New Year's Name Bites

Jan 1st 2010

Some quick thoughts to usher in 2010:

The Battle for #1: Emma? Emily? Or...

2008 marked the end of Emily's 12-year reign as America's top name for girls. Both Emma and Isabella narrowly beat out the old champion.

But "beat out" may be a misleading term here. If Emily had simply stayed still at its 2007 popularity, it would have kept the title handily. What really happened is that the number of Emilys dropped by thousands, while the other names held steadier. That makes the 2009 picture murky, but my money's on a new champ: Isabella.

The Mysterious Listmaker

A new Namipedia user recently went on a spree, submitting dozens of new name pages during a three-hour name-a-thon. She was mostly completing political lists: Namipedia is now the proud repository of every name of past Prime Ministers of Italy (e.g. Ivanoe, Ferruccio) and Presidents of Mexico (Plutarco, Venustiano). But one series left me scratching my head. Can anybody spot a pattern in this list of actor/actress names?

Telma

Vernee

Jenilee

Myrinda

Yunoka

Daelen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

1
January 1, 2010 4:36 PM

Telma? I only read that correctly on the third try, I read Thelma every other time. Hmmm. Are the others missing letters that make them more recognizable? Also, that's really interesting about Emily! I can't wait for the 2009 statistics. Happy New Year everyone!

2
By Maja
January 1, 2010 5:29 PM

They all seem to be the names of actresses from the '80's/'90's...

3
By Yolanda (not verified)
January 1, 2010 6:34 PM

Telma, Vernee, and Jenilee all show up on this list of cast and credits for "The Love Boat": http://www.listal.com/tv/the-love-boat-1977/cast

I'm still looking into the others. But that is the first connection that my google-fu was able to make.

4
By Yolanda (not verified)
January 1, 2010 6:38 PM

And...more google-fu reveals that Myrinda, Yunoka, and Daelen all appear on this cast list from 7th Heaven: http://www.buddytv.com/tvshow/page/7th-heaven-info-1.aspx

The shows are from different decades and meet different demographics. Perhaps these are just random names from cast lists that the submitter liked?

5
By Elowyn (not verified)
January 1, 2010 7:18 PM

The Love Boat and 7th Heaven were both Aaron Spelling shows, IIRC. So that's the connection I suppose.

6
January 1, 2010 8:56 PM

Wow, that's some outstanding detective work!

(A '70s-'80s "degrees of Aaron Spelling" game would have ended up with a lot of low numbers, eh?")

7
January 1, 2010 10:50 PM

LOL Laura-Other options I also noted:
Jenilee Harrison an actress who played Cindy on Three's Company in the 80's. Although this wasn't a Spelling show.
Telma Hopkins an actress who appearred on many sitcoms and was also a singer with Tony Orlando and Dawn in the 70's.
Vernee Watson-Johnson who played on several sitcoms.
All of this from wikipedia.

Btw, what a fun game that would be!

8
By Qwen (nli) (not verified)
January 2, 2010 12:26 AM

Um... Wow. That's all I can say. As much as I love this site (and all the content therein) I'm not sure I've ever spent three consecutive hours here. And I'm pretty sure I've only ever added a name or two to namipedia. I guess I shouldn't call myself a NE afterall, eh?

9
By knp (not verified)
January 2, 2010 11:17 AM

I had to share this: I recently found a small collection of small angel figurines I had when I was a little girl (they are Dreamsicles, which I liked for 2 reasons, they are cute and they are "by Kristin" which was the first time I saw someone else with my name). Anyway, I forgot this, but I had named most of them, and written their names on the bottom!! They are:
Gabriella
Maribelle
Rosaline (she is holding roses)
Elizabeth
and
Jayden (who was almost a Taylor since that name is crossed out)

And, I know a Jenilee irl.

10
By Philippa The First (not verified)
January 2, 2010 3:08 PM

Oh Laura, bet you're right about Isabella!

http://www.smh.com.au/national/its-goodbye-mia-and-jack-hello-isabella-and-william-20100102-lmiu.html

Australia seems to be a little ahead of the curve namewise, from the US. I think becuase he smaller population allows for changes to be seen more quickly. Also, there's not the influence of Spanish/Hispanic/Latin naming culture, which I think tends to be more conservative.

