What’s In a Name?

If I was to have a girl, I really want to name her “Greenlee” which was my favorite soap character on the now defuct All My Children (played by the beautiful Rebecca Budig)

Seems I am NOT the only one who has influenced by television and film character names.  In celebration of the upcoming 1940 Census records release on April 2, FindMyPast.com  just conducted a popular names study:

Although women are going gaga over Mad Men’s Don Draper, what used to be 2 of the most popular names — Donald and Betty — have now fallen the farthest from favor since 1940.  There are many famous Donalds and Bettys, of course — Donald Trump, Betty White —  but soon we’ll be living in a world where Jacobs and Isabellas are king and queen.

Times have certainly changed since the 1940’s.  As of now, Jacob is the male name of the millennium. It’s been in first place every year since 1999, whereas it only ranked 234th in 1940.  (My 10 year old nephew is named Jacob and prefers that to Jake.)

It’s interesting that at least four of the top 10 boys’ names (Jacob, Ethan, Daniel and Noah) are biblical in origin, compared to only a couple of the top 10 girls’ names.  Isabella only ranked 813th in 1940 and dropped out of the top 1000 from the 1950’2 through the 1980’s.

One theory for the popularity of both “Jacob” and “Isabella” is that they both are featured in the Twilight movies.

According to Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard, their popularity predates the Twilight phenomena.  “Jacob has captured the number one spot for 11 years in a row, and has been in the top 20 for 20 years.  Isabella, meanwhile, has the “ella” ending that is so popular with parents right now. Ella, Isabella, Annabella: It’s the sound of the moment.  And while it’s true that classic, grandma-sounding names like Ava, Sophia and Olivia are popular, parents are only picking a certain type of grandma names: Gertrude, Myrtle and Dorothy aren’t going to break the top 10 anytime soon. (In addition, Wattenberg points out that babies born today likely have grandmothers born in the 1960s, when names like Karen, Susan and Donna were popular.)

Hmmmm, I wonder if we’ll see a resurgence of Carries, Samanthas and Charlottes for those who were obsessed with Sex in the City.

Are all the young Harrys a result of all the Harry Potter fans?

Will today’s tweens be naming their children after Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber?

 Have you been influenced to name someone after a favorite celebrity or character? 

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Lainie GuttermanLiseth Recent comment authors
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Lainie Gutterman
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Lainie Gutterman

Liseth, What a fabulous name & initials for your daughter! Vienna is 1 of the cities my husband is dying to travel to! He’d probably love this as a middle name. Hmmm, how does Greenlee Vienna Gutterman sound? 🙂

Liseth
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Liseth

Yes! Lol my daughter’s name is Audrey Vienna Armstrong. Audrey after Audrey after Audrey Hepburn and Vienna after Austria, Vienna. I did this so that her initials would read AVA as Ava Gardner.