This is how Mama K and I spent the last 40 minutes: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/index.html.
Now sort by state: http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/namesbystate.cgi. Note the subtle differences between West Virginia and New York. For instance, guess which state has “Remington” as a top 100 boys name, whereas the other includes “Giovanni”? Oh, stop making your brain hurt– it’s exactly what you’re thinking. Also, look at the sheer numerical difference between births in Kentucky vs. births in Vermont. Someone has a lot of free time on their hands, and someone is making my pancakes taste delicious. Luciana, by the way, only broke the top 100 list in the state of California.
Next, Gen Xers, think about your graduating class and how you had several Jen/Jenny/Jennifers, and how you had to call them by their last initials to keep them straight in your head. That’s because “Jennifer” was the #1 name for 10 years in a row, from 1974 through 1984. In 2013? It’s #191.
I (Cathleen) dropped off the face of the earth in 1987, but my short name made it through 1991. Thanks to the weight and marriage obsessed cartoon namesake (ack!) and possibly to the Everly Brothers. Mama K is still alive and well, though.
Here’s a hint: if a name seems obscure to you and you wonder where its popularity came from, Google it. It is most likely a character’s name on T.V.
Though not as sad as seeing some of the new and unnecessary spellings of otherwise phonetic names. Er… Lucie excluded, of course.
Well…have fun, and when it’s 2 am and you’re still playing sociologist sleuth, don’t say I didn’t warn you.