer.
posted by colfax at 9:53 AM on May 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


This would work better the other way too, that it looked out how popular your name is now, and renamed you based on the current popularity.
posted by ethansr at 9:53 AM on May 15, 2015


I want to make one of these things called "what would your Ellis Island name be?" and just have it return "Smith" for any input.

I don't think this is a true story but: there is a story in my family that, coming to America one of our ancestors decided to change his name to something less Jewish- and more American-sounding, and that the name he came up with was "Cohen."
posted by grobstein at 9:56 AM on May 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


My name today would be Fisher
My 2000s name is Darrien
My 1990s name is Russel
My 1980s name is Hakim
My 1970s name is Davy
My 1960s name is Wayland
My 1950s name is Ennis
My 1940s name is Dawson
My 1930s name is Orvin
My 1920s name is Rolla
My 1910s name is Edker
My 1900s name is Mallie
My 1890s name is Job

Aside from the 2000s, 90s, and 70s offerings, I would be quite happy with most of those names.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:56 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Interesting. My middle name (I was born in 1980) is Lynn. However, when I put that into the the game, presumably as a first name, I get an 1980s name of Shameka.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:57 AM on May 15, 2015


My 2014 name would be "Jacob," which is quite thematically similar to "David," I guess. Also works as a Jewish name, so that's a bonus.

My little sister had her year's 271st most popular name, which translates to "Katie" in 2014 names. Not "Katherine" or even "Kate," but "Katie." On the birth certificate. Well.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:58 AM on May 15, 2015


I'd be Sarai today. Or Robert in 1910. So there might be something up with the algorithm.

I'd be fascinated to see something similar for UK data - I'm pretty sure my name (which was in the 400s for US girls' names in 1989) was significantly more popular here in the 80s. Like top 100 popular. There were eight of us in a school year of 120. The only other person at work with my name was born within a few years of me. It's not as time-marked as Jennifer/Jessica/Tiffany in terms of 80s girls names, but it did have a moment around then.
posted by terretu at 10:00 AM on May 15, 2015


Genesis?! It'd have to grow on me. And now I'm thinking some kid out there has to have the first name Sega.

Interestingly, my 80s name is my year-younger sister's name.
posted by shepard at 10:01 AM on May 15, 2015


This would work better the other way too, that it looked out how popular your name is now, and renamed you based on the current popularity.

You can put in your birth year as 2014 and get the decade returns.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:01 AM on May 15, 2015


Ha! My 1920s name is Elmo.
I know at least one two year old who will be thrilled.
posted by Sourisnoire at 10:01 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I was born in the 1980s, shouldn't my 1980s name be... my name?

I had an identical question, but I'm not going to look an I'm-not-called-George horse in the mouth.
posted by busted_crayons at 10:01 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I checked this thing with only the tiniest shred of hopefulness, since I've got one of those first names that no one has ever heard before. And, indeed:

"Sorry! We couldn't find data for girl's name ["Weird Hippy Name Your Parents Pulled Out of Their Ass in Year Redacted"], meaning it shows up fewer than five times."

Downsides to my situation: 1) Not getting to have the fun everyone else is having right now 2) Extreme vulnerability to stalkers and various online embarrassments
Upsides to my situation: 1) Confirmation that I am actually a very special snowflake 2) If I ever become famous and a bunch of babies start getting my name I can definitely take the credit
posted by the turtle's teeth at 10:03 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Your name is the 374th or whatever name for your year, but isn't necessarily the 374th name for your decade, yes? I'd be curious to see how the 374th popular name for a decade is averaged/figured out.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:04 AM on May 15, 2015


My today first and middle names would be Adeline Adalyn.
posted by cooker girl at 10:06 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


My name today would be Trinity. Not a fan.

My 1950s name would be Maxine which I dig. My 1940s name would be Ramona which I like. Everything else I really wasn't a fan of.

I did this for my parents and brothers and was very amused to find that my brother Cameron would also be named Cameron today.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 10:08 AM on May 15, 2015


Millenials: quite frankly, you suck at naming children. But there is probably some way to blame boomers for that.
posted by Foosnark at 10:10 AM on May 15, 2015


Related: a name age calculator graphing the popularity of your name from 1900 until today. (Found on Hacker News.)

I had my name before it was cool (went from 60 people in 1991 to 300 in 2015). Interestingly enough, it shows the same pattern as a female name, going from 40 to 200.
posted by Rangi at 10:11 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't figure out what the Y-axis is in that calculator.
posted by griphus at 10:14 AM on May 15, 2015


Mine would be "Draygun", apparently.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:15 AM on May 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, never mind, I wasn't seeing the black line. It's the number born with that name.
posted by griphus at 10:15 AM on May 15, 2015


Gregory.

1960s name is Merle, and 1900s name is Doc, which is pretty great.

My first name was pretty unpopular when I was born and is now a top-10 boys name (and has been for a decade...)
posted by dismas at 10:15 AM on May 15, 2015


My 1980's name (the decade I was born) is the same name I chose for my dog.

