Monday, June 30, 2014

Anne/Annas Throughout the Generations

Like the -lyns, Annes, Annas, & Anas are a fairly constant part of American naming. Which specific -ann- name is most common changes with the times, but they generally comprise about 3-5% of girls born in a year. So for a fun look back, I decided to find the most common anne/ane/anna/anas of each generation.
(does not account for alternate spellings, which can greatly change things, especially in recent lists)

  1. Hannah
  2. Anna
  3. Savannah
  4. Arianna
  5. Ariana
  6. Annabelle
  7. Brianna
  8. Gianna
  9. Liliana
  10. Eliana
  11. Juliana
  12. Adriana
  13. Alana
  14. Julianna
  15. Adrianna

  1. Anna
  2. Diana
  3. Hannah
  4. Anne
  5. Joanna
  6. Deanna
  7. Ann
  8. Suzanne
  9. Diane
  10. Ana
  11. Adriana
  12. Shanna
  13. Brianna
  14. Roxanne
  15. Annie

  1. Diane
  2. Ann
  3. Diana
  4. Joanne
  5. Suzanne
  6. Anne
  7. Anna
  8. Dianne
  9. Joann
  10. Annie
  11. Annette
  12. Roxanne
  13. Marianne
  14. Dianna
  15. Luann

  1. Anna
  2. Annie
  3. Ann
  4. Anne
  5. Annette
  6. Annabelle
  7. Hannah
  8. Suzanne
  9. Joanne
  10. Diana
  11. Maryann
  12. Johanna
  13. Joann
  14. Marianne
  15. Johanna

  1. Anna
  2. Annie
  3. Anne
  4. Ann
  5. Hannah
  6. Johanna
  7. Annette
  8. Susanna
  9. Joanna
  10. Savannah
  11. Annabelle
  12. Georgiana
  13. Rosanna
  14. Annabel
  15. Georgianna

*SSA registration was not required until 1937; all data before that point is purely voluntary, and thus may not be as accurate as later data.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Tribulations of Alexander & Xavier

While browsing the full SSA lists, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon: Alexander and/or Xavier-based smash-names. Smash-names, contractions, portmanteaus--whatever you prefer to call them--have been accepted on girls for a while (Annelise, Marilyn, Rosanna, etc), but have never really caught on for boys. Times, they are a changing--wonder if any of these have a chance?

  • Alexavier
  • Alexsandro
  • Alexiel
  • Alexson
  • Alekai
  • Alxavier
  • Xaviel
  • Xavian
  • Xaven
  • Axavier
  • Azavion
  • Alessander
  • Elisandro

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Oz

I really need to come up with a better title for these posts--I'm rapidly running out of "usual" nicknames! Anyway, I see Oz bounced around a bit online, and I do see the appeal: short, snazzy, that zippy Z. The problem is associations--Oz alone is reminiscent of "Land of Oz" (along with a few other pop culture references), and all Osbourne.
There's Oscar of course, and Oswald, and even Austin if your accent allows, but what else?

  • Osbert (OZ-bert, English)
  • Osgood (OZ-good, English)
  • Osman (OHS-man, Turkish)
  • Osmar (OS-mahr, Portuguese)--from Germanic "fame of God"
  • Osmond (OZ-mond, English)--also spelled Osmund
  • Osric (OZ-rik, English)
  • Ossian (OS-see-an, Scandinavian, German)--form of Irish Oisin
  • Osulf (OZ-ulf, Old English)
  • Osvit (OS-veet, Serbian)--"dawn")
  • Oswin (OZ-win, English)
  • Ozan (OH-zahn, Turkish)--"bard"
  • Ozazias (oz-AHZ-ee-as, [Biblical] Greek)
  • Ozias (OZ-ee-as, [Biblical] Greek; oh-ZEE-as, Greek)
  • Oziel (oz-ee-EL, [Biblical] Greek)
  • Ozren (OZ-ren, Croatian, Serbian)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Playing with Popularity

It seems conventional wisdom--if you don't want your child to be 1 of 5 in a class, avoid a Top 10 name! Growing up in classrooms of multiple Jennifers, Jessicas, Ashleys, and/or Amandas, our generation is more determined than ever to give our children unique names. But does ranking really mean that much anymore?
There are more names in use than ever before, and more and more people are opting for uncommon names. To compare, about 5% of girls in 1937 were named the #1 name (Mary). In 1974, it was 4.1% (Jennifer). In 2012: 1.6%, including alternate spellings (Sophia).

