Recession-era baby naming, Part 2

Apr 10th 2009

Last time I talked about (dubious) claims that the recession is turning baby names back toward the traditional, in a parental "flight to quality." Today, I look at the historical precedent: naming during the Great Depression.

My points of comparison were baby names in 1928 before the crash vs. 1932 at the depth of the crisis. A quick eyeballing shows that the traditional classics fell along with the stock market. John, James, William, George, Mary, Katherine, Elizabeth and Margaret all dropped in popularity as the Depression took hold. Now let's zoom in closer.

Applying the standard Baby Name Wizard Hotness Formula, the fastest falling boy's name, by a mile, was...Herbert. That's a clear reaction to the economy, but not in a stylistic way. Parents of the '30s simply decided that Herbert Hoover wasn't a president they'd care to remember. (Let's keep an eye on George in the years ahead.) As a group, the 10 fastest-falling boys' names fell into two categories: namesakes of public figures, and traditional classic names.

1. Herbert
2. Alfred
3. William
4. Harry
5. Joseph
6. Hoover
7. Edward
8. Lindy
9. George
10. Arthur

And the fastest rising boys of the Depression? They were the boyish ones. Check it out:

1. Jackie
2. Jimmy
3. Barry
4. Jerry
5. Franklin
6. Larry
7. Bobby
8. Ronnie
9. Gary
10. Ronald

That's a whole lotta nicknames, with a late smattering of movie stars (Gary Cooper, Ronald Colman). Even as James was falling, Jimmy was soaring. This could suggest a twist on the "flight to quality" idea: a "flight to comfort." Perhaps in a scary world, we just want to curl up under a cozy blanket with our dear little babies. It makes some sense.

Except those are just the boys' names.

Over on the girls' list, the hottest rising names list brimmed with glamourous sophistication. Top-10 gainers included Marlene (as in Dietrich), Carole (Lombard), Joan (Crawford), and Barbara (Stanwyck) -- a veritable honor roll of strong, stylish modern women. Sandra and Sondra both made the list too, their continental panache a contrast to fast-falling names like Helen and Ruth.

If you want a theory of naming for tough times, then, you'll have to account for cuddly, down-home boys and glamorous, urbane girls. I'll take a stab. To me, the key thing to remember is that names aren't simply reflections of our current reality; they're reflections of our dreams.

Amid the job losses and bread lines of the Great Depression, one industry soared: the movies. And sure enough, reports are already piling up that this recession era is following suit with huge box office tallies, especially for comedies, adventures, and rip-roaring spectacles.

Maybe, then, everybody predicting serious, conservative baby naming today has it exactly backwards. In grim times, we don't want solemnity. We want fun and glamour and excitement, and glimpses of a world far removed from layoffs and foreclosures. We certainly want to envision that kind of sunny future for our children. So bring on the creative, carefree names! Why not? They're free.

Comments

1
By Coll
April 10, 2009 6:02 PM

I'd be sad to see the wonderful name George damaged because of association with the president. It's one of my favorite boys names--underused but classic, adaptable, easily recognizable. Plus, it was my grandfather's name. I'd like to use it one day, but I think the presidential associations may be off-putting for my husband (I'll just have to remind him of his hero George Carlin).

What "glamorous" movie star names could we see parents of little girls liking? Would it be an old-world Hollywood type glamor (i.e. Ava) or an up-to-date kind of glamor (Scarlett? Keira?)

Will the US follow the Brits in giving names like Alfie and Archie?

2
April 10, 2009 6:37 PM

After reading your boys' list, I thought maybe youthful names... not sure the girls' list counts as youthful... unless the movie stars were seen that way...

re: George: There are so many Georges I don't know that Bush will do that much damage. When someone says George, I don't automatically think of him.

3
By Philippa (not verified)
April 10, 2009 7:08 PM

I know this is very early in the game to be "highjacking," but I'd love some thoughts. DH and I have currently narrowed our name choices down to two for our baby girl. She will be here somewhere around June 1st (gulp!) We're going for familiar, but not too popular, with a feisty sound. Our last name is tres French, begins with Br- and contains the vowel sounds OO and OH.

The names are:

Sylvie (she will technically be Sylvia as a formal name to grow into, should she choose, but we plan to call her Sylvie).

and

Fiona (no nn, although I'd love to try to get Ona to stick - might be a stretch).

Top middle name contender is currently Grace, after a dear grandma, but I cringe when I think how popular it is. I also think it sounds better with Sylvia than with Fiona.

