Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Brainy Girls

Having a good namesake is always a plus. Of course, academically-inspired names for boys abound--up until the last century or so, women in the sciences were pretty rare (and often given less credibility than their male colleagues). While many of these names are unknown today, most were quite renowned in their time.
And do I freely admit to being selective in this list by attempting to include as many fields, and unusual names, as possible. (there are so, so many more noteworthy Marias & Marys especially, as well as female physicians & astronomers!)

  • Abella (medicine, 1300s)*
  • Augusta Ada Lovelace (mathematics, d. 1852; constructed algorithms to be processed by a colleague's "analytical engine", and is thus considered the first computer programmer)
  • Aglaonike/Aganice (astronomy, ≈200 BC; known for predicting lunar eclipses)
  • Agnodice (medicine/midwifery, ≈400 BC)
  • Anna Ǻkerhjelm (archaeology, d. 1693; posthumously ennobled for her work)
  • Anna Atkins (botany, d. 1871; authored first photographically-illustrated book)
  • Anna Morandi Manzolini (anatomy, d. 1774)
  • Annie Jump Cannon (astronomy, d. 1941; co-created Harvard star classification system)
  • Astrid Cleve (biology, d. 1968; her 5-volume encyclopedia on Swedish & Finnish diatoms is still in use today)
  • Barbara McClintock (biology, d. 1992; only woman to receive an unshared Nobel prize in medicine, for her discovery of gene transposition)
  • Beatrix Potter [yes, the children's author] (mycology, d. 1943; her drawings are still used in fungus identification today)
  • Caroline Herschel (astronomy, d. 1848; discoverer of several objects, including 8 comets and 14 nebulae)
  • Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (astrophysics, d. 1979; determined stellar compositions by their spectra)
  • Celia Grillo Boromeo (mathematics, d. 1777; said to be able to solve any mathematical problem given to her)
  • Constance Calenda (optometry, 1400s)
  • Dorothea Erlexben (medicine, d, 1762; first female doctor in Germany)
  • Elena Cornaro Piscopia (philosophy/mathematics, d. 1684; first woman to earn a Ph.D.)
  • Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell (medicine, d. 1910; first and second female doctors in the US)
  • Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (medicine, d. 1917; several firsts, including first female doctor in the UK)
  • Elsa Beata Bunge (botany, d. 1819)
  • Ellen Swallow Richards (chemistry, d. 1911; co-founded the American Association of University Women)
  • Émilie du Châtelet (physics, d. 1749; her translation/commentary of Newton's Principia Mathematica is still the French standard)
  • Emily Warren Roebling (engineering, d. 1903; oversaw construction & completion of the Brooklyn Bridge after the original project leader fell ill)
  • Amelie Emmy Noether (mathematics, d. 1935; a subset of algebraic structures is named for her)
  • Enheduanna (astronomy/mathematics, ≈2250 BC)
  • Etheldred Benett (geology, d. 1845)
  • Eva Ekeblad (agronomy, d. 1786; discovered new uses for potatoes, including makeup/powder, flour, and alcohol)
  • Faustina Pignatelli (physics/mathematics, d. 1785)
  • Florence Bascom (geology, d. 1945; first woman to work for the USGS)
  • Gerty Theresa Cori (biochemistry, d. 1957; first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in physiology/medicine)
  • Saint Hildegard (botany/medicine, d. 1179)
  • Henrietta Swan Leavitt (astronomy/mathematics, d. 1921; discovered Leavitt's Law, which allows accurate estimation of the distance of variable stars)
  • Phoebe Sarah "Hertha" Ayrton (engineering/physics, d. 1923; first female elected member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers)
  • Hypatia of Alexandria (mathematics, d. 415)
  • Ida Noddack (chemistry/physics, d. 1978; first proposed/predicted the concept of nuclear fission)
  • Inge Lehmann (geophysics/seismology, d. 1994; proposed the current layered-core model of the earth's interior)
  • Irène Joliot-Curie (chemistry, d. 1956)
  • Isala Van Diest (medicine, d. 1916; first female doctor in Belgium)
  • Jane Colden (botany, d. 1766)
  • Jane Sharp (midwifery, 1600s; her book is still in print today)
  • Jeanne Villepreux-Power (marine biology, d. 1871; first to use aquariums to study marine life)
  • Johanna Mestorf (archaeology, d. 1909)
  • Katherine Blodgett (physics, d. 1979) 
  • Katherine Johnson (mathematics; calculated NASA trajectories pre-computer)
  • Kirstine Meyer (physics, d. 1931; founded the Danish journal of physics, Fysisk Tidsskrift)
  • Laura Bassi (physics, d. 1778)
  • Lise Meitner (physics, d. 1964; offered a position on the Manhattan Project, which she refused on moral grounds)
  • Maria Lovisa Ǻhrborg (medicine, d. 1881; first female doctor in Sweden)
  • Margaret Cavendish (natural philosophy, d. 1673)
  • Margaret Eliza Maltby (physics, d. 1944)
  • Maria/Mary the Jewess (alchemy/chemistry, ≈200 AD; invented several types of chemical apparatus)
  • Maria Dalle Donne (medicine, d. 1842; first woman to earn a doctorate of medicine)
  • Maria Gaetana Agnesi (mathematics, d. 1799)
  • Maria Sibylla Merian (botany/entomology, d. 1717)
  • Maria Mitchell (astronomy, d. 1889)
  • Maria Telkes (physics, d. 1995; inventor of many solar & thermal devices, including a thermoelectric generator and a portable solar-powered desalinization unit)
  • Marie Crous (mathematics, 1600s; introduced France to decimal system)
  • Marie Curie (chemistry/physics, d. 1934; first person to get Nobel Prizes in two subjects)
  • Mary Agnes Chase (botany, d. 1963)
  • Mary Anning (paleontology, d. 1847)
  • Mary Engle Pennington (bacteriology/engineering, d. 1952; first head of the USDA's Food Research Lab)
  • Maud Menten (biochemistry, d. 1960)
  • Merit-Ptah (medicine, ≈2700 BC, the earliest recorded female scientist)
  • Mercuriade (medicine, 1300s)
  • Nettie Stevens (genetics, d. 1912; co-discovered XY sex determination)
  • Nicole-Reine Lepaute (astronomy/mathematics, d. 1788)
  • Praskovya Uvarova (archaeology, d. 1924)
  • Rebecca de Guarna (medicine, 1300s)
  • Rosalind Franklin (biophysicist, d. 1958; helped discover the DNA double helix, her work was used by Watson and Crick)
  • Sofia Kovalevskaya (mathematics, d. 1891; first woman to earn a doctorate of mathematics)
  • Sophia Brahe (horticulture/astronomy, d. 1643)
  • Marie-Sophie Germain (mathematics, d. 1831)
  • Trotula of Salerno (gynecology, 1000s)
  • Williamina Fleming (astronomy. d. 1911; discovered many objects, including 59 nebulae, 10 novae, and over 300 variable stars)
  • Wang Zhenyi (astronomy, d. 1797)
  • Zelia Nuttall (archaeology, d. 1933)