To see it graphically:

Yes, it's in logarithmic scale to make the difference more apparent. The top names used to be significantly more common than the rest, but over time, the difference between each rank has gotten smaller. As you might have noticed, there is a point where the lines cross--where ranks in 2013 are actually more common than in 1937 (it's #193 to be exact).

The leveling of the naming pool, so to speak, means you're more likely to run into uncommon names than ever before. The Top 10 names comprised 8.8% of girls born in 2012 (combined-spelling lists); the Top 1000, 81.7%. That means you're over twice as likely to meet a girl with a name below the Top 1000 than you are to meet one with a Top 10 name! Of course, each individual Top 10 name is more likely than each individual below-the-Top-1000 name, but still--wow!
As you can probably guess, the numbers are bit more conservative for boys--9.2% getting a Top 10 name, and 85.8% getting a Top 1000. But still, you're more likely to meet a boy with a rare name than a Top 10 name.

Okay, that's enough nerdy numbers for now. Next post will have more fun names, I promise. ;)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Elemental Names (or Nominal Elements?)

I admit, I'm always looking for ways to make fun namesake posts. I already did female scientists (nowhere near a comprehensive list), and have been looking for some way to do a more guy-centered list about science--difficult, since well, there have been quite a few more male scientists than female, and they've gotten much more attention for their works.
I think I found a fun way, though: here are the people--male, female; fictional or real--who've had elements named for them (albeit occasionally in a round-about way). :)

  • Albert Einstein--German physicist; Einsteinium (Es, 99)
  • Alfred Nobel--Swedish chemist; Nobelium (No, 102)
  • Cadmus (m)--figure in Greek mythology; Cadmium (Cd, 48)
  • Ceres--Roman goddess; Cerium (Ce, 58)
  • Dmitri Mendeleev--Russian chemist; Mendelevium (Md, 101)
  • Enrico Fermi--Italian physicist; Fermium (Fm, 100)
  • Ernest Lawrence--American physicist; Lawrencium (Lr, 103)
  • Ernest Rutherford--British physicist; Rutherfordium (Rf, 104)
  • Glenn T. Seaborg--American chemist; Seaborgium (Sg, 106)
  • Iris--Greek goddess; Iridium (Ir, 77)
  • Johan Gadolin--Finnish chemist; Gadolinium (Gd, 64)
  • Lise Meitner--Austrian physicist; Meitnerium (Mt, 109)
  • Marie Curie--French chemist; Curium (Cm, 96)
  • Mercury--Roman god; Mercury (Hg, 80)
  • Neptune--Roman god; Neptunium (Np, 93)
  • Nicolaus Copernicus--Polish astronomer; Copernicium (Cn, 112)
  • Niels Bohr--Danish physicist; Bohrium (Bh, 107)
  • Niobe (f)--figure in Greek mythology; Niobium (Nb, 41)
  • Pallas--alternate name for the goddess Athena; Palladium (Pd, 46)
  • Pierre Curie--French chemist; Curium (Cm, 96)
  • Pluto--Greek god; Plutonium (Pu, 94)
  • Prometheus--Greek god; Promethium (Pm, 61)
  • Tantalus (m)--figure in Greek mythology; Tantalum (Ta, 73)
  • Thor--Norse god; Thorium (Th, 90)
  • Uranus--Greek god; Uranium (U, 92)
  • Vanadis--alternate name for the goddess Freyja; Vanadium (V, 23)
  • Vasili Samarsky-Bykhovets--Russian mining engineer; Samarium (Sm, 62)
  • Wilhelm Roentgen--German physicist; Roentgenium (Rg, 111)

I admit, I was expecting more historical figures, and fewer mythological ones. Hmmph.