How popular is the baby name Melanie in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Melanie.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Melanie


Posts that Mention the Name Melanie

Name Quotes 87: Kamala, Simon, Genghis

From a recent CNN article about how to pronounce Sen. Kamala Harris’s name:

Harris wrote in the preface of her 2019 memoir, “The Truths We Hold,” “First, my name is pronounced ‘comma-la,’ like the punctuation mark. It means ‘lotus flower,’ which is a symbol of significance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flower rising above the surface while its roots are planted firmly in the river bottom.

From a 1982 Washington Post article about actors Lucie Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill:

Lucie Arnaz, whose illustrious pedigree is evident in her name, and actor Laurence Luckinbill were Simonized several years ago.

He was on Broadway doing Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two.” She was on Broadway doing Neil Simon’s “They’re Playing Our Song.” They met at Joe Allan’s, the famous Broadway restaurant, and started seeing each other entr’acte.

[…]

Twenty months ago, they had a son, whom they named…Simon.

From a 2015 Indian Express article in which Rebel Wilson talks about her name:

A little girl named Rebel sang at my parents’ wedding. My mum is really big on theme names like that – my sisters are called Liberty and Annachi, and my brother is Ryot. I did pretty well in comparison. I love it.

You can’t be a shrinking violet if you have a name like Rebel. It gives me an edge and helps me not give in to my fears. I try to live that way.

From a 1998 BBC article about All Saint singer Melanie Blatt:

Melanie and her boyfriend, musician Stuart Zender [of Jamiroquai], revealed in a magazine interview that they intend to name their daughter Lily Ella [sic]: Lily after the first flowers he bought her during their courtship and Ella after the music legend Ella Fitzgerald.

(Technically, her name is Lilyella.)

From a case study (pdf) of Amtrak’s automated customer service representative, “Julie,” launched in 2001:

Julie became popular with callers and even garnered national acclaim through blogs, YouTube videos, and as an answer on the TV quiz game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Her persona was even featured on Saturday Night Live. “I’ve been surprised about how attached people have gotten to Amtrak Julie,” says the woman who provides the voice of Julie, Julie Stinneford. “I find it funny. Because they’re not really talking to me. They’re talking to a computer.”

From a 2019 NPR interview with musical duo (and identical twins) Tegan and Sara, who originally called themselves “Sara and Tegan”:

We changed the name only because we had a manager [who] gave us one good piece of advice during that time. He said, “When people say ‘Sara and Tegan,’ it all blends together into one word and they don’t know what you’re saying. But if you say ‘Tegan and Sara,’ you have to enunciate. So I think you should switch your names around.” So we did.

From a recent Crunchyroll article about parents who named their son Asta after the anime character (Black Clover):

We came up with that name early on but had other names we considered like Natsu, Sora, Roxas, and Yuki.

From a 2007 Times Colonist [Victoria, British Columbia] article about unusual baby names:

The time was when naming a baby Conan or Calamity could doom a kid to years of schoolyard drubbings, but if Genghis Charm Usher’s experience is any indication, the times are changing.

Genghis, 13, can’t recall any friction caused by his unusual name, pointing out “that you don’t have to have a weird name to get teased.”

[…]

“I love my name. Once they get my name, they don’t forget it,” he says.

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 5

baby names that add up to 5, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “5.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “5” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “5,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

5 via 14

The following baby names add up to 14, which reduces to five (1+4=5).

  • “14” girl names: Ida, Adah, Caia, Becca, Dia, Adi, Abbi, Ala, Edda, Kc
  • “14” boy names: Ahad, Adi, Kc, Dj, Dade, Jd, Jac, Bach, Dee, Acai

5 via 23

The following baby names add up to 23, which reduces to five (2+3=5).

  • “23” girl names: Mia, Alia, Cara, Aila, Adela, Addie, Edie, Laia, Jaci, Mai
  • “23” boy names: Caleb, Adem, Acen, Coda, Han, Adael, Cane, Emad, Mj, Aadhi

5 via 32

The following baby names add up to 32, which reduces to five (3+2=5).

  • “32” girl names: Emma, Bella, Lena, Sage, Eve, Avah, Lara, Rhea, Veda, Giana
  • “32” boy names: Leo, Lane, Reed, Sage, Dash, Aldo, Avi, Leif, Jakai, Elan

5 via 41

The following baby names add up to 41, which reduces to five (4+1=5).

  • “41” girl names: Amelia, Abigail, Isla, Amaya, Adelaide, Evie, Mira, Jayda, Dream, Saige
  • “41” boy names: Amir, King, Nico, Elian, Alijah, Duke, Clay, Kye, Madden, Jadiel

5 via 50

The following baby names add up to 50, which reduces to five (5+0=5).

  • “50” girl names: Sofia, Adeline, Lyla, Kayla, Elise, Mariah, June, Elsie, Haven, Lexi
  • “50” boy names: Ezra, Paul, Colt, Brady, Marco, Frank, Kasen, Drew, Landen, Donald

5 via 59

The following baby names add up to 59, which reduces to five (5+9=14; 1+4=5).

  • “59” girl names: Kaylee, Melanie, Brianna, Briella, Kendall, Makenna, Carly, Renata, Janelle, Lillie
  • “59” boy names: Jayden, Jason, Ismael, Zaiden, Bowen, Jonas, Mohamed, Rayan, Zaire, Kellen

5 via 68

The following baby names add up to 68, which reduces to five (6+8=14; 1+4=5).

  • “68” girl names: Olivia, Sophia, Valeria, Juliana, Morgan, Blakely, Izabella, Madeleine, Cataleya, Kaydence
  • “68” boy names: Benjamin, Brandon, Carlos, Kyrie, Zander, Killian, Ricardo, Eduardo, Cruz, Derrick

5 via 77

The following baby names add up to 77, which reduces to five (7+7=14; 1+4=5).

  • “77” girl names: Caroline, Samantha, Vivian, Alyssa, Molly, Juliet, Harlow, Kelsey, Coraline, Braelyn
  • “77” boy names: Jameson, Ryker, Ashton, Kenneth, Kameron, Fernando, Braylen, Scott, Marvin, Fletcher

5 via 86

The following baby names add up to 86, which reduces to five (8+6=14; 1+4=5).

  • “86” girl names: Skylar, Jordyn, Mckenzie, Paisleigh, Hunter, Saoirse, Alyson, Ellison, Bryleigh, Julianne
  • “86” boy names: Hunter, Santiago, Arthur, Johnny, Cyrus, Rodrigo, Tommy, Terry, Skylar, Jordyn

5 via 95

The following baby names add up to 95, which reduces to five (9+5=14; 1+4=5).

  • “95” girl names: Kinsley, Peyton, Kimberly, Bristol, Promise, Joslyn, Rowyn, Brynnlee, Yvonne, Estefany
  • “95” boy names: Everett, Peyton, Gregory, Huxley, Wesson, Viktor, Abdulrahman, Yousif, Hussein, Summit

5 via 104

The following baby names add up to 104, which reduces to five (1+0+4=5).

  • “104” girl names: Yaretzi, Tinsley, Rosalyn, Whitney, Sterling, Violetta, Emmylou, Huntleigh, Jesslyn, Giulietta
  • “104” boy names: Sterling, Marcellus, Quintin, Braxtyn, Truett, Shaquille, Michelangelo, Sebastion, Trevyn, Weylyn

5 via 113

The following baby names add up to 113, which reduces to five (1+1+3=5).

  • “113” girl names: Roselyne, Primrose, Brittney, Constanza, Sumayyah, Emersynn, Tziporah, Ivyrose, Augustina, Anavictoria
  • “113” boy names: Salvatore, Cristofer, Woodrow, Bryston, Alexandros, Jaxstyn, Greysyn, Athanasius, Braxston, Antonius

5 via 122

The following baby names add up to 122, which reduces to five (1+2+2=5).

  • “122” girl names: Roselynn, Zerenity, Krislynn, Rosslyn, Chrislynn, Scotlynn, Jacquelynn, Marylynn, Kaytlynn, Sincerity
  • “122” boy names: Chukwuemeka, Righteous, Dimitrius, Ebubechukwu, Xzayvian, Antavious, Kenechukwu, Ayomiposi, Joanthony, Stetsyn

5 via 131

The following baby names add up to 131, which reduces to five (1+3+1=5).