Since I became an NE only when I became pregnant with my daughter in 2006, I was scratching my head since then trying to figure out WHERE are all these Emilys and Emmas, since I didn't know one. But this time I around, yes I can definitely identify a dozen Isobel/Isabel/Isabellas and a dozen baby Williams between "brand new" and 3-years-old in my social circle. I guess I starting paying attention at the end of the Emily/Emma naming curve, when the ahead of the game parents had moved on, and the names had filtered out of urban/educated neighbourhoods. Now I can see the effect from the ground up. It's fun!
_____
Perfect catpcha!: Exulted information

11
January 2, 2010 4:38 PM

@Philippa - that is funny because I am also in Aus and know lots of little Emily's and Emma's. I guess I have been paying attention to them even though I don't have any kids (lots and lots of kids in my circle of friends though). Isabelle variations are very common as is William and Jack. I must say I never ran across any of the Mia's though! Sophie/Sophia is another one that is hugely popular and I can't help but notice....

@knp - isn't it fun to find old names you used or made into lists! You were obviously a future trendsetter with you female Jayden/Talyor :)

12
By Joni
January 2, 2010 5:27 PM

KNP, how old were you when you named your angel figurine Jayden? I can see Taylor as that name's been in use for like 25 years (!), but to Jayden didn't really come alive until the mid 90's. Did you know someone with that name?

13
January 2, 2010 5:40 PM

@ Philippa and Chimu: That's really interesting, I love hearing things about other countries! I'm in the US and where I live must be really ahead of the curve because Isabel(le)/Isabella, Lila, Leila/Layla, Emma, Emily, Sophie/Sophia, Ava, Maya, Jack, William, Liam, and other names that are statistically pretty common within the past decade are all pretty common among my peer group, those born in the mid '90s.

14
By knp (not verified)
January 2, 2010 6:29 PM

Joni: It was about 20 yrs ago I think,early 90s? I was about 8-9. Actually, there are a set of girl twins in my (small) hometown called Jordan and Jayden (maybe spelled a little different) but I named my angel that before she was born. Interesting about that sibset-- they had older brothers named Taylor and Treven. I always mixed up their names when I babysat them!

15
January 2, 2010 7:33 PM

"Australia seems to be a little ahead of the curve namewise, from the US. I think becuase he smaller population allows for changes to be seen more quickly. Also, there's not the influence of Spanish/Hispanic/Latin naming culture, which I think tends to be more conservative."

Actually, if you look at the NameMapper you'll see that it's the states with the largest Hispanic populations that led the Isabella vanguard in the U.S.! That cross-ethnic appeal is one of the reasons I think Isabella should hold on a little stronger than Emma.

16
By Philippa The First (not verified)
January 2, 2010 8:29 PM

@Chimu. Well, I'm *from* Australia, and that's where my daughter will be raised, but she was born in Boston and we now live in the DC area. So I'm thinking of babies born in Sydney and in the Northeastern US cities when I consider the ones I know.

@A Rose. I know plenty of Emma/Emily/Sophie women that are my age (born later 70s/early 80s) but fewer of the others. The most common names when I think of my friends are classic to that era. Jennifer/Rachel/Sarah/Rebecca. My male friends are Ben/John/James/Nick/Matt.

@Laura. Oh yes! Duh. Of course. In that article I linked to there was even an interview with a Australian-Colombian couple who chose Isabella for that specific region. But would it be accurate to say that overall Hispanic naming is less changeable and subject to creativity that Anglo-American or Anglo-Australian naming?

17
By Philippa The First (not verified)
January 2, 2010 8:33 PM

And @A Rose! That makes me reconsider my view of myself and my friends as somehow on the vanguard of naming. I guess our names and our kids names are exactly on trend. Ha ha.

