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Love this analysis! However, surely "Kristin" isn't three syllables?
Oh wait, I forgot the interior state hint!
Hm, I'd go with Illinois, except I live in Chicago and the only name I've heard here is Oliver. Then again, I'm a childless dude.
#10: At first I thought of the Missouri's bellwether status in elections ("As Missouri goes, so goes the nation"), but I think the big swing state now is Ohio. Bentley's popularity in Kentucky spills over here, I reckon.
#9: The name Axel is what I noticed first. Northern Europeans who like the idea of giving their kids northern European names? Gotta be Minnesota.
True story: A couple of years ago a friend of mine was considering the name Ruby for her daughter. She and her husband were also considering moving to Portland. Once she found out that Ruby was particularly popular in Oregon, she went with a different name.
I wonder if Hazel's popularity there (assuming that #8 is, indeed, Oregon) has anything to do with the fact that the state is responsible for the bulk of hazelnut production in the U.S.
Maeve, Fiona, Brendan, and Declan are all Irish in origin. Hence: Massachusetts.
Blythe, looks like you agree with KB and me on everything except for Nevada and Florida. The Hispanic names in (4) and (6) do seem to suggest that one is Nevada and the other is Florida . The reason I thought (4) was Nevada because Western states tend to be a bit more creative in their choices; most of the names in (6) are fairly traditional.
Beat me to the punch, KB -- I was going to guess those exactly as you did.
As a matter of fact, I was born in the late 1970s, and I went to high school with a (variantly spelled) Tenille.
Stats guru and New York Times blogger Nate Silver created a quiz a while ago that asks you to identify all baby names given to at least 10,000 boys and 10,000 girls since 1960. Not sure if he's updated it to include 2009 or 2010 data, but it's kind of fun: http://www.sporcle.com/games/nrsilver/babynames
Ha, I knew someone would mention the dollar sign in Ke$ha. (I almost did myself.)
I guess you're right that the symbol is what makes the name stand out -- but without it, it's still the singer's real name (Kesha Sebert), which might seem attractive in itself.
Also, to me, the unique pronunciation allows the name to not seem too retro, but I suppose it's a fair point that it doesn't seem particularly contemporary, either.
Maybe it's not a Name of the Year, but I do expect to see it on the top 1000 come May.
Out of a number of interesting names on the pop charts this year (Bruno, Taio, Willow), I'd go with Kesha.
The name hovered in the lower half of the top 1000 from 1970-82, but I wouldn't be surprised if it returns on account of the single-named pop singer, who's had five top 10 songs this year.
Especially since I'm guessing that the Kesha that was popular in the '70s was a variant on Keisha, (pronounced KEE-sha), and so this new version (pronounced KESH-uh) feels like a different name and not merely a retread.
(It's perhaps also worth pointing out that the singer is white, which might allow for the name -- which for some people could read as African American -- to gain traction across demographics.)
I was pleased to see this post as well. Ever since Megan was introduced as a character, I've been grumbling about the unlikelihood of her name. For some reason, it stands out more than Bethany and Allison -- two other characters introduced this season with equally anachronistic names.
And yet the show does get it right sometimes. A recent episode, set in 1965, introduced a newborn named Tammy.
For a male name inspired by Bonnie, what about just plain Bon? Worked for the original singer of AC/DC.
Awesome to see this data. One question, though: Are you accounting for names that never made the top 1000? For instance, a certain name may have been given to 100 boys each year of the decade, which wouldn't be enough to crack the top 1000 in any given year, but would put it at as high as #1441 for the decade.
Great post, Laura.
Before reading this, I tried to figure out the hottest names within the top 100 this year. For girls, it looks like it's Khloe (+101% over 2008), followed by Bella (+62%), Leah (+28%), Isabella (+19%), and Zoey (+15%). For boys, it's Liam (+42%), Levi (+35%), Oliver (+18%), and Carter (+15%).
As someone who doesn't have kids and isn't planning to have kids, I don't have a strong preference on the issue. I will say, though, that I do enjoy when expectant friends who are otherwise "keepers" e-mail me for advice, knowing that I keep up with the trends.