The Name-O-Meter: How's Your Name Been Doing Since 1900?
April 20, 2002 2:05 PM   Subscribe

The Name-O-Meter: How's Your Name Been Doing Since 1900? How does it rank in the Top 1000? Is its popularity waning or increasing? Disappointed either way? Look up what your name means to help find out why.[From, via top-ranking Nutcote. More Inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My name is now #88, up from #278 in the 1900s. Though there was an annoying little hiccup in the 50s and 60s. Still, it should be up in the Top Ten, in its rightful place, by 2070. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:10 PM on April 20, 2002

Hey Miguel -IN YOUR FACE! i'm currently riding HIGH in the charts at an enviable 33. My wife's name has no ranking at all though so I guess that makes us even.
posted by Spoon at 2:40 PM on April 20, 2002

My RL name, Jesse, is climbing back up the charts from a decline since the '60s, and is now somwhere around #50. Not bad out of a 1000, eh?

My cousin had a baby last year and named her Emily, which turns out have been the #1 girl name in 2001. Oops! Good luck on trying calling your kid out of a crowd.
posted by Down10 at 2:42 PM on April 20, 2002

Wow, Aaron is 33. That's encouraging. It's quite amazing how Jewish boys' names dominate the 2001 Top Ten, but, when it comes to girls' names they mostly sound like soap-opera heroines: Madison, Kayla, Alexis, Ashley... What is it with the poor little baby girls' parents?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:53 PM on April 20, 2002

Dear god, how freakishly popular is the name I was christened with? Of course, the handle that I tend to go by in real life these days has a slightly greater cachet of exclusivity. So, while I've never gone out of style, people must be sick to death of actually calling me by my real name. Probably explains why so many people resort to calling me 'idiot' and 'numbskulled buffoon'.
posted by MUD at 3:07 PM on April 20, 2002

Punching in random names is fun too. Hahahaha.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:36 PM on April 20, 2002

Well, someone had to check it: Osama has no result.
posted by scotty at 3:55 PM on April 20, 2002

Williams of the world unite! Our name dominates for the most part - dropping off in the 80s and 90s - still can't beat John tho... :-P
posted by wfrgms at 3:56 PM on April 20, 2002

Ugh. You're giving me awful flashbacks of all those horrible hours as a child, searching the personalized license-plate keychains in a vain hope for my name. Damn my hippie parents.

Oh well. Least I'll always have a first name google-lock.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 4:05 PM on April 20, 2002

There is no more compelling evidence available for what should be called the Han-Solo Effect.
posted by cleetus at 4:07 PM on April 20, 2002

WTF? I've met a lot more people name Eamon (which has no results) than guys named BRAIN! I'll just assume the lucky parents were too overjoyed to notice the misspelling.
posted by Eamon at 4:19 PM on April 20, 2002

I was always under the impression that my name meant "Terrible Thunder Lizard" in Canadian.
posted by bunktone at 4:32 PM on April 20, 2002

My name has gained way too much popularity over recent years, though i was well aware of that. Far more disturbing are the "see also" suggestions. Are people that incapable of spelling? Do they really think they're being "creative"? It's latin. It's shakespeare. it looks so much nicer with the i.

yeah i don't know why it gets to me either.
posted by mdn at 4:46 PM on April 20, 2002

My name was number 6 in the 1960s, when I was born. It's been falling steadily ever since (although it's still in the top 50). Gawd, this doesn't put me in the same trendy class with the Ashleys and Tylers of today, does it?

Certainly not. Mark is a good, biblical name, not the least bit trendy. Perish the thought.
posted by diddlegnome at 5:10 PM on April 20, 2002

My full name(Jonathan, although be warned only mom can call me that) is number 21, which is pretty popular and for most of the last century it's been climbing.
Still, I've never like it all that much, It always struck me as a "Blaine" type of name for some reason. My middle name-Patrick- is better, but patmc just dosen't work somehow.

I suppose I'll stick with Jon, but I always liked the name Dexter though...
posted by jonmc at 5:13 PM on April 20, 2002

Jonathan Patrick McNally! Now you listen to me: what's that awful man doing behind you in that photograph? ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:20 PM on April 20, 2002

MOM!! the hell did you get Miguel's password?!

Quick, hide the beer, everybody...
posted by jonmc at 5:41 PM on April 20, 2002

Contrary to popular belief, "Sunshine" hit the name charts in the '70s, not the '60s. I note this listing is missing many prominent New World names like Sacajawea, Malinche, Nokomis, Hiawatha, Red Feather, Sitting Bull, Kondiaronk, Degandawidah, Handsome Lake, Cornplanter, Tecumseh, Ogwantinipipilele, etc.
posted by sheauga at 6:35 PM on April 20, 2002

Dammit, my (real, full) first name has been the #2 boy's name for the last three decades. No wonder I can never use it to setup a new username anywhere.
posted by krisjohn at 7:04 PM on April 20, 2002

For the record, these data are all from Social Security Actuarial Note Number 139, which is updated relatively regularly. It's a good page to bookmark if you're a fiction writer, or if you're planning on getting pregnant and want to make sure you're not going to saddle your kid with the annoyance of being one of fourteen Madisons in her kindergarten class.

(By the way, this thread is a Double Post!)
posted by aaron at 7:11 PM on April 20, 2002

Nicholas is number EIGHT

Damnit I don't want to be common

posted by Settle at 7:36 PM on April 20, 2002

wow. my name (ok, it's ricardo) makes a really steep climb from being #722 in 1900's to #114 in the last decade.

Projecting the curve out, reveals that my name will be the most popular name in the year 2454!
posted by vacapinta at 7:36 PM on April 20, 2002

It's understandable that Mary is a popular name -- but for boys?
posted by eatitlive at 7:37 PM on April 20, 2002

Better than Sue, I guess.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 7:42 PM on April 20, 2002

I got named "Jennifer" just before Love Story came out, then all hell broke loose.

#1 in the 70s, #2 in the 80s. Mom claims she didn't know about the movie, just wanted to give me a Welsh name people could pronounce. It was Jennifer or Morvith. I think I came out ahead.
posted by Salmonberry at 8:25 PM on April 20, 2002

It's really sad to see how sharply "Buster" fell off during the first half of the last century. I, for one, plan on pushing it back to the top, where it belongs. My kid may hate me, but he'll understand one day that I'm just fighting the good fight.
posted by saladin at 8:30 PM on April 20, 2002

Oh, man, I love this. It's a nice complement to this U.S. Surname Distribution application.
Salmonberry, I drove a Good Humor truck as a summer (duh) job in 1979. I think a quarter of the girls that bought from my truck that summer were named Jennifer. But then I was one of five Timothys in my small elementary school class in the mid '60s.
I predict that the next trend will be female equivalents of the now ubiquitous Joshua and Samuel boys' names: names that went out of fashion but returned with a vengeance and have a nice vee-shaped graph. Get ready for a big crop of Mabels and Sallys.
posted by TimeFactor at 8:45 PM on April 20, 2002

It's even sadder for Arlo. Did one singer-songwriter-son kill the name for all time? And have there been no cartoon fans willing to take a stand for the name in the last decade? And how old is Arlo Guthrie anyway? He can't be 70, can he?
posted by yhbc at 8:57 PM on April 20, 2002

"Bearer of Christ", #2 with a bullet 3 decades running. Odd, though, that 'Stavros' has no ranking whatsoever. It's just the Greek equivalent of 'Steven', after all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:33 PM on April 20, 2002

My name peaked with The Bay City Rollers and the Ricky Schroder vehicle, Silver Spoons. Kill me now.
posted by machaus at 9:36 PM on April 20, 2002

my name apparently doesn't exist, and never did.

(I'd actually be willing to bet that I'm the only person in the world with my name. with any two of my four names, even, although none of them are invented... just oddly matched. my full first name is audrey rabi.)
posted by rabi at 10:22 PM on April 20, 2002

#1 since the 50s, and counting....
posted by rushmc at 11:37 PM on April 20, 2002

Their Baby-Namer says of my name: "A warm, friendly Scottish appellation that fits into our golden circle of names that are highly distinctive without verging on the bizarre."

Well, thanks Mum, but you weren't fucking living in Scotland anymore! I could have done with a normal name in those classrooms full of Sues and Kathys and Davids and Toms. Maybe not a common-as-trailer-trash name like the ones that fill out the top 10, but my name has never been higher than 229th in the US, and that was in the 1930s, when the depression made normal names scarce.
posted by pracowity at 1:48 AM on April 21, 2002

No Tavio, no Cheslav...not even a Micajah to be found. What kind of scale is this, anyway?
posted by Poagao at 7:54 AM on April 21, 2002

Thanks to Mr. Douglas, Kirk was most popular in the 1950s (as a name, anyways), surprisingly not getting a Star Trek bump in the 1960s or anytime since.

My dad and his dad were both named Arley, which hasn't been used much except for being extremely unpopular in the 1910s and 1920s. And yes, I'm glad the tradition didn't continue.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:36 AM on April 21, 2002

Salmonberry, my mother said the exact same thing! She claims my father said "No, absolutely not" to Guinevere, and so she went for the modern, American equivilent. Then, boom! Love Story

Not four years later she named my brother Niels. Niels. In rural Virginia. Of course, I got my own revenge. I legally changed my first names when I was 20, and it is universally acknowledged that I changed them to what my parents should have named me. hah!
posted by julen at 9:15 AM on April 21, 2002

i'm currently riding HIGH in the charts at an enviable 33

posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:44 PM on April 21, 2002

Mine was pretty hip (#426) in the early 1900s, dropping from that peak through the 30s. It dropped off the charts in the 40s. I couldn't imagine why. :)
posted by waldo at 7:50 PM on April 21, 2002

No entries for Mars. Should I be surprised?

posted by Mars Saxman at 11:24 PM on April 21, 2002

From a low of 191 in the 50s, my name bounced back and is currently sitting at a solid 15. (It was 33 in the 1970s, when I was born.)
posted by SisterHavana at 9:10 AM on April 22, 2002

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