In Memoriam: the departed names of 2008
Each year at this time, we pause a moment to reflect on the long-familiar names that dropped out of the top 1000 for the first time. Some 2008 notables:
Brad. A top-1000 standby since 1942, Brad was one of the signature names of the 1960's and '70s. Now, you can’t help but notice that it rhymes with Dad. (Celebrity watchers, note that Brad Pitt has had absolutely no discernible impact on this name's popularity arc.)
Karl. Karl was one of the true stalwarts, a name that had made the top 1000 every year on record (since 1880). This year marked the end of that run, as Karl – like Brad – suffered for its 3-to-1 consonant-vowel ratio.
Carrie. Are you surprised to learn that Carrie, too, had been on a 127-year run? In fact, the name's heyday was in the 1800s, with a second wind in the 1970s.
Toni. Toni's been around since the '20s, and held up across cultural moments from Toni Tennille to Toni Braxton. No feminine form of Anthony makes the charts this year.
Annette. The image of Frankie and Annette’s endless '60s beach parties makes this name feel date-stamped, but in fact it had a long, multigenerational run.
Brandy. Yes, the '80s are really over.
Susana. OK, this is a head-scratcher. As of this year, no spelling of this classic name cracks the top 1000. Yet I constantly talk to parents who love the name, especially spelled Susannah. If you're hunting for that elusive Sasquatch of names – a name that everybody knows, everybody likes, and nobody uses – you've just found it.