*If I've not listed any accomplishments, the specifics either have been lost to time, or are too complex to fit in a concise note.

Thanks to a few anonymous messages, adding some amazing women I'd initially missed!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vintage Natural

Lily is currently the prime nature-inspired choice for girls, but it wasn't too long ago that Jasmine reigned. Before that was Amber, and before that were Heather, Dawn, Robin, and for a very long time, Rose. Usually only one or two nature names is trendy at any one time, but we currently seem to be an a sort of nature-revival. While Lily is undeniably the most common nature-name / nickname, several others are also on the rise--Autumn, Violet, Ruby, August, IrisJade, Rowan, Hazel, OliveJune, RosemaryPearl, just to name a few. The last time nature names were so trendy was around the turn of the last century. Guess the 100-year-rule really does hold true.
Interestingly enough, of the aforementioned names, only one is exclusively masculine--August. In the last nature-name boom, such names were in use for both genders.

  • Almond
  • Berry
  • Brown
  • Buck
  • Burl
  • Burr
  • Clay
  • Cliff
  • Collie
  • Dale
  • Dell
  • Dock
  • Early
  • Ebb
  • Ford
  • Forrest
  • Glen
  • Golden
  • Green
  • Grover
  • Gust
  • Ivory
  • Jasper
  • Jay
  • Lemon
  • Merle
  • Merlin
  • Octave (okay, not exactly "nature", but interesting)
  • Park
  • Pearl (yes, it used to be unisex!)
  • Shade
  • Starling
  • West

  • Aura
  • Avis
  • Beryl
  • Birdie
  • Blossom
  • Coral
  • Dale
  • Dell
  • Delphine
  • Dimple 
  • Dove
  • Easter
  • Era
  • Fairy
  • Fern
  • Flora
  • Garnet
  • Golden
  • Icy
  • Kitty
  • Magnolia
  • May
  • Merle
  • Mossie
  • Myrtle
  • Opal
  • Pansy
  • Vallie
  • Viney
  • Vita

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Winnie

Despite an iconic namesake, Winnie's never really caught on in the U.S.  I am, of course, referring to The Wonder Years, not Winnie the Pooh, but I imagine the children's book and resulting media have definitely helped keep it down. The fact that it's usually short for the ultra-vintage Winifred hasn't exactly boosted its popularity either. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see it come back soon, as a nickname for the on-the-rise Gwendolyn (à la Winnie Cooper), or other Gwen-names.
Oh, and in the case of that silly old bear, Winnie was actually short for Winnipeg. Probably less usable than most other alternatives.

  • Gwenaëlle (GWEN-ah-el, Breton)--"blessed and generous"
  • Gwyneira (gwun-AY-rah or gwun-EYE-rah, Welsh*)
  • Jaswinder (jas-WIN-der, Hindi)
  • Morwenna (mohr-WEN-nah, Cornish)
  • Owena (oh-WEN-ah, Welsh*)--feminine of Owen
  • Rowena (roh-EE-nah, English)
  • Willemijn (wil-leh-MINE, Dutch)--feminine of William/Willem
  • Winfrieda (win-FREE-dah, German)--"peaceful friend"
  • Winimar (WIN-ih-mar, Old German)--"famous friend"
  • Winona (win-OH-nah, Sioux)

*I was attempting to keep this list from getting too repetitive by limiting the number of Welsh names (gwen- and -wen are extremely common elements, since they mean "holy, blessed, fair"). If you do want to see dozens and dozens more, head on over to NameNerds

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Personal Lists

It was recently suggested that I do a post on names we're considering for #3, due in November. I waffled for a bit, because I do try to make this blog fairly factual & bias-free...which of course, it's really not, since I generally don't concede any page-space to the big modern trends (surnames, boy-names for girls, randomlyn & randomlee names, etc). But, I've decided to do it, partially because I do like hearing others' thoughts, and partially to get my own thoughts in order.

Obviously, I like a lot of names, so I'll have to divide my 'beloved names' list into 3 subsections, and limit each to 5 per gender.

1. Names I'd use if I could disregard my last name. There are definitely times I wish I'd kept my maiden name (I took my husband's because mine was constantly mispronounced & misspelled--despite being 4 letters and English). While I do appreciate having a very recognizable surname, it presents several problems--it's one-syllable, a homophone for a couple common English words, and really doesn't work with anything R-heavy or with a long I. And yes, anyone who feels like Googling common surnames can probably figure it out based on these limitations. :p

  • Caius
  • Oliver
  • Leander
  • Rhys
  • Rory

  • Annora
  • Blythe
  • Lavender
  • Mercy
  • Vesper

2. Names I'd use if my husband was totally apathetic. He's not--which is of course, a good thing; especially since he does have pretty good taste in names--he's just not quite as adventurous as I am. Admittedly, that's also probably a good thing, because the world is not made up of name-nerds, and most people don't go all googly-eyed over obscure & unusual names.
  • Alexis
  • Aloysius
  • Clement
  • Duncan
  • Kelly

  • Clarity
  • Elspeth
  • Ffion
  • Glynis
  • Saskia

3. Names that we might actually end up using. Because I really do like most names, we agreed on a few rules to keep the playing field narrow: Names must be uncommon, but "known" (his main rule); names must not have more than 2 or 3 accepted spellings (my main rule); names must have some connection to our heritage; names must not be too similar or too contrasting with our older kids' names (Jonas & Bridget); and names must be usable for any age or career path.
And, of course, we do both have to like the name. ;)
  • Ansel
  • August
  • Callum
  • Malcolm
  • Morgan

  • Carmen
  • Laurel
  • Margot
  • Matilda
  • Penelope

So, I hope that satisfied your curiosity! Currently, there's a list of about 40 names sitting on my husband's desk. He's supposed to look it over, cross off names he doesn't like, and add suggestions of his own. It'll probably take 'til Thanksgiving to get this kid named. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rare but Real (2011)

It was only a few months ago that I highlighted some of the names given to only 5 children in 2010. Just like last year, most of the names this rare are either imported or invented, but there are some that seem like they should be more common.

