Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Not quite popular

A wire story on popular names for children moved me to check on my own. Alas:

Alasdair is not in the top 1000 male names for any year of birth in the last 150 years.
Please enter another name.

So sayeth the Social Security Administration, anyway. I suppose over the ocean blue things might be different.

For fun, I checked on some other people:
  • Holly: Surfaced in 1936 (981st), still going strong in 2005 (311th). Best showing: 1979 and 1983. (48th)
  • Margot: Showed up in the 1,000 most popular names off and on from 1914 (999th); disappeared in 1966 (992nd). Best showing: 1936 (580th).
  • Eugenie: Showed up from 1880 (first year the SSA has records for, at 694th), gone in 1920 (855th). Best showing: 1887 (413th).
  • Maurice: Showed up in 1880 (146th); still going in 2005 (414th). Best showing: 1914 (94th).
  • Robert: Showed up in 1880 (10th); still going in 2005 (39th). Best showing: 1924-1939 and 1953 (1st, and 2nd from 1940-1952).
  • Daphne: Showed up in 1886 (1011th); still going in 2005 (551st). Best showing: 1962 (266th).
  • Richard: Showed up, you will be shocked to read, in 1880 (23rd); still going in 2005 (93rd). Best showing: 1930 to 1947 (5th).
  • Lauren: Showed up in 1945 (355th); still going in 2005 (21st). Best showing: 1989 (9th).
  • Johnny: Showed up in 1880 (387th); still going in 2005 (243rd). Best showing: 1944 and 1945 (45th).


lulu said...

I love that my name peeked in 1989. I am hoping that people will think that I must be significantly younger than I really am.

There is a piece in Freakanomics discussing how names are frequently chosen by high income, highly educated parents and then become popular with the masses.(http://slate.com/id/2116505/)

My parents are certainly highly educated, but cetainly not high income.

Alasdair said...

The demographic breakdowns are interesting... and you haven't been "low-ended" like all the Stephanies and Heathers (fuck, that name is so '87).

In the quick work I did at the SSA site, none of the names I checked had been twice (or thrice, etc.) in vogue. Even Richard (whose name was wicked popular for a very long stretch), only had one long time in ascendancy.

My other great insight gleaned from the SSA's list for 2005 is that lots of kids get stuck with names that blow, or are boring, or are embarrassingly similar to the name of someone famous...

Anyway, your timing was quite good! You and the butterfly lady both appear to have been trendsetters, too. I guess I will have to become famous to see anything happen :)

Chase said...

You know, don't you, that the OTHER two Alasdair (sic) Stewarts are famous already...and all things happen in threes so your time is nie.

The other two being Rod's youngest son and some car exec.