Research followup: what goes up (fast) must come down

May 5th 2009

A year ago, I invited you all to participate in a study on name trends. (I had provided some baby-name expertise to the research team, from the Wharton School of Business.) If you're curious what came of your input, I'm happy to report that their results have been published -- you can read the original scholarly paper (pdf), or get Wired magazine's thoughts on the subject. Or if your click finger's tired, here's my brief take:

Names that rise in popularity fast tend to fall fast as well. This in itself isn't a surprise. In fact, I've been blithely saying so for years -- though having rigorous research to back up my reckless claims is awfully nice. But the meatier part of the study comes from the opinions of research subjects like you. It suggests that parents are attuned to the rate of adoption of a name and that it affects their perception of the name. Enough of the public is trying to actively avoid short-lived naming fads that they help make those fads short lived.

Or to put it another way, there's a big difference between a popular name and a trendy name. Elizabeth and Addison may be close in current usage rates, but that identical popularity comes across very differently.

This reminds me of another study I talked about a couple of years back. In that case, I suggested that the researchers had made a mistake by choosing "equivalent" names based on popularity at a particular time, ignoring the historical ebb and flow that helps shape our perceptions.

Which is why tools like the NameVoyager so revealing. They don't just tell us where a name is today, they show us where it's been...and as the new study demonstrates, help us guess where it's going.

Comments

1
By Guest (not verified)
May 5, 2009 5:08 PM

i have been thinking about my name

marilyn vs my sister's names

honey and deborah..

we were all born in the 60's

i am not fond of my name; i believe it is because it dates me..a marilyn monroe homage..

honey gets asked all the time if her name is made up.. and worse..

only deborah loves her name.

perhaps because it is a classic name?

parents please name your children classic names!!

2
By CB (not verified)
May 5, 2009 5:18 PM

See, I knew name trends were more than just interesting!
My mind is absolutely racing; thanks for the links, Ms. Wattenberg!
I wonder if there are certain groups that tend to drive a high adoption rate, and if that fuels people's desire to avoid the name. (Like, are high adoption rates driven by teenagers? Seems like they are in fashion and music...)

3
By CB (not verified)
May 5, 2009 5:23 PM

Oh, and I wonder... how long does a high adoption rate affect a name? In other words, does the adoption rate of the past affect the hundred year rule?

4
By Jessica L (not verified)
May 5, 2009 5:37 PM

I've been thinking about dated/trendy names lately....there can only be so many girls named Sarah, Elizabeth, Victoria etc (these are names I consider truly classic, not just retro trendy). So does it really matter if you have a dated name if that's what fit in with your generation? So will I really care in 16 years that my daughter and her friends think I have "mom name"(I love that term!)? I suppose I won't know until I reach that age.

btw, I like Marily, dated or not (And I'm not sure if Deborah's classic...I picture a 50-ish woman when I think of this name.)

5
By knp (not verified)
May 5, 2009 5:41 PM

A quote from the link (which I also saw on CNN, and it linked to Laura's page) got me thinking...
"George Belch, chairman of San Diego State University's marketing department, said there may indeed be some parallels between how people choose baby names and how they choose products. "
I wonder if we compare how we choose names to how we shop and if there would be similarities...

GuestMarilyn-- when reading your post I was surprised because I see Deborah and Marilyn as about equally classic... and I date them at about the same ages (would need to check NameVoyager). It is an interesting sib set though.

6
By knp (not verified)
May 5, 2009 5:51 PM

sorry it was Yahoo news, not cnn.com

7
May 5, 2009 5:57 PM

The term "classic name" is not very precise. If you mean a long-standing name, than Deborah (Biblical) is certainly much older than Marilyn. But if by "classic name," you mean sustained use over several generations, both Marilyn and Deborah show the same non-classic pattern: a huge spike of use in the 50's and then a precipitous fall.

