Thursday, March 03, 2005

If you want to waste way too much time

Go visit the NameVoyager, an interactive graph of the top 1000 baby names in America for the past century. A fascinatinating place to look at social trends and gauge your family's relative trendiness in choosing names. (My parents tended to be just a bit behind the curve; DOB's were all over the chart). And if you really like names, be sure to check out the blog, too (link at the bottom of the page), with trend forecasts and tales of weird names. The author's book also looks worthy of checking out, as she categorizes names by what connotation they have and what circles they are trendy in, not just origin and history.

An interesting experiment: type in the first names of twentieth-century presidents. Up until the seventies, there's a spike in that name during that president's term. (Except John, which really couldn't get more popular.) But since the seventies, people don't seem to name their children for politicians anymore.

And on the unusual name combinations (what were their parents thinking?), some real people I have met or read about:

Roxanne Trees
Candy Bouquet
Harry Carey

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