Huh.
posted by bgal81 at 10:17 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Puddintane.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:19 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Todays name: Pablo (I like it)

and then
Tristian
Santos
Brannon
Britt
Basil
Mose
Melton
Crawford
Garrett
Elizabeth
Tracy
Barton
posted by el io at 10:20 AM on May 15, 2015


Mine is Owen. My actual name is so unpopular now that I saw a local tv news story on how my name was going to be extinct soon... only ~450 babies were given my name in 2013. It's ~550 on the list. Anyone have a more unpopular one than that?
posted by Huck500 at 10:21 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd apparently be Landon.
posted by jonmc at 10:22 AM on May 15, 2015


Anastasia. Does this mean I get to be a Russian princess?
posted by LN at 10:22 AM on May 15, 2015


I went from Jade to Jada. Real creative.
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 10:24 AM on May 15, 2015


Santiago! I like it.
posted by octothorpe at 10:25 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Larry? I guess it could be worse.
posted by damnitkage at 10:25 AM on May 15, 2015


My first name is ~#375, my middle name isn't on the list (thanks mom, for the awesome middle name, I really love it).
posted by el io at 10:26 AM on May 15, 2015


Going with my two different names, one of which has multiple spellings (some more common than others), and two different but equally applicable years (birth, name decision)...

My 1910 name is *Pink*. Amazing.
posted by you could feel the sky at 10:28 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Sorry, no results found for [any of your weirdo foreign names]. Try entering fewer or broader query terms. "

Well, that certainly seems like an ... unwieldy name.
posted by seraphine at 10:28 AM on May 15, 2015


My 2014 name would be Anne (which was my middle name) and my 1920's name would be Juliana, which I really really like.

My 1940's name is Henry. Oooooooooooooooooooooookay.
posted by Lucinda at 10:30 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


My name was unpopular, then; the today name is Cindy. Some others: Annalisa (really love this one!), Esperanza (also great), Ayana, Jacquelyne, and Steffie (all ok), Pearly, Dot (maybe, um no actually), and Malissia (nope).
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:32 AM on May 15, 2015


I'd be Lauren. Fine. My older sister, however, would be Monroe.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:33 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I go with just Chris, I am now Gavin, which neither thrills nor disgusts me, I guess. But if I go with the full Christophe (595th most popular) I get Cassius, which will do.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:36 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd be Grace. Pretty!
posted by Annabelle74 at 10:37 AM on May 15, 2015


My 1970s name was "unknown". :(
posted by plastic_animals at 10:38 AM on May 15, 2015


Bertha. Bertha. Bertha.
posted by theraflu at 10:39 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


1950s name would be Early. As long as you don't call me Late for dinner.
posted by AugustWest at 10:40 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If someone had told you twenty, thirty, or forty years ago that "Michael" would eventually be dethroned, maybe you would have believed them. But if they said the usurper would be "Jacob" followed by "Noah," you'd think they were crazy.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:42 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Who the hell ever named their kids Green, Bishop, Houston, or Elmo? Talk about dodging several bullets there.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:42 AM on May 15, 2015


I am genuinely surprised by how popular my name apparently was in the year I was born (8th most popular), given that I don't frequently run into people with my name - I count maybe only about 4 or 5 I have ever met.

Must be geographic circumstance, I guess?
posted by likeatoaster at 10:42 AM on May 15, 2015


Today: Cesar
Mohammed
Dion
Anton
Horace
Rocco
Merrill
Enrique
Andres
Mason
Reed
Granville
Benton

Actually, these are pretty good. My ucommon name does me very well.
posted by librosegretti at 10:43 AM on May 15, 2015


I am Siobhan, which in 1978 was the 651st most popular girl's name.

Today: Susan (bleeeehh)
2000: Luna
1990: Cherelle
1980: Kenyetta (this made it on the list more than 5 times, just saying...)
1970: Ester (no H? wth?)
1960: Val (just Val)
1950: Alane
1940: Delaine
1930: Naomia
1920: Zettie (YES)
1910: Chrystal (there's the H)
1900: Tresa
AND THE MOST AWESOME OF ALLLLL.
1890: LAWRENCE

So. Looks like for the most, I'd be explaining my name no matter what.

Gotta say, Zettie is like my new name tho. Dig it. Hope the kids dont' start calling me zetti zetti likes spaghetti
posted by sio42 at 10:44 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ohhh, my wife's 80s name would have been Misty.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:44 AM on May 15, 2015


ooooh Benton!
love it.
posted by sio42 at 10:45 AM on May 15, 2015


Jonathan? That's dull. Most of mine (rank #44 in my year of of birth) are kind of meh by decade. Though I apparently had I been born in 1940 I would have been Jimmy.

Not James. Not Jim.

Jimmy.
posted by Panjandrum at 10:45 AM on May 15, 2015


Jimmy is my eighties name, apparently. I was born in the eighties. My name is not Jimmy.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:47 AM on May 15, 2015


Welp, nice to know my name today (Aubrey) would be far worse than my real name, which I dislike and doesn't suit me, so.

Wait, is that good or bad?
posted by holborne at 10:52 AM on May 15, 2015


This is timely. I am worried I will name my kid the equivalent of "Stephanie" or "Jennifer" aka "Emma" or "Sophie" or "Olivia" in today's parlance. I need some way to scale it back to 1980s terms so I know what I'm getting into.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:53 AM on May 15, 2015


Theodore!
posted by leotrotsky at 10:53 AM on May 15, 2015


My name today would be Sophia

I am constantly irked by the skyrocketing popularity of Sophia/Sofia. See, because that's my grandmother's name and I think it is lovely. so I always thought it'd be nice to give any daughter I had a name that is both honoring family and euphonious. Sadly, apparently everyone else of my generation had the same idea. Good thing they started popping out babies first and saved me the embarrassment.

