Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Name That Character!

No, this is not a rip-off of Name That Tune (gee, did I just date myself? I swear, I watched in the 80s, not the 50s).

In replying to a Tweet (you know who you are!) looking for a name from the 1980s, I found the Social Security website has a popular baby name database.  You can actually see the most one hundred popular male and female names since the 1880s.  They have them listed by decade, so you can quickly look to see how popular your name was in the decade you were born (although, if you had to sit through your teacher calling out three or four different last names after your first name, I'm sure you already had a clue as to how popular your name was when you were born).

I didn't meet anyone with my name until I was fifteen.  I went to California to visit my grandparents and my grandmother worked with a woman named Faith.  As a teenager, I always wanted one of those souvenir license plates with my name on it, but I could never find one!  My mother finally found a keychain with my name on it in the Pocono Mountains (and yes, I still have it!). 

Just for fun, I put in my name.  When I was born (1969), my name ranked 423 in the popularity chart for girls' names.  In 2002, it had shot all the way up to number 48!  Way to go!! I think we can totally lay the shift at Faith Hill's feet.  After all, from 1998 to 2002, she was very popular, not only with the country crowd but with the pop music fans as well.

This year, it's only at number 71, so I guess the Faiths of the world (or the United States, anyway) need to do more to bring it back into the 40s.

So if you are looking for a popular name for your character - or maybe a not-so-popular name - take a look at the website for some inspiration.

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