  • Astor (AS-tor)--from Provençal, "hawk". With the surname rage in full swing, this short and easy surname feels like it should be on the rise. Perhaps the resemblance to Esther, and the aster flower is keeping it down? The feminine form Astoria fared slightly better, with 10 uses in 2011.
  • Benno (BEN-noh)--from German, "bear". A jaunty update to the "boring to some, classic to others" Benjamin?
  • Cathán (CAH-han)--from Irish Gaelic, "battle". With Cohen becoming so controversially trendy, it's surprising that this sound-alike is so uncommon--and its usual Anglicization Cahan didn't even chart!
  • Eliakim (ee-LYE-ah-kim or eh-lee-ah-keem)--from Hebrew, "God rises". With the rest of the Eli-brothers on the rise, this Biblical obscurity could stand out, while still giving that handsome nickname.
  • Eustace (YOO-stahs)--from Greek, "fruitful". Vintage names are ever on the comeback, and the Chronicles of Narnia connection gives this quirky pick a bit more depth.
  • Finbarr (FIN-bar)--from Irish Gaelic, "fair-haired". How has this Finn-name been overlooked?
  • Gawain (gah-WAYN, or GAH-wine)--from Welsh, "white hawk". I'm always shocked to see mythological & hero names so underused, especially as easy-to-say as this one. Modern variant Gavin is in the top 50, however.
  • Guillaume (gee-OHM)--French, form of William. As William & Liam get even more popular, I imagine parents will start turning to other languages' forms. French names for girls are always in style, so why not for boys? 
  • Savio (SAH-vee-oh)--from Italian, "clever". Italian, easy to say & spell, with a good meaning--If wouldn't surprise me to see this one rise on the heels of Giovanni, Mateo, & Luca.

  • Amaranta (ah-mah-RAHN-tah)--Spanish & Italian, form of Greek Amaranth, "unfading". As flower, princess-y, and Italian names are swinging back into style, I'm surprised to have not seen this one on anyone's list.
  • Dulcinea (dool-sin-EH-ah)--from Spanish, "sweet". Maybe it's the "dul" that's kept this name down, but since literary feminine names have done generally done well, Dulcinea's lact of popularity is odd.
  • Euphemia (yoo-FEM-ee-ah)--from Greek, "speaks well". Nothing screams "vintage" like the Eu-names, and they all have "good" meanings, too (literally). As the traditional full form of the chic Effie, it seems likely that this may gain a bit more use in the coming years.
  • Hannelore (hah-nah-LOHR-eh)--German, a combination of Hannah & Eleonore. With Hannah back in a big way, frilly, stand-out elaborations are inevitable. This import seems a bit more substantial than the usual popular name+girly ending concoctions.
  • Kadri (KAH-dree ['r' is trilled/rolled])--Estonian, form of Katherine. Cute "ee" ending; stylish K; exotic, but easy to spell and pronounce. What's not to love?
  • Ligia (LEE-zhee-ah or LEE-jee-ah)--Portuguese & Romanian, form of Greek Ligeia, "clear-voiced". An exotic alternative to Lydia, but with mythological & literary ties. 
  • Sebastiana (seb-ahs-TYAH-nah)--Italian. How, oh, how was Sebastian given to more girls last year than the feminine form?
  • Yarden (YAR-den or yahr-DEN)--Hebrew. An older form of Jordan making a comeback for both genders in many regions, it's somehow only charted for girls in the US. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bi-cultural Names--German/English (girls)

