2012: 168 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 12th)
2011: 154 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 19th)
2010: 136 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 26th)
2009: 151 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 24th)
2008: 129 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 37th)
And here are the numbers for Idaho:
2012: 51 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 32nd)
2011: 49 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 41st)
2010: 53 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 33rd)
2009: 53 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 36th)
2008: 34 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 84th)
So far I don’t have a good theory about what made Ryker so popular in Utah/Idaho. Blogger Jessie Jensen tells me Ryker fits well with the region’s mix-n-match name trend, but I still wonder if some initiating event (sports? religion?) didn’t jump-start things for Ryker say in the 2003-2008 range. Anyone have a guess?
P.S. While we’re talking Utah mysteries, Claire is another name I’ve been wondering about. It ranked 10th there last year. (Also 12th in D.C. and 20th in MN.) Any ideas on Claire?
Strong boy names are names used mostly, if not entirely, by baby boys. In a recent post on the strongest boy names in the top 20, for instance, the strongest boy names were the names given to the highest proportion of baby boys relative to overall usage (boys+girls).
I thought I’d look at this issue from a different angle today. Instead of giving you another list of strong boy names, here’s a list of weak boy names. What makes them weak? Again, proportion. Each of these was given to at least 100 baby boys last year, but given to many more baby girls. So if you’re looking for a strongly masculine name, these are some names you’ll want to avoid.
Let’s start with names that were given to boys less than 25% of the time. (Over 75% of the babies who got these names were girls, in other words.)
Mathematically speaking, it’s possible to construct 676 pairs of letters from a 26-letter alphabet. In terms of baby names, though, only a portion of these pairs can realistically be used to start a baby name.
If you look at each of the 6,692 names that have ever ranked among the most popular U.S. (1880-2006), you’ll notice that only 233 two-letter combinations have ever been used at the beginning of the names (e.g., “Na-” for Nancy, or “Ev-” for Evan).
So…what’s the most common pair of starting letters?
Ma– is the clear winner. It starts nearly twice as many names as Ja-, the second most common starting letter-pair.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of all the two-letter combinations that have started at least 100 ranked baby names: