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@TheOtherHungarian - You're right about Martha, which started declining after about 1940 (unlike Denise whose decline began in about 1965, so Martha is basically a full generation removed from Denise). I think what Laura Wattenberg was trying to get across was the "zone of avoidance" for pet names (and "fashionable" names in general) is about two generations - the names popular on those of childbearing age right now (e.g. the ~'80s names that have declined a lot in pet name popularity) and their parents (e.g. Denise). The "quirky" names (e.g. Martha) are those from the generation of today's new great-grandparents (or the grandparents of today's new parents), and another generation of separation is when we can expect a name to become "mainstream" again (like what has been mentioned in BNW and on this blog before).
#McHobbit - If I understand correctly the SSA doesn't recognize hyphens and just "smoosh" the two parts of the name together, so that's probably why no hyphenated names appear on the U.S. lists.
I've heard Melissa/Michelle mix-ups before, probably because they both start with "M"* and peaked in popularity around the same time. *Same thing with Rachel and Rebecca both starting with "R" (with both being Biblical names as the other tie).
Thanks for clarifying about your location/nationality! (Whenever I see words spelled the "British" way I usually see that as a clue that the poster is not from the U.S.) As for my comment, another alternative in the "sensitive" cases where you don't want to "out" yourself but also don't want to act like you overlooked or lied about the question (that I also suggested to the transgender people I described) is to put down "none that are relevant" or something similar if true in your case (of course if there is something that they can and may want to check under your former name you basically don't have a choice).
One thing I do want to point out about the "other names you've used or been known by" question - for people who've had a "sensitive" name change who may not want to disclose the former name (the converse of what you're saying), when it's a private entity protected by anti-discrimination laws, they usually care only about names used in the context of what they'd be checking. For example, if you were adopted as a child, you do not need to disclose the name you were originally given at birth for most job or loan applications (as seen at the link below - broken up so it doesn't register as spam).
http: (two slashes) www (dot) askamanager (dot) org/2013/03/short-answer-sunday-7-short-answers-to-7-short-questions-32.html
In cases like a transgender person (as I've worked with several of them) or someone who legally changed their name for reasons described in the OP of this discussion, it depends on whether or not the employer, etc. needs to know it to verify your work/school/criminal/etc. history properly. Often times for a background check you can ask that you give the sensitive information straight to whoever is running the check.
Sorry if this is a bit OT, but I'm posting this for example someone contemplating changing an already-born child's name, and they ask if they make the change if they'd have to list the original name in cases like these when they're older. In the aforementioned cases the answer is (for the most part) no. Of course for example if you're applying for a passport or a visa from a government it's different, or getting a job that requires a security clearance, but employers, banks, etc. typically have no need to know a name changed before you were old enough to have any "adult" records.
ETA: I looked at your profile, and I saw you refer to yourself as "mum" - my comments are geared towards those in the U.S., so where you live it may be different. Often in these cases here the question is worded so as to only ascertain those names within the scope of their interest (e.g. other names you have "obtained credit under" for a loan application instead of the more general wording).
He's transgender (female-to-male) and looking for a more masculine name.
I was partially wrong about Taylor - the gender ratio widened again with 3,782 girls and 691 boys for 5.47 girls per boy (but still narrower than it was in 2012). Still it probably wouldn't make a "fastset falling" list for boys.
Laura, I did base that on the gender ratio. I'll play the numbers using the recent SSA data for Taylor:
2013 - 4,108 girls and 818 boys = 5.02 girls per boy
2012 - 4,847 girls and 882 boys = 5.50 girls per boy
2011 - 5,184 girls and 896 boys = 5.79 girls per boy
2010 - 5,886 girls and 951 boys = 6.19 girls per boy
2009 - 7,575 girls and 1,092 boys = 6.94 girls per boy
Notice how after each year the ratio does narrow - so it looks like I'm right.
Or to put it another way between 2009 and 2013 Taylor dropped by 46% for girls but only 25% for boys.
I do think that Taylor for boys will keep dropping like you said, but will drop at a faster rate for girls like the numbers above demonstrate.
I don't think Taylor would be the top pick for falling-fast-on-boys-due-to-usage-on-girls, since now that it's past peak for both genders the ratio is actually narrowing with a larger drop on girls (this has also happened with Kelly and Robin for example - falling for both genders but more so for girls). Your point mainly applies to names near their overall peak (Harper or Riley would probably be a better example) - once the name becomes "dated" the gap tends to narrow if once more popular for girls by attrition.
It depends on the child's age and the state's policy. In some states you can get a completely new BC without any mention of the changes, in others they'll add a note or an attachment reflecting the change, and in a few they won't make any BC changes barring special circumstances. (If the reason for the change is something like an adoption or a gender change it's more likely but not certain they'd issue a new certificate without the past data.)
