Be a baby name detective!
I have a file where I jot down little name questions, curiosities and mysteries for future investigation. Some of those questions eventually grow into full-fledged columns. Others just languish on the list, sadly neglected.
Here are two of the orphans. Care to play name detective and help me solve them?
Ansley in Georgia. Ansley is an uncommon girl's name, currently ranking #719 in America. It wouldn't make the national charts at all, though, if it weren't for Georgia, where Ansley has been a top-hundred name every year since 1994. Why? Yes, there is an Ansley, GA with a golf course, but there are plenty of attractively named towns and golf courses in Georgia that don't get the baby name treatment.
The Stephanie Rebound. In some ways, baby names seem to obey the same laws as the physical world. For instance, one of the hardest things in the name world is to reverse momentum. Once a popular name starts to decline, the sense that it's getting stale grows and it keeps on falling. In the rare case that you spot a name reversing its decline, you can draw the same conclusion you could with a ball that turns around and rolls uphill: it was acted upon by an outside force.
Stephanie was such a name in the 1970s, declining for three years than surging back bigger than ever. The question is, what was the outside force?