18
January 2, 2010 9:29 PM

@ Philippa: There are a lot of Jennifers, Rachels, etc. among the Lilas, Isabellas, and Mayas which I find really interesting. I guess every decade has cross-overs from the one before and after it, but it's still interesting. I notice with the country's top ten or so for the year of my birth, I know more guys with the top names than girls. Matthews, Daniels, Jacobs more than Ashleys, Taylors, Samanthas, and Brittanys.

19
January 2, 2010 9:55 PM

I find the Isabella dominance particularly intriguing because I would have guessed that it would be split up amongst different variants: Isabel, Isabelle, Isabella etc.

While I have seen other spelling of Emily, they certainly don't have the same appeal to me that some of the variants of the Isabella type names have.

20
By jodi jean (not verified)
January 3, 2010 2:25 AM

what an interesting article ... i just stumbled across this blog while i was doing research for my next baby's name. i've been pouring over the archives.

i currently have an aidan(m) (picked before i realized how popular it was, and by then we had been calling him that for so long!!!) and a finley(f) ... i'm having another girl and we're stuck ...

besides the point ... i know all your name geeks will appreciate. i have a teacher friend who recently told me a random name she came across on a role. La-a ... she pronounced it Leia (like star wars), and was quickly corrected "it's pronounced LaDASHa, the dash is NOT silent!!" what has the world come to?!

21
January 3, 2010 10:00 AM

Jodi Jean

Welcome to BNW and congrats on your pregnancy. Be aware that the Le-a story has be thoroughly debunked, and discussed:

http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2009/10/ledasha-legends-and-race-part-one

http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2009/10/ledasha-legends-and-race-part-two

http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2009/10/ledasha-legends-and-race-part-three-of-three

22
January 3, 2010 10:26 AM

jodi jean: Don't worry about La-a, that's just an urban myth. There was a recent in-depth series of exceptionally good blog posts about it and other such naming stories.

As for a sister to Aidan and Finley, here's a long list that should be of interest. Take a look, let us know what you like, what you don't like, and we'll help trim that list for you. Quick questions: How contemporary do you want the name? How popular? Would you like a name that's completely new, or one with some history?

Megan W.:

What surprises me the most is the continued shunning of starting names with Y.
Isabella has a number of them: Ysabel, Ysabeau, etc. In fact, given kre8tiv trends and names starting with vowels trend, I'm surprised that there aren't more names starting with Y. Any thoughts about that?

23
January 3, 2010 11:11 AM

Linnaeus

I share your wonder about "Y". When we were discussing why Aidan didn't make the number 1 slot because of spelling variants, I was all set to chime in that we needed to add Yakob, Yacob etc. to Jacob and then compare. And then I realized it didn't really matter numbers-wise.

To my cultural tin-ear, I think the problem is that the initial Y sounds more ethnic or foreign. Yakob to me, evokes a middle-easterner or a orthodox Jew. Jacob is all-american, like Bill or Bob. Ysabel doesn't do this as strongly to me as Yakob, but I think the same general idea holds.

The interesting thing about it though, is that if it were an X or a Z it would be so modern and hip.

Having named my 2nd son Mark, I'm starting to appreciate that both sound and position of sound matter to trendiness. K is a popular starting sound. There aren't many popular names right now that end on such a crisp sound. Y is an ending sound and letter right now.

24
By Beth the original (not verified)
January 3, 2010 11:15 AM

I know the Isabella phenom is real, but I can't help but think that Sophia/Sofia is a real contender. I know one Isabella, but no less than 7 Sophias ranging from ages 3-6. Maybe it's that Sophia is the #1 name among a certain demographic, whereas Isabella crosses more ethnic and socioeconomic boundaries?

I couldn't help but lie down with the smelling salts when A Rose referred to herself and her friends as "born in the mid-1990s." As in, when I turned 30? Dear god. I've only just stopped writing 19-- on my checks.

25
January 3, 2010 12:10 PM

Beth-LOL, I've long since gotten used to the age difference on this blog and resigned myself to being in the middle (which is a kind of nice place to be). I'm neither the youngest nor the oldest so it's okay. However, in other ways DO think "oh dear, I'm old".

As far as Sophia/Sophie, I know a few ages 10, 6, and 3 1/2. I think this is also a name that spans the international and time lines and can be added to the list.

