Name Spotlight: Sawyer

May 3rd 2010

Join me for a journey down the Mississippi with an all-American name.

Sawyer is an occupational surname that originally referred to someone who sawed wood for a living. Its free-spirited style, though, comes straight from Mark Twain's boy hero Tom Sawyer. Sawyer started to rise in popularity in the 1990s as part of a trend toward tradesman names, then spiked up after its prominent appearence on the tv series Lost. Like other literary surnames (Harper, Beckett), it has a broad appeal, luring in an educated slice of parents who usually prefer more traditional given names. It is pronounced...well, that's where today's story starts.

A site visitor clicked the "Report inappropriate content" on the Sawyer page in Namipedia. The visitor wrote:

There is an error in the pronunciation of this name. I named our son Sawyer and we have spent 22 years correcting people you (sic) slovenly say "SOY-yer." The word AND the name are correctly pronouned just as it reads: "SAW-yer." One wouldn't say, "I soy your mother at the store." :-)  I hope you will change this. Thank you.

22 years of correcting people can't be any fun, but there's a reason all those folks said SOY-er. It's the standard pronunciation of the word and name in both the U.K. and the U.S. -- take a listen at this Oxford dictionary page. SAW-yer is an acceptable variant, used by a small minority of people. I added it as a second listing in Namipedia, but parents of a SAW-yer should know they're fighting an uphill battle. (As for the idea that not pronouncing a word phonetically is "slovenly," hey, this is English we're talking about. Even the word English itself isn't pronounced phonetically.)

As I learned more about the word sawyer, though, I came to realize that the standard listing for the name really is wrong. Not the pronunciation, but the meaning.

Look up sawyer in a modern dictionary and you'll find two definitions. First is the person who saws wood, second a beetle that bores into trees. Look it up in a baby name dictionary and you'll find just the first definition. That's proper, since little Sawyers are hardly likely to be named for the beetle. But look up sawyer in a 19th-century American dictionary and you'll discover something quite different. Here's an excerpt from Noah Webster's 1828 edition:

In America, a tree which, being undermined by a current of water, and falling into the stream, lies with its branches above water, which are continually raised and depressed by the force of the current, from which circumstance the name is derived. The sawyers in the Mississippi render the navigation dangerous, and frequently sink boats which run against them.

In the words of John Bartlett's 1848 Dictionary of Americanisms, "This may truly be called an American word; for no country without a Mississippi and Missouri could produce a sawyer."

It was this all-American word, this peril of the Mississippi and scourge of steamboats that gave Tom Sawyer his name. Tom, in turn, gave all the first-name Sawyers their names. After all, as a surname Sawyer is less common than Glover, Decker, Collier, Skinner and many others. Its style mojo comes from the book. So arguably, the "real" meaning of Sawyer that should be listed in baby name dictionaries is a submerged tree.

Just think of it. All of this uncertainty about the pronunciation and meaning of a name that is an English word, a familiar surname, and one of the most recognizable names in American literature. Meanwhile new names are being introduced every day. A Baby Name Wizard's work is never done.

Comments

251
By Eo (not verified)
May 6, 2010 9:01 AM

"Caroline Jean"-- how pretty, Sarah C! Congrats.

Yes, Linnaeus, your ancient "ric" element is most interesting. Aren't you a fan of "Osric"-- very distinguished and a nice medium between "Eric" and "Osborne"...

As you have "ric", I have "kin"! I've always loved this ending-- isn't it Low German in origin, or Flemish or something, Miriam? Goes back to the Middle Ages.

Means "little", or even "son of" sometimes, especially with an "s" on the end. Used as an endearment, added on to names-- Peterkin, Timmykins, my favorite "Adam" nickname, "Adkin".

Although it has a Germanic origin, and was widespread in England, it's interesting that it ended up in Wales in surnames like "Hopkins", etc.

"Kin" and "kins" also morphed into just "ks" on the end of names-- "Jenks", and "Hanks", I suppose.

TCM ran the classic film "In Our Time" yesterday, about a Polish aristocrat, Count Stefan, who marries an English woman during World War II.

I've always loved Polish names, and was struck by the ones in the film, some of which are very Euro-chic today:

Stefan
Janina (pronounced Ya-NEE-na)
Pawel (Paul)
Zofia (Sophia)
Leopold
Naneczka (isn't that "ka" ending also an endearment?)
Irena
Wladek
Marysia

252
By Guest B (not verified)
May 6, 2010 9:19 AM

Except that Singe would have to be a monkey baby :)

hyz - I am super interested in your Korean naming process! (No one wanted to talk names with me in Korea) I like the hyphenated forms, as they feel and look more Korean and I think help keep the pronunciation straight. Although I would have issues not "matching" the kids names.. 'Yeong' (I'm assuming 영?) is a nice syllable to work with, as is 'min.'

I'm impressed that you found some stats - Soo-bin, Min-ji, Min-seo, Da-eun, and Dong-hyun definitely sound right to me in terms of popularity, although I would have expected Min-woo on the boys' list.

Also, I love Jin-su's name on LOST, I had a little student named Shin Jin-su, and found it adorable. I always wonder what my taste would sound like to them.. would it be really random and culturally off like saying oh I really love names like Jayden, Harold, and Doug?

Kristina - Do Nova Scotians really sound like that?!

Larksong - I say VYE-lit, with the slight 'uh' half syllable in the middle.

253
May 6, 2010 9:21 AM

A question for everyone here :

Is your family's opinion of the names you like or decide to use important?

@Zoerhenne

I know ! I'm not crazy about Weston because it reminds me of a 'western', but I LOVE West. It's actually ranked 3rd on my list.

254
May 6, 2010 9:31 AM

I just saw Sophie Kinsella, the author of the Shopaholic series, had a 4th son: Rex. He joins Freddy,Hugo & Oscar.

255
By Amy3
May 6, 2010 9:56 AM

@Larksong, my husband and were total keepers so no one in our families knew the names we were considering, even the middles (which are family names). Certainly I'd like them to *like* the name we chose (and I think they do), but I wanted to present them with a baby-already-named rather than a baby-name-under-consideration. But that's just me.

256
May 6, 2010 10:11 AM

Larksong-I do take into consideration what my family would/has thought of my name choices, but ultimately it was Dh's and my decision. It's funny because just the other night I was talking to my mom and teasing that I was sick of calling to the children. I went on to say that I was going to change their names to add some variety and not make it seem like I was a "broken record". She laughed and then said you know "whenever I look at Natalie's picture I keep thinking she should have been a Kimberley". Kimberley was one of the 6 other names I was deciding on after her birth.

257
By JessicaM (not verified)
May 6, 2010 10:35 AM

Just a thought on the SOY-yer / SAW-yer debate :)
If you don't want to spend the child's lifetime correcting people's pronunciation, then stay away from a name with pronunciation problems.

Speaking of slovenly pronunciation -- in the rock song "Tom Sawyer" by Rush, I think he pronounces it even worse. Sounds like Tom Soy-yay. Then again, Rush is from Canada, so maybe it's a Montreal French pronunciation or something ;-)

258
By hyz
May 6, 2010 10:40 AM

Guest B, yes, I'm pretty sure the syllable is 영, although all the family in the states has chosen to spell it Young instead of Yeong, so I'm not 100% sure. I agree, young and min are two pretty good ones to work with. Although (again from a Korean drama) one of my favorite girl's names is Yun-ah, so I would have loved to be able to use that. I'm glad we're not stuck with Eun, which (although lovely in Korean) seems to be impossible for Americans to pronounce and causes a lot of confusion, and similarly I think it's better that we don't have any of the ones with Y in the middle, like hyun, kyung, etc.--they seem easy enough to me, but apparently they really throw the average American reader off.

My husband and his sister have hyphens, and we thought a lot last time about whether to use one for our daughter. But the hyphen has caused a lot of administrative headaches for my DH, and since our DD's name is easily written in a phonetic way without the hyphen, we didn't use it. However, I'm not sure what we'll do with Young-joon/Youngjoon if that's what we end up using. I think that one looks better/less confusing with a hyphen, but there's still the administrative hassle issue. I think DH's US cousins (who all gave their kids Korean middle names) all ditched the hyphens for their kids and just ran both syllables together.

259
By hyz
May 6, 2010 11:12 AM

Larksong, my reply is the same as Amy3's--we'd *like* our families to like the names we choose, but we didn't give them the slightest hint of what we were choosing ahead of time because we really didn't want their input or criticism--we prefer the fait accompli method.

Eo, -kin is a diminutive, related to -chen in German. It shows up as part of the origin of the word mannequin (little man), and I wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with munchkin and pumpkin, too--anyone know? When emilyrae mentioned before that it's a shame that English doesn't have a familiar form like -san in Japanese or -ssi in Korean, the first thing I thought of was -kin. Nobody really uses it much seriously, but it shows up in sickeningly sweet phrases like "fuzzi-wuzzikins" (to some tiny, fluffy dog, presumably) or "sweetykins" or "babykins". After Ivy was born, I found myself calling her "little bunny lumpkin" a lot--I'm not sure where that came from, but it stuck for awhile, lol. -Ka/ska/czka is definitely also a form of endearment in some eastern European languages--another prominent example is Mariska (Hargitay), which is a diminutive of Maria.

260
May 6, 2010 11:06 AM

@hyz

What type of administrative problems did it cause? If this is in anyway a private issue - you don't have to answer !Or if you feel uncomfortable. I'm just curious as I have a hyphenated name & I've never had a single problem with it.

261
May 6, 2010 11:19 AM

hyz,
i like the sound of young-joon/youngjoon. it would drive me a bit bonkers to not be consistent with the hyphens amongst siblings, but obviously that's a personal decision that only matters if it matters to you and the dh.

regarding -kin, the first thing that comes to mind is harry potter, and petunia dursley calling her son dudley "duddykins." it was a little revolting in that case, but i can see it being cute in other contexts. :]

oh, and for the record, -san isn't a familiar suffix in japanese. -san is formal, roughly like calling someone "mr." or "mrs." -chan and -kun are affectionate suffixes. here is the wikipedia article on it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_honorifics

262
By hyz
May 6, 2010 11:18 AM

Larksong, it's always stuff like whether certain forms allow for hyphens or not. The most inconvenient instance of this I can think of was when DH bought a plane ticket with his credit card, and the credit card company did not allow hyphens, and the plane ticket was of course printed to match the name on the credit card. So when we showed up at the airport, the security didn't want to let DH through because his ticket (no hyphen) didn't match his passport and driver's license (with hyphen), and we came very close to missing our plane. Obviously this is a little ridiculous, but in post-9/11 days, you should never underestimate the capacity for inane ridiculousness by airport security. Most things like this are just annoyances, not major hassles, but still, there's enough annoyance in life that I'd like to avoid preventable irritations for my child if possible.

263
May 6, 2010 11:21 AM

hyz,
your hypen story reminds me of this, which i think has actually been brought up here in the past, but larksong hasn't seen it:
http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2009/05/15/in_which_i_try_not_to_complain.html

264
May 6, 2010 11:22 AM

@hyx

WOW! I completely get where you are coming from! That is ridiculous that you have to go through all of that. Shame , I feel bad for you & your husband now :(

265
May 6, 2010 11:39 AM

@emilyrae

I just read that article. That is ridiculous ! Those poor people. It's such a silly thing to cause problems over.

266
By hyz
May 6, 2010 11:44 AM

emilyrae, thanks for posting that again. It's hilarious every time. We actually had something like the second part of her story happen on our recent trip to Europe. Ivy was flying as a lap infant because she is under two. We noted this when making the reservation on the phone, and the guy said, no problem--I'm sending you paper tickets, but I can't send one for the lap infant, because that's a security hazard, so you'll have to get it when you check in at the airport. Ok, sure, fine. But when we get to the airport, the guy at the desk can't give us a ticket for the baby. Oh, he sees that I booked my ticket to include a lap infant, and that I paid the extra fee for a lap infant, and he sees said lap infant sitting there sweetly in her stroller, he just simply can't give us a ticket, because one should have been mailed to us with our paper tickets. Long and painful story short, we ended up standing at the check in counter for almost TWO HOURS before the airline saw fit to "let" us BUY another ticket for Ivy (not that she was getting a seat after all that, we were just paying twice for the privilege of her sitting on my lap for the 8 hour plane ride). We came very, very close to missing our flight--the guy had to rush us through security and phone ahead to let the plane staff know we were still coming. I was honestly just thankful at that point that we made it on the flight, but the fiasco thwarted our whole plan of showing up at the airport early and letting Ivy run around and tire herself out and eat something other than the snacks I brought for the plane trip. By the end of two hours standing in one very boring spot with nothing to do (did I mention the airline guy said we couldn't leave the desk, not even to go to the bathroom, because if he got through on the phone to the powers on high and we happened not to be there at that very moment, all would be lost?), Ivy was NOT the happy little camper that we started out with. Sigh. Airlines.

267
May 6, 2010 11:55 AM

OMG hyz, so glad I don't have hyphens in my name nor does any one in my family. Airline hassles are truly amazing (read ridiculous). Thanks for reposting that emilyrae. I don't believe I had seen it the first time either.

268
May 6, 2010 12:12 PM

Eo- Ooh, LOVE Marysia. Any idea how it's pronounced?

hyz- OED says of pumpkin: An altered form of pumpion (see pompion), with the ending conformed to the suffix -kin. In U.S. the m is often further assimilated to the k, the word being pronounced (ˈpʌŋkɪn), and sometimes spelt punkin, esp. in comb.

(What is a punkin comb??)

Yes, I would think munchkin is a corruption of menschchen, i.e. little person. OED only mentions Wizard of Oz and nothing earlier than that!

269
By hyz
May 6, 2010 12:23 PM

Valerie, thanks for the OED ref.! So I guess they don't say why it switched from -ion to -kin, that maybe it's just something people did in practice because it was something they were more familiar with?? I don't know anything about a "punkin comb"--do you think maybe it means "in comb." as short for "in combination", or some such thing? As in "in combination with pie, for 'punkin pie'"? And I would also argue that while some people in the US may *say* "punkin" if they are being verbally lazy or as part of an accent, I don't think anyone really writes it that way except with full knowledge that it is a spelling alteration to represent a slang way of pronouncing the word (like if 'Punkin' is a nn you use for your kid, you might write it that way on a note to her, or whatever).

270
May 6, 2010 1:03 PM

2 more questions for you ladies & gentlemen :)

a)
Are you a lot of you who frequent on here teachers? If this is a private question, then don't feel pressurized to answer :)

b) If you were to ever publish a work of fiction, would you use your own name or a pseudonym ? And if any of you are published authors, did you use your real name or a pseudonym?

Thanks everyone :)

271
By Edith Bouvier Beale (not verified)
May 6, 2010 1:08 PM

So last night I started talking names with the girl who was cutting my hair at the salon. She told me that, while she was in no way anticipating having children any time soon (she was all of 19), she had names already picked out. Her favorite boy names: Liam (which she said she knew was "too common" but still liked), Nevin, and Talan. Her favorite girl name was...Valerie.

I was surprised. Nothing against Valerie--it's a pretty name--it just seemed generationally off given this girl's age, and a bit stylistically off given her boy choices. She told me that it sounded really "country club" to her--stylish, feminine, but sophisticated. She wanted to call her Valley for short. I guess the era of the Valley Girl has officially past.

I love it when I get to talk names with people in real life.

272
May 6, 2010 1:24 PM

Edith Bouvier Beale-Wow so glad the Valley Girl era has past! I too like Valerie.

Larksong-Answers A=used to be B=psuedonym probably. Hmm now what could it be?

hyz-Back on to pronunciation issues, I say it like pum-kin the "p" is almost non-existent.

273
May 6, 2010 1:31 PM

@zoerhenne
Would your pseudonym differ according to the genre you wrote? E.g., if you wrote horror as opposed to chic lit,would the name be the same or different?

@Edith Bouvier Beale
That's really interesting! I wonder how long those names have been her favourites? If they are likely to change? If they've been her favs for a few years, then maybe she'll end up using them

274
By hyz
May 6, 2010 1:36 PM

zoerhenne, I might say 'pumkin' sometimes, but I think I do generally pronounce the middle p pretty clearly, if quickly. Sometimes I use "Punky" as a term of endearment, though, short for pumpkin.

And I also like the name Valerie!

Larksong--not a teacher, and I guess it could depend on what I was writing, but no, I think no pseudonym in general.

275
May 6, 2010 1:43 PM

For me it seems more important lately that other family members like my name choices. I think since I don't have front runners that I love anymore I'm not as confident in any of my favorites.

276
May 6, 2010 1:44 PM

Just correcting my comment:
If they've been her favs for a few years, then maybe she'll end up using them.

I meant that because I know some people's favourite names change a lot.

I re-read it and it looked a bit odd, so I thought I correct it :)

the teacher bit: I was wondering if many of you were teachers because it seems like a couple of people mentioned teaching.
I also saw someone (it could have even been here) say that it's harder for teacher to choose names themselves because they come across so many children & the kids affect how they view the names.

Obviously everyone is different, but I was wondering if any of you who are teachers or who have taught gone through this?

It was just a very interesting comment that I saw somewhere .

After this, I'll stop asking so many questions!

277
May 6, 2010 1:47 PM

This is a little off topic, but I'm anticipating the births of a number of friends' babies over the next couple of months. I used to get annoyed when people decided to be "keepers" but now I'm less bothered because I get to play the "guess the name game." Poor DH has to hear me revise my guesses nearly daily. It's almost no fun when I know the name ahead of time! Just me?

278
By guest (not verified)
May 6, 2010 2:06 PM

Just wanted to give you all a list of names from a library "baby story time." The kids are all 6 mo - 2 years old.

Mabel (ours)
Amaya
Poppy (full name, not nickname)
Quentin
Franklin
Braden

279
May 6, 2010 2:17 PM

@guest278

Such a lovely mix of styles !

I used to find Poppy lacking a little as a full name on an adult, but now I find it very British & sweet ! Plus, I've come across a Poppie (PAW--pee), who is in her late 30s to 40-ish , so can imagine it on an adult.Poppie is the Afrikaans word for 'doll'.

@rocster

Well, on the plus side - it teaches patience! lol. I think it's fun waiting & guessing !

280
By Cathie (not verified)
May 6, 2010 2:21 PM

Philippa the first -- I haven't had time to read through all of the comments so maybe someone has already brought this up, but I just wanted to say I'd definitely avoid Anders with your last name, since it is a common Dutch word. It means "other", "different" or "elsewhere" depending on the context (for example, if you say you want "iets anders" it means I'd like something else). Although for a second child, maybe it's appropriate: "Another type of Bemelman", lol. Not sure I'd want my kid's name to be an in-joke for Dutch speakers though...

Laura, LOVED this entry! You're brilliant! I know a CA urban-hipster sibset Sawyer, Griffin, and Calla. Right on trend for these days.

281
May 6, 2010 2:35 PM

hyz- oh duh! Of course it means "in combination". Silly me.

Glad some people around here like the name Valerie! I really hated it as a kid as it felt really dated (I was born in '62), but it seems to be making a comeback. I always used Val growing up, as I had a long complicated surname, but now that my married name is one syllable, I've found myself using my full name much more often. It sounds better and people respond well to it.

282
May 6, 2010 2:39 PM

glad everyone enjoyed the pearl-mcphee story! it never fails to crack me up (while being simultaneously exasperating). of all the nonsensical things...

larksong,
i don't have children, but my current attitude is one of not really caring what my family thinks. i would hope they liked what i chose, obviously, but i sort of figure it's my kid, not theirs, and unless i choose something like "princess," there's not much they can't get used to, however unexpected.

and i'm not a teacher, but i think i'd enjoy it. i've considered going back to school for it.

and if i were to write, i think i'd go with initials and last name, a la c.s. lewis, h.g. wells, j.k. rowling, etc, etc. my real ones, not a pseudonym.

hyz,
your airline stories = yikes! i've had some hassles myself, and it is always incredibly exasperating.

and i'm with you on the pronunciation of pumpkin. maaaybe i sometimes say pum-kin, but i think i generally pronounce the second 'p' pretty clearly.

