Monday, May 29, 2006

Gems from 2005

The Social Security Administration puts up a list of the top 1000 names in the U.S. every year - 2005's list just went up a few weeks ago, and I have only now had time to sit down and view the damage. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are the worst offenders:

Girls:

Unsurprisingly, Paris was the most popular destination-name at 206. London followed at 538, surpassed somewhat surprisingly by America (427). Ireland squeezed in at 992, as did Montserrat at 982 - cousin Monserrat fared somewhat better at 638. Imperialism got a big boost with Asia (290), India (501) and Kenya (625) all making the top 1000. Marin, of wine country fame, inexplicably made 964.

We've also got a great crop of girls who will either never grow up, or never use their real name for job interviews. America (427, remember!) is full of Precious (553) Princesses (738) who all deserve a Diamond (302) Tiara (586)! They are all little Miracles (476) and behave like little Angels (147). They will all go to Heaven (245), or possibly Nevaeh (a horrific 70).

As possibly the most ironic name of all time, Unique made 937.

Pseudoreligious names like Genesis (155) Trinity (48) and Karma (867) did fairly well, though the parents of the little Armanis (961) and Chanels (919) had more materialistic naming choices. Kali (526) is religiously named, but very unfortunately so.

Another unfortunate name is the result of an unfortunate spelling. Could Aryana (872) have a sister named Nazi (real name!)?

This was also a big year for random nouns and faux virtue names. Shall we take a Journey (773) through an Aspen (543) Meadow (851)? We can search for the Essence (926) of Justice (536)! What Serenity (170 - need I also point out that this is a brand of adult diapers?) Music-related names were also popular. Do you remember that Presley (513) Lyric (688)? It had a nice Cadence/Kadence/Kaydence (205/345/357).

Presidents are popular, though it's difficult to say why. Maybe Republicans give their daughters the name Reagan (136) and Democrats give their daughters the name Kennedy/Kennedi (118/634 - and which incidentally means "ugly head")... but does anyone really remember what Madison (3) did?

And then there are the just plain unfortunate names that somehow crept into the top 1000. Alexia (160), anyone? Think that Cheyenne (172) isn't disrespectful enough? What about Cheyanne (630), Shyanne (763) or Shyann (901)??

There are apparently a lot of disappointed parents in America who wanted a boy but got a girl instead. Micah (878), Ryan (452), Parker (711), Rowan (766) and Peyton (131) are all now great names for that little girl you just had! Never mind the trouble she'll have with her name - boys names on girls are cute and spunky!


You know what happens when you start giving boys names to girls, of course. They "go pink." This doesn't mean that they join the socialist party, though perhaps that would be preferable - this means that they become unusable on boys. Think of Lindsay, Whitney, Courtney, Ashley... heck, think of Madison! I have yet to receive a good explanation as to why boys names are easily transferrable to girls, but girls names never get applied to boys. I have a sneaking suspicion it is because masculine names "make girls strong" and feminine names are "sissy names," though this suspicion is adamantly denied by most trendy namers.

So what happens when we lose Micah, Ryan, Parker, Rowan and Peyton? Obviously, we just need more masculine names! How about Cannon (767), Colt (949), Gunner (620) or Talon(619)? Nothing says masculine like GUNS AND KILLIN'. Except maybe pornography - good thing Maxim made the list at 970.

Yes, parents sure think a lot of their boys. They don't want to risk any of that feminizing nonsense - they've got to raise little Princes (819)! Is that why Marquis (525), Marquise (801), Adonis (817) and even Messiah (903) made the list this year?

If the girls' names are largely infantilizing or trashy, the boys' names are largely rather inexplicable. Trace (544)? Kale (758)? Jax (979)? Gauge (974)? I guess nouns are just big. Don't have enough Cash (674)? You can rent a Garret (618) room! Though you'd do just as well to search for housing outside Boston (680) or London (688) - have you thought about Zaire (871)?

Also, note: Sincere (SINCERE!) is at 660. Its cousin Ernest is at 655.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Amelia said...

I actually like Rowan for a girl, and not because of Brooke Shields. But that's the *only* name I'll defend. The rest, bleh.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 6:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Miss Hap said...

Sidney has also moved to the girls side, at 376. What is remotely girly about Sidney. For boys, Sidney is down at 832, just beating out Jordy, of all the stupid names to give a boy.

Thursday, June 08, 2006 6:46:00 PM  
Anonymous If it's worth it, let me work it said...

What about Shiva for a girl? What isn't appealing about a six-armed hindi god of something or other?

Thursday, June 08, 2006 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cannon, Colt, Gunner and Talon hurt my feelings. Cannon? But what if he grows up and has a small peepee? I guess Colt is the male version of naming a girl Fawn, which I'm not really keen on, weaponry aside. Gunner is a misspelled Scandinavian name (meaning warrior, of course). Talon, just, whatever. Why not just take it to its natural conclusion and name your poor son "Claw"?

Friday, June 09, 2006 6:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a neighbor named Gunner. His brothers are Walker and Reed. :)
The only name I'm defending is Cheyenne. I live 15 minutes from the reservation, and I'm pretty sure no one here finds it offensive.

Friday, June 16, 2006 7:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

I like Canaan on a girl.
I'm a big unisex fan... I suppose it comes from being named Lindsay.

Friday, September 28, 2007 12:29:00 AM  

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