May 12, 2017

"A year after Caitlyn Jenner announced her new name and gender, the popularity of the name Caitlyn plummeted more than any other baby name..."

"... according to Social Security's annual list of the most popular baby names."
In fact, the four names that dropped the most were all variations of the same name: Caitlin, Caitlyn, Katelynn and Kaitlynn.
To plummet, a name has to be high in the first place. If you're thinking of asking how Hillary/Hilary is doing, you should realize that name hasn't been high. Hillary dropped out of the top 1,000 after 2008 and hasn't returned. It peaked in 1992 at 132 and plummeted to 566 in 2 years.

By the way, Barack has never been in the top 1,000. And Ann, in the top 100 until 1975, is about to drop out of the top 1,000. How can such an ordinary, obvious name fall into oblivion? Simplicity isn't what it used to be.

79 comments:

n.n said...

So, the transgender spectrum disorder is not a progressive condition, and Bruce Jenner is an anomaly made omnipresent by special and peculiar interests including JournoLists. I wonder if transgender conversion therapy (e.g. homosexual, crossover) will be next to lose credibility, especially when targeting captive audiences (e.g. prepubescent and adolescent children in public schools). The medical industry is still adjusting after deprecation of The Hippocratic Oath. The "education" sects are a step behind. Baby steps.

Sigivald said...

Qhaitlihnn's popularity dropped to a round zero!

richlb said...

I remember reading that the name "Katrina" plummeted after the eponymous hurricane devastated New Orleans.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

You can probably thank Ann Coulter.

rcocean said...

I can still remember the Ashley boom of the 1980s.

richlb said...

We need more "BORT" license plates.

mockturtle said...

Interesting that 7/10 of the top boys' names were Biblical but only one of the girls' [Abigail].

Unknown said...

In the seventies and eighties there were a lot of little boys named Jason, but few adults. I concluded that Jasons had a high child mortality rate. Once I started seeing adults named Jason I realized that the popularity of a name is just a fashion like any other.

Laslo Spatula said...

Did the name's popularity fall in the 'girls' category or the 'boys' category?

(And how much longer will they have names defined by two genders?)

I am Laslo.

Static Ping said...

Emma is the human centipede version of Ann.

Lyssa said...

I was on another, far friendlier to this issue, forum a while back, where a person (who I think was transgender) pointed out that one of the obvious "tells" is when a middle aged person chooses a name that is popular and trendy at the time of the transition, rather than names that are would be more common among people their age. If Jenner had been born a woman at that time, she would have been named Linda, or Ann, or Nancy, or something like that; almost certainly not Caitlyn, as most of them are still in school.

rehajm said...

The women of the same age as the Caitlin Army are now of peak child bearing age. They recall the horror of having seven Caitlin/Caytlin/Kaytlin/Catelin/Katelyn-s in their classes.

Rene Saunce said...

Nobody names their kids Adolph.

madAsHell said...

I see that Yaakov decreased in popularity, but it's probably never going to go out of fashion.

Bob Ellison said...

Lots of great names fall out fashion. Michael, John, Ann, Sarah...

But Bob is always in fashion. It floats along on the river of names.

Bob Ellison said...

Art will never go out of style.

Expat(ish) said...

We were very careful to give our kids "normal" names that will always be "plain," along with cool family names as middle names. That way they can go to college and change their name from something old testament into something with some flair.

(Obligatory: you know who else liked flair, don't you?)

-XC

PS - My middle name is among the 0.025% least popular names for boys and has been so for about my whole life. Oddly my name is also primarily found on black men (80/200), which has been odd several times in my life.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Related....when 65 year old Bruce Jenner decided to go out in drag, why did he pick a young girls name? I find that kind of creepy. Margaret or Shirley would have been more appropriate for guy, I mean gal, his age.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Okay, I didn't read the above notes on the same subject. Sorry Lyssa.

madAsHell said...

Here are the top 5 girl names that increased in popularity..

Kehlani
Royalty
Saoirse
Ophelia
Aitana

Are we going to be raising a generation of strippers, and porn stars?
I'm asking for a friend.

exiledonmainstreet said...

If Jenner had been born a woman at that time, she would have been named Linda, or Ann, or Nancy, or something like that; almost certainly not Caitlyn, as most of them are still in school.

5/12/17, 12:53 PM

Exactly. There seems to be a roughly 100 year cycle with names; once the people who had names like Sophie, Henry, Max and Isabel (all names that would have been considered "old folks names" by people having children in the '70's and '80's) died, their names started to be considered fresh and new by those who had kids in the '90's and '00's.

Caitlin was overused in the 80's and '90's; much like Olivia was in the '00's. My 15 year niece tells me there are 6 Olivias in her class.

Ann, Nancy, Julie, Mary Jane, and Cindy will become popular again - in the 2040's and '50's.

(Of course, if my prediction is wrong, it's unlikely that any old boomers will call me on it.)

Curious George said...

"To plummet, a name has to be high in the first place."

Not true. Plummet means to all fast, not far.

George is pretty static with a high of 166, low of 125, since 2000. I'm the second George in a line of four. My dad, me, son, and now grandson.

Static Ping said...

mockturtle said...
Interesting that 7/10 of the top boys' names were Biblical but only one of the girls' [Abigail].


Not quite. There are actually four Biblical girls names in the list. Ava is a variation of Eve. Isabella is a variation of Isabel which is a variation of Elizabeth. Mia is a variation of Maria which is a variation of Mary. What I find neat is Olivia's origin is from Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night."

And I just learned that Liam is a shortened version of William. You would think I would have caught onto that at this point but no.

Dave from Minnesota said...

I find common names (by birth year) interesting. While I was growing up, about every 10th girl was named Jen. A few years behind me, all of a sudden these old lady names were showing up. Now those names are associated with 15-25 year olds, not 75-85 year old ladies.

madAsHell said...

Lots of great names fall out fashion. Michael, John, Ann, Sarah...

Maybe I was a little too subtle.....

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Ophelia"

A sign that nobody studies "Hamlet" anymore, since if they did, they wouldn't want to name their daughter after a character who goes bonkers and drowns herself.

"Royalty"

I am trying to imagine myself interviewing "Royalty" for a job and keeping a straight face as she introduces herself.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"While I was growing up, about every 10th girl was named Jen. "

Let me guess, you're a Gen Xer. It seemed like every other baby girl born in the '70's was named Jennifer. Or Nicole.

Static Ping said...

The overused name when I was in school was Jennifer.

Mike Doughty wrote a song about it:

27 Jennifers

buwaya said...

I am waiting for the ancient Iberian Urraca to come back.
One day.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Yeah. I most have personally known and been friends with (stops to do the math) maybe 10-12 Jens. A bit younger than me were all the Megans.

Darrell said...

I have a feeling that Chuck is about to tank. . .

Dave from Minnesota said...

Static Ping, that is my experience (we called them "Jen"). For a while, maybe early 2000s, the name Jen suddenly showed up in several different TV and radio commercials. They must have been trying to show that the products were used by trendy 25 year olds.

buwaya said...

Adolph

A pity as it was quite an honorable name. Its not so hated in the Hispanosphere (Adolfo), and is still fairly common there.
I had an uncle Adolfo.

Dave from Minnesota said...

I agree with Adolph. Too bad that man had to ruin a perfectly good name for eternity.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The Baby Boomer Jennifers are Jennies. As in 867-5309.

The Gen X Jennifers are Jens.

madAsHell said...

Interesting, I entered a common name into this web page, and saw a history going back to the year 2000.

I entered the name Royalty, and it comes back with a history of one year, 2016. So, Royalty went from nothing to over 500 babies in a single year.

I see the comment from Expatish......Oddly my name is also primarily found on black men (80/200), which has been odd several times in my life.

Can we conclude that the table has been skewed by immigration?....and names are cultural?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...


PS - My middle name is among the 0.025% least popular names for boys and has been so for about my whole life. Oddly my name is also primarily found on black men (80/200), which has been odd several times in my life.


Lamar?

DanTheMan said...

>Art will never go out of style.

I named my kid Art. For his own sake.

John said...

"But Bob is always in fashion. It floats along on the river of names.

You know what you call a man with no arms and no legs in a swimming pool?


Bob ;)

Static Ping said...

Oddly, Jenner did not ruin Jennifer. Or did it?

DanTheMan said...

>>A year after Caitlyn Jenner announced her new name and gender, the popularity of the name Caitlyn plummeted more than any other baby name

What an amazing coincidence.

Or is NOT naming your child Caitlyn now a hate crime?

Bay Area Guy said...

If a 70-year old rich man, who has a supporting role on a bad reality tv show, dominated by 5 of his model daughters and stepdaughters, and thus wants to join the fun, and become "one of the gang", who are we to judge!

Mark said...

I would think that Ann/Anne is more popular as a middle name.

Snark said...

'Donald' shot up to number one as the most popular name for baby girls in Russia.

Mark said...

But how popular is Hannah? It's basically the same name.

Darrell said...

Vimax seems like a popular name.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Are there still Catholic vs Protestant names? Especially when paired with a middle name?

Mark said...

Things I don't get: The strange strange spelling of naymes -- are they trying to be unique or just illiterate? This trend to give babies last names for first names.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Mark, one of my hugest pet peeves is people who give their kid a common name, but intentionally misspell it. I have a fairly common last name, but a different spelling of it than you usually see, so I have spent my entire life spelling my last name out (and people still misspell it).

Now, imagine your kid going through life trying to get people to spell her first name correctly. It’d be almost daily.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Muhammad ranked 621 in 2000, by 2016 it had gone to 352. People who name their sons Muhammad don't name their daughters Ann.

Krumhorn said...

I imagine that Steak will never soar on any list except on a menu at Smith & Wollensky

- Krumhorn

LordSomber said...

I had a great uncle with the name Allison.
Apparently "Allison" as a male name fell off the list after 1946.

Anthony said...

"Royalty" is going to marry that guy who said his preferred pronoun wss "Your Majesty".

Yancey Ward said...

My name has never once appeared in the top 1000, though the shorter and more common version "Yancy" was in the top 1000 prior to 1973. My mother got the name from Cimmaron by Edna Ferber.

Birches said...

I've tried very hard to keep my kids from having common names. I always felt sorry for the kids that had to go by their last initial in school.

m stone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TWW said...

Ann, you're not giving yourself enough credit.

tcrosse said...

The name 'Caitlin' is a transliteration from the Gaelic alphabet. Its correct Gaelic pronunciation is 'Kathleen'.

Mark said...

keep my kids from having common names

Today, it is precisely common names that are the most uncommon.

Expat(ish) said...

@mad j/ @ bill - There was a plantation owner in Virginia with my last name and I'm guessing post-Civil war there were a lot of freed-men who shared that name. Oddly there was also a well known preacher from England with my middle name who was in the South post-war doing some evangelizing.

So I have run into several black men who have my exact name.

One of them shared all three names with me. It was weird for both of us.

_XC

Clyde said...

Name popularity runs in cycles. When I was a kid back in the 1960s, Emma or Emily would have been someone's maiden aunt or grandmother. The young pretty girls were named Debbie and Barbara. Nowadays, the Debbies and Barbaras are ready for Social Security, or at least for AARP, and the Emmas and the Emilys are the young pretty girls.

Clyde said...

Also, there are certain girls names that are just ugly. Gertrude. Bertha. Edna. When I was at my first full-time job back in 1978, I worked with an Edna, who was probably in her 60s, squat and toad-faced. Soured me on that name forever. But the other day at work, I spotted a piece of mail from a realtor here in Florida whose name was Edna, and she was a real looker, so you never know.

Clyde said...

Dave from Minnesota said...
I agree with Adolph. Too bad that man had to ruin a perfectly good name for eternity.


Not to mention that the toothbrush moustache is never likely to be a facial hair option in our lifetime for decent people.

Fernandinande said...

"Fernandinande is not in the top 1000 names for any year of birth beginning with 2000.
Please enter another name."

The SSA is racist. :-(

Rene Saunce said...
Nobody names their kids Adolph.


The man who named his son Adolf Hitler and daughter Eva Braun was arrested in Pennsylvania Thursday


Fernandinande said...

"Most Popular U.S. Baby Names"

Lem said...

How is Bruce doing?

Dave from Minnesota said...

Fernan....great link. As we have said a lot recently....is it real, or is it the Onion? I know someone whose black neighbor named her girl "Pho-Evah". And she demands that everyone call her that.

Asians, especially the Hmong, in the Twin Cities are naming their kids traditional American names. There are more Jason Thaos than there are Choua Xiongs. And by co-incidence, I did a quick online search to make sure I spelled Xiong right, and it came back to a book by one "Susan Pha".

The Godfather said...

I have transliterated myself to the South, and one of the habits of the Southron is to give their children their ancestors' surnames as their first names. Regardless of gender appropriateness. So if you look at the program for the grandkids' dance recital or their first communion, etc., you see their friends named Stuart and McKenzie and Marbury, and you have no way of knowing how many boys and how many girls are in the group (except that if it's the dance recital you can't lose betting on "girl" for any ambiguous name; in fact, at a dance recital Biff or Rock or Slugger is unlikely to be a boy).

Fernandinande said...

I've never understood why so few people name their children after insects and their ilk, e.g.

Girls: Midge, Rose Curculio, Pelidnota, Cicada, Nurseryweb, Cricket, Ladybird, Scarab, Mayfly, Weta

Boys: Horntail, Firebrat, Mantid, Thrip(nick-name only), Katipo, Harvestman, Morpho, Skeletonizer, Meadowhawk, Thorax

Some are quite melanomious to the ear(wig).

tim maguire said...

Ann, in the top 100 until 1975, is about to drop out of the top 1,000. How can such an ordinary, obvious name fall into oblivion?

My wife and I wanted our daughter's name to be both classic and unusual. We went with Jane.

tim maguire said...

Back in the day, journalists found a Saddam Hussein in Michigan. They asked him if he was planning to change his name, and he said, "why? The other Saddam should change his!"

tim maguire said...

Blogger Fernandinande said

The man who named his son Adolf Hitler and daughter Eva Braun was arrested in Pennsylvania Thursday


For incest?

mockturtle said...

If you name your son Michael, you can expect him to grow up to be an escort, per Althouse. ;-)

David said...

I asked my brother Adolph why he thought Caitlin had become a less popular name.

He said "Ach! Tongue."

David said...

"Say hello to little Vladimir."

Cynicus said...

Ferdinande watch out, I could see Dragonfly and Firefly trending as names.

wildswan said...

The little girls in my family have names in the top twenty-five but most of the little boys (under 10) are not in the top one hundred.

The other thing I notice is how many of the popular names are English or Scottish. But Bruce and Caitlyn are not there at all.

ManleyPointer said...

Kehlani sounds like one of those Polynesian names that white people love.

Royalty sounds like a black name. Very common in this demographic to give kids unambguously respectful names. Like naming boys Mister.

Saoirse is probably a reference to the actress, Ronan.

Ophelia is an awful name, IMO. Pleasant sounding name but I associate it with the tragic character from Hamlet. Popularity is probably thanks to the Lumineers song.

Aitana is a headscratcher. I've never heard it before.

"Are we going to be raising a generation of strippers, and porn stars?"

This connects to what Lyssa was saying about transgenders. Stripper names are pseudonyms, chosen by women in their prime reproductive years. Their choice process is likely similar to that of their more fertile peers. They hear a name floating around in the zeitgeist & think it sounds nice.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Caitlin Flanagan seems to be doing OK.