My current back-up plan is to use the name my grandmother has actually gone by her whole live. Since back in the 1920s/30s when she was growing up, Sophia was far too ethnic (i.e., Eastern European), she and her sisters all picked good solid AMERICAN names. For some reason she went with Midge.

Midge is not in the top 1000 names for any year of birth beginning with 1900.

Yes, that will do nicely. Midge Xochiquetzal of the Panjandrums it is. I look forward to submitting many future AskMe questions asking why my daughter refuses to speak to me.
posted by Panjandrum at 10:54 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wyatt. What's behind that one? Tombstone fans, Parks & Rec fans, or a bit of both?
posted by Iridic at 10:54 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Must be geographic circumstance, I guess?

Yeah, it's based on US Social Security Administration data. If it were based on popularity in my country of origin, I'd be Aubrey or Emma or something today (in the US).
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:55 AM on May 15, 2015


Kanye
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:56 AM on May 15, 2015


The 1910 names are best, though (can't get over Pearly).
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:57 AM on May 15, 2015


I got three variant forms of John - Juan, Johnnie, and Johnny. My real name is also a variant of John, so maybe there's something to this*.

*There is nothing to this
posted by Iridic at 10:57 AM on May 15, 2015


If you're into names, I highly recommend The Baby Name Wizard blog archives, and Name Voyager tool.

I learned from that site that names are actually way more diversified than ever, so I don't know if directly comparing the X most popular name across decades really gets you the same feel. As a fake oversimplified example with fake numbers, let's say one third of all babies born 80 years ago were named John or Mary, the most popular names at the time [citation needed]. But now only one in twenty babies have the most popular names, Noah or Sophia, and so the top-1000 name lists actually cover a much smaller percentage of children born. Given that, I would say there isn't really a modern-day equivalent to one of those really old, popular names. Those Sophias born today are not going to have the same experience as the Jennifers born 30 years ago. (That also means that those of you worried about using names that are too popular today--yeah, there will be a few dupes running around, but it won't be as bad as you experienced growing up. There's also a lot of regional variation.)

So it would be cool to not just match ranking, but also percentage of the babies born. Of course, that's more work, so I'll just put away my plate of beans. Do check out the blog if you're into that kind of thing, though; the older articles are especially good.

--Aubree
posted by j.r at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Weston" was the 576th most popular boy's name in 1972.

That's.... higher than I expected, actually.

Not sure how I feel about "Arian" as an apparent equivalent, however.
posted by weston at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2015


Skylar!? I am the heroine of a young adult horse novel.
posted by interplanetjanet at 11:01 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Vincent? Time to lop off an ear...
posted by doctor_negative at 11:01 AM on May 15, 2015


It turns out that as a man born in 1983 and named Michael, I don't have to actually put my name in - that's the example given in the article! This is creeping me out a little bit.
posted by madcaptenor at 11:02 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Interestingly enough, my 1890s name is the name of my dog.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 11:02 AM on May 15, 2015


I'd be Joel, I assume this means I have to get into the movie snarking business.
posted by graymouser at 11:03 AM on May 15, 2015


I was given a foreign first name that is so rare it does not show up. However, due to frustrations with people frequently mispronouncing it, I go by my middle name, Alexandria, which is from my late grandfather, Alexander. So, my grandfather's current name would be Vincent, and going by my parents decision to go with the feminine place name Alexandria, my current name (or rather, future name) would be Vincentia. At least I hope so, since the alternatives (Vincenza, Vincetta) are not as appealing.
posted by picklenickle at 11:05 AM on May 15, 2015


My first name gets me Joseph today. My middle mane, which I actually go by, gets me...

Jaydon.

First name it is, then!
posted by Navelgazer at 11:07 AM on May 15, 2015


I was more pleased to see that my parents, with my dad's uncommon first name and my mom's very popular one, would today be born as Solomon and Abigail. Years ago I recall looking up the most common boys and girls' names for their years of birth and seeing that my mom's was in the top ten and by dad's was at #577 or something. I looked one line down further for each and found that if my grandparents had all been a touch more offbeat and daring, I would have grown up the child of Thurman and Mary.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:09 AM on May 15, 2015


(this is great -- thanks for posting!)
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:09 AM on May 15, 2015


I'd be William.

My last name is already Williams.

My dad is already burdened with that, glad I wasn't either.
posted by deezil at 11:11 AM on May 15, 2015


OH MY GOD ARE YOU LANDO CALRISSIAN JUNIOR
posted by Sys Rq at 11:13 AM on May 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


My 'now' name makes me so queasy that I'm somehow ashamed to even share it; it's so overdone and associated in my mind with moms scolding their ill-behaved little boys in public that I just loathe it.

I thoroughly dig some of my 1890's through 1960s names, though. This is good pseudonym fodder!

