From Lorne and Gwendoline to Zainab and Linden
October 9, 2017 4:47 AM   Subscribe

The most Canadian names, decade-by-decade. Bonus: The most loved Canadian books. The most loved Canadian movies. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Supper, garburators, chesterfields and bunnyhugs, previously.
posted by clawsoon (31 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Previouslier. Happy Thanksgiving!
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:11 AM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Happy Thanksgiving!

Canadians are naming baby boys Nixon? I know it doesn't have the same connotations in Canada, but I couldn't suppress a gasp of horror. Do you want your kid to grow up to be a crook? It makes me think about names that are perfectly innocuous in their home culture, but have a different (and unpleasant) connotation in others.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:48 AM on October 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


Happy Thanksgiving, eh.
posted by Fizz at 6:01 AM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Happy Thanksgiving!

I had Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, so I'm looking forward to a few meals of leftovers today.
posted by dr. moot at 6:24 AM on October 9, 2017


I wonder how much higher up the charts "Syed" would have fared if they'd included variant spellings like "Sayed", like they had for Anglo-origin names like "Braedon".
posted by ardgedee at 6:41 AM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yes, precisely- Æthelwulf/Ethelwulf and Tamerlane/Tamburlaine/Timur-I-Lang also would have been much higher if they had included all the different spelling variants.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:51 AM on October 9, 2017 [5 favorites]


Hmmm... I'm not debating the accuracy of this, but speaking anecdotally: I was born in Canada in the 1960s, and raised and lived here ever since. Of the 20 "most Canadian" boy and girl names from that decade I only ever went to school with, or have ever personally known since, one person with a name from that decade's list - Beverley. So despite these names being "most Canadian" they still may not be common at all.
posted by acroyear at 6:53 AM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


acroyear: So despite these names being "most Canadian" they still may not be common at all.

Their methodology was not to count the most popular Canadian names, but to figure out which Canadian names Americans were least likely to use. In other words, it was the most Canadian possible methodology.
posted by clawsoon at 7:06 AM on October 9, 2017 [8 favorites]


I wonder how much higher up the charts "Syed" would have fared if they'd included variant spellings like "Sayed"

They've certainly done this for other names. That's what the asterisk means:
Names marked with an asterisk (*) have multiple common spellings, like Graeme/Graham and Chantal/Chantel/Chantelle.

I have no trouble believing Zaniab and Mohammed (in all its variants) are more common in Canada than in the US. Half of all the boys in my sister-in-inlaw's inner city Ottawa class are Mohommed/Mahamud/Mohommad. There are big Mo's, little Mo's. My suggestion of big wee Mo and wee big Mo were deemed amusing, but not completely practical for third-graders.
posted by bonehead at 7:23 AM on October 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


it is less compelling and clear that names in Quebec should be compared to those in, say, the United States or even France.

I was nonplussed with their rationale for not including Quebec, basically "Quebec doesn't count", but then I realized that was extremely Canadian of them.
and you wonder why separatism
posted by rodlymight at 7:27 AM on October 9, 2017 [6 favorites]


Linden? Really?

I wonder how much higher up the charts "Syed" would have fared if they'd included variant spellings like "Sayed", like they had for Anglo-origin names like "Braedon".

Or like they did for "Muhammad"? It probably wouldn't be much higher, anyway. If you take this Wikipedia list of notables named Sayyid/Sayed/Syed, etc., you'll notice that "Syed" is the dominant spelling (or transliteration, anyway) among South Asians, and "Sayed" among Egyptians almost exclusively. Canada has far, far more of the former than the latter. (Syed is not all that popular elsewhere, as it's generally a title more than a name. It's like calling your kid "Sir" or "Mister." I suspect it is only relatively popular in the above places because of certain popular individuals with that name.) In the States, Syed cracks the top 1000, which is the threshold for "yep, it's a name there," whereas no other spelling does.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:41 AM on October 9, 2017


I was nonplussed with their rationale for not including Quebec, basically "Quebec doesn't count"

But Quebec literally doesn't count, though. Like, there is no data available. If the province is keeping stats at all, they're keeping them secret.