Spelled the same, usually with slight pronunciation difference:
  • Abigail--English, AB-ih-gayl; German, AH-bee-gile
  • Ada--English, AY-dah; German, AH-dah
  • Adele--English, ah-DEL; German, ah-DEH-leh
  • Agnes--English, AG-nes; German, AHK-nes
  • Alexandra--English, al-eks-AN-drah; German, ah-lek-SAHN-drah
  • Alexia--English & German, ah-LEKS-ee-ah
  • Alina--English & German, ah-LEE-nah
  • Amalia--English & German, ah-MAH-lee-ah
  • Amanda--English, ah-MAN-dah; German, ah-MAHN-dah
  • Amelia--English, ah-MEEL-yah; German, ah-MEH-lee-ah
  • Andrea--English, AN-dree-ah; German, ahn-DREH-ah
  • Angela--English, AN-jel-ah; German, AHNG-gel-ah
  • Anna--Engliah, AN-nah; German, AHN-nah
  • Annika--English & German, AHN-nee-kah
  • Antonia--English, an-TOHN-yah; German, ahn-TOH-nee-ah
  • Augusta--English, ah-GUS-tah; German, ow-GOOS-tah
  • Aurora--English, aw-ROH-rah; German, ow-ROHR-ah
  • Ava--English, AY-vah; German, AH-vah
  • Barbara--English & German, BAHR-bar-ah
  • Beatrix--English, BEE-ah-triks; German, BEH-ah-triks
  • Bertha--English, BER-thah; German, BEHR-tah
  • Cecilia--English & German, seh-SEE-lyah
  • Cara--English, KAH-rah or KEHR-ah; German, KAH-rah
  • Carina--English & German, kah-REE-nah
  • Carla--English & German, KAHR-lah
  • Caroline--English, KEHR-oh-line; German, kah-roh-LEE-neh
  • Charlotte--English, SHAHR-lot; German, shahr-LOT-teh
  • Christina--English & German, kris-TEE-nah
  • Clara--English, KLEHR-ah; German, KLAH-rah
  • Claudia--English, KLAW-dee-ah; German, KLOW-dee-ah
  • Cora--English & German, KOH-rah
  • Corinna--English & German, koh-RIN-nah
  • Cornelia--English, kor-NEEL-yah; German, kor-NEH-lee-ah
  • Dana--English, DAY-nah; German, DAH-nah
  • Daniela--English, dan-YEL-ah; German, dahn-YEH-lah
  • Diana--English, dye-AN-ah; German, dee-AH-nah
  • Doris--English & German, DOHR-is
  • Dorothea--English, doh-roh-THEE-ah; German, doh-roh-TEH-ah
  • Edith--English, EE-dith; German, EH-dit
  • Elena--English, eh-LEH-nah; German, EL-en-ah
  • Elisa--English, eh-LEE-sah; German, eh-LEE-zah
  • Elisabeth--English, eh-LIZ-ah-beth; German, eh-LEE-zah-bet
  • Elsa--English & German, EL-sah
  • Emma--English & German, EM-mah
  • Eva--English, EE-vah or EH-vah; German, EE-fah
  • Evelyn--English, EV-el-in; German, EE-vel-in
  • Flora--English & German, FLOH-rah
  • Gabriela--English, gab-ree-EL-ah; German, gahp-ree-EH-lah
  • Gertrude--English, GER-trood; German, gehr-TROO-deh
  • Gretchen--English, GRECH-en; German, GREHT-yen
  • Heidi--English & German, HYE-dee
  • Helena--English, heh-LEH-nah, HEL-en-ah, or hel-EE-nah; German, heh-LEE-nah
  • Hilda--English & German, HIL-dah
  • Ida--English, EYE-dah; German, EE-dah
  • Ingrid--English, ING-grid; German, ING-grit
  • Irene--English, eye-REEN; German, ee-REH-neh
  • Iris--English, EYE-ris; German, EE-ris
  • Isabel--English, IZ-ah-bel; German, ee-zah-BEL
  • Isolde--English, ih-ZOHL-deh or ih-SOLD; German, ee-ZOHL-deh
  • Johanna--English, joh-AN-nah; German, yoh-HAH-nah
  • Judith--English, JOO-dith; German, YOO-dit
  • Julia--English, JOO-lee-ah; German, YOO-lee-ah
  • Juliana--English, joo-lee-AH-nah; German, yoo-lee-AH-nah
  • Karen--English, KAYR-en; German, KAH-ren
  • Katrina--English & German, kah-TREE-nah
  • Kristin--English, KRIS-tin; German, kris-TEEN
  • Lara--English & German, LAH-rah
  • Laura--English, LOR-ah; German, LOW-rah
  • Lena--English, LEE-nah or LEH-nah; German, LEH-nah
  • Leona--English, lee-OH-nah; German, LEH-oh-nah
  • Linda--English & German, LIN-dah
  • Lisa--English, LEE-sah; German, LEE-zah
  • Lucia--English, loo-SEE-ah or LOO-shah; German, LOO-see-ah
  • Lydia--English, LID-ee-ah; German, LOOD-ee-ah
  • Magdalena--English, mag-dah-LEH-nah; German, mahg-dah-LEE-nah
  • Maria--English & German, mah-REE-ah
  • Marianne--English, mehr-ee-AN; German, mah-ree-AHN-neh
  • Marie--English & German, mah-REE
  • Marina--English & German, mah-REE-nah
  • Marlene--English, mar-LEEN; German, mahr-LEH-neh
  • Melanie--English, MEL-an-ee; German, MEH-lah-nee
  • Mia--English & German, MEE-ah
  • Michaela--English, mih-KAY-lah; German, mee-kah-EH-lah
  • Miriam--English & German, MEER-ee-am
  • Natalie--English, NAT-ah-lee; German, NAH-tah-lee
  • Nina--English & German, NEE-nah
  • Nora--English & German, NOH-rah
  • Olivia--English, oh-LIV-ee-ah; German, oh-LEE-vee-ah
  • Patricia--English, pah-TRISH-ah; German, pah-TREE-see-ah
  • Paula--English, PAW-lah; German, POW-lah
  • Petra--English, PET-rah; German, PEH-trah
  • Rachel--English, RAY-chel; German, RAH-khel
  • Regina--English, reh-JEE-nah; German, reh-GEE-nah
  • Renata--English & German, ren-AH-tah
  • Rita--English & German, REE-tah
  • Romy--English & German, ROH-mee
  • Rosa--English & German, ROHZ-ah
  • Sabrina--English, sah-bREE-nah; German, sahp-REE-nah
  • Sandra--English, SAN-drah; German, ZAHN-drah
  • Sara--English, SEHR-ah; German, ZAH-rah
  • Selma--English, SEL-mah; German, ZEL-mah
  • Sidonie--English, sih-DOH-nee; German, zee-DOH-nee-eh
  • Sylvia--English, SIL-vee-ah; German, ZIL-vee-ah
  • Teresa--English, teh-REE-sah; German, teh-REH-zah
  • Ursula--English, UR-sul-ah; German, OOR-soo-lah
  • Valerie--English, VAL-er-ee; German, VAH-leh-ree
  • Vanessa--English & German, vah-NES-sah
  • Vera--English, VEER-ah or VEHR-ah; German, VEHR-ah
  • Wanda--English, WAHN-dah; German, VAHN-dah
  • Wilhelmina--English, wil-el-MEE-nah; German, vil-hel-MEE-nah