  • “131” girl names: Brookelynn, Brooklynne, Monserrath, Kerrington, Roosevelt, Temiloluwa, Oluwaseun, Amythyst
  • “131” boy names: Cristopher, Roosevelt, Wellington, Hutchinson, Maximillion, Tryston, Imisioluwa, Christoper, Temiloluwa

5 via 140

The following baby names add up to 140, which reduces to five (1+4+0=5).

  • “140” girl names: Marymargaret, Summerlyn, Marycatherine, Evelynrose, Maryevelyn, Quinnlynn, Testimony, Violetrose
  • “140” boy names: Dontavious, Markanthony, Fitzwilliam, Prometheus

5 via 149

The boy name Montavious adds up to 149, which reduces to five (1+4+9=14; 1+4=5).

What Does “5” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “5” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “5” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“5” (the pentad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “They called the pentad ‘lack of strife,’ not only because aether, the fifth element, which is set apart on its own, remains unchanging, while there is strife and change among the things under it, from the moon to the Earth, but also because the primary two different and dissimilar kinds of number, even and odd, are as it were reconciled and knitted together by the pentad”
  • “The pentad is the first number to encompass the specific identity of all number[s], since it encompasses 2, the first even number, and 3, the first odd number. Hence it is called ‘marriage,’ since it is formed of male and female.”
  • “The pentad is highly expressive of justice, and justice comprehends all the other virtues […] it is a kind of justice, on the analogy of a weighing instrument.” (i.e., It is the central number in the row of numbers from 1 to 9.)
  • “Because it levels out inequality, they call it ‘Providence’ and ‘justice’ (division, as it were) […] Likewise, it is called ‘nuptial’ and ‘androgyny’ and ‘demigod’ – the latter not only because it is half of ten, which is divine, but also because in its special diagram it is assigned the central place. And it is called ‘twin’ because it divides in two the decad, which is otherwise indivisible […] and ‘heart-like’ because of the analogy of the heart being assigned the center in living creatures.”
  • “Nature separated each of the extremities of our bodily part (I mean, the extremities of our feet and hands) in a five-fold way, into fingers and toes.”

“5” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Five – a change imminent, ever, in the activities of whatever influence with which it may be associated” (reading 261-14).
  • “Five – as seen, a change” (reading 5751-1).
  • “Five always active – and double the two, and one – or three and two, which it is the sum of. Hence, as is questioned here, no factor is more active than would be that of a five…in any activity. Five being the active number” (reading 137-119).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “5” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 23, 50, 77, 131) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you like how “23” reminds you of chromosomes and genetics, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 5, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Initials that Spell Names

initials that spell names, gus, zoe, eli, seb

In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.

My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.

In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.

So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.

Enjoy!

Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames

Surname starts with: Potential full initials (& example combo):
A A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.)
A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.)
A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.)
A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.)
B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.)
E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.)
G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.)
I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.)
I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.)
I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.)
I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.)
K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.)
L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.)
M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.)
N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.)
O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.)
O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.)
U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.)
U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
B D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.)
J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.)
L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.)
R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.)
S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.)
S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.)
T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.)
Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
C B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.)
M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.)
N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.)
V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.)
Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
D J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.)
R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.)
T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.)
Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
E A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.)
A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.)
E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.)
F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.)
I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.)
J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.)
L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.)
M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.)
M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.)
R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.)
S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.)
Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
F A.L.F. (Alfred Leonard F.)
D.U.F. (Duffy Ultan F.)
J.E.F. (Jeffrey Elliott F.)
G M.E.G. (Megan Emiliana G.)
P.E.G. (Peggy Elise G.)
R.E.G. (Reggie Elmo G.)
R.O.G. (Roger Olav G.)
H A.S.H. (Ashton Samuel H.)
I A.B.I. (Abigail Bailey I.)
A.L.I. (Alison Layla I.)
A.M.I. (Ami May I.)
A.R.I. (Ariana Rafaela I.)
A.V.I. (Avi Vincent I.)
E.D.I. (Edith Daisy I.)
E.L.I. (Elijah Logan I.)
E.V.I. (Evie Venetia I.)
J.O.I. (Joi Olivia I.)
K.A.I. (Kai Alexander I.)
O.L.I. (Oliver Lennox I.)
J R.A.J. (Rajesh Ajay J.)
K M.A.K. (Makayla Ashley K.)
O.A.K. (Oakley Atlas K.)
L C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.)
D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.)
G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.)
H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.)
L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.)
M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.)
M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.)
M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.)
S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.)
S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.)
V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.)
W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.)
Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
M C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.)
D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.)
J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.)
J.I.M. (James Irvin M.)
K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.)
L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.)
P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.)
R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.)
S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.)
S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.)
T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.)
T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.)
T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
N A.N.N. (Annie Nuala N.)
B.E.N. (Benjamin Ellis N.)
C.Y.N. (Cynthia Yelena N.)
D.A.N. (Daniel Avery N.)
D.O.N. (Donovan Oliver N.)
F.I.N. (Finley Ivor N.)
J.A.N. (Janice Andrina N.)
J.O.N. (Jonathan Octavian N.)
K.E.N. (Kenneth Eric N.)
L.E.N. (Leonard Earl N.)
L.Y.N. (Lynnette Yasmin N.)
N.A.N. (Nancy Azalea N.)
R.E.N. (Renato Elian N.)
R.O.N. (Ronald Ormond N.)
V.A.N. (Vanessa Athena N.)
W.I.N. (Winifred Inez N.)
Z.E.N. (Zenobia Evelyn N.)
O F.L.O. (Florence Lily O.)
L.E.O. (Leo Elton O.)
P C.A.P. (Caprice Amity P.)
K.I.P. (Kip Indigo P.)
Q J.A.Q. (Jaquan Anthony Q.)
R.A.Q. (Raquel Alaiah Q.)
R G.A.R. (Gareth Alfie R.)
S C.A.S. (Caspian Atticus S.)
G.U.S. (Gustavo Ulises S.)
J.E.S. (Jessica Esther S.)
L.E.S. (Lester Edward S.)
R.U.S. (Russell Upton S.)
W.E.S. (Wesley Elwood S.)
T A.R.T. (Arthur Roland T.)
C.A.T. (Catherine Aveline T.)
D.O.T. (Dorothy Olive T.)
M.A.T. (Matthew Alastair T.)
N.A.T. (Nathan Arnold T.)
P.A.T. (Patricia Ainsley T.)
U L.O.U. (Louisa Ophelia U.)
P.R.U. (Prudence Rhoda U.)
S.T.U. (Stuart Tucker U.)
T.R.U. (Trudie Rose U.)
V B.E.V. (Beverly Evangeline V.)
L.I.V. (Livia Indiana V.)
N.E.V. (Neville Eldon V.)
V.I.V. (Vivian Ingrid V.)
W L.A.W. (Lawson Amos W.)
L.E.W. (Lewis Edgar W.)
X B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.)
D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.)
D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.)
J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.)
L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.)
M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.)
P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.)
R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.)
R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.)
T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
Y A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.)
G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.)
I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.)
J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.)
J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.)
K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.)
M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.)
R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.)
R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.)
S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
Z H.E.Z. (Hezekiah Ellery Z.)
J.E.Z. (Jezebel Eulalia Z.)
L.I.Z. (Lizzie Iris Z.)
K.I.Z. (Kizzy Isla Z.)
R.O.Z. (Rosalind Olga Z.)

Can you come up with other good ones? If so, please leave a comment!

Source: “So Named.” Toledo Blade 29 Jun. 1982: P-1.

Baby Names Inspired by the Solar Eclipse

baby names, solar eclipse

On August 21, the United States will see its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. If you’re planning to have — or conceive! — a baby around the time of the eclipse, you might be interested in a name that marks the event (but that isn’t as audacious as Eclipse itself). So what are your options?

