The rare name Myzel debuted impressively in the U.S. baby name data in 2003:
2004: 5 baby boys named Myzel
2003: 20 baby boys named Myzel [debut]
Where did it come from?
A TV commercial.
Specifically, one of the four 2003 Nike shoe commercials that were built around the tagline, “There’s more fast out there.”
Three of the commercials featured professional athletes, but the fourth featured 14-year-old actor Myzel Robinson confidently rattling off all the people/things he’d race, and beat:
I’ll race my coach. I’ll race my dog. I’ll race any dog. I’ll race your dog. Pick the animal, I’ll race it and beat it. I’ll race you, your cousin, your auntie, your mom, your dad, your nephew, your nieces, whoever. You name somebody, and I’ll race ’em. I’ll race an all-American, all-state, world-class athlete. Point him out to me. I’ll race Lance Armstrong on his bike — 100 meters. 200 meters. Anybody. Anywhere. Anytime. Put ’em next to me, you say ‘go,’ I’ll race ’em. And I’ll beat ’em.”
His full name is on the screen for the first few seconds of the commercial:
We looked at the top baby name rises last month, so this month let’s look at the opposite: the top drops. That is, the baby names that decreased the most in usage, percentage-wise, from one year to the next in the Social Security Administration’s data.
Here’s the format: girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the percentages represent single-year slides in usage. (For example, from 1880 to 1881, usage of the girl name Clementine dropped 68% and usage of the boy name Neil dropped 76%.)
The SSA data isn’t perfect, but it does become more accurate in the late 1930s, because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data” (SSA). Now, back to the list…
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and I plan to write about a few of the others. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to beat me to it — leave a comment and let us know why you think any of these names saw dropped in usage when they did.