Is Fiona too far gone with Shrek? Any other insights? I'd love gut reactions, things to think about, and any middle name suggestions. And, hey, any other names that seem similar, if they pop into your head. We aren't set in stone as of yet. Thanks so much!

4
April 10, 2009 7:26 PM

I loved the Shrek movies and Fiona is still not tied to it in my mind.

5
April 10, 2009 8:01 PM

Love both Fiona Grace and Sylvie/Sylvia Grace. I think Grace sounds great with both.

As a middle name, I wouldn't worry about Grace being popular; she won't have the problem of being Grace B at school. Are you worried that it seems like a throwaway middle name (like folks have said about Lynn, Marie, etc.)? I guess maybe I can't relate to that concern, but anyway you say Grace is a family name so that seems to lessen the throwaway issue I think.

If you are worried about Shrek's Fiona, I'd go with Sylvie just because it's such a great name! (It's not like you'd be giving up Fiona for a name you weren't as excited about.)

If you do go with Fiona though, I think Ona is also very cute! It could at least be an "at home" name or even just a name you (or you and your husband) call her. I could see others picking up on it too though, especially in those teen years when it seems NNs come to mark closer friendships. (I mean like if I had a friend Fiona, I'd call her Ona to show others that we were really close.) Ona might also be easier for young children (siblings, cousins, etc.) to say.

6
By PhilippaThe First (not verified)
April 10, 2009 8:41 PM

Hello fellow Philippa!

I really like Sylvie with a tres French last name. I know it's not important, But I really like the look and sound of first and last names that match in origin. Fiona just screams UK! to me.

Sylvie Grace Br-oo-oh sounds lovely to my ears.

7
By Leslie (not verified)
April 10, 2009 8:49 PM

Coll: I think George will escape any stigma attached to it much easier than Herbert did. There are so many notable Georges throughout history that I don't think the presidential association will dominate. George is a fantastic name!

Phillipa: Sylvia is one of my favorite names, so I'm obviously biased toward Sylvie of your two options. That said, if all that's holding you back from using Fiona is the movie, I've heard of several baby Fionas, so I think the name is escaping its Shrek associations. Both Sylvia Grace and Fiona Grace sound nice, and I think the family connections to Grace outweigh its popularity. Best of luck picking a name and do let us know what you choose!

8
By Leslie (not verified)
April 10, 2009 8:51 PM

Philippa, my apologies for mistyping your name above!

9
By Melissa C (not verified)
April 10, 2009 9:24 PM

Phillipa:

Go with Sylvia... its sounds beautiful with Grace. I love the name Fiona but I think its way too strongly tied with Shrek in my opinion. I think Shrek isn't finished yet and there is more to come. But Fiona is an absolutely beautiful name if you do decide to chose it... I loved it.. it made my top list for our daughter... but I just couldn't use it because of Shrek.

10
By Amy3
April 10, 2009 9:31 PM

@Laura, I had the very same thought about the movies' popularity when you published the first part of this topic. I'd love to say that's because I'm steeped in American history, but I think it's sadly more reflective of the thousands of times I've seen Annie with my 7-yr-old.

@Coll, I think George will escape being pinned to our former president, too.

@Philippa, I think I'd give slight edge to Sylvie over Fiona (although I like both a lot), and I definitely don't think you need to worry about the Shrek association if you choose Fiona. I also think Grace is a perfectly lovely mn and works well with both names. As for its popularity, in my family there is an example of a "throwaway mn" (Marie) that actually has family significance.

11
By toothfairy (not verified)
April 10, 2009 9:43 PM

This may not be your style at all, but Fiona shortens easily to Fee, or Fifi. Strangely, there is a big place in my heart for those over-the-top nicknames like Mimi, Mitzy, & Fifi, especially when they're just used by very close friends/relatives in casual settings. We know a little Meredyth whose parents use "Mimi" as her pet name, and it's so stinking cute on this cherub of a toddler, especially because nobody uses the nickname exclusively. (kind of how I will address both my sons as "Monkey" on occasion.)

I think I like the cheekiness of those ridiculous nicknames tempered against the backdrop of a beautiful full name.

And for what it's worth, Sylvie/Sylvia is also beautiful!