As far as the "Y" thing, I think its a pronunciation thing that holds it back. Those not familiar with a more foreign pronunciation might see Yakob as (Yak-ob) with a beginning sound much like the color yellow rather than a "J" sound. Ysabel makes more sense to be spoken like an I sound though. The X/Z sound though is pretty standard.

26
January 3, 2010 12:29 PM

jodi jean-Linnaeus gave you a pretty long and great list to look at for future names. You might also take a look at Nymbler.com and plug in your existing childrens names to get ideas as to what might go next.
I second these choices:
Marin
Jolie
Sheridan
Brynn

27
By Philippa The First (not verified)
January 3, 2010 4:43 PM

Sometimes I feel like the "Le-a pronounced Ladasha" story is the mole in a whack-a-mole game. Just yesterday I came across the myth again in the comments section of a normally sensible Australian news site. I think I might have to downgrade that "normally sensible" to a "warning, personal prejudices ahead" status, since the article being commented on was, of course, about the awful kre8tive names parents give their kids these days. And it was on the day that Isabella and William became the new most popular Australian names. I think they even linked to it!

When I read complaints like "look at all the beautiful, feminine names parents could pick for their daughters – Madeleine, Susanna, Rose, Annabel, Georgina, Lydia come to mind – and yet they’re going for Maddison, Ashley, Tyler, Kelly, Morgan, Mackenzie and Bailey" I just want to scream! Umm.. hi, author lady, parents ARE giving their kids these names. Look at the stats! The other ones you don't like, are on the downslope.

28
By Mirnada (not verified)
January 3, 2010 6:56 PM

knp -- your post made me think of the names I'd choose for myself when we'd play make believe as a kid:

When we were playing office, in contemporary times, I'd be named Jessica Bailey or Jessica Terrance, I believe.

When we were playing "olden days" a la Anne of Green Gables, I think I'd be Sarah or Elizabeth.

29
By Tirzah, not logged in (not verified)
January 3, 2010 7:02 PM

Take a look at this article about people with unusual names. It shows a picture of a woman named Marijuana Pepsi!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34641678/ns/today-today_people/

30
By Philippa The First (not verified)
January 3, 2010 10:06 PM

@knp @miranda: When I was a kid my pretend name was Charlotte "Charlie" Hudson. As a teenager my go-to alias for when I was busted doing things I shouldn't have done was Zoey Madeleine Taylor. I was very specific about the spelling of Zoey. So weird that I included first and last names! I also insisted on going by Alice (with my last name) during one drama camp.

31
By melanie1 (not verified)
January 3, 2010 10:24 PM

knp -- your post also made me think of all the names I loved as a child. When I was 12 I wrote letter to my 30-year old self. In it I listed all the names I wanted to name my children. Ironically, I only had one boy name - Anthony - and all the rest were girl names and I've had 3 boys so far. None of them are Anthony. I don't have the list with me, but I remember some of them were Cordelia Anne, Della Dean, and Tara. I'm not sure that I could see myself using them now, but I remember how much I loved the sound of them as a 12 year old.

32
By A Rose, nli (not verified)
January 3, 2010 11:14 PM

@ Tirzah: Wow, that's some story! I think a name like Marijuana is just *too much*.

@ melanie: I would make lists of names I liked with my grandmother writing them down as I dictated when I was younger. I don't remember what they were just that I too had many more girls than boys names. Probably three times as many. I still find it easier to think of girls names I like than boys and the boys ones are more random (like the girls names sort of make sense together... kind of.)

33
By Jillc (not verified)
January 4, 2010 12:00 AM

When you combine spellings, Sophia/Sofia just barely beats out Isabella/Isabela/Izabella for #1 in 2008. Sophie comes in at #89; Isabelle/Isabel/Isabell/Izabelle was #43.

Since the numbers are split so much more evenly between the two spellings of Sophia, I'm going to agree with Laura and get behind Isabella for 2009.

34
By Bitty Bows (not verified)
January 4, 2010 1:25 AM

I'll be interested to see where Isabella comes out, as you mentioned. I love that name, and it was the runner-up for my daughter.

35
By guest (not verified)
January 4, 2010 6:27 AM

I am in Sydney and my sons are at preschool with so many E-a names like Ella, Emily, Gabriella, Emilia that they all sort of blur together and I can't tell the girls apart.
No Isabellas in this cohort, though- the ones I know are in primary school already.
In a public school in an affluent North Sydney suburb that I work at, of the 100 kindergarteners for 2010, there are 5 Rubies! Last year we had a Pearl in K too. Lots of Pommy families at this school, they tend more towards these lovely names ahead of Oz parents methinks. Susan

36
January 4, 2010 10:27 AM

For those of you interested, the Top Pet Names list is out.
http://www.pawnation.com/2009/12/31/most-popular-pet-names-of-2009/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl8|link6|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pawnation.com%2F2009%2F12%2F31%2Fmost-popular-pet-names-of-2009%2F

Top 10 Names for Dogs
1. Buddy
2. Max
3. Daisy
4. Lucy
5. Charlie
6. Bella
7. Molly
8. Jack
9. Sadie
10. Lady

Top 10 Names for Cats
1. Lucy
2. Smokey
3. Midnight
4. Bella
5. Molly
6. Daisy
7. Oreo
8. Shadow
9. Charlie
10. Angel

I'm interested in watching Lucy and Molly climb up the charts for people.

37
January 4, 2010 11:21 AM

Thanks for the pet names, zoerhenne! It reminds me of a culture clash with my Mexican grandmother. For her, it was taboo to bestow a human name on an animal. We had a cat named Henrietta (after Mr. Rogers). My grandmother could never remember if Henrietta was the cat's or the babysitter's name.

38
January 4, 2010 1:03 PM

Linnaeus-That's funny! I prefer not to give commonly used people names on pets either. I have had pets named Smoky and Pepsi and Fella. My brother had a cat named PITA (not like the bread) LOL!

Btw, I am compiling the local year stats and will post them in a bit.

39
January 4, 2010 2:02 PM

The results are in! The top 10 baby names Without combining spelling for central PA (this is just one hospital with a very diverse ethnic population and age variance as well).

Top 10 Boys:941 total boys
1. Michael (13)(1.38%)
2. Chase (12)
3. Owen (12)
4. Andrew (11)
5. Conner (10)
6. Logan (10)
7. Mason (10)
8. Nicholas (10)
9. Alexander (9)
10. Brayden (9)
(*)=# of births within year given that name

Top 10 Girls:975 total girls
1. Emma (16)(1.64%)
2. Isabella (13)
3. Olivia (13)
4. Ava (12)
5. Madison (10)
6. Natalie (10)
7. Sophia (10)
8. Addison (9)
9. Emily (8)
10. Paige (8)

Combined spellings and sounds and unique names will be posted another time.

40
By Qwen (nli) (not verified)
January 4, 2010 2:55 PM

A new term begins! While doing all the data entry for newly registered students today, I noticed a "S3ya R0se" and a "Chazzera3 M1kasa" both female around the age of 17.

41
January 4, 2010 3:08 PM

Thanks, zoerhenne! I wish I'd been doing this for my local hospital. Note to self.

Philippa the First, you asked: But would it be accurate to say that overall Hispanic naming is less changeable and subject to creativity that Anglo-American or Anglo-Australian naming?

I'm not sure about this. My sense (very unscientific) is that Hispanics are becoming more and more creative in their naming. My daughter's school last year had approximately 200 Hispanic students (K - 5). A quick look shows the following traditional Hispanic names (one each unless otherwise specified): Alberto, Alejandro, Adolfo (2), Alfredo, Angel (2) Blanca, Carlos (2), César (2), Federico, Fernando (2), Francisco (2), Guadalupe, Hector (2), Isabel, Javier, Jesús, Jorge (2), José (5), Juana (2), Leonardo (3), María (5), Oscar, Paloma, Pedro, Rafael, Ramón, Raúl, Rebeca (2), Verónica, and Víctor.