Alfred
Herman
Clarence
Louis
Willie
Raymond
posted by usonian at 11:16 AM on May 15, 2015


So while I, with my super common mid 80s name would be called Ava today (cute), my brother's super Scottish name doesn't show up, however the more popular (slightly Anglicised) spelling does, and in today's money would be BRIDGER. Bridger. Is that even someone who builds bridges? His 1910s name would be Rolla but I'm assuming that's a cultural name I don't know the origin of. But Bridger.

However us as 1890s siblings would be Ethel and Royce, which fit pretty well and am going to petition our parents to rename us that.
posted by litereally at 11:17 AM on May 15, 2015


John --> Matthew

A simple switch of gospels that narrowly dodges "Jayden." I could live with that. I think John is the cooler gospel, though. Matthew just kind of gets lumped in with the synoptics and is probably the most traditional of the synoptics (I think it was aimed at a more traditional Jewish audience?). John is way more fun, theologically.
posted by Gymnopedist at 11:19 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


ak. I will not answer to Aubree. I.WILL.NOT.
posted by supermedusa at 11:20 AM on May 15, 2015


I had a professor named Mason in his 30s/40s who was from New Zealand. He mentioned how it was pretty cool having a relatively uncommon name for a while, but now when he takes his son to karate class his head bolts around every time he hears another parent scolding their Mason.
posted by Gymnopedist at 11:23 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the 1940's, I would have been Ruby, which is all I've ever asked for or wanted in the world, so I heartily approve of this insightful and scienterrific tool.
posted by Dorinda at 11:30 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aw, yeah! You can call me Wyatt.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:31 AM on May 15, 2015


Interestingly, my today name is my middle name, my 2000s name would be my brother's name, and my 1990s name would be my brother's middle name. And my 1900s name is my son's name. Coincidence? Read the book!
posted by cottoncandybeard at 11:34 AM on May 15, 2015


I would not have that name, as it's my father's name, and my parents were against any of that junior shit. Apparently if I'd been born 10 years later, my middle name would be my first.
posted by klangklangston at 11:48 AM on May 15, 2015


I would be Mark; kind of boring but I'm OK with that; according to the decade I was born in I should have been Monty; I'll stick with Ted. If I were a girl, though, I would have been Adilyn. Not sure what to make of that. My daughter (born Mary in 2005) would be Kylie today which gets a thumbs down from me but in 1890 would have been Hannah which I find oddly prescient.
posted by TedW at 11:49 AM on May 15, 2015


Urgh. Mine are mostly just terrible, and I *like* the name my parents gave me!

Today: Sage
2000: Aylin
1990: Brittnee (gag)
1980: Starla (double gag)
1970: Windy (triple gag)
1960: Cheryle (why!)
1950: Catharine
1940: Kate
1930: Willene (No!)
1920: Berta (funnily enough, this is one of my mother's names, and she was born in the 1920's - Bertha pronounced Berta)
1910: Onie (?) (Funny, my little sister calls me Eonni or Unnie, which is what a Korean girl calls her older sister)
1900: Ouida
1890: Mintie (??)
posted by gudrun at 11:53 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Putting my name in today, the results for previous decades are remarkably... misspelled. As in Cristopher (no H), Bradon, Lionell (two Ls?), Marlyn, and Ramond. I do not know what this means.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:55 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I understand that a lot of traditionally-male names have been converted to female names in the United States, but when I looked up my son's name (born last year) I wasn't expecting to see "Mary" and "Pearl" come up as previous-decade equivalents (1900 and 1890 respectively).
posted by trunk muffins at 11:57 AM on May 15, 2015


So, I'd be named after the OLDEST lady on The Golden Girls?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:58 AM on May 15, 2015


Noah. Bleh. At least it's not Jayden.
posted by MikeMc at 12:08 PM on May 15, 2015


This is timely. I am worried I will name my kid the equivalent of "Stephanie" or "Jennifer"

Split the difference and name her "Stephannifer."

Or "Efrem Zimbalist, Jr." That one hasn't been popular in a LONG time.

Seriously, I've gone through life with a name that was common as muck for my age cohort (there were literally never fewer than two of us in any class I was in, from Kindergarten through college). It was at most a minor annoyance, and it stopped being even that very quickly.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:13 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't wanna be a Windsor!

If knot, you could be a half-Windsor. Family ties are complicated.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:15 PM on May 15, 2015 [15 favorites]


That is horrible and I salute you.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:17 PM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


My RealName Craig has dropped from #813 in 2013 to #933 in 2014. It's been dropping almost every year this century, from #340 in 2000; that's down almost 600 places in 14 years, and now at risk of falling off the Top 1000 list altogether. You'd think between Craigslist, Craig Ferguson and Daniel Craig, somebody would've wanted to name their little boy Craig. (I blame South Park... I'll bet Kenny isn't doing well either). The year I was born (1955?!?), Craig was the #50 boys' name. FIF-TY. (And yet, I only had two classmates in all my years in school, including college, with the name Craig... what's with that?) It's popularity crawled up to #39 in 1969 and 1970, then started slowly dropping... didn't fall out of the Top 100 until 1989, and been dropping precipitously ever since. You know what was cool when I was a kid? Craig Electronics. My first cassette recorder had my name on it!

BTW, Wendell was #230 in 1955... was in the mid-200s from the 1910s to the 1960s (with a brief jump to #114 in 1940, probably thanks to Wendell Willkie), fell out of the Top 500 in 1982, dropped off the Top 1000 in 1996. (And now Craig is on its way to doing the same.)

Anyway, if I had the name that holds the same position in 2014 that Craig held in 1955, it would be Aaron.* And if I had the name that held the same position in 1955 that Craig holds now.... Buster. Mmmmmkay. And substituting the #230 name today with Wendell, that's Lukas. With a K. No, just no.

*Which I'd rather have as a last name because growing up with a last name starting in W meant always being in the back of the last row of the seating chart (I was thankful for, and sympathetic for, Jimmy Woo and Tommy Zigler, the only ones who ever sat behind me).
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:22 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


My today name is still Daniel. Mediocrity lasts!
posted by howfar at 12:23 PM on May 15, 2015


I already know it's motherfucking Aiden or something
posted by invitapriore at 12:29 PM on May 15, 2015


Gianna? Does anyone know a Gianna? Or how to pronounce that?
posted by Night_owl at 12:29 PM on May 15, 2015


nm it's "Noah"
posted by invitapriore at 12:29 PM on May 15, 2015


oneswellfoop: "My RealName Craig has dropped from #813 in 2013 to #933 in 2014. It's been dropping almost every year this century, from #340 in 2000; that's down almost 600 places in 14 years, and now at risk of falling off the Top 1000 list altogether. You'd think between Craigslist, Craig Ferguson and Daniel Craig, somebody would've wanted to name their little boy Craig. (I blame South Park... I'll bet Kenny isn't doing well either). The year I was born (1955?!?), Craig was the #50 boys' name. FIF-TY. (And yet, I only had two classmates in all my years in school, including college, with the name Craig... what's with that?) It's popularity crawled up to #39 in 1969 and 1970, then started slowly dropping... didn't fall out of the Top 100 until 1989, and been dropping precipitously ever since. You know what was cool when I was a kid? Craig Electronics. My first cassette recorder had my name on it!
"

Born in early 60s here. Both of the Craig's in my grade in school have served time in jail for violent crimes, so there's that.
posted by AugustWest at 12:35 PM on May 15, 2015


I'm one of the many Amy's who were born when this name was in the top ten for a few years, but it's popularity plummeted. So I often joke that it's going to be an old lady name when I'm old, like Ethel. And it turns out that Ethel is my 1890's name.
posted by saffry at 12:43 PM on May 15, 2015


Gee, thanks, August. (Did they call you Augie Doggie as a kid?)

Anyway, the Craig equivalent (first based on birth rank, then current rank)
2010: Justin, Nigel
2000: Connor, Kavon (KAVON?!?)
1990: Dustin, Abdul
1980: Derek, Trever (not Trevor)
1970: Jeffrey, Corwin
1960: Alan, Herschel
1950: Johnny, Hosea
1940: Louis, Javier
1930: Melvin, Johnson
1920: Michael, Garnet (a Crystal Gem as a boy's name?)
1910: Leroy, Art (not Arthur)
1900: Jesse, Gail
1890: Herman, Frazier
1880: Francis, Buck (there's a good 19th century name)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:44 PM on May 15, 2015


My name today would be Isabella Zoe. If I had been directly given my maternal great grandmothers' names I would be Mya Ryan.
posted by brujita at 12:48 PM on May 15, 2015


My daughters middle name gets this message: Sorry! We couldn't find data for girl's name "*****" in 2005, meaning it shows up fewer than five times.

Success!
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:59 PM on May 15, 2015


It had never occurred to me Wendell's real name was not Wendell.

My new name would be Lucian, which is hardly an improvement.
posted by Rumple at 1:01 PM on May 15, 2015


...Kyleigh?!

(Luckily for me, I suppose, this site fails to account for the naming patterns of Ashkenazi Jews.)
posted by thomas j wise at 1:02 PM on May 15, 2015


Mine would be Rowan, which actually, I quite like more than my real name.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:06 PM on May 15, 2015


"Gianna? Does anyone know a Gianna? Or how to pronounce that?"

Usually "djee-ahnna." I know a couple; usually vaguely Italian or Latino descent.
posted by klangklangston at 1:16 PM on May 15, 2015


(Luckily for me, I suppose, this site fails to account for the naming patterns of Ashkenazi Jews.)

In general this would be a lot more interesting if you could apply some demographic (or at least regional) filters.
posted by brennen at 1:16 PM on May 15, 2015


John is way more fun, theologically

I know someone with her master's who just got her PhD in biblical studies or something, and her John was her favorite as well. I had the pleasure to have her expound on a long car trip about the formation of the gospels. The gist I remember is that while the Synoptics were formalized early, John solidified out of a more fluid and organic tradition of preaching, which helps explain how it has a certain dynamism in both ideas and language when compared to the rest of the gospels.
posted by Panjandrum at 1:21 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


It had never occurred to me Wendell's real name was not Wendell.
There is a LONG story behind that, starting with an inside-family joke my father told that if he'd had a couple more drinks the night I was born, he would've named me Wendell (mostly because it's alliterative with my last name, and usually followed by him going into a stereotypical Jewish dialect to call me "Vendell").