Has Laura done a post on which names are truly generationally neutral? That would be interesting. (Well, it would probably be more interesting for girl names than for boy names.) I know the Freakonomics authors tried to come up with racially neutral names. I also recall a post by Laura about truly gender neutral names.

8
May 5, 2009 6:21 PM

"Has Laura done a post on which names are truly generationally neutral?"

Thanks for asking! Here's one from back in 2005:
http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2005/11/slow-and-steady

And race-neutral while we're at it:
http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2005/11/neutral-colors
http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2007/11/neutral-colors-revisited-surname-edition

9
By Jennifer M (not verified)
May 5, 2009 7:02 PM

Laura, thanks so much for those links! I've been looking for something like that. Too many names are mislabeled as "timeless" when the reality is you can assume the person is either very old or very young - nothing in between.

Would you happen to have a full list of cross generational names anywhere?

10
May 5, 2009 8:35 PM

Thanks Laura! I would like to see the list of popular cross-generation names as well.

12
By Guest (not verified)
May 6, 2009 9:36 AM

Just wanted to inform you that it's no longer called The Wharton School of Business. It's now just The Wharton School.

13
May 6, 2009 9:45 AM

NE's fascination with names and naming and participation in studies of names have been validated! :-) The results of Laura's study are been widely reported on the web. Thanks, Laura!

Mail Online (UK): Goodbye Leona and Theo - your days are numbered (if a study of baby names is anything to go by):
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1177306/Goodbye-Leona-Theo--days-numbered-study-baby-names-by.html

WebMD: Trendy Baby Names Tend to Fade Fast:
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20090504/trendy-baby-names-tend-to-fade-fast

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Fad Baby Names Tend To Fizzle Fast:
http://www.ajc.com/health/content/shared-auto/healthnews/born/626748.html

Sentiment's Edge: What Traders Can Learn From Baby Names:
http://sentimentrader.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-traders-can-learn-from-baby-names.html

ScienCentral: Baby Names Tend To Fizzle Fast:
http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?article_id=218393221&cat=1_all

14
May 6, 2009 9:56 AM

hyz- Thanks for updating us on the chickens in the last thread (I'm just catching up now, but I figured you were probably reading this now!). Helping brainstorm for them was such fun, do let us know what you decide! So interesting how they're turning out different than you expected:)

15
By Harriet (back again!) (not verified)
May 6, 2009 10:01 AM

Wow! Fascinating! Thanks for this post, Laura, and Patricia, thanks for all the links.

I wonder if some of these supposedly classic names go through cycles of who uses them. Like, Felix is on Laura's classics list, but it gives off a sort of yuppie-ish or hipster vibe to me. Maybe now it's being used by hipsters, twenty years ago it was being used by intellectuals, forty years ago it was being used by blue-collar workers, sixty years ago it was being used across the board, and eighty years ago it was used by rural people? I'm not expressing this very well -- maybe someone else could help? But what I mean is, maybe even some of these names that have statistically stable popularity over the long term go through cycles of popularity among subsets of the population. I mean, I could see a lot of hipster parrents being like, "Hmm, so many Felixes (Felices?) in this neighborhood lately...it's become so popular so fast, maybe we should go with Emmett [or whatever name]."

16
May 6, 2009 10:36 AM

Just to clarify, I'm not claiming any authorship of the study whatsoever. The research was conducted by marketing prof Jonah Berger and his colleagues. Berger approached me when designing his study to learn more about the domain of names, and I advised him on topics like selection of representative names, avoiding stylistic confounds that would have muddied his results, etc.

More and more, researchers from many fields are turning to names as way to study social processes. Most of them take the names themselves for granted, assuming they're just a simple stand-in metric with little intrinsic interest. So most of them mess up. :-) Kudos to the Wharton team for taking more care to get the names -- and thus the results -- right.

17
By cileag (not verified)
May 6, 2009 10:37 AM

This study doesn't surprise me in the least--I feel like the number one comment I hear from new parents when naming their babies is, "We wanted something different. We didn't want them to be the next Jennifer." Sharp rise, sharp decline. Completely associated with 70s.

On another topic, we're expecting in October and queried awhile back about Ruby vs. Phoebe. Lately, I've come across the scandinavian name Siri, which 65th in Sweden and 124th in Norway (which are both my heritage) but otherwise not on any countries top 1000 list. We live in MN and so there are many Scandinavian inspired names here, but I thought I'd throw it out to a wider audience. Too region specific? How would you pronounce it? Ever heard of it?

18
By Coll
May 6, 2009 11:02 AM

cileag, I've never encountered that name before and would guess at the pronounciation as See-ree. It reminds me quite a bit of Suri (as in Cruise) though it clearly has its own cultural context and derivation. I think it's pretty in a neutral sort of way--it doesn't inspire a strong reaction in me either for or against it.

Of all three of your choices I like Phoebe the best. In terms of the study Laura referenced, I think it's in the "sweet spot"-- not on a huge trend spike (like Ruby) and not completely foreign to American naming trends, like Siri.

19
By Harriet (back again!) (not verified)
May 6, 2009 11:12 AM

I know a 1/2 Asian 1/2 white (not Swedish or Norwegian) girl named Siri. She says it Seery. It seems sort of nicknamey to me, I guess bc it tends in i...could you use Serena or something like that as a full name?

20
May 6, 2009 11:14 AM

Harriet, I think that's a really interesting point! I think we've talked about how some names (not that I can think of any of course) were commonly "upper-class" in history so other classes in hoping to give their kids an advantage started using those names, so the UC moved to other names. (In that case we were talking also about names like Earl which is of course a title, but also can be thought of as a sort of country/ rural name.) Anyway, I don't want to revive that conversation of class, the point is that this would potentially create a cycle of usage that keeps the numbers of babies using a name the same, but the demographics very different. I don't know if this actually applies to classic names as I tend to think of them as names anyone can use, but it could.

Re: Deborah, I have to agree, it's certainly a nice name that has a history to it, but I wouldn't consider it classic since it sounds like a 50's 60's name to me. Unlike Sarah and Elizabeth as mentioned above.

Names that I would consider Classics include:
Sarah
Elizabeth
Katherine
Margaret
Mary
Samantha?
Victoria?
Rebecca?

Boys are easier
Thomas
John
Jonathan
Michael
David
Joseph
etc.

21
May 6, 2009 11:19 AM

Re: Cileag's point. Is Jennifer really a fast rise fast fall name? It was #1 from 1970-1984, then it didn't fall out of the top 10 til 1992. So I know it's the stereotypical example of an extremely popular name, but I wouldn't say it was a popularity blip either, it's still ranked 64 after all.

Thanks for clarifying Laura, that's very interesting.

Sorry for the double post!

22
By Jessica L (not verified)
May 6, 2009 11:34 AM

Jenny, I was just about to write a similar post. The name did seem to have a sharp rise, but it spent 25 years in the top 10. I agree, that's no blip for what's often considered the trendiest of trendy names. If the paper's explanations are true, shouldn't the name have faded much sooner? I think the name Jennifer deserves it's own paper hehe.

23
May 6, 2009 11:45 AM

Cileag, I looked up Siri on behindthename.com, thinking it's probably a Scandinavian nickname for some standard name. And sure enough, it is:

SIRI

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Scandinavian
Short form of SIGRID

I think I like the name best with Sigrid as the given name and "Siri" as the nn. Sigrid and/or Siri would be a stunning MN-Scandinavian name, yet not "too regional". After all, Irish names are being used throughout the USA and by many families with no Irish connection. Your Scandinavian heritage might make this a perfect name for your daughter.

24
By knp (not verified)
May 6, 2009 11:58 AM

I know a Siri who recently passed away, and a Siri who is a 18 y.o. Asian, adopted into a Scandinavian family. So, while uncommon, not totally crazy (I am near Madison, WI) I think it is a great name, with history (since it is part of your culture).

When I think of negatives to the name: Sometimes others think I meant to say Suri (or they misprounounce the name as Suri when referring to the girl) because of the Cruise baby. People who are unaware that Siri is a "real" name may think you were inspired by Suri Cruise but changed it to make it yours.

I don't think I could get behind Sigrid (but I don't care for Astrid either), but I think Siri is great!

25
May 6, 2009 11:59 AM

According to BabyNamesPedia, here's how Siri is pronounced:

"The girl name Siri is pronounced as SIHRiy -- KEY: English pronunciation for Siri: S as in "sea (S.IY)" ; IH as in "it (IH.T)" ; R as in "read (R.IY.D)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)"

This website says Siri is Old Norse and a short form of the German and Scandinavian name Sigrid.

26
May 6, 2009 12:12 PM

Regarding Sigrid, I think it depends on the family's ethnic heritage and surname. I rather like Scandinavian names, so I think Sigrid is a fine name, particularly with "Siri' as the nickname. I've never heard of Sigrid called Siri before, but I'm really liking it, especially for a girl of some Scandinavian or German heritage. I wouldn't be concerned about the similarity to Suri Cruise's name or whether those not familiar with Scandinavian names perceive Siri as a "real" name or not.

Thinking of the name Sigrid, this noteworthy name came to mind:

Sigrid Undset (1882-1949), the Norwegian author who was awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1928. Her most popular novel is the trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter (taking place in medieval Norway): The Bridal Wreath, The Mistress of Husaby, The Cross.

27
By hyz
May 6, 2009 12:24 PM

Jenny L3igh--I loved getting all the input on the chickens, too! I made a big list from everyone's suggestions and my own ideas, which I have set aside until it seems like the chicks' appearance and demeanor have stabilized (also, sexing of day old chicks is only 90% accurate--I'm waiting to be absolutely sure I don't have any boys!). They're turning out different colors than I expected because they're hatchery quality birds, not show quality, which means sometimes you'll get some that don't conform to the breed standard--but it's all the same to me, as long as they lay eggs! :)

Re: Deborah, I do get a bit of a 50s/60s vibe from it, but I know enough 20 something Deborahs, too, that I wouldn't say it's as stuck in that time period as Marilyn. It seemed like half of my friends growing up had little sisters named Deborah. Anyway, with its firm biblical heritage, I'd certainly call it a classic.

Re: Siri--I think it's nice, but I don't immediately love it, which I think has a lot to do with the fact that it seems like a cultural chameleon to me. What I mean is that if you hadn't told me it was Swedish/Norwegian, I might have been just as likely to think that it was Indian or Arabic or maybe a nickname for some longer European or South American name. Some people really like that effect (the little black dress of names thing), but I think I tend to prefer names with a readily identifiable origin. But maybe that's just me. Otherwise, I think it's a good candidate--unusual but not weird, readily pronounced, a fine sound, and connected to your heritage. Also, being in MN, you might have a lot more people there who recognize it for what it is, not a bunch of clueless rubes like me. ;)

28
By hyz
May 6, 2009 12:33 PM

Oh, just noticed the above posts after I posted--I like Siri a lot better as a nn for Sigrid! But then, I'm kind of a sucker for the strong N. European women's names.

Oh, and regarding one of the articles Laura linked to in the post--I'm taken aback that I didn't know Leona was such a current flash in the pan in England! Taken aback only because that's one of the names I liked for our daughter, and if my husband hadn't been so adamantly against it ("Leona!?!? As in HELMSLEY??!?" lol), I could've unwittingly become a part of that trend. Yikes! Well, I like to think I'd have looked into it more if it had DH's blessing, but still. I liked the meaning and the sound, and thought he might like it because of his fondness for the rhyming Fiona.

29
May 6, 2009 12:46 PM

I've always loved the name Heidi for a young girl, but never came close to using it because to me it doesn't sound grown-up enough for an adult and I don't care for Adelheid (just seems 'too much'). I see Siri in the same realm as Heidi -- both darling Germanic/Scandinavian names for a young girl. But I think Siri would also be fine for an adult and I like Sigrid too. Although I prefer Sigrid nn Siri because I prefer the formal form of most names as the legal name, I think Siri by itself would be fine too.

I found 2008 baby name stats for Sweden -- where Sigrid ranked 97; Siri, 52 -- and for Norway -- where Sigrid ranked 54. Both forms of the name seem to be popular in Scandinavia right now.

30
By CB (not verified)
May 6, 2009 12:50 PM

I think Jane deserves Classics status for girls. And, though sitting pretty high on the charts right now, I think Abigail is a decent contender. Pamela, maybe?

31
May 6, 2009 12:51 PM

Jessica L- Well said, haha. This did make me look into it more though. If you go by decade Mary was #1 until Lisa displaced it in the 1960s (I didn't realise Lisa was the first to "thwart" Mary's monopoly, if you will:) Then Jennifer took the 1970s into the 80's and Jessica (maybe we can do dual paper;) took the rest of the 80's. I would love to learn more about this!! Why was Lisa the first one to overtake Mary? Lisa and Jessica each had about a decade, but Jennifer had longer, what made these names so special? I suppose I'd call these names cliche as opposed to a Fad. (Laura I know I'd love your thoughts on the decade toppers someday!)

Re: Siri, I like this a lot, and I also like Sigrid. I know a 70-something Sigrid who is just what I want to be when I'm that age! So very positive associations:) And it's a name I'd never heard before when I met her but it's pretty easy to pick up.

hyz- If you decide you need us to brainstorm boys names after all I'm SURE we can accomodate;)

re: Deborah- I guess this is one of those it depends on who you know, every single Deborah I know is my parents generation. Not the case with the others I mentioned at all (although some of their nn's... Elizabeth being the classic example. Do know a 20-something Betsy, but she's definitely the exception to the Liz rule!)

32
May 6, 2009 12:53 PM

CB- Definitely second Jane, I was thinking Abigail too, but I don't actually know any older ones...

33
May 6, 2009 12:53 PM

hyz-So glad you didn't pick Leona also! My apologies to any Leona's out there but I agree with your dh in that all I can think of when I hear it is Helmsley! It doesn't at all have the niceties that Fiona does. Fiona seems dainty to me, but Leona seems harsh. I would much rather go with a Liliana or something. Oddly enough, even though I don't really care for the F sound in the beginning of girls names, I do rather like Fiona and Phoebe.

34
May 6, 2009 12:57 PM

I know a Siri who lives in Minneapolis, MN. It is pronounced Sear-i . . . Sear as in Sears. Her sister is named Meta, pronounced Mate-a. Both are in their early 20's.

I think Siri is a cute name. It does remind me a lot of Suri and sounds more like a nickname. I don't like Sigrid though . . . it makes me think of a brutish viking woman, lol. That might just be me though.

35
By CB (not verified)
May 6, 2009 12:59 PM

Jenny L3igh - I was thinking really old, as in Abigail Adams. FWIW, I knew an Abigail in college. She'd be almost 30 now.

And I think Ann makes the cut.

36
By CB (not verified)
May 6, 2009 1:05 PM

Jenny L3igh - Oh, and just a tiny correction. Mary was first overtaken by Linda in 1947. It regained number one status shortly thereafter, to fall again in 62 and never recover. Interesting that its first rivals were so similar.

37
By Aybee (not verified)
May 6, 2009 1:20 PM

Jenny Leigh- We can probably thank Elvis for all the Lisas, right? I have an aunt Lisa, middle name Marie...

38
By CB (not verified)
May 6, 2009 1:29 PM

Aybee - I think Lisa Marie Presley falls into the effect rather than cause side of things, as she was born in 1968... Not to say she didn't do anything for the name, but it was already a big name at the time of her birth.

39
By Jessica L (not verified)
May 6, 2009 1:32 PM

Jenny, Re: Why was Lisa the one to take over Mary - I'm just guessing maybe it was seen as a fresher alterantive to Linda? (as CB mentioned)

I definitely would put Jane and Anne into the classic category. I don't know any Abigail's above age 25, but it kind of has a cross-generational sound to it. I wouldn't put Pamela into the classic category. I know one Pam that's 31, the rest are in their 40's/50's. It doesn't seem to have been embraced much by the parents of GenX and GenY.

How about Jacqueline? It's a bit newer than some of the other names, but maybe it's a contemporary classic?

40
By hyz
May 6, 2009 1:33 PM

Jenny L3igh, if one turns out to be a boy, I'd unfortunately have to find him a new home, because I can't have any roosters in the city, and then I'd have to find myself a replacement chicken. So my issue is that I don't want to give out any of my good names until I'm sure everyone's a keeper! :)

zoerhenne--I have to assume the "harsh" sound comes from the association with "the Queen of Mean". I tried to convince my DH that in 10 or 20 years practically nobody would remember her, but he wasn't buying it. I thought the connection to such a strong animal as a lion would be good for a girl (I tend to prefer strong to dainty anyway), and I thought the sound and look were as pretty as Fiona. No matter now, though. :) And no namer's remorse over that one here, either, I'm glad to say.

And I agree--Ann(e) and Abigail definitely make the classics list.

41
By cileag (not verified)
May 6, 2009 1:59 PM

Thanks so far for the Siri comments. I did know it was a nickname for Sigrid, but can't quite climb on board with all the consonants of that name. I agree it's a bit "brutish" sounding, which is why I was glad to see it was relatively popular on its own in Sweden and Norway. (I got the stats from Laura's Namimedia btw).

I should have checked the numbers under Jennifer more closely. I looked it up on the namevoyager and saw the shape of it, but didn't click on the way back down to see what numbers---that's the tricky thing about the voyager, it can be a little deceptive I think.

hyz-I think you're right in that it is a bit of "cultural chameleon". If you google baby siri pics, you get babies of all nationalities. My husband actually had the same Indian thought as you. I see that as a positive I think--I'd like a name that would go international pretty easily.

Btw, I'm glad no one has messed up the pronunciation yet--that's how I've heard it around here before--Seer-ee.

A note of the trendiness of Phoebe vs Ruby. Phoebe is less common but rising more quickly being at 338 now, 366 in 2006, and 425 in 2005.
And it disappeared entirely in the 60-80s, but popped back in in the 90s in the 600s (I suppose due to "Friends") and has been steadily rising since.

Ruby is at 116 now, was 137 in 2006, and 132 in 2005. Otherwise it's held pretty steady in the 200-300s in the 70-90s. However, I am worried that its rising popularity in England and Australia will increase it here--as well as it being a typical antique name peaking in the 1910s.

42
May 6, 2009 2:01 PM

Re: Sigrid. My Swedish great-grandmother was Signe, which in her case was a stand-alone name, but can be a nickname for Sigrid. In the community I grew up in, there were a number of hard-core Scandinavian names and therefore a number of versions of Sigrid, but most of them were pretty obvious but not that appealing (Siggy comes immediately to mind.) I did know an older woman that every one called Ziggy, and I only found out at her funeral that her real name was Sigrid. I though it was kind of a zippy alternative--it worked especially well on a peppery older lady--but I doubt most people could ever divorce it from that inane cartoon.

I do rather like Signe, though.

43
By DRDS
May 6, 2009 2:37 PM

I know 2 women named Siri - both in their mid-20s, and I've always liked the name. I concur that Sigrid is too harsh for my tastes. For another Norwegian name, I also know a little Solveig (Soul-vay) and several elderly Solveigs -- love the sound of that name!

44
By hyz
May 6, 2009 3:06 PM

DRDS--I'm a big fan of Solveig, too! Although I think you'd run into a lot more pronunciation problems with that than Siri, I still prefer it. It has a more substantial look to me, while still having a fairly breezy sound (not heavy like Sigrid, for instance). I've met one little Solveig (she's maybe 5ish now?), and if I recall correctly, her brother was Soren. I like it.

45
May 6, 2009 3:10 PM

I was thinking that Sigrid reminds me of Sydney. I had a friend whose parents spelled her name "Sidne" - most likely to match their older daughter's name Susan; this was many years before Sydney became a popular girl's name. Signe reminds me of Sidne/Sidney/Sydney too.

I personally find Phoebe more appealing than Ruby and think of Phoebe as more of a classic sort of name with its Greek and Latin roots. I just compared Phoebe and Ruby in "Oxford": Phoebe was very popular in the late 17th century, while Ruby was chiefly common in the late 19th century and up to the middle of the 19th. Both have enjoyed considerable popularity in the UK since the 1990s.

Regarding present popularity in the US, I think Phoebe is less likely to make it into the top 100 for some time, if at all, while Ruby seems to have a good chance of doing so. Although the name Phoebe is known by many due to "Friends", there aren't a lot of baby girls being given that name -- in 2007 only 968 American baby girls were named Phoebe, compared with 2,852 named Ruby (and 19,105 called Emily, the #1 name).

Just two more days until SSA releases the 2008 stats, and then we'll know more about where Phoebe, Ruby and all the other lovely names are heading!

46
May 6, 2009 3:36 PM

I would pronounce Siri like Suri, but that may be because I follow celebrity baby names a little too closely. I like it with any of the pronunciations, although SEER-y is a bit hard to say.

I don't think that Siri follows very naturally from Sigrid. If you told people, her name is Sigrid, but we call her Siri, I can imagine a lot of people not being able to remember the nickname. Plus, I really don't like the sound/natural nickname "Sig." It sounds like "Cig" as in cigarette. I would definitely go with Siri over Sigrid.

Ruby definitely sounds trendy to me. This is because all of the Rubys I know are babies (often named after a deceased grandmother/great-grandmother).

For those of you that read the whole study, when they say the names fall "fast," how fast do they mean? One generation or a couple of years?

Regarding Leona, I do know of the British singer Leona Lewis who is quite young.

47
May 6, 2009 4:37 PM

Personally, I prefer Siri to Sigrid (reminds me too much of Hagrid :) ), and I don't think you should worry too much about people's reactions. I think it's pretty.

48
May 6, 2009 6:54 PM

I rather like Siri. I pronounce it Sear-ey. It does remind me of Suri but thats not a big deal to me. Sigrid seems okay but it reminds me of Astrid, and Ingrid which I like less.

Leona seems harsh to me not only because of associations but also just the sound. I can't really explain it. Ingrid seems harsh too. I knew a girl when in elementary school whose name was Ingrid-we all called her Ing-ee (not sure how she would've spelled that). I like Lisa, and Leah a bit, and the boys name's Leo and Leon but there are others I like more.

49
By Riot Delilah (not verified)
May 6, 2009 7:28 PM

Tirzah - thanks for getting to Leona Lewis before me. She is HUGE over here. Theo had a big UK spike due to Theo Walcott, who was named to the England World cup squad aged 16; that was three years ago now, so time for the spike to pass, I guess. It was such a spike Prince Edward used it as one of his son's middle names.

Cileag - Siri Hustvedt has written some very interesting books, including The Blindfold, a thinly-veiled autobiography in which the heroine was named Iris, which I thought was very clever. She's from Minnesota and lives in New York.

hey, the captcha is Mordred Leone - someone from King Arthur's circle landed in a mob family, I guess!

50
By Elaine (not verified)
May 6, 2009 7:47 PM

zoerhenne and others--If Leona sounds harsh to the ears, how does Lena sound to you?? It's a name I've had a love-hate-and then love again relationship with for a while. I keep coming back to it but am hesitant for some reason. I'd love your thoughts!