In the last several years, New York City has had more baby girls named Fatoumata than Lisa, more Aaliyahs than Melissas, more Chayas than Christinas. There have been more baby boys named Moshe than Peter, more Miguels than Jeffreys, more Ahmeds than Stanleys.
Wait. I'm supposed to be surprised there aren't that many babies named Stanley? Who names a baby Stanley?
Anyway, it's especially interesting to see that while "foreign-sounding names" — as the NYT puts it — have gotten popular at the expense of "classic American" names, there is also a reverse trend:
Jose and Luis were the top two names for Hispanic baby boys in 1980. But today they have slipped out of the Top 10, behind names like Brandon, Kevin and Christopher. The top Hispanic baby name today is Justin.This is an interesting cultural phenomenon:
White families often try to revive classic names that have fallen out of use like Olivia or Hannah, whereas blacks are more likely to improvise, Professor Lieberson said. But now improvisation is becoming more common across the board.I haven't named a baby in a long time, but I have to admit that my strategy would be reviving the little used but well-established name — maybe something from an English novel. [ADDED: I would only do this for a girl. For a boy, I would do what I did at the time, pick one of the solid, current names, but not the most popular one.]
Popular baby name that isn't popular in New York City: Brooklyn.