What's in a name?
May 26, 2015 7:47 AM   Subscribe

The Washington Post provides some insight into what your name says about you.

For example, your age, job, and state.
posted by ourt (30 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Isn't a surname a last name?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:57 AM on May 26, 2015


Surname is your family name. These charts refer to your given name.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:03 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


The state link is for surnames, the rest are for given names. Thanks for the links they're interesting.
posted by nightwood at 8:06 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, they got my age bracketed pretty well by my first name; but neither my name nor my profession show up on the 'jobs' chart, ditto my uncommon-in-the-US surname on the 'state' chart.
posted by easily confused at 8:11 AM on May 26, 2015


My name: I am two years older than the median living girl with my name (18-36), I do not show up at all on the job thingy, and of course my surname isn't on the map. Sigh. Such is having an uncommon name.
posted by Kitteh at 8:12 AM on May 26, 2015


[Changed the title to 'name' from 'surname'.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:12 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Interesting. My first and middle names both peaked in the 50's (1952 and 1957 respectively) but by the time I was born (in the mid-70's) my first name had decreased in popularity from nearly 40k/yr to about 5.5k. And now it's down to fewer than 500 per year!
posted by Gaz Errant at 8:16 AM on May 26, 2015


It's interesting to note how relative popularity is with names. The top name of 2014, Emma, was given to 10.729 out of 1000 girls. Contrast that with the name Jennifer, which in 1974 was given to 40.296 out of 1000 girls.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:17 AM on May 26, 2015


Do 'Trochanters' get put off easily by cluttered graphics? I don't know 'cause I got put off.
posted by Trochanter at 8:27 AM on May 26, 2015


Wait, didn't that baby-name popularity app that came out several years ago already tell us all this?

My last name doesn't appear on that state map, at least not that I could see, is there a search function?
posted by emjaybee at 8:28 AM on May 26, 2015


No name discussion is complete without the Baby Name Voyager.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:39 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


My name: I am two years older than the median living girl with my name (18-36), I do not show up at all on the job thingy, and of course my surname isn't on the map. Sigh. Such is having an uncommon name.

I am about twenty years older than the medium, but I was always ahead of my time.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 8:42 AM on May 26, 2015


"Turns out, if your name is 'Jebediah,' chances are you are a prospector in the New Mexico desert or possibly an artisanal pickler in Portland."
posted by entropicamericana at 8:48 AM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I am 4 to 10 years old. Feels about right.
posted by Flashman at 9:00 AM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's interesting to note how relative popularity is with names. The top name of 2014, Emma, was given to 10.729 out of 1000 girls. Contrast that with the name Jennifer, which in 1974 was given to 40.296 out of 1000 girls.

Emma is an interesting name with regards to popularity in the English-speaking world. In the US it peaked in the 1800s, slowly declining until the 1970s when it was mostly borne by old women. Regrowth from the mid-80s onward was likely spurred by English influence--where the name has always been popular--from sources such as Emma Thompson, Jane Austen's novel (and film adaptation), and later Emma Watson. Sadly, The Avengers and Emma Peel were never popular in the US, else the name might have become more common even earlier.

(One of the most famous US Emmas today is Emma Stone, yet that's not even her birthname: it's Emily.)
posted by Thing at 9:02 AM on May 26, 2015


My given name stayed in the top 10 from 1945-1968, topping out at #2 for several years, and yet that fancy graphic history with the dramatic music has absolutely nothing to say about why. Hmph.
posted by desuetude at 9:12 AM on May 26, 2015


Wow, apparently I'm at least twice my actual age, and at most 3 1/2 times it. Food for thought, I suppose.
posted by brecc at 9:18 AM on May 26, 2015


Isn't a surname a last name?

A family name, definitely, but not necessarily last
posted by aspersioncast at 9:40 AM on May 26, 2015


The median girl with my name is 23 years younger than me. I don't know if that means that people assume that I'm younger than I am or if they're just shocked when they meet me and find out I'm an adult.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:47 AM on May 26, 2015


Um, I feel like the kid in the emperor's new clothes fairy tale, but isn't your race the most obvious thing that one can tell from your name?
posted by tecg at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2015


I am almost exactly median age for a woman with my moderately unusual name. Dear mom: the reason why you named me that was that it was kind of trendy.
posted by immlass at 10:28 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Farmer, Surgeon, and Judge are all excellent clusters of peculiar first names. Delbert, Sanford, and Clement.

(If I was on trial, I might take it as a good sign if my Judge's name was Clement.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:34 AM on May 26, 2015


I am withholding comments until I get my astrological data lined up.

BRB
posted by mule98J at 10:50 AM on May 26, 2015


From the age one:
Records prior to 1940 are estimates and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Records after 1985 are based on Social Security records and are quite reliable.


So what did they use from 1940-1985?
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:16 AM on May 26, 2015


This goes into a little more detail about the methodology quirks.
posted by blucevalo at 11:34 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Worst. Graphic. Ever.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:18 PM on May 26, 2015


How many of these nameomancy toys are just data mining that helps tie your tracking cookies to an identity?

"enter your name, age, place of birth, and social security number, and your mother's maiden name and get a special surprise in the mail!"
posted by idiopath at 1:53 PM on May 26, 2015


Not a drummer, nor a mechanic, nor a Republican. No wonder I'm confused.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:35 PM on May 26, 2015


Worst. Graphic. Ever.

Screwed up the link before.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:24 PM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Our ancestors weren't immune to trendy names. I'm working on a particularly fruitful line of my family tree and I when I got back to the 1100s suddenly every woman was named Cecily.
posted by Biblio at 11:09 PM on May 26, 2015


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