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July 18, 2017 01:07 PM

I don't know any baby Lindas yet (only a matter of time, I assume), but I do know a baby Betty. Which has the same "old" associations to me, as an someone who is part of the "Heather" generation. When I think of an "old person", I think of Betty, Linda, Doris, etc. and not Sadie or Emma, which sound like names for little girls who I might have babysat in college.

It's wild to think that in 2 or 3 more turns of naming trends, someone younger than me is going to want to name their baby Stephanie or Jason, seeing those as "classic", "old-fashioned" names.

July 14, 2017 02:41 PM

I'm a comedy writer and frequent attender of improv shows (oh, the things I do for friends...), and in my experience there is ABSOLUTELY a male counterpart to this. Similarly to Karen, Linda, and Susan, it also tends to be names that refer to a certain era of naming. The names I hear most often are names like Gary, Todd, Greg, Kevin, and other names popular from midcentury through the 70s. 

I'm curious whether the time disparity (Linda and Susan feel more 40s-50s while Kevin and Gary are more 60s-70s) has some specific meaning, or whether it's just that a lot of comedians are 25 year old guys who know nothing about names but instead have a sense of which names sound "stodgy" to them.

I'll also say that in comedy shows nowadays, I hear more Karen, Denise, and Lisa than Linda or Susan. So it could be that Linda and Susan are being phased out for "today's" mom names. 


I'm actually wondering if the fall in Alexis/Alexa doesn't mirror the fall in Caitlyn and its variants. Both names were very popular for girls born in the 90s and early 2000s, almost 20 years ago. Just as Jessica and Stephanie eventually gave way to Caitlyn and Alexis, the time is right for those names to give way to... Adalyn and Sophia, I suppose?

Edited because I just had a huge brain flash: You know how we're all so allergic to names that are too popular? I wonder if the cycle of "unique" names that peak and then within a decade or two is caused by parental concerns that their daughter will be KateLynn P. or Alexa J. at school? A lot of people having babies aren't necessarily looking at 2017's top names, they're thinking of what names sound samey or stale to them. And suddenly, Caitlyn and Alexa are in that territory.

April 2, 2017 02:33 PM

I think the "regional pockets" theory is an interesting one. For example so many friends have children named Miles that, despite the fact that it's a longtime favorite of mine, we will not be using it. But Miles is somewhere in the #200-300 range in terms of baby name popularity. Noah is much more popular, and yet I've never even met a baby Noah. 

As we zero in on a name for our forthcoming baby, I'm tempted to start asking friends to steal local preschool class rolls for us to cross-reference. I love Ada, and it's currently #586 in the US, but what if there are hundreds of Adas in our neighborhood regardless?

April 2, 2017 02:22 PM

I always thought Beatrix was a variation on Beatrice, which was a name coined by Dante? Though I guess "bestower of blessings" and "female traveler" could work equally well as interpretations for the Beatrice character, since she is both of those things in the Divine Comedy. Either way, Dante's Beatrice was always Beatrice and never Viatrice, AFAIK. I'm not even sure the b and v sounds overlap in Florentine Italian the way they do in some other romance language. Also, in most romance languages, you actually pronounce vowels in a specific way (unlike sloppy American English), so the e in Beatrice and i in Viatrix would be quite different sounds, anyway.

April 2, 2017 02:13 PM

I have friends with a toddler-aged Bernie. Short for Bernadette, and she was born just as Bernie was announcing his run (and her parents are Hillary supporters, either way), but, yeah, I predict that any name that can be shortened to Bernie will rise in popularity. There's also the character of Bernard in Westworld, which might also cause "Bern" names to rise. Maeve is definitely on my radar because of that show.

March 31, 2017 04:14 PM

I know a family with two daughters, both with names on this list. 

I'm pregnant and at least one of the names we're seriously considering -- Wiley -- is on this list.

I also saw someone elsewhere on the internet asking if Kermit was an acceptable baby name option, and everyone was flipping out, clutching pearls, and completely losing it re the idea of that name. Which, to me, means that Kermit will be the Aiden of 2025.