You do it to yourself. Just you. You and no one else.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:46 AM on October 9, 2017 [4 favorites]


Based on my daughter's schools so far, I'd suggest "names beginning with H", mostly Hamza and Habibah.
posted by clawsoon at 7:54 AM on October 9, 2017


Robertson Davies is not on the book list? What is wrong with you, Canada?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:12 AM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Something that I found interesting is that the "Canada Factor" for the name Heather peaks in the 1940's, and Heather reached its peak of popularity in the US in the mid-1970s through the mid-80s. The name even has its own eponymous movie as a quintessential Gen-X name. A "mom" name in the US becomes a "grandma" name in Canada.

Likewise, Sophie hit "peak Canada" in the 1980s, when it wasn't on the radar in the US, where it peaked in 2010. Canada - ahead of the curve?

Marie seems to be much more popular as a first name in Canada than the US - maybe because of the French influence? It's very well used to the point of overuse as a middle name in the US, though - I think because it's used as a kind of "throwaway"/generic middle name, like Ann or Lynn or, more recently, Rose.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:14 AM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Deliberately excluding a magnificent name like Rogatien is a fail.
posted by srboisvert at 8:24 AM on October 9, 2017


This all reminds me of this One Percenter Nickname Generator I made many years ago/
posted by hubs at 8:43 AM on October 9, 2017


I was disappointed that the book list removed romance novels from the list. It was weirdly compared to being like sequels. I guess they didn't want to come out and say that most people don't like the genre or something. I have to say that basically every genre has people who like it and people who hate it, so you might as well include all of them with a note as to which genre/s they are.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:59 AM on October 9, 2017


This all reminds me of this One Percenter Nickname Generator I made many years ago/


It's nice, but it's getting harder to parody this sort of thing when Jacob Rees-Mogg is actually naming his kids things like Honoria Melpomene Patience Lucretia, or Quintus Egbert Lepidus Godfrey.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:17 AM on October 9, 2017


But Quebec literally doesn't count, though. Like, there is no data available. If the province is keeping stats at all, they're keeping them secret.

How shitty of them! It's a good thing the elite covert operatives at Radio-Canada were able to steal the data and compile the following extremely detailed searchable statistics.
posted by Mons Veneris at 9:20 AM on October 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


So is this our stereotypical Canadian Thanksgiving meal? Arguing about Quebec?
posted by clawsoon at 9:22 AM on October 9, 2017 [7 favorites]


We're a distinct society, baby!
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:30 AM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, by what I saw on the roads Saturday, we have another tradition: getting speeding tickets on thanksgiving weekend (often the deadliest of the year).
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:32 AM on October 9, 2017


(from the comments) How do you pronounce Graham? In Canada, "Grey-um"; the US apparently pronounces it as "Gram".

Grey-um
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:12 AM on October 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


How shitty of them! It's a good thing the elite covert operatives at Radio-Canada were able to steal the data and compile the following extremely detailed searchable statistics.

Ooh, they have the twenty most popular names of the last thirty years. How very "extemely detailed."
posted by Sys Rq at 10:15 AM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


My kid's name is on there! We named him after an English actor and had never heard the name really in Minnesota before. My dad is a dual citizen with Canada and we have relatives we see there multiple times a year, and somehow I named my kid a quintessential non-USian Canadian name without even trying. Go me!

Happy Thanksgiving!
posted by jillithd at 10:21 AM on October 9, 2017


The full dataset from Quebec since 1980 seems to be available available.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:26 AM on October 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


Darcy. So many Darcys.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:10 PM on October 9, 2017


Neither the favourite movies nor the favourite books list include Whale Music - or anything else by Paul Quarrington, for that matter. Automatic fail.
posted by e-man at 7:15 PM on October 9, 2017


I was nonplussed with their rationale for not including Quebec, basically "Quebec doesn't count",

It is a very different world. Canadian Press this weekend had a wire story about the upcoming mayoral election in Les Emboulements, Quebec, a small town 100 km north of Montreal. The two contenders are Pierre Tremblay and Pierre Tremblay, two guys in their sixties. (To distinguish themselves, each has his address on the campaign literature and the addresses will be on the ballot as well.)

I personally know three Pierre Tremblays (Pierres Tremblay?) and to the best of my knowledge, none of them is running for mayor of any small towns in Quebec.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:24 PM on October 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of curious about the lack of Robertson Davies on the list too... top 50 and not even one title? Has he fallen out of favor for some reason?

And with all such lists, I'm disappointed my personal favorite, The Watch That Ends the Night by Hugh MacLennan didn't make the cut.
posted by misozaki at 4:37 AM on October 10, 2017


« Older Closer to Perfect Smile   |   You're a Wizard, Morgan! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments