Friday, January 24, 2003

Startlingly Useless: Volokh has been chatting about names (here, with links, and earlier) and provides the link to the Social Security Administrations statistical and actuarial data. You'll be surprised at how wonderfully lost you can get in this useless data. For example, In 2001, we named our son Simon (a pretty common name, you'd guess). It turns out that twice as many parents named their sons Clayton (also Preston, Jayden) as chose Simon. Three times as many chose Riley, Tanner, Dalton, Colby, Carson, Dakota, Wyatt. (Was there some very popular cowboy movie I missed?) Four times as many chose Gavin (reruns of "The Love Boat" no doubt aiding this spike, with that dashing Gavin McLeod starring). Ten times as many chose Logan, which I suppose I'd always considered a surname. Biblical names dominated, from Jacob (taking the top spot) to Isaiah, Nathan, Caleb, and a host of other names that were previously popular in the long "begat" sections of the Bible. Funny that, over on NRO, Derb observes the common trend of Jewish families moving toward more gentile names over the generations. Paying back in kind, the goyim has appropriated Joshua, Zachary, Noah, and Samuel (all in the top 30).

Fascinating, no? Okay, I'll stop

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