The View from Abroad: A Look Back at the Future
Not long ago, I wrote about hot names in Europe that might be up-and-coming in the United States.
Hold on a second...maybe it was long ago. Could it have been five years ago?
Yep, it's been five years since the first Baby Name Wizard book came out, and I've been writing this column ever since. Back in 2005, I wouldn't have believed I'd be able to come up with that much material on baby names. Now I know better -- that names are a limitless topic, reaching into every corner of our culture, our history and our world. And they're ever-changing, so it's time to take a fresh look at some of those old trends and predictions.
In the original "View from Abroad" post, I wrote:
Europe tends to be a few years ahead in the name curve...for a new angle on up-and-coming names, I've made a roundup of half a dozen international-styled countries: Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland and Sweden. My targets were names that rank in top 20 in at least two different countries, but haven't cracked the American top 100 in the past decade.
Five years later, the girls' predictions have proved to be spot-on. Here's the 5-year U.S. usage trend for Amelia, Charlotte and Clara:
All three girls' names have risen by at least a third, and Amelia and Charlotte now rank among America's top 100. But the boys are a different story:
To get the real picture, try to look past the Oliver explosion. Four of the five names are flat or declining (and even Oliver hasn't cracked the top 100).
Why did the boys' and girls' predictions perform so differently? Thoughts on this tomorrow.