About Me

No info yet

My Favorite Names

No favorite names yet.

My Recent Blog Comments
November 14, 2016 02:19 PM
In Response to Laura/Lauren Lucy

I agree with you in that the n-sound of Lauren would help keep the combo from being misheard as Laurel-Lucy.

November 14, 2016 02:17 PM
In Response to Laura/Lauren Lucy

On their own I like Laura and Lauren about equally, but I think Lauren would flow better with Lucy as a MN.

October 26, 2016 09:26 AM

I agree with you about Catherine - great choice (even with your last name) IMO! (BTW I like the "C" spelling best too.)

September 8, 2016 03:14 PM

@nedibes - With Wikipedia I'd call it a "tie" since when you search for "Augusta" with no other terms it goes to a disambiguation page first.

July 7, 2016 08:46 AM

I'd also like to point out that the number of "nickname names" on the SSA list may be artificially high, given the circumstances one often obtained a Social Security number back then. Many from that generation obtained their number at the time they got their first official job (they weren't required for parents to claim their kids on taxes until the late 1980s). Some may have put the nickname they go by on a daily basis instead of their birth-certificate name, and at that time "matching documents" was not as strictly enforced as it is now.

This is one of numerous artifacts on the older lists (since c. 1990s when numbers became routinely assigned at birth such "false" entries are much less common, except for "placeholder" names when a name is still undecided when the number is applied for).

June 23, 2016 03:01 PM

Your statement about no originally-surname names in the Top 100 for girls in the 1950s is incorrect - you forgot about Shirley.

June 11, 2016 03:29 PM

I think it has more to do with a transphobic judge than the gendering of names. I think this transman has a good chance at appeal, since unlike for example the "bathroom issues" an unfavorable ruling would not just affect the transgender or even the LGBT community for that matter. It could affect anyone choosing a name for a baby if names start having an official "legal" gender associated with them.

April 14, 2016 02:59 PM

How about Dylan or Ryan?

April 9, 2016 12:40 PM

Good point, but what I meant as "surprising" are the areas of the country where you're more likely to meet a male Kelly vs. those where you are less likely (and not the national/international current gender usage for the name).

April 9, 2016 12:28 PM

I should note that my find for MA is based on the states with sufficient population for enough information to appear on the SSA's state-by-state lists - I was unable to accurately compute a ratio for some of the smallest states where less than five occurrences was common.

February 6, 2016 07:10 AM
In Response to Name Changing

You can, but you may have to go through the courts with the legal name change process. Many states will not let you drop your first name with just the marriage license (the changes you can usually do that way are drop your maiden last name to be replaced with your married one, add to or replace your middle name with your maiden name, or hyphenate your last name). Unless you live and get married in a state that allows for any kind of name change at marriage you won't be able to save yourself from having to go to and pay for court (but by doing it at the same time as when you get married you'll still save yourself a second round of document changes).

December 12, 2015 04:04 PM

@xtinamarie - For a modern girl those names would indeed be unique among her peers!

November 24, 2015 01:54 PM

@Aiea - Bernie might be a good candidate for NOTY next year if he does end up getting the Democratic nomination, but let's not jump the gun and make the same mistake we did with Barack in 2007 (precluding it for being in the running for 2008 when the name was more prominent).

November 23, 2015 06:31 AM

@nicwoo - What do you mean Caitlyn was considered last year? Jenner didn't reveal that as her chosen name until this year.

November 22, 2015 07:59 AM

I nominate Caitlyn too - as an activist for the transgender community Jenner's transition has helped raise awareness of their issues to the general public.

October 24, 2015 06:50 AM

Actually what you said about SSNs is not quite true. The part about the middle number set is incorrect - those numbers are assigned using a particular formula from each set of first-block numbers (and have nothing to do with the date of birth - if that were true no one would have middle numbers greater than 31). You're only loosely correct about the first numbers - more accurately they're based on where you lived when the SSN was obtained (while for those born since SSNs were necessary to claim a tax exemption for the child it's most likely where they were born too unless they're immigrants or had some special reason for getting a new number, for those older it may not be if they've moved since birth). (That change in the typical logistics of when you got your SSN is also responsible for some of the artifcats on the name popularity lists.)

ETA: I look at the most recent rules on how SSNs are assigned, and numbers are no longer assigned based on geography, so for numbers obtained since that change the first block does not indicate anything.

October 8, 2015 09:55 AM

The main issue that I'd see with changing your whole name at the same time (as opposed to only your first/middle or last name but not both) is if you're in a situation where the courts may be suspicious that you may be trying to defraud others by changing your entire name (e.g. deep in debt, have a criminal history, etc.) - on the other hand changing one at a time but doing two name changes a short amount of time apart would be just as suspicious. If your background is clean and you've got a legitimate reason (even if it's just personal) for your name change you should be okay.

September 5, 2015 09:00 AM

@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).

September 2, 2015 07:33 AM

#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.

August 20, 2015 06:59 AM

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).