One/two-letter difference:
  • Agatha--English, AG-ah-thah; Agathe--German, ah-GAH-tah
  • Angelica--English, an-JEL-ih-kah; Angelika--German, ah-GEL-ee-kah
  • Constance--English, CON-stans; Constanze--German, kon-STAN-seh
  • Deborah--English, DEB-o-rah; Debora--German, DEH-boh-rah
  • Eleanor--English, EL-en-or; Eleonore--German, el-eh-oh-NOH-reh
  • Emily--English, EM-il-ee; Emilie--German, eh-MEE-lee-eh
  • Erica--English, EHR-ih-kah; Erika--German, EH-ree-kah
  • Felicia--English, fel-EE-shah; Felicie--German, fel-EE-see-eh
  • Felicity--English, feh-LIH-si-tee; Felicitas--German, feh-LEE-see-tahs
  • Frida--English, FREE-dah; Frieda--German, FREE-dah
  • Giselle--English, jih-ZEL; Gisela--German, GEE-zel-ah
  • Hannah--English, HAN-nah; Hanna--German, HAHN-nah
  • Henrietta--English, hen-ree-ET-tah; Henriette--German, hen-ree-ET-teh
  • Jasmine--English, JAZ-min; Jasmin--German, YAHS-meen
  • Jessica--English, JES-sih-kah; Jessika--German, YES-ee-kah
  • Josephine--English, joh-seh-FEEN; Josefine--German, yoh-seh-FEE-neh
  • Louise--English, loo-EEZE; Luise--German, loo-EE-zeh
  • Margaret--English, MAR-gah-ret; Margarethe--German, mahr-gah-RET-eh
  • Maya--English, MYE-ah; Maja--German, MYE-ah
  • Mariel--English, MEHR-ee-el; Mariele--German, mahr-ee-EL-eh
  • Matilda--English, mah-TIL-dah; Mathilde--German, mah-TIL-deh
  • Monica--English, MON-ih-kah; Monika--German, MOH-nee-kah
  • Nicole--English, nih-KOHL; Nicola--German, NEE-koh-lah
  • Rebecca--English, reh-BEK-kah; Rebekka--German, reh-BEHK-kah
  • Rosamund--English, ROHZ-ah-mund, Rosamunde--German, roh-sah-MOON-deh
  • Ruth--English, ROOTH; Rut--German, ROOT
  • Sonia--English, SOHN-yah; Sonja--German, ZAWN-yah
  • Sophia--English, soh-FEE-ah; Sofia--German, zoh-FEE-ah
  • Stephanie--English, STEF-an-ee; Stefanie--German, SHTEF-an-ee
  • Susanna--English, soo-SAN-nah; Susanne--German, zoo-ZAHN-neh
  • Tanya--English, TAHN-yah; Tanja--German, TAHN-yah
  • Tatiana--English, taht-YAH-nah; Tatjana--German, taht-YAH-nah
  • Veronica--English, veh-RON-ih-kah; Veronika--German, veh-ROH-nee-kah
  • Victoria--English, vik-TOHR-ee-ah; Viktoria--German, vik-TOH-ree-ah
  • Wilma--English, WIL-mah; Vilma--German, VEEL-mah
  • Yvonne--English, ih-VAWN; Ivonne--German, ee-VAWN

Larger spelling difference, but still recognizable:
  • Adelaide--English, AD-el-ayd; Adelheid--German, AH-del-hite
  • Bridget--English--BRID-jet; Brigitta--German, brih-GIT-tah
  • Frances--English, FRAN-ses; Franziska--German, fran-SIS-kah
  • Priscilla--English, pris-SIL-lah; Priska--German, PRIS-kah
  • Sybil--English, SIB-il; Sibylle--German, see-BIL-lah

Monday, June 4, 2012

Same Name?!--Margaret

I actually had to go and double-check previous posts to make sure I haven't done this one yet. How on earth have I missed Margaret? A classic girls' name that's been slowly declining for decades, it's actually still in the SSA's top 200. And being the name of several saints, the permutations of Margaret have spread throughout the western world.

Original Greek form: Margarites [Μαργαριτης] (mahr-gah-REE-tes)
Latin form: Margarita (mahr-gah-REE-tah)
English form: Margaret (MAHR-gah-ret)

Other forms:
  • Maarit (MAH-rit)--Finnish
  • Mairéad (mah-RAID)--Irish
  • Mairead (MYE-ret)--Scottish
  • Małgorzata (mow-gohr-ZHAH-tah)--Polish
  • Maret (MAH-ret)--Estonian
  • Margalit (mahr-gah-LEET)--Hebrew
  • Margaretha (mahr-gah-RET-tah)--Dutch, German
  • Marged (MAHR-ged)--Welsh
  • Margery (MAHR-jer-ee)--Medieval English
  • Margit (MAHR-git)--Hungarian
  • Margita (mahr-GEE-tah)--Slovak
  • Margriet (mahr-KHREET)--Dutch
  • Marguerite (mahr-gah-REET)--French
  • Marit (MAH-rit)--Scandinavian
  • Marketta (MAHR-ket-tah)--Finnish
  • Mererid (MEH-reh-reed)--Welsh
  • Merete (meh-REH-teh)--Danish

Friday, June 1, 2012

What Does 'Change' Mean? Part 3

Whew! And now the third & final part of my popularity-change analysis (Parts 1 [girls] & 2 [boys]). Seeing how a name jumps in popularity-rank is probably the simplest way to gauge trendiness, but it can be a bit misleading.  A name jumping from #1000 to #995, for instance, is not gaining as much use as a name jumping from #6 to #1.
So, for this post, I've calculated what percentage of boys/girls were given a name in 2010, and how much that percentage changed in 2011.

  1. Mason, 0.72% --> 0.96%
  2. Liam, 0.53% --> 0.66%
  3. Bentley, 0.18% --> 0.28%
  4. Axel, 0.1% --> 0.15%
  5. Easton, 0.13% --> 0.19%
  6. Jace, 0.13% --> 0.18%
  7. Ayden, 0.25% --> 0.30%
  8. Blake, 0.23% --> 0.28%
  9. Jaxon, 0.19% --> 0.23%
  10. Declan, 0.06 --> 0.11%

  1. Harper, 0.13% --> 0.24%
  2. Aubrey, 0.27% --> 0.37%
  3. Emma, 0.89% --> 0.97%
  4. Aubree, 0.07& --> 0.15%
  5. Sophia, 1.05% --> 1.13%
  6. Zoey, 0.27% --> 0.33%
  7. Brooklyn, 0.31% --> 0.37%
  8. Charlotte, 0.27% --> 0.33%
  9. Sofia, 0.32% --> 0.38%
  10. Aria, 0.05% --> 0.10%
To put these percentages into perspective--if there were only 1000 boys born in the U.S. each year, 9 or 10 would be Mason in 2011. The previous year, 7 would have been named Mason.
In some cases, these jumps correspond to a large jump in rankings, but not always. For instance, Emma didn't change ranking at all (#3 in both 2010 and 2011), and yet it showed the third largest percentage increase.

And for one more fun little exercise--relative frequency. Obviously your chances of meeting a newborn Mason didn't increase much from 2010 to 2011. However, that's not the case with many names--for instance, you're 3 times more likely to meet a new baby Brantley in 2011 than you were in 2010. In this case, relative frequency increase does usually correspond to a jump in ranking (this only includes names from the top 2500). 