283
May 6, 2010 2:54 PM

I was wondering what everyone will look up first when the new SSA numbers are released. On the boy side I'll go directly to Jude and for girls Stella. Both are on my short list for future babies and both have been skyrocketing lately. So what will you all look for first?

284
By Jillc (not verified)
May 6, 2010 2:58 PM

Just a quick note to say that our new baby boy arrived!

Albert Boaz C. was born at home at 3:29pm on Tuesday. He joins siblings Oliver R@ndolph and Mamie K@therine Elise. Albert was my DH's grandpa's name. Boaz is (obviously, or so I thought) a biblical name. I've decided to give people a break when they ask where Boaz came from, since my knowledge of the name probably comes more from my being an NE than from my faith! If he would have been a girl, he probably would have been Beatrix Florence, although Astrid Caroline joined the running late in the game.

285
By hyz
May 6, 2010 3:04 PM

another Laura, fun question! My first stops will probably be Oliver and Rowan, to see if Oliver is steadying or continuing to climb, and to see if the girls are continuing the rapid (mis)appropriation of Rowan. Then probably Ivy, to see how the numbers went for it last year.

286
May 6, 2010 3:05 PM

@Jillc

Many congratulations are in order!

@another Laura

Probably the top 10 lol

Then to see how popular Eden,Isla & Piper are. :)

I can't wait

287
By hyz
May 6, 2010 3:06 PM

Jillc, congrats!! A very distinguished name for your little boy, and I hope you and your family are doing well.

288
May 6, 2010 3:08 PM

jillc,
that's awesome! i love your children's names. :] boaz isn't weird to me at all! book of ruth! ruth, naomi, and boaz--i'm right there with ya. :]

another laura,
hmm...i'll probably check my picks for the rising and falling names. :] which were...hmm. i forget. i think the rising ones were: vienna, eloise, and barack. falling were...i don't remember exactly, but it was something along the lines of krista, nataly, and...something else. basically 70s names or alternate spellings that are quickly falling out of fashion.

289
May 6, 2010 3:34 PM

I say the 'p' in pumPkin. So, it's PUMPkin. The 'kin' is said really quickly

Well, that's how I think I say it lol !

290
May 6, 2010 3:29 PM

another Laura-I am curious to see how much if any, the top 10 has changed in both boys and girls. Btw, see the next post!

Larksong-I used to teach in preschool/daycare so some of the associations to names were strong for me. I decided I wouldn't be able to use Christopher or Nicholas because those were often the boys that got in trouble on a daily basis. It happened also that there were other personal/family connections that made them difficult to use even though they are totally my style. On the girls side, I can't remember any I crossed off. I was actually introduced to a few names I hadn't heard before so it was fun.

Re my psuedonym: I really don't know what I would pick and if it would be different depending on genre. The above hmm was truly a question. I guess I could use Zoe Rhenne LN since that way you all would know me! Z.R. LN sounds pretty cool for sci-fi stuff too. So considering that is not my real name I guess I already use a psuedonym.

291
By Eo (not verified)
May 6, 2010 3:44 PM

jillc-- "Albert Boaz" is striking! I love that you are not following the crowd. Am wondering if you will use any nicknames-- but you don't have to, the formal name is so terrific. Great job and congrats...

Valerie, I think Ma-REESH-a, or Ma-RIHSH-a. Closer to the first one, I would imagine. "Marysia" is a "Mary"-derived diminutive, I think. I love it also.

292
By Eo (not verified)
May 6, 2010 3:46 PM

zoerhenne, you have a great pseudonym ready for when you write your novel! To me it always sounds exotic and mysterious...