But also: Alexander, Alexandra, Amanda, Anahy, Anderson, Ashley (3), Beverli, Billie, Brayam, Brayan, Brian, Bryan (2), Cherly, Cindy (2), Coraima, Danexy, Deisy, Douglas, Edward (2), Emely, Emily, Erika, Fanny, Francheska, Gedler, Hemirson, Jacqueline (2), Jacquelyne, Jailynne, Jasmine, Jason (3), Jenifer, Jenny, Jerry, Jeymi, Jonathan (2), Joshua (2), Karen (2), Ligda, Lizbeth (2), Lizcet, Lizet, Lizeth, Marleth, Max, Michael (2), Michelle (2), Nesli, Norely, Richard, Ricky, Rudy, Saadia, Seydi, Shania, Stephanie (3), Tiffany, Vanely, Wendole, Yamilet, Yamileth, Yanet, Yasmin, Yocelin, Yorcaef, Yuridia, and Zaira.

These latter names show borrowing from "traditional American" names such as Michael and Stephanie, but also more modern names such as Tiffany, Shania, and Jailynne. There are also alternate spellings of names such as Sadie (Seydi) and Jamie (Jeymi). There are also a lot of names that presumably have meaning for the family and/or culture of origin but with which I'm unfamiliar (Danexy).

Granted, this is a small sample from NC (most Hispanics here are Mexican in origin), but if it's at all representative, I'd hesitate to say that Hispanics are any more conservative in their naming trends than other cultures in the US today.

42
By jodi jean (not verified)
January 4, 2010 3:26 PM

@Linnaeus ... thank you for your name suggestions ... and thank-you to all those who debunked the la-a story ... silly sillynesss!!

i tend to lean more towards contemporary (and even more towards celtic/irish) names and leave the middle names to more meaning. (like my son's mn is connor after my mother connie). i'd rather not have anything popular (i learned my lesson after naming my son aidan)

@zoerhenne ... out of all those names brynn sticks to me the most. that is on our list along with quinn (although i'm leaning more towards quinn b/c it's farther down the top 1000 on ssa). my weirdness though ... is quinn/brynn too similar to finley (who we call fin and finny). will it be too weird to have a fin and a quinn/brynn?! and i'd rather not have anything that ends in lie/ley/lee

43
By Qwen (nli) (not verified)
January 4, 2010 3:52 PM

Dangit, I spoke too soon. I have two more to add: C0rell Lynette and Shar@ya Leann.

44
By Philippa The First (not verified)
January 4, 2010 4:02 PM

Wow, thanks Elizabeth! That's comprehensive and very interesting. I'm always willing to revisit my assumptions if the evidence proves me wrong, and this might be the case.

48 out of 200 Hispanic children with traditionally Hispanic names doesn't seem like a lot. Although I would have also included both Lizbeths, Lizcet, Lizet, Lizeth, and Yasmin on the "traditional" side of the ledger. Making it 54 out of 200, more than 25%. Do you think might be more "traditional" names than you would see in an elementary school with no Hispanic families?

I agree that the remaining names on the "non-traditional" side can be fairly evenly divided into three categories: traditionally English-speaking names (Alexander, Stephanie); variant spellings of traditional names (Emely, Deisy [pron. Daisy, I would imagine]) and cultural or family names that are very unusual (Vanely, Wendole).

What's interesting is the subset of English names that you think are modern, such as Tiffany and Shania, or even Ashley and Bryan, strike me as very 1980s, when we're talking about children that are max 10 years old if they're in fifth grade. So born in 1999 at the earliest. This I think jibes with my earlier conclusion that perhaps Hispanic parents are slower to change their naming patterns overall. The data for Hispanic babies in New York City 2008 still has Ashley as the top baby name for girls (Isabella is second)and Jayden for boys. http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2009/pr076-09.shtml

Isabella is really a standout in this case, but it seems that a sibset of Ashley, Isabella, Jayden and Justin (the second boys name) in 2009 tell a very different story than Isabella, Chloe, William and Jack (top two boys and girls names in Australia in 2009 from the article I linked to above). The first sibset is one that might have appealed to non-Hispanic parents (or at least, Australian parents) in about 1995 I think.

I want to add that I don't think there's any virtue in having more or less changeable naming habits. Everyone's baby name is their own choice, and the patterns that emerge within each culture are perfectly fine.I mean no disrespect. I'm just exploring some ideas.

45
January 4, 2010 5:58 PM

jodi jean:

If your interest is strongly in the Irish, I can refer you to PunkPrincessPhD, who is the local expert in Irish names. But here's my take.

Here's a quick list of guidelines as I see them (feel free to break, change, and ignore them at will, they're your rules):

* Contemporary sound
* Celtic/Irish source
* One or two syllables (?)
* Unlike Aidan or Finley
* Not hugely popular

So here's a starter list (some may more or less follow the rules):

Siobhan
Ciara/Kiera
Eilis
Maeve
Niamh/Neve
Meara/Mira
Oona/Una

I know you can get a lot more around here!

46
January 4, 2010 6:07 PM

Ha ha! I'm showing my age, Philippa. Names like Tiffany and Shania are new to me, because there were no kids with these names when I was in high school. Of course, kids born at the start of these names' popularity curves are now old enough to have kids of their own--gulp!

I'll look back at my list from the elementary school to see if the Caucasian and African American families picked what I consider to be "traditional" names. More to come.

47
January 4, 2010 6:08 PM

re: Chazzera3 M1kasa: My husband had a (male) colleague named Cesare, pronounced Chezaray. Wonder if they were going for a phonetic spelling of that? Also, M1kasa is a Japanese surname. Although I suppose she could also be named after the crystal...

Speaking of student names, I have one named Jcthy! I googled and apparently there is more than one person in the world with this name! Any ideas how to pronounce?

48
January 4, 2010 6:34 PM

OK, so there were roughly 150 African American students at my daughter's elementary school last year. The names fall into a few different categories. The largest number of these kids have names like Alexis (2), Amber, Brandon (2), Brianna (2), Bryan, Cameron, Corey, Daniel, David, Devin, Elijah, George, Gerald, Graham, James, Jared, Jasmine, Jenna, Jeremiah, Jordan (2), Joshua, Lauren, Madison, Mia, Michael, Shaniya, Tiffany, Xavier, Zane. This school has Asian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, African American and Caucasian children, and I'd be hard pressed to guess the race of a child with any of the above names.

The next category of names represents those that I think of as being African American (this is only my opinion). These kids have names like Amya, Annakiya, Darius, Iyonna (2), Jalen (2), Jayla, Jaylen (3), Kamaria, Kiara, Malcolm, Malik, and Tyrell. I wouldn't be surprised to meet a white child named Jaylen, but I tend to think of that name being more prevalent in the black community.

The final category includes kids from the Af Am creative namers and includes children with the names Anautica, Breasha, D'Auntae, Dawaysia, Essence, Jihad (his mom was PTA president--I'm dying to know the story behind his name!), Jurnee, Karizma, Reality, ShiAsia, and Teiyon.

Based on this set of names, I can't begin to hazard a guess whether or not this set of names means that African American parents in my city are more or less creative than parents of other races! All the racial groups seem equally creative and traditional. (I can't comment on the Asian and Middle Eastern names because I'm so unfamiliar with what comprises traditional for those families.)

49
January 4, 2010 6:46 PM

OK, quick last analysis before dinner. The white kids at the school have staid names in general (Sophia, Isabella, Samuel, Nicole, etc.). Stand outs include: Alexander (notable because there are three of them), Alma, Andrew (3), Ashton (girl), Brietta, Colby, Doris, Drake, Durant, Ella (3), Esme, Exelee, Felix, Finnegan, Genevieve, Heather (seems behind the times), Isabel (2), Isabella (1), Jazzy (girl), Job, Layne (boy), Mitchell (3!), Noah (3), Olivia (4), Seddie (boy), Tanner, Tova, Trent (2), and Truman. There are about 150 Caucasian kids at the school.

50
January 4, 2010 6:52 PM

jodi jean:

I ran through the long list I sent earlier, and here's another possible short list:

Tierney
Aislinn/Ashlyn
Camryn/Cameron
Kyla
Yvaine
Irelyn