More personal name trivia: Craig didn't make the top 1000 regularly until the 1910s and was less popular than Wendell until 1942.

Interesting about "Michael" being #50 in 1920... it apparently ranked in the 40s and 50s for the first part of the 20th century, started rising in 1936, went "top 10" in 1943 and #1 in 1954, where it stayed until 1998 (except 1960 when it was beaten by 'David') and is still way up there at #7. And yet it's only #4 for "the last century".
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:22 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Identify a mefite's real name (or at least narrow it down to a few options) by comparing the name they give on this thread to the names that can generate that name given plausible birth years for that mefite.

my today name is hunter2.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:22 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


OH MY GOD ARE YOU LANDO CALRISSIAN JUNIOR

Awesome Thing Not A Lot Of People Know About Billy Dee Williams #55: The D stands for December.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:23 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised they have data for my names. Most of these name things don't go that deep.
-Maximiliano Alvaro Jones
posted by cmoj at 1:28 PM on May 15, 2015


I put in my Wu-Tang name (Chocolatey Shatner) and got my Wu-Tang name for every decade.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:33 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Liana... how very ladylike. Why is my 90's name spelled Jourdan?
posted by keep it under cover at 1:34 PM on May 15, 2015


My name is so unpopular that the other years equivalents are just weird variant spellings of popular names, to wit: Malissa, Cristen, Stephani, and Karlene (although my 1900s name is groovy: Mintie!).
posted by supercrayon at 1:37 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rowan Michaels has a nice ring to it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:44 PM on May 15, 2015


Brooklyn. *shudder*

My parents would be Hudson and Zoe. BWAHAHAHAHAH!
posted by killy willy at 1:48 PM on May 15, 2015


I'm a James, and it tells me my name would be Jacob.

Jacob? Jacob?


IT'S THE SAME NAME! I FEEL LIKE I'M ON CRAZY PILLS!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:11 PM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


My today first and middle would be Jaelynn Arya. Ahh, the secret lost Stark princess.

(But seriously, Jaelynn??? Ugh.)
posted by lovecrafty at 2:14 PM on May 15, 2015


Funny thing that kind of makes me a Junior: my 1930s name is the same as my Dad's, who was born in 1935.
posted by rhizome at 2:35 PM on May 15, 2015


Hello, my name is Anson, son of Bentley and Daleyza.
These are my brothers Luis and Liam, and my sister Mia.
We are special.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 2:38 PM on May 15, 2015


I love that my 1940s name is my real-life middle name.
posted by prewar lemonade at 2:39 PM on May 15, 2015


My middle name (778th most popular) is also a cornucopia of weirdness. Today, it would be Betty (I guess it's a combination of a popular name falling out of fashion, and fewer people being named nicknames of other names). Then we get: Caylin/Ronda (help me)/Velma (Scooby-Doo!)/Raeann/Tonette/ Jesusa (seriously) / Dorathy (cringe)/ Marguerita / Hazelle / Aretta / Zina / Vista

Our daughter is a lovely vista (insert Windows joke here)
How about a cool, refreshing Zina?
I guess I just enjoy the idea of my rather Jewish family naming me "Jesusa" in the 1950s.
posted by ilana at 2:45 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, this thread is very useful for Doxxing purposes, Tipper. I gave up on trying to have any privacy online myself - even when people know my home address, they can't find me since GPS systems and Google Maps all get my street number wrong ("we came to your house, but it's a vacant lot!").

As for comparing other #230 names to Wendell (the year I was born)
2010: Lukas (with a k, sigh... Lucas is much higher ranked but once you get into the Luca and Luka it gets crazy)
2000: Rafael (I'm surprised that it's been more popular than Raphael)
1990: Reginald (not fallen as far as Craig - #805 in 2014, but Reggie fell off the list in 1992)
1980: Ralph (which fell off the Top 1000 after 2011, it had been Top 50 until 1949)
1970: Herbert (which fell off the Top 1000 after 2002, it had been Top 50 until 1934)
1960: Alexander (currently Top 10, that was as low as it ever got)
1950: Aaron (currently #50, peaked at #30 in 1995)
1940: Ivan (surprisingly consistent over the years but a little more popular after the Soviet Union broke up)
1930: Isaac (currently #31, #113 in 1900, lowpoint was #378 in 1968)
1920: Ross (which was never higher than #152 in 1986 just fell off the Top 1000 in 2013... Friends reruns didn't help)
1910: Forrest (fell off the list in 2004, returned in 2013, now #719 for 2014, huh.)
1900: Antonio (never lower than #270 in 1941, now #139 in 2014)
1890: Byron (consistantly mid-200s until 1990, currently #652)
1880: Max (#112 in 2014, its lowest was #410 in 1969... wataminute, Get Smart was on TV then... Maxwell is #107 in 2014, in the '60s it was off the chart or in the 800s/900s)

My father's name Howard was #24 when he was born but barely holding on at #987 in 2014.
My mother's name Marian was #67 when she was born, fell off the Top 1000 in 1993 and appeared once since in 2000. The 'Marion' spelling was more popular when she was born (#42) but fell off the list in 1989. Marion as a boys name was #109 the year my mother was born and fell off the list in 1993.

Somebody get me out of this rabbit hole!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:47 PM on May 15, 2015


Rumple:
My new name would be Lucian, which is hardly an improvement.

I haven't really been keeping up with the meta this season but I'm pretty sure that at least makes you a top tier ADC.
posted by Gymnopedist at 2:52 PM on May 15, 2015


Whoa, my dad's 1980s name is my actual name. So spooky.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 2:58 PM on May 15, 2015


Blakely ? Who the fuck names their girl child Blakely? I guess that's what happens when your name is more than 300 down the list.
posted by dejah420 at 3:23 PM on May 15, 2015


I joke that if you want a hip sounding baby name, use the last name of a president or a rock star. My born-today name: Lincoln. (ughghghgh)
posted by 23skidoo at 3:34 PM on May 15, 2015


In 2014, Reagan is the #106 girls' name... among boys' names - #999. REALLY.
But then, Clinton is #923 among boys, never made the top 1000 for girls.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:41 PM on May 15, 2015


Well, Regan was both one of king Lear's terrible daughters and the name of Linda Blair's character in The Exorcist...
posted by lovecrafty at 3:47 PM on May 15, 2015


If I put in Daenerys for name and 2014 as birth date, it says my today name is Aja. Which strikes me as being more the 1977 version of Daenerys, but whatever.

Also it says that the 1910s version of Daenerys is Pocahontas, which sort of makes sense I guess.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:47 PM on May 15, 2015


Looking back through the years we have, for me:

1880's - Amanda: Wow, name trends are kind of interesting.
1890's - Lydia: Oh! This is off to a promising start.
1900's - Dora: Not too bad.
1910's - Opal: How pretty.
1920's - Alma: This one's nice, too!
1930's - Clara: I really like this one as well. What's the deal?
1940's - Louise: Well, okay. Still not too bad.
1950's - Terry: Uh?
1960's - Stacy: Because of course.
1970's - Tamara: See previous.
1980's - Angel: That seems a bit out of left field.
1990's - Alicia: I didn't realize it was that popular.
2000's - Valeria: Huh.
2010's - Sophie: A variant of a really common name, thanks but no thanks.

And okay, wow. I just did it again with my nickname, and my mother's name shows up on the list. Also, a variant of my legal name shows up, too. Hah.
posted by PearlRose at 3:52 PM on May 15, 2015


Ooooh, Carter is #27 for boys, #785 for girls.
Ford is #883 for boys (its first appearance on the list since 1951)
Johnson fell off the boys' list in 1986, never on the girls' list.
Kennedy dropped off the boys' list in 2007, but is #54 for girls in 2014.
Truman is #961 for boys, never listed for girls.
Roosevelt fell off the boys' list in 1994, never made the girls' list.
No, I didn't bother looking up Nixon, Eisenhower or Hoover.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:52 PM on May 15, 2015


Mine would be Luke, which only works if your last name is Skywalker.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:04 PM on May 15, 2015


Also, my 1930s name is Earl.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:08 PM on May 15, 2015


Like bell-bottoms, an apostolic name never goes very far out of style.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 4:47 PM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


So my first name is #339 for my birth year, with "Unknown" coming in at #333. Today, I'd be "Colt", but my first name has moved up into the top 50...
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 5:00 PM on May 15, 2015


So, if I use my first name, my name from about 1910 back is just "George" for several decades running.


If I use my second name, my 1920s name is "Minoru".


??????????
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:22 PM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


guys.... My 1990s name is "Infant".
posted by watch out for turtles at 5:27 PM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Whitney, Valentine, Joy, and Adell...i'll stick with the masculine name of Cap
2000 Kain
1990 Whitney
1980 Benedict
1970 Christiaan (yes with 2 a's)
1960 Valentine
1950 Lovell
1940 Joy
1930 Yoshio
1920 Adell
1910 Luciano
1900 Wess
1890 Cap
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 5:36 PM on May 15, 2015


Also, my 1930s name is Earl.

Ah, the little-seen prequel series.

I wonder at its ability to keep the gender field working right. My baby boomer aunt Heather would apparently have been Joe if born in the sixties and Mark if born in the seventies.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:14 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like all the old names it gave me, but they're probably not terribly interesting to others (my actual name is Elizabeth). Putting my friends' names in this thing, though... My younger brother would be named Sebastian if born today, and I think my best friend's (perfectly respectable though not particularly common) name broke the damn thing. Jocelyne, Sinead, Brigette, Migdalia, Elnora, Adella, JOSE (!), Ressie, Cruz, Tishie, and Paralee. PARALEE. I cannot stop laughing.
posted by sunset in snow country at 7:20 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Like bell-bottoms, an apostolic name never goes very far out of style.

You are not wrong. Over the decades, looks like I would have been an apostle five times, an archangel three times, a patriarch of Israel three times, and Robert once. Almost a perfect biblical streak, except for my brief stint as Bob.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:21 PM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Brianna? Gurl, please.

00: Carly
90: Mallory
80: Yolanda
70: Penny
60: Melody
50: Penny (again? as if once wasn't bad enough)
40: Nellie
30: Opal
20: Mable
10: Amelia
00: Victoria
90: Olga

Bleh.
posted by ReginaHart at 7:34 PM on May 15, 2015


Caitlin would be pretty twee for me, but Earnestine [sic, for 1940s]? Works for Lily Tomlin, but still.

TheWhiteSkull, I've just tried my middle name. Much better result.

Sincerely, Adelyn
posted by datawrangler at 7:40 PM on May 15, 2015


My bro named his first daughter Misty Dawn, because that's what he saw when he stepped out of the delivery room after attending her birth. He named his second daughter Courtney, after the soap character. I don't think he paid much attention to conventions.
posted by mule98J at 7:45 PM on May 15, 2015


If I were born in the 1900s my name would be Texie! 1950s, Leota! 1890s...Jim?? This made my day.
posted by town of cats at 8:33 PM on May 15, 2015


All my choices are bad.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:39 PM on May 15, 2015


Jennifer is apparently a popular enough 80s name that it's the name this thing spits out for my husband for the 1980s. Even though he was born in the 80s, and has a commonish male name.

Now I'm gonna have 27 Jennifers stuck in my head.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:37 PM on May 15, 2015


Addison Madisyn.

WHY.
posted by lwb at 12:12 AM on May 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really liked the alt.names for my first name (Nora! Eva! Renee!) but the ones for my middle name are hilarious because they all sound like products from the hygiene aisle at the drugstore: Fleta, Veva, Cherish.
posted by jamaro at 12:55 AM on May 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Noah. Really?

70's, 80's and 90's name = Michael. Actual name = Michael. Decade Born: 50's. Conclusion: there are too many Michaels. Maybe Noah isn't so bad after all.
posted by lordrunningclam at 6:01 AM on May 16, 2015


AHAHAAHHAAHAH

Liam

AAHAHAHAHAHA
posted by Legomancer at 6:44 AM on May 16, 2015


It hadn't occurred to me that names would be so different in the USA - of the top 20 names for my birth year, the only one I shared a class with is Christopher...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 7:26 AM on May 16, 2015


Here at number 646 on the men's side, I have Micheal, Tayler, Jullian, Fransisco and Gorge as the last 5 decade's worth of names for me. My own name isn't a likely-unintentional variant spelling, thankfully. I rarely have to spell it, and only occasionally get mistaken for female.
posted by ambrosen at 10:02 AM on May 16, 2015


I had no idea my name had become so unpopular - it ranks over 900 now!

This is really cool, thanks for posting.
posted by heisenberg at 12:36 PM on May 16, 2015


Holy crap, I just put in my "relatively old fashioned and uncommon ) middle name, and it said my 1990s name would be my (real) uncommon and slightly old fashioned first name. Weird.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:11 PM on May 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


666th most popular (right on!).
Name today: Abdiel

What. The. Hell.
posted by bouvin at 1:58 PM on May 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


meh. my common-as-dirt first name has got nothing good to recommend it for any decade and Ella is ok for my mother-in-law but not my thing as far as my "today" name.

however had my mother won the battle with my dad to name me after my maternal great-grandmother (Lavinia), then wow. I do like Amaris, which would be my "today" name.
posted by lonefrontranger at 3:44 PM on May 16, 2015


From experience - for women the trendy names would be Jennifer, Melanie, Jessica, Shauna, Rachel, Tawny/Toni, Alissa/Alicia, Erin and Misty. For men the trendy names would be Jason, Brandon/Bradley, Jeffery/ Geoffery, Dylan, Shaun/Shawn, Eric, Casey and Kyle. Other popular names of my time that were common even before my era include David, Matthew, Michael, Sarah, and Angela/Julie
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose at 4:49 PM on May 16, 2015


I tried my Hebrew name, and uh, no.

My name today would be Bristol (NO)
My 2000s name is Gabriel (guy)
My 1990s name is Felisha (misspelled)
My 1980s name is Shasta (soda)
My 1970s name is Dawna (meh)
My 1960s name is Danna (meh)
My 1950s name is Glinda (witch)
My 1940s name is Socorro (help?)
My 1930s name is Marilou (ugh)
My 1920s name is Cathrine (misspelled)
My 1910s name is Alicia (shrug)
My 1900s name is Nevada (state)
My 1890s name is Bobbie (soxer)

I don't even...
posted by limeonaire at 4:56 PM on May 16, 2015


Ever since this thread started, I've been reminded that my Dad wanted sons so badly that he refused to discuss female names with Mom before our births (this was back before routine prenatal ultrasounds and electric lights and all that jazz) and had to scramble for them at the last minute. So many names that used to be regarded as masculine back then are considered solidly feminine now, that they really needn't have bothered.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:57 PM on May 16, 2015


Good point, Geraldine.
posted by rhizome at 10:32 PM on May 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK, I (1988's Erin) could do without Dawn and Roberta, but my names are otherwise pretty nice (if generic). My favorite great aunt is a Jo.

Ariana (2014), Christina (2000), Jacqueline (1990s), Dawn (1980s), Carol (1970s), Jane (1960s), Jo (1950s), Roberta (1940s), Clara (1930s), Pearl (1920s), Ella (1910s), Stella (1900s), and May (1890s).
posted by ChuraChura at 6:52 AM on May 17, 2015


Ohhhh my goodness, I love the other names. This is fantastic. Ara and Renada! Maybe I should change my name to one of those!
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 7:40 AM on May 17, 2015


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