A source of typos that skews the stats is gender misrecording, which is why you see for example Jennifer and John appearing in the wrong gender's Top 1,000 (back before everything was computerized and error was thus more common the most common names often had enough errors to cause that). That's why as an example although you probably don't know any real-life boys named Sue the stats show some boy Susans out there.
@HungarianNameGeek: The reason I commented as such was that it seemed like from your last post that you'd consider any name other than the one on the person's birth certificate not to be a "real" name. Since you clarified I now understand. I also brought up the issue of birth certificate amendments because in some legal contexts even one's "birth name" is not fixed at birth (for instance they generally want the mother to be listed under her "maiden" name on her children's birth certificates - if her name was changed for a reason that amended, or in some cases could amend, her birth certificate then they want the name after, and not before, the name change). (A BC amendment essentially means the information was deemed to be incorrect and should be changed in the same way if they got for example the date or place of birth wrong, hence the distinction from for example a marriage-based name change in which the maiden name remains as such. I think in most cases of stage-becoming-legal name changes the BC wouldn't be changed though.)
A fair example of how "stage" names should be treated is Wikipedia's page of stars who assumed such names - one is listed there only if the reason for the name change was for one's profession (and some "gray area" cases like Miley Cyrus). If you go by a different name or changed your name for another reason (e.g. adoption, marriage, gender change, you go by a "standard" nickname or your middle name, etc.) that doesn't count. In the Bob Dylan case, since he (probably) wouldn't be known as such were it not for his music career, your reasoning is valid (but it wouldn't be if for example you said Chaz Bono's name was just his stage name). The same logic applies to what I touched above on how a parent's name gets listed on the child's BC - what the parent's name would be absent any name changes from marriage.
@HungarianNameGeek - In some cases a legal name change DOES amend the birth certificate (at least in the U.S.; in Hungary it may be different). This frequently occurs with adoptions and transgender people (and with the latter you better dare not call the name they chose to match their gender identity a "non-real" name). It can happen with name changes for certain other (non-marriage-related) reasons as well.
Since Bob Dylan's children have been given the Dylan surname I side with Floriography that in his case it's more than just a stage name or pseudonym (now it would be different if his family in private life still used his original surname). Like Floriography said, would you consider a woman's married name, or for another example if you're the child of a parent who had namer's remorse their second and ultimate name choice for you, a "non-real" name?
No problem - I wasn't trying to disagree with you, but rather that when they ask such a question in the cases I touched on they're usually interested in whether or not any relevant records subject to verification are under any other names and not necessarily what is or was your legal name (a converse example from the childhood name change scenario is if part of your credit, employment, criminal, etc. history is under an alias/assumed name/pseudonym/etc. then you would have to mention said name - something to bear in mind if you decide to go by another name informally because if the name makes it onto any of those records it would count).
As for where you live, I often assume that someone who uses "British" spellings is from somewhere outside the States (but I guess I was wrong in your case!).
Re: If he'd need to list his former name in cases like those you mentioned - It may depend on how old he is and whether or not he's had anything relevant under the name. If he just turned 18 and never had a bank account before then it likely wouldn't apply in that case for example (like how if you were adopted as a child the name before the adoption wouldn't count - likewise for anyone who has remorse on what they named their child and is contemplating changing it). Same thing with applying for jobs, etc. - if they need to know the former name to check all of your credentials/background etc. he'd have to, if not then no (unless it's for a security clearance, etc. where they check all of your life). (Since lucubratrix may not be from the U.S. given she used "mum" in her profile I thought I'd clarify what I'm saying is how it would apply in the U.S. - at least when it comes to non-government situations where you may be illegally discriminated against if you had to give the former name out unnecessarily like if you changed your name to assimilate or you changed gender.)
@Beth01 - Actually Devin is quite a bit more common for boys (Devon too).
ETA: The links didn't post, but you can search NameVoyager yourself and see.
At this point Gloria would actually be as likely - if not more likely - to be a grandmother of our readers (the peak was in the 1920s-40s, so for the younger parents on here that would be well within grandmother range - for those of Mrs. Wattenberg's generation your statement of it being a "mom name" would be true though).
Forgot on the Spanish conjugations to include usted with él/ella and ustedes with ellos/ellas (I just now remembered that those are conjugated the same).
How about Amélie, the French version? (After seeing the movie by that name I really like the name.) Since you mentioned using Amelia to get the nicknames Amy and Molly I like those as standalone names too (and Amy isn't as popular as it was when you were growing up).
@MissyHolland - Actually Amelie has been in the Top 1,000 since 2003 (the SSA ignores accent marks).