Other French names to consider: Adelle, Colette

12
By Philippa (not verified)
April 10, 2009 10:18 PM

By the way, while I am loving these positive and thoughtful comments so far (thanks everyone!), please feel free to dissent if you don't like our name choices. I truly appreciate honest feedback, even if it disagrees with me. :)

13
April 10, 2009 10:34 PM

Seriously cool. Playful boy names and glamorous girls' names. Think I need to read up on some American social/sociological theory and history. Anyone got any good suggestions for texts?

@Philippa- Sylvia and Fiona are both lovely (and would make awesome names for sisters, somewhere down the line...). Shrek provides a nice pop-culture reference for Fiona, but the name is absolutely not tied to that movie. If you're tallying votes, though, I think I'd go with Sylvia/Sylvie. Having said that, I think Sylvia would suit a laid-back, observant baby, while Fiona would suit a little firecracker (but that's just me). Maybe just keep the two on your list and see which fits when she arrives?

And- copied from the earlier post but the conversation is happening here- friends of mine have named their newborn son Swithin...now, that's not one I see taking off in the near future, but it's definitely interesting!

14
April 10, 2009 11:47 PM

Copying this from the previous post bc I ned to make sure i have my facts straight...

I have a question for Miriam.
I know you told me a long time ago what Gilead meant but I am having a hard time remembering what you said. I have found many places that say it is "mound or hill of testimony", also when used to name boys Gil- means "Joy" and -ad is "Forever". Is this accurate??
Also if the "hill of testimony" is accurate, is it out of context to claim that meaning for naming my son? I know that Gil'ad is a name though Gilead is not typically used as one. Right? Or not?

edit reply

15
By yvette (not verified)
April 11, 2009 12:05 AM

i'll be honest - i'm not a big fan of sylvie or fiona, but for two different reasons. fiona is/was pretty common in australia, where i grew up, and while the sound of the name is pretty, in a way, i've just known too many fionas. and sylvie? i see it as one of those very old fashioned names that will always be "old lady"... in the same vein as evelyn and lydia. but that's just me. names are obviously very personal.

16
April 11, 2009 12:58 AM

my vote is for sylvia grace. i think it's beautiful.

yvette, it's very interesting to me that you think of lydia as an "old lady" name, because i have only young associations with it. i think this might be because the only lydia i'd ever heard of for a very long time was the girl in beetlejuice. it's always funny to me how names can be perceived differently... :]

17
April 11, 2009 3:54 AM

Jessica--

I am not the world's great expert on Hebrew philology, so what I have to say is not to be taken as the definitive last word.

Gilead is the English adaptation of the Hebrew Gilad גִּלְעָד
Gilead/Gilad is both a place name and a biblical personal name, and Gilad is also a fairly common modern Israeli name. Gilead is a rocky mountainous region east of the Jordan River, currently part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Elijah the Prophet was a native of Gilead, and he is often called Eliyahu ha-Gilawdee (to transliterate as close to the pronunciation as possible), that is, Elijah the Gileadite. Gilad appears to mean something like "hill of testimony" (whatever that might refer to, perhaps some place of ritual). If you search for pictures of present-day Gilead/Gilad, you will see that it is indeed hilly. As to what might have been witnessed or memorialized or testified to at that place in ancient days, I doubt if anyone knows.

Gil גִּיל means 'joy' and is a common modern Israeli name. As you can see Gilad and Gil are spelled differently: Gilad is gimel lamed ayin daled, while Gil is gimel yod lamed. I thus seriously doubt whether Gilad can correctly be analyzed as a compound of Gil- 'joy' and -ad עד 'eternity.'

Hebrew words transliterated into the Roman alphabet can be deceiving. For sure you can't just look at Gil and Gilad and figure that the first syllable of Gilad is the same as Gil. It isn't. We ran into this problem when we were discussing Tirzah's name. There are two different biblical names that could be transliterated Tirzah in the Roman alphabet, but in Hebrew they are spelled differently and thus are definitely distinct.

Perhaps one of the Israelis who post from time to time can be more helpful than I.

18
By Guest Mary (not verified)
April 11, 2009 9:04 AM

I want to add another vote for Sylvia/Sylvie. I haven't seen the shrek movies, but for me Fiona is too closely tied to the character from the show Burn Notice-making it seem to ethnically Irish for a girl with a French last name. I think Grace is beautiful with either name, and I think think popularity should matter if the name is a family name.

19
By Guest Mary (not verified)
April 11, 2009 9:05 AM

Oops-I meant to say "don't think" not "think think."

