But I’m writing them up a bit differently this year — I’m only focusing on 20 big winners.
How did I choose these 20? First, I eliminated all the names that didn’t see increased usage in 2013. Then I eliminated the names that saw relatively small increases in usage. Then I eliminated the names that saw more or less expected increases in usage, given their trajectories.
That left me with about 20 names that became more popular in 2013 due mainly (in some cases entirely) to pop culture influence.
My husband visited China recently and brought back a cute little gift for me. (Thank you, E!)
It’s a jade stamp in the shape of a horse (because I was born in the year of the horse). The stamp itself is my name written in two ways — the normal way, and transliterated into Mandarin Chinese.
He thinks he remembers the shop-girl telling him the characters meant “beautiful flower from the south.”
When I tried translating the characters myself, though, I wasn’t able to come up with that.
Here’s my attempt:
On the left is 南, nán, which means “south” or “southern.”
So that part of the definition makes sense.
But on the right is 茜, which can be pronounced either qiàn or xī. We want the second pronunciation (nán + xī = Nancy, more or less). With that pronunciation, the only definition I can find is “used in the transliteration of people’s names.”
So I have no idea where the “beautiful flower” part could have come from. Seems like that character doesn’t really mean anything at all.
Which is sad, because that bottom symbol, 西, could have been used on its own and given the name a much cooler meaning. It’s also pronounced xī, and means “west” or “western,” so my name could have been 茜 西, or “south west.”
Southwest would have been awesome for two reasons. First, I’m actually from the Northeast. :) Second, a directional pun-name could have made me one of the cool kids (finally!).
Have you ever had your name transliterated into Chinese, or any other writing system? How did it come out?
Their baby is just days old and already she’s the butt of countless jokes. So sad.
I’d like to think that most people cringe when they hear a name like “North West.” But I’m sure other people out there genuinely like it. With this in mind, here’s my question:
Do you think “North West” will inspire more parents to bestow pun names this year?
I don’t have a way to measure pun name frequency, unfortunately, so we’ll have to rely on anecdotal evidence for this one. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for pun names in the coming months. If you spot any, please let me know.
Which of these name combinations is your favorite?
I think I’d have to go with Married Young from the first + last list.
[P.S. For some of the above, I assumed the state where the person was issued a social security number was also the birth-state. I realize now that this isn’t always the case. Sorry about that. If you’ve found a mistake, feel free to correct me in the comments.]