293
May 6, 2010 4:05 PM

Thanks Eo!
For those of you in need of some stats I have compiled the top 10 names for girls and boys in my local listings for 2009(full year) and 2010(Jan -April). Here they are: *(number of children that have this name)
2009 Girls
1. Emma *16
2. Isabella 13
3. Olivia 13
4. Ava 12
5. Madison 10
6. Natalie 10
7. Sophia 10
8. Addison 09
9. Emily 08
10.Paige 08
Total births: 1950

2009 Boys
1. Michael 13
2. Chase 12
3. Owen 12
4. Andrew 11
5. Connor 10
6. Logan 10
7. Mason 10
8. Nicholas 10
9. Alexander 09
10. Brayden 09
Total births: 2823

2010 Girls
1. Emma 6
2. Olivia 5
3. Addison 4
4. Alexis 4
5. Isabella 4
6. Sophia 4
7. Alyssa 3
8. Jada 3
9. Jillian 3
10. Julia 3
Total births: 315

2010 Boys
1. Aiden 5
2. Carter 5
3. Alexander 4
4. Austin 4
5. Chase 4
6. Joseph 4
7. Lucas 4
8. Mason 4
9. Andrew 3
10. Anthony 3
Total births: 331

The girls list doesn't surprise me too much but Carter, Austin has really jumped so far this year. We'll have to wait an see if there are more. I also think Chase has fallen.

294
May 6, 2010 4:14 PM

zoerhenne

Thanks ! That's fantastic of you to do !

295
By Amy3
May 6, 2010 4:30 PM

@Jillc, congrats! I love your kids' names and Albert fits right in. It made me smile that Astrid was a last-minute contender, because when we were choosing names we considered Albert (nn Al) for a boy (although we ultimately chose Elliot), but had an Astrid instead!

@Larksong, I'm not a teacher, but I did work as a librarian in a public library and even in that setting names could have been ruined for me (but I can't think of one that was).

I'm not sure if I'd use my name or a pseudonym if I were an author. I have a friend who writes in one genre under her real name and in a wildly different genre under a pseudonym.

@another Laura, I always check my name (*blushing*) and Astrid's (which hovers in the 900s if it's there at all). Then I'll be most interested in the top 100 and bottom 100 for both sexes.

@zoerhenne, you have such an awesome pseudonym you should practically just write something so you can use it! Loved your stats. It's interesting to see the changes even from last year to this.

Re: -kins, I sometimes call my daughter Astridkins. :)

296
May 6, 2010 5:11 PM

Thank you also Larksong and Amy3. I do write poetry. Does that count?

You are all welcome for the list. I love doing stuff like that instead of taking care of household chores :)

297
By hyz
May 6, 2010 5:41 PM

Zoerhenne, I loved the list, too! I wish I had information like that for our area, although I bet it would overlap a lot with yours. I agree that it's interesting to see the changes between 09 and 10 so far, even though they may not be as meaningful because the 10 sample size is still much smaller. But one thing that surprises me was that you had SO many more boys born in 2009 than girls. Wow! Could that be a typo? I've heard before that boys make up something like 52% of live births, but your numbers skew way past that, even.

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May 6, 2010 6:23 PM

zoerhenne - I use to teach middle school and I could never use the name Zachary for the same reason. Those Zach's were such trouble makers =) What I can't believe about the 2010 list is that Madison is gone!

And look at the J's creeping back in the girls list.

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By Anna S (not verified)
May 6, 2010 6:26 PM

Hyz, if you ever have more airline-related problems you may find some help here: http://www.elliott.org/
It's really absurd that airline webpages etc. can't handle something as simple as a hyphen?! I mean, it is now possible to have Arabic domain names and surgeons can perform operations "online" - why is a hyphen such a problem???

Jilic - congrats! I love the subtle alliteration with the a's and b's in Albert Boaz.

Larksong - I'm an engineer, but my parents were teachers. I think I'd use my initials - A.C. - or maybe a pseudonym if I were to publish something in the fiction department. (I do publish scientific articles but the journal decides how your name is displayed, it's usually Anna C. Last or A.C. Last, rarely full names)

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May 6, 2010 6:50 PM

Amy3- I look up my name too :)

@Larksong: usually I look at the newcomers and out-goings for the top 10, 25, 100 and 1000. This year I plan to look up all the twilight names, too, just to measure the impact of that franchise! I think Bella might do an Addison, and jump from outside the top 100 into the top 50 or better. .