20
By Philippa (not verified)
April 11, 2009 9:08 AM

Yvette,

Interestingly, Evelyn was on my short list (DH nixed it) and I can really see the appeal of Lydia, but could never get past its similarity in style to "idiot." So, I guess I really dig on old lady names. :) Thanks for your feedback!

21
By Philippa (not verified)
April 11, 2009 9:09 AM

Uh, similarity in _sound_ to "idiot," not style. Guess I should proofread!

22
By Philippa (not verified)
April 11, 2009 9:16 AM

Oh, and one more thing about our little Sylvie/Fiona/mystery girl: Although her last name is very French, her genes from my side will be entirely fair-skinned Northern European, mainly Irish. He's more of a mutt, but also European heritage. In case that changes opinion on whether she could "pull off" Fiona (which means "fair," btw).

Can you tell I'm over-thinking things? Thank you all for indulging me!

23
By Devon (not verified)
April 11, 2009 9:37 AM

Hi everyone! This is one of my first time's commenting, though I read Laura's blog religiously -- love it!! I don't think George's popularity will be damaged nearly as much as Herbert, because it's such a HUGE name historically - George Washington, etc.

Meanwhile, George is one of those names I've always had a hard time picturing on a baby or small child. "Announcing the birth of George" lol... I think it's a name you need to grow into, which is certainly better than a name you grow out of!

I love both Sylvie or Fiona, and I agree with the other Philippa that Fiona is a very UK name!

My best friend just found out she's having a girl, and Annabelle is their #1 choice -- I love it!! Any thoughts on popularity? Is it going to be the new Isabelle?

24
April 11, 2009 9:54 AM

Excellent analysis, Laura. After reading your first post on this topic, I looked at SSA stats for the 1920s and 1930s, but didn't spend enough time with them to come up with a theory. I particularly agree with your observations about girls' names and the movies. As you said, names are free, and giving one's daughter a glamorous movie star name (or movie-star-like name) in the 1930s was a way for parents to give their baby girl something 'special' when times were so hard. But today movies are so expensive that it's hard to believe box office tallies will continue to do well. Still the names of stars and star babies are everywhere, so even if many parents can't afford to go to the movies every Saturday (as many did in the '30s), they can still give their daughters names associated with fame and fortune.

25
By Kam
April 11, 2009 10:06 AM

A friend of mine just had a baby girl last week, Emma Elizabeth. An adorable little thing.

26
April 11, 2009 10:14 AM

Philippa: I think what you shared about you and your partner's ethnicities makes me lean slightly toward Fiona just because I am a fan of people's names reflecting their ethnicities. Well, not sure if "fan" is the right word, but this is what makes sense to me for what I will name my kids.

re: Annabelle: I feel like it won't be as popular as Isabelle because it feels more country to me. But maybe that is just an association leftover form elementary school...

27
April 11, 2009 11:52 AM

Miriam: thank you. I will kepp looking and maybe digging for someone else to ask. :) I am not stuck on the technical meaning but would like to know.

Philippa: I really like Sylvia Grace. I go to church with a 14 or 15 yo Sylvia and I like it.

New babies in my life:
Jace Michael (first child)
Renee Hannah sis for Tristan Ryan, (Hannah is in honor of the Grandma)
Twins: Jeremiah "Cole" and Chloe... oops forgot her middle name. 8-/ (first children)

28
By Julia (not verified)
April 11, 2009 2:16 PM

Philippa:
I recently proposed Sylvia to my DH, and he said it reminded him of saliva. I disagree, and think its a beautiful name.

I know a girl named Fationa (Albanian, similar to Fiona) and her family nn is pronounced "yona" which is cute.

I like Lydia too, but then there's the unfortunate rhyme with Chlamydia.
If Grace has special significance for you, I say stick with it!

29
By chloezoe (not verified)
April 11, 2009 6:00 PM

Philippa,

I love the name Fiona but I think it's becoming quite popular so I wouldn't use it myself. I love Sylvie but really dislike Sylvia (for some reason I can only picture a Sylvia as a woman in her 50s with a really bad, tight perm). I think Sylvie is a great name on its own. Vivi would be a cute nickname. As far as Grace, it does feel like one of those "I can't think of a middle name names." Even if it was your grandmother's name, it's super trendy and half her friends will have the same middle name. I always feel a little disappointed when I see one of those names in announcements. Of course I think it's a beautiful name, though, so if that doesn't bother you, go for it. Congrats!

30
April 11, 2009 6:51 PM

@Laura-Very interesting thread. I don't think George will suffer significantly as the other posters have already stated. I will be curious to see if movie star names will increase. I think for some they will and others they won't. We have already see some begin to use the Twilight names haven't we?

@Phillippa-I like both Fiona Grace and Sylvia Grace. Why not even Sylvia Fiona? Or is that too much of a mouthful? Other mn ideas:
Sylvia Michelle/Fiona Michelle
Sylvia Colette/Fiona Colette
Sylvia Renee/Fiona Renee
Sylvia Theresa/Fiona Theresa
Sylvia Nicole/Fiona Nicole

Btw, Fiona does conjur a loose image of Shrek but not a deal-breaker. Sylvie reminds me loosely of an episode of Little House on the Prairie. There was a little girl named Sylvie who was abused by her dad. It was a powerful episode cause I still remember it after all these years.

31
By tess
April 11, 2009 7:13 PM

Phillipa- Building on Zoerhenne's suggestions-how about Sylvie Therese-with appropriate accent marks... I also love Fiona Maeve .. Grace is lovely-- I wonder if there is another form of it to set it apart?

32
April 11, 2009 8:54 PM

Hmm, boys' names went all cutesy back during the Depression. But these days nobody wants to name their kid Zackie and instead call him Zackary, a more grownup name (but maybe they'll call him by a nickname). I wonder if we'll find our comfort in some other way.

I love both Fiona and Sylvia. I don't see any connection to Shrek, maybe because Fiona has been a strong Irish name for so long (a cartoon couldn't supplant the name Mary either, for example).

DH's name is Gilead, and he is Israeli. He would tell you his name comes from that region now in Jordan, not from a combination of words. Apparently in the bible it was known as a place of healing and there was some "balm of Gilead" that was supposed to be some cure-all.

Usually in English his name is spelled Gilad, but either way it's pronounced the same (somewhere between gil-ODD and geel-ODD -- most Americans pronounce it the first way but his family and I pronounce it somewhere inbetween). I agree that transliterating Hebrew is tricky -- Hebrew has a bunch of letters that sound the same (the way our c/k/q can all have the same sound in a word -- can/kite/Iraq) and when converted to English those letters can lose their distinction and therefore meaning.

33
By JennaP (not verified)
April 11, 2009 9:56 PM

Could use advice/opinions on a name.

My husband and I (after going through literally thousands of names) have found only one that we BOTH like. The name is:

Ariella Rose

The middle name is for sure because it is the name of a beloved grandma as well as my middle name and my mom's middle name. We like that Ariella is pretty and unusual and has the advantage of the cute (and common) nickname Ella. Do you like it, or is it not good?

34
By Aybee (not verified)
April 11, 2009 11:04 PM

JennaP-
Just my .2 cents-- but Ariella sounds a little too close to areola for my ears.. it could be just me though.. if you don't end up going with it, how about Arielle, Arianna/Ariana or Arabella? I love Rose for the sound, feel and significance to your family.

Good luck!

35
By NicoleM (not verified)
April 11, 2009 11:15 PM

moonlady--I too thought of the "balm of Gilead." There is actually a hymn by that name I remember singing in church as a child.

JennaP--congrats on coming to name agreeement! My DH and I still have a list of 36 names we are debating (and haven't even forayed into MNs with just 5 weeks to go). I think Ariella Rose is very pretty. Do you pronounce it like the little Mermaid--"AIR-iel-a" or more like "R-iell-a?"

I also wanted to comment about the previous post's comments about naming within the adoption community. For some reason here locally too we have lots of little Hannahs and Lillys from China and several Mayas born in Guatamala. It does seem that most infants and toddlers are given an American name with many keeping the birth name as a MN though I agree many parents of Ethiopian born children seem to keep their first name (we know a Mint@mir who goes by Mint@). I defintely see correlation with the parents' ages/backround and the name choices--it seems like the younger adoptive parents choices more align with trends (Olivia, Kaylee) compared to the parents who adopt later in life (Katie, Leanne, Susanna, etc). Of course there are always exceptions--one of the Hannahs I spoke of just came home with a baby sister from China--D@kota, nn Coty. Not a pair I would have guessed! I'm curious how the recent changes in China's program will impact name choices as they are now so much more restrictive on who can adopt. Just comparing our personal experience with the Korean and Chinese adoption communities (Korea requires parents be married between ages 25 and 43ish vs. in the past China I believe was 30 up to 50 years older than the child with singles previously allowed), it seems we know more adventurously named Korean adoptees (I can think of a Bri@r, W@verly, S@xon, L3nnox, and some unique combo American/Korean names like Ava-Cha3). You have to factor in gender though, as there are far more Korean adoptee boys.

