Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

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Speaking of names and what might be in them...

From 1880 to 1965, my name was ranked either first or second in the US among girls' names. Ever since then, it has dropped fairly steadily in popularity (although it didn't drop out of the top 100 until 2009). In 1980, when I was born, it was #26. I was the only Mary in my class, and it wasn't until I was an adult that I started to realize quite how common it was overall.

I wonder why the drop in popularity. Is it because our culture values originality and/or individuality more than it did back then? Is it because everyone just got tired of all the confusion?

I wonder if all the "old-fashioned" names come back in style eventually, or if some just fade away entirely. For example, a couple years ago now, one of my co-workers (and his wife, who also used to be one of my co-workers) had a baby girl and named her Evelyn, which I have always considered to be an old-fashioned name, but seems to have experienced a renaissance (haha) of popularity within the last ten years.

My mom and dad both have rather unusual names; my mom has always been okay with it, but my dad didn't like having an uncommon name while he was growing up (presumably still doesn't) and apparently insisted that he and my mom give their kids "normal" names. As for me, I like my name, but I don't like the fact that it is so common. Partly for the existential reason that I would like to forge a unique identity for myself, but mostly for the practical reason that it causes a lot of confusion. I wouldn't change my first name, but if I ever have kids, I'm purposefully going to try to pick names that aren't very popular at that time.
Tags: family, ideas, miscellaneous
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