Baby Names and Movie Stars - Not what you're thinking

dws1982
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Postby dws1982 » Tue May 16, 2006 1:37 pm

I've always sworn that if/when I have children, I'll never give them a name that's been in the top ten most popular. One thing I don't understand is the appeal of snobby names like Abigail, Olivia, and Isabella for girls. And I'm surprised that Ashley still holds a spot in the top ten.

Maybe my sister and brother-in-law are ahead of the curve. My two-month-old nephew's name (Bryson) was 195 last year, and it seems to grow in popularity each year. I guess it'll be even higher for 2006. I've still only ever known two people with that name though.

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Penelope
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Postby Penelope » Tue May 16, 2006 12:15 pm

Social Security just released their list of the top 1,000 boys names and top 1,000 girls names for 2005 (in case you're wondering, Jacob is #1 for boys and Emily is #1 for girls). At the website, you can punch in a year or type in a name to find out popularity statistics going back to 1879.

I was having some fun with this and discovered something interesting: the popularity of the name Gregory corresponds with the career of Gregory Peck--he makes his film debut in 1944, the pinnacle of his career occurs in 1962/63, when he wins the Oscar for To Kill a Mockingbird, and his screen appearances become more and more limited in the late 80s, early 90s:

Popularity of the male name Gregory
Year of birth/Rank
2005 203
2004 194
2003 185
2002 169
2001 157
2000 138
1999 122
1998 109
1997 103
1996 98
1995 84
1994 76
1993 65
1992 60
1991 55
1990 51
1989 52
1988 50
1987 47
1986 46
1985 45
1984 44
1983 42
1982 40
1981 46
1980 42
1979 42
1978 38
1977 35
1976 35
1975 33
1974 31
1973 26
1972 26
1971 25
1970 26
1969 26
1968 26
1967 25
1966 23
1965 23
1964 22
1963 21
1962 21
1961 23
1960 24
1959 23
1958 23
1957 23
1956 24
1955 24
1954 25
1953 24
1952 24
1951 25
1950 25
1949 31
1948 32
1947 33
1946 56
1945 96
1944 152
1943 164
1942 165
1941 182
1940 189
1939 203
1938 224
1937 233
1936 270

For a modern-day comparison, here we have the Angelina Jolie effect:

Popularity of the female name Angelina
Year of birth/Rank
2005 43
2004 60
2003 71
2002 75
2001 94
2000 157
1999 237
1998 268
1997 270
1996 310
1995 303
1994 301
1993 299
1992 284
1991 299
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston

"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster


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