The Boldest Baby Name Suffix
The results are in, and I have identified the boldest name suffix of the 21st century. Sorry, Ryleigh and Kayleigh, Brooklyn and Ashlyn, yours didn't come close. Nice effort, Gunner and Ryder, Colton and Kingston, but you've been beaten out -- by a suffix that's overwhelmingly feminine.
The boldest name-suffix family is:
-TY, as used in names of three or more syllables.
Say what? Modest littly -ty? How can that possibly beat out name endings like -xx, which is brash enough to transform good old-fashioned Max into MAXX, the calling card of professional wrestlers and jumbo-sized condoms?
To start with, -xx and its kin are fringe players, given to small numbers of babies. But the real key to -ty's power lies not in the suffix itself but in the kind of names it caps off, and inspires. Other suffixes span a wide range of styles: for every gutsy Gunner there's a preppy Parker, and for every brash Brooklyn a conservative Carolyn. Not so with the the multisyllable -ty names.
Last year, over 10,000 American girls were given a name longer than two syllables ending in -ty. 97% percent of them were names adopted from English words describing positive qualities or abstract concepts. If you take Chasity to be a form of the virtue name Chastity, the percentage approaches 100%.
It may be hard to think of a classically modest virtue name like Chastity as "bold," but Chastity, Verity, Charity, Modesty and their kin are much more aggressive style statements than Grace or Faith. They're also just the tip of the iceberg.
Not a single 3+ syllable -ty name made the mainstream of American style in the 20th Century. Today, Serenity and Trinity rank in the top 100, Liberty, Felicity and Charity in the top 1,000, and the entire -ty style is rising -- and getting bolder. Other -ty names given to 10 or more girls last year included:
...plus creatively spelled names like Aunesty and Zerenity.
Put them all together and the -ty names form a portrait of our bold namining era.