36
By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2009 11:17 PM

baby girl born today in washington state:
abigail elise
siblings sofia marie; rachel; joseph and evelyn.
(don't know the middle names except sofia's).

37
By hyz
April 11, 2009 11:50 PM

just a quick note to Philippa--funny, those two names were both finalists for names for our daughter (eventually named Ivy), so I'd have almost as hard a time as you picking between them. But I think I give an edge to Sylvie, largely for its meaning (of/relating to woods/forest) and history (esp. as compared to Fiona, which I believe is of more recent fabrication). So that would be my vote. But really, either one is lovely--you can't lose, I think. :)

38
April 12, 2009 12:10 AM

I think Ariella is beautiful. (I would say it like Aria, which is a name I love.) I wouldn't use the nickname Ella though because there are so many Ellas already. If you add in the Ellies, it is by far the most popular name in my kids' social circles.

39
By JennaP (not verified)
April 12, 2009 12:24 AM

Thanks for the comments. We would pronounce it like Aria (rather than like the little mermaid).

40
April 12, 2009 12:30 AM

JennaP-I think Ariella Rose is a beautiful name. However, I think in this era she will have to be able to swim among the many fish named Annabelle, Arianna, Aliana, Isabella, etc. The lovely sounds it has in it have been taken apart and reconstituted in every way, shape, and form.

41
April 12, 2009 12:48 AM

@ Kam: I love the name Emma Elizabeth -- so classic. It's the name of my 19 year old granddaughter, who loves her name too and likes to use both names.

42
April 12, 2009 1:05 AM

JennaP- Ariella Rose is absolutely beautiful! I would agree though, that calling her Ella will make her one of many (which maybe you don't mind). How about Aria as a nn?

43
April 12, 2009 9:05 AM

Emma Elizabeth reminds me too much of the girl in the Clifford books/cartoon. Her name is Emily Elizabeth. It is a lovely name but one I could not do personally. I guess I have to stop watching so much TV LOL!

44
April 12, 2009 9:49 AM

I have a delightful student this year named Emily Elizabeth - go for it! (I even asked her about the Clifford association - but she thinks it's kind of cute. And there are far, far worse characters on TV! Emily E. is a fine one.)

Ariella Rose is terrific. If you can agree on a name go no further! Agreement is half the challenge.

45
April 12, 2009 11:19 AM

Did everyone see the report on the President's dog? Here is the scoop if you didn't:
The first family has settled on a first pet — a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog that the Obama girls are naming Bo. The Washington Post reported in its online editions Saturday night that Obama's daughters chose the name Bo for the pup because first lady Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed Diddley. The name for the dog was an apparent reference to the singer "Bo" Diddley.

46
April 12, 2009 2:30 PM

Hmmm, Bo matches the nicknames for boys recession theory.... :)

47
April 12, 2009 5:48 PM

re: Ariella Rose: I like the Ah pronunciation on the first syllable. Gets it away from areola, which I also worried about a bit. I think it also gives you a lot of nn options in case there are a lot of Ellas in your area.

48
By ajaz
April 12, 2009 6:36 PM

New baby alert:

Caleb Michael LN

to a cousin of mine, born Friday.

49
April 12, 2009 8:42 PM

New baby in my local listings:
Brytten

First off it looks like Bitten to me. Then I also wonder if they are pronouncing it to sound like Britain/Brittany or if its supposed to be like Bright-en. So vote-is the Y short or long?

Also, Laura, how about a reverse trend of the Great Depression. I am noticing more classics being given to girls and more kreativ spellings given to boys. Maybe this economy is freeing our boys from certain "restrictions" of naming. Since none of us stand out because we are all broke, then we need kreativ names to distinguish our boys as "leaders".

I have also run across Lincoln, Faith, Kevin, Shannon, Amanda, Jonovin, Cordelia, Delilah, Owen x2, Journi, Abigail, Zion, Maddax, and Vera in these few April days amongst others.

50
By knp (not verified)
April 12, 2009 9:11 PM

So, I find this interesting, but what if the (this one or the great one)depression has no effect on naming, but these are natural naming trends (previous generation used only super conservative names, so the next uses more creative until it all gets too creative and then goes back to traditional-- a natural push and pull) and girls and boys can have different naming trends.

I have no data on this, just a suggestion.