  1. Brantley, 3.23x
  2. Flynn, 2.6x
  3. Raylan, 2.5x
  4. Brentley, 2.36x
  5. Maximiliano, 2.14x
  6. Iker, 2.1x
  7. Bowen, 1.9x
  8. Imran, 1.84x
  9. Jaxen, 1.82x
  10. Deklan, 1.75x
  11. Declan, 1.74x
  12. Aston, 1.71x
  13. Crosby, 1.7x
  14. Cam, 1.65x
  15. Bear, 1.63x
  16. Eason, 1.63x
  17. Kyren, 1.6x
  18. Royce, 1.58x
  19. Axel, 1.56x
  20. Jaxton, 1.56x

  1. Milania, 2.54x
  2. Aria, 2.22x
  3. Aubree, 2.1x
  4. Mila, 2.1x
  5. Briella, 2.0x
  6. Ariadne, 1.84x
  7. Aliyana, 1.83x
  8. Alianna, 1.82x
  9. Angelique, 1.81x
  10. Harper, 1.8x
  11. Taylin, 1.77x
  12. Aviana, 1.76x
  13. Samaya, 1.75x
  14. Avianna, 1.67x
  15. Kynleigh, 1.67x
  16. Anyla, 1.64x
  17. Hattie, 1.64x
  18. Bryn, 1.63x
  19. Vada, 1.62x
  20. Adele, 1.6x

Up until now, I've only been doing the biggest gains (because let's face it, they're much more fun!). But, in the interest of being well-rounded, here're the biggest percentage losers:

  1. Joshua, 0.75% --> 0.68%
  2. Jacob, 1.08% --> 1%
  3. Tyler, 0.51% --> 0.44%
  4. Angel, 0.43% --> 0.37%
  5. Ethan, 0.88% --> 0.82%
  6. Christopher, 0.69% --> 0.64%
  7. Anthony, 0.75% --> 0.7%
  8. Evan, 0.47% --> 0.43%
  9. Nicholas, 0.47% --> 0.42%
  10. Logan, 0.68% --> 0.64%

  1. Isabella, 1.17% --> 1.03%
  2. Alexis, 0.42% --> 0.34%
  3. Brianna, 0.32% --> 0.27%
  4. Samantha, 0.43% --> 0.38%
  5. Addison, 0.53% --> 0.48%
  6. Alyssa, 0.36% --> 0.31%
  7. Makayla, 0.28% --> 0.23%
  8. Abigail, 0.73% --> 0.68%
  9. Ashley, 0.32% --> 0.28%
  10. Bella, 0.26% --> 0.22%
An interesting list! Classic boys' names seem to be slipping away--is the boys' list finally going to start being as fickle & trend-driven as the girls? Is the -bella craze on its way out, or are they just making way for Annabelle & Arabella? 

And now the biggest drops in relative frequency. In the previous frequency list, the numbers represented how more likely you were to meet a newborn with that name in 2011 than in 2010; in this list, it's how much less likely you are. Or, to put it another way, now much more popular the name was in 2010.
(this is a really, really random collection of names!)

  1. Tiger, 4.92x
  2. Khamani, 2.7x
  3. Dalen, 2.46x
  4. Ramone, 2.17x
  5. Denim, 2.06x
  6. Trevan, 2.04x
  7. Dereon, 1.93x
  8. Galen, 1.87x
  9. Tayshaun, 1.87x
  10. Lisandro, 1.86x
  11. Niklas, 1.84x
  12. Derion, 1.8x
  13. Maliek, 1.77x
  14. Darey, 1.75x
  15. Dusty, 1.74x
  16. Lucus, 1.73x
  17. Dyllan, 1.71x
  18. Lebron, 1.71x
  19. Jahiem, 1.7x
  20. Isak, 1.67x

  1. Aymar, 3.93x
  2. Allisson, 3.28x
  3. Lisandra, 2.89x
  4. Aime, 2.76x
  5. Briza, 2.54x
  6. Taylar, 2.46x
  7. Brisa, 1.83x
  8. Elexis, 1.87x
  9. Kalena, 1.86x
  10. Vianna, 1.85x
  11. Mykayla, 1.79x
  12. Shaniya, 1.79x
  13. Maria Jose, 1.79x
  14. Marely, 1.7x
  15. Brissa, 1.7x
  16. Analy, 1.69x
  17. Elyn, 1.67x
  18. Johannah, 1.65x
  19. Saray, 1.64x
  20. Jaydin, 1.64x

Now, unfortunately, the SSA list counts alternate spellings as separate names--Aidan, Aiden, & Ayden are all ranked differently, despite that they all sound the same. But, what goes for one spelling of a name tends to apply to the other as well. Since Jacob has dropped in use, it's likely that Jakob, Jaycob, & Jakub all have as well.
And since Mason, for instance, has fewer spelling variants than something like Aidan or Jayden, it's also probably not as popular than the SSA lists imply.