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Friday, February 11, 2005

How popular was your name when you were born? 

NameVoyager is a search engine that will tell you how popular any name was during the period since 1900. See, for example, the recent popularity of the revolting name "Brittany":
 Posted by Hello


I had a great aunt, born well before World War I, who had the given name "Hester." Other than Nathanial Hawthorne's Hester Prynne, I have never heard of anybody else with that name. According to NameVoyager, the name "Hester" is essentially extinct (probably for good reason). There was a time, though, when it was quite common:

 Posted by Hello


One might measure the popularity of presidents by the names people select for their babies. FDR seemed to have a lot of fans:
 Posted by Hello


But then again, so did Coolidge:

 Posted by Hello

11 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Feb 12, 09:21:00 AM:

Darn it Jack, there goes another half hour of my life, never to return. By the way, Hester was never very common (gotta watch the scale on the right). At it's peak it was less than half as common as Levi is today (my last name, but nevermind).

- Levi  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Feb 12, 11:18:00 AM:

Good point on the scale. I was so intent on snapping screenshots that I wasn't watching the data carefully!  

By Blogger Screwy Hoolie, at Sat Feb 12, 11:37:00 AM:

I echo Levi's sentiment - another half hour gone - Poof.

My name's popularity peaked in the 1930's, which I like. My wife and I are scrutinizing baby names, and it's helpful to see what we ought to avoid. Unless, of course, we want our child to feel either hopelessly outdated (Zelda) or unnoticed (Jennifer).  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Feb 12, 11:56:00 AM:

Screwy, you could start a trend and rescue "Hester" from the dust bin of history.  

By Blogger Pile OnĀ®, at Sat Feb 12, 12:04:00 PM:

It would seem I am the only Pile in history.  

By Blogger Dave Schuler, at Sat Feb 12, 01:47:00 PM:

It's a gorgeous site.

A good use of it: avoiding giving one's child that will immediately enable someone determining the year of the child's birth.  

By Blogger viking kaj, at Mon Feb 14, 09:53:00 PM:

Doesn't seem to work so well for non-US names, anyone aware of foreign equivalents?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Mar 08, 01:37:00 PM:

This is quite interesting.

I think though that this trend will change in the future due to the nifty new website, namemybaby.com -- I think you can also find it on e-bay.

People are now selling the right to name their baby to others - heck with fertility problems, STD's, divorce, and China's one child policy, this could be the best high tech bet since google.

Stadiums are named after businesses - even businesses that never really were businessses, MLB sold off bases to Spiderman, even Notre Dame sold out to Nike.

Think about it, buying the right to name someone's baby!

This is better than naming a star after someone.

Check it out.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Oct 01, 07:22:00 PM:

"No Charge Online Advertising Channels For Any Business"  

By Blogger Chandor, at Tue Oct 04, 09:41:00 PM:

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By Blogger Chandor, at Tue Oct 04, 09:49:00 PM:

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