Names with “celestial” associations

A solar eclipse involves the alignment of three celestial bodies — the sun (a star), the moon, and the Earth — in the sky. You could use a name that is associated in some way with one of these elements, such as…

“Sun” names Helios, Elio, Sunny, Sol, Solange, Soleil, Solaris, Ravi, Samson, Surya, Sunniva, Haruko, Hinata
“Star” names Star, Stella, Estelle, Starla, Astra, Seren, Tara, Citlali, Hoshi
“Moon” names Luna, Moon, Selene, Selena, Chandra, Mahina, Qamar, Dawa
“Earth” names Eartha, Gaia, Tierra, Tlaloc, Avani
“Sky” names Sky, Skyla, Skylar, Lani, Miku, Akash, Alya, Celeste, Celestine, Ciel, Sora

Names with “dark” associations

The main event, from an Earthling’s perspective, is the darkening of the sun thanks to the moon getting in the way and casting its shadow over us. You could use a name associated in some way with darkness, such as…

“Shadow” names Shade, Umbra, Shadow, Zillah
“Dark” or “Black” names Melanie, Duff, Dubhan, Ciar, Ciara, Ciaran, Sullivan*, Krishna, Charna, Jett, Raven
“Night” names Nisha, Layla, Nyx, Lilith, Miyako, Rajnish

*Sullivan essentially means “descendant of the little dark eye” in Irish — weirdly appropriate for a solar eclipse baby name, don’t you think?

Name combos with both “celestial” and “dark” associations

You could combine some of the “celestial” and “dark” names above to get something more specific, like…

  • Layla Soleil: “night” and “sun”
  • Jett Samson: “black” and “sun”
  • Ciaran Sol: “black” and “sun”
  • Melanie Stella: “dark” and “star” (“Dark Star” is also a Grateful Dead song)
  • Luna Zillah: “moon” and “shadow” (“Moon Shadow” is also a Cat Stevens song)

Names (or name combos) featuring the letters “S” and “E”

This is as inconspicuous as it gets. Commemorate the solar eclipse simply by using the letters “S” and “E” in combination. You could choose a single name that starts with “Se-,” like…

Seeta
Sela
Selene (“moon” in Greek)
Selma
Seraphina
Seren (“star” in Welsh)
Serenity
Sean
Sebastian
Sefton
Sergio
Seth
Severino
Seymour

Or, you could use a pair of names that start with “S-” and “E-,” such as…

Sally Esther
Scarlett Eve
Sophia Eloise
Susanna Elizabeth
Samuel Elijah
Shane Everett
Stanley Edward
Sylvester Ellis

Which of the above names (or combos) do you like most? What other solar eclipse-themed ideas would you add to this list?

Sources: When & Where to See the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017, Two Minutes Of Darkness With 20,000 Strangers

Update, 5/15/2018: The baby name Eclipse debuted in the 2017 SSA data!

Baby Names Have Become More Female-Sounding

In 1995, researchers Herbert Barry and Aylene S. Harper invented a way to score personal names to determine how “male” or “female” they sounded. Names with positive scores on the scale were more female-sounding, and names with negative scores were more male-sounding.

“Female” attributes:

  • +2 points if the accent is on the 2nd or later syllable (Elizabeth)
  • +2 points if the last phoneme is unstressed and schwa-like (Sarah)
  • +1 points if the last phoneme is some other vowel sound, not a schwa sound (Melanie)
  • +1 points if the accent is on the 1st of 3 or more syllables (Emily)

“Male” attributes:

  • -1 points if the name has 1 syllable (Mitch)
  • -1 points if the last phoneme is S, Z, F, V, TH, CH, ZH, or DZH (James)
  • -2 points if the last phoneme is P, B, T, D, K, or G (Jacob)
  • -2 points if the accent is on the 1st of 2 syllables and the name has 6+ phonemes (Robert)

The authors looked at Pennsylvania baby names from 1960 to 1990 and discovered that the average phonetic gender score for girl names and boy names had become more “female” over time.

Several years ago, linguist Anika Okrent used the same scale to analyze national baby name data from 1880 to 2013. She noticed the same trend — stretching back to 1950 and continuing until today.

Her theory is that the shift was essentially fueled by shifting trends in boy names. As names like Donald gave way to names like Elijah, the result was an overall rise in the average phonetic gender score for boy names. This in turn triggered a corresponding rise in the average phonetic gender score for girl names “in order to maintain the gender distinction” (i.e., Janet giving way to Olivia).

Do you agree with this theory?

Sources: