Did you know that the TV sitcom Seinfeld first aired 22 years ago today?*
One of the Seinfeld‘s most memorable characters was Kramer, played by Michael Richards. (Kramer’s first name, Cosmo, wasn’t revealed until season 6.)
Kramer was rarely used as a baby name before Seinfeld came along, but after Seinfeld debuted in 1989, usage shot up:
- 1993: 57 baby boys named Kramer
- 1992: 62 baby boys named Kramer
- 1991: 43 baby boys named Kramer
- 1990: 68 baby boys named Kramer
- 1989: 70 baby boys named Kramer (peak usage)
- 1988: 15 baby boys named Kramer
- 1987: 11 baby boys named Kramer
- 1986: 9 baby boys named Kramer
It stayed relatively high until the mid-1990s, when it sank back down to pre-Seinfeld levels. In 1998, the year the show went off the air, a mere 8 baby boys got the name.
The surname Kramer is based on the German word krämer, meaning “shopkeeper” or “peddler.”
UPDATE, 5/25/15: Check out the data for Kramer from Washington state specifically!
- 1995: unlisted
- 1994: 8 Kramers born in WA
- 1993: 12 Kramers born in WA
- 1992: 19 Kramers born in WA
- 1991: 21 Kramers born in WA
- 1990: 26 Kramers born in WA
- 1989: 25 Kramers born in WA
- 1988: 5 Kramers born in WA
- 1987: unlisted
Either they really liked the show up there or (more likely) something involving the name Kramer was happening locally around that time. I don’t have an explanation yet, though. College sports maybe? Any ideas?