Card Game - Names Through the Decades

For those who like card games and have a standard shuffled 52-card deck (real or virtual) they can use, here's one that involves creating name combos based on the cards you draw. You can either play this yourself, or if you have some other name-enthusiast friends around you can play it together. Here's how it goes (using the U.S. SSA stats and the NameVoyager):

1. Decide how many combos you want to create; that's how many cards you are to be dealt.

2. Deal yourself (or your friend(s) if playing together) as many cards as combos you're to create.

3. The card will tell you what to create; based on the value of the card the first name should be one that is either 1) In the Top 10 for that decade, 2) One that peaked that decade, or 3) One that peaked in one of the adjacent decades but is still in the Top 50 for the card's decade. The middle name can be anything reasonably plausible for someone born at the time (e.g. not something like Jayden or Neveah before those names were known). Here's the decades for each corresponding card value:

Jack = 1880s

Queen = 1890s

King = 1900s

Ace = 1910s

2-9 = corresponding decade based on the card number (2 = 1920s, 9 = 1990s, and the same for the others in between)

10 = 2000s

If the suit is black (spades or clubs) the combo should be for a boy; if the suit is red (hearts or diamonds) it should be for a girl.

4. Post your results!


By EVie
July 29, 2012 10:59 PM

Great game! So I, uh, started playing and ended up going all the way through the deck. I reorganized the names into sibsets of 4 for each decade, with the "birth order" remaining the order in which those cards came up. For the sake of simplicity and consistency, in each combo I aimed to have one name that peaked that decade and one name that was top-10 for any year in the decade. Toward the end I started running out of top-10 names I liked for some decades (especially with the boys), so in those cases I went with both peak names. I quite like how these sibsets turned out, even though I initially picked the names without regard for the previous choices for that decade. 

1880s:  Thomas Leander (#10 in 1885, peaked 1880s), Clara May (#7 1885 and peaked 1880s), Arthur Henry (peaked in 1880s, #8 in 1885), Anna Lavinia (#2 in 1885, peaked 1880s)

1890s: James Percy (#3 1895 and peaked 1890s), Celia Florence (peaked 1890s, #7 1895), Eva Hazel (both peaked 1890s), Robert Clarence (#8 in 1895, peaked 1890s)

1900s: Theodore Joseph (peaked 1900s, #7 1905), Alice Magnolia (#10 in 1905, peaked in 1900s), Leo Felix (both peaked 1900s), Aurelia Ruth (peaked 1900s, #5 1905)

1910s: Genevieve Margaret (peaked in 1910, #4 in 1910), John Lawrence (#1 in 1915, peaked 1910s), Violet Evelyn (peaked 1910s, #10 1915), Edmund Julius (both peaked 1930s)

1920s: Lionel Edward (peaked 1920s, #9 1925), Eloise Virginia (peaked 1920s, #7 1925), Marian Elizabeth (peaked 1920s, #10 1925), Roland Eugene (both peaked 1920s)

1930s: Gilbert Charles (peaked in 1930s, #6 in 1935), George Lowell (#8 1935, peaked 1930s), Rosalie Helen (peaked 1930s, #10 1935), Iris Ramona (both peaked 1930s)

1940s: John Philip (#3 1945, peaked 1940s), Richard Kenneth (#5 in 1945, peaked 1940s), Rosemary Carol (peaked 1940s, #9 1945), Jane Constance (both peaked 1930s)

1950s: Stephen Michael (peaked in 1950s, #1 in 1955), Gwendolyn Deborah (peaked in 1950s, #2 in 1955), Diana Rosalyn (both peaked 1950s), Peter Randolph (both peaked 1950s)

1960s: Laura Cynthia (peaked 1960s, #9 in 1967), David Gregory (#3 in 1965, peaked 1960s), Theresa Robin (both peaked 1960s), Timothy Byron (both peaked 1960s)

1970s:  William Lance (#10 1975 and peaked 1970s), Melinda Heather (peaked 1970s, #3 1975), April Rebecca (peaked in 1970s, #10 in 1973), Jason Cedric (#2 1975, peaked 1970s)

1980s: Alison Sarah (peaked in 1980s, #5 in 1985), Jonathan Daniel (peaked in 1980s, #5 in 1985), Marcus Christopher (peaked 1980s, #2 1985), Amanda Katherine (#4 1985, peaked 1980s)

1990s: Nicholas Trevor (#6 1995, peaked 1990s), Ariel Samantha (peaked 1990s, #4 1995), Cassandra Emily (peaked 1990s, #3 1995), Jacob Spencer (#4 1995, peaked 1990s) 

2000s/2010s: Felicity Ava (peaked 2000s/2010s, #9 2005), Alexander Bennett (#4 in 2009, peaked 2000s), Gabriel Andrew (peaked 2000s, #6 2005), Juliet Chloe (peaked 2000s/2010s, #9 2009)

July 30, 2012 3:37 PM

For your reference, the names do not have to be in the Top 10 and peaked for the decade (it's an "or" qualification, so as long as any of the three points are true the name's OK).

By EVie
July 30, 2012 5:57 PM

Oh, I understood that—I just chose to follow a stricter set of rules to make it more challenging for myself. To clarify, the statistics that I listed for each name refer to the first, then the middle.

I found the 1880s-1920s to be fairly easy with lots of nice options, as well as the 2000s; the most difficult for me were the 1940s-1960s, in which I really had to scrounge to find combos that I liked. I also found it interesting to see the glut of names that "peaked" in the 1880s, according to NameVoyager Expert; in reality, a lot of those names probably peaked in earlier decades, but unfortunately we don't have data for those. That means that 1880 peak names are really more generically 19th-century, rather than the more specific styles of the decade.

July 5, 2013 3:04 PM

I chose 5 sibs:

B, 70s: William Timothy

B, 10s: Charles Lawrence

G, 1880s: Alice Cora

B, 80s: James Zachary

B, 60s: Thomas Matthew

I played that the first name had to be chosen from the top 10 of that decade and mn had to be top 50... made for few choices bc so many were the same decade after decade for top 10! haha

December 12, 2013 6:25 PM

1880s: John William, James Henry, Mary Elizabeth & Margaret Anna

1890s: Charles Edward, Clara Helen, Arthur George & Alice Dorothy

1900s: Robert Louis, Joseph Richard, Lillian Florence & Ruth Catherine

1910s: Mildred Josephine, Evelyn Rose, Albert Donald & Harold Paul

1920s: Thomas Raymond, Jack Donald, Betty Virginia & Eleanor Shirley

1930s: Gloria Kathleen, Gladys Lorraine, Gary Kenneth & Gerald Lloyd

1940s: Audrey Joan, Joyce Pauline, Allan Douglas & Bruce Edwin

1950s: Linda Susan, Karen Patricia, Michael Steven & David Russell

1960s: Lisa Marie, Kimberly Ann, Jeffrey Scott & Daniel Timothy

1970s: Mark Christopher, Jason Anthony, Jennifer Laura & Melissa Danielle

1980s: Ashley Nicole, Joshua Ryan, Andrew Justin & Jessica Heather

1990s: Jacob Nicholas, Tyler Zachary, Lauren Alexis & Rachel Hannah

2000s: Emily Madison, Olivia Abigail, Ethan Alexander & Owen Connor

December 21, 2013 4:24 AM

2000s (g): Emma Genesis

1960s (b): Andrew Kent

1880s (g): Maude Flossie

1990s (g): Victoria Jade

1910s (b): Jack Clifton

1940s (b): Henry Oscar

1900s (b): Leo Cornelius


First names are all Top 50, Middle names are all Bottom 50

I wasn't sure how to see what peaked for each decade? What do you use to find that?

July 5, 2016 10:47 AM

DD: Jessica "Jess" Nicole

DD: Isabella "Issie" Madison

DS: Joseph "Joe" Edward

DD: Mildred "Millie" Helen

DS: Ethan Joshua

DD: Elizabeth "Beth" Taylor

DS: James Matthew

DD: Michelle "Ellie" Karen

DS: Charles "Charlie" Henry

DD: Alice Marie