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Baby Names: The Latest Partisan Divide?

 
 
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:02 am

Evan, Elizabeth, Rachel, Abigail and John all have something in common. They were born this spring at Fletcher Allen hospital in Burlington, Vt.

Around the same time, a group of babies named Paislee, Liberty, Rykan and Scottlynn were all born in and around North Platte, Neb.

Styles of baby names, it seems, are nearly as different in various parts of the country as voting habits. "There is an enormous red state and blue state divide on names," says Laura Wattenberg, founder of BabyNameWizard.com and author of The Baby Name Wizard, which claims to be "the expert guide to baby name style."

But this doesn't play out the way you might expect. More progressive communities, Wattenberg says, tend to favor more old-fashioned names. Parents in more conservative areas come up with names that are more creative or androgynous.

"Sometimes people have a naive expectation that people who are politically conservative on social issues would name their kids in traditional ways, and it doesn't always happen that way," says Andrew Gelman, a professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University and author of Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State.


The reason for more outlandish-sounding names cropping up in conservative quarters is simple, Wattenberg says. Women in red states tend to have their first children earlier than women in blue states. A 23-year-old mom is more likely to come up with something out of the ordinary than one who is 33.

That's not to say all baby names in places like Mississippi sound much different from those in Massachusetts. Fashionable names such as Emma, Jacob and Jayden are about equally popular all over the country.

But, as demonstrated by the Social Security Administration's latest annual list of the most popular monikers, the percentage of newborns given the trendiest names is much smaller than it was a generation ago.

At the height of the baby boom, nearly 25 percent of all boys and girls had the 10 most popular names. Now, only about 8 percent of all children are given one of the 10 most popular names.

So, there likely will never be as many Isabellas and Wyatts running around as there were Marys and Jims.

"As it becomes more important to differentiate yourself, for jobs and getting into college, people are looking for any way to accomplish that" — including baby names, says Bill Bishop, author of The Big Sort, a book about how Americans are increasingly living among people who share their cultural and political preferences.

Whether the greater number of stand-out names in Republican-leaning states will ultimately afford those children any real advantage remains to be seen, however.

"My parents said the most important thing in a name was picking something that nobody could make fun of," Bishop says.

Source:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:14 am
Which states have those weird names with embedded capitals like LaKeisha and ShaDizzle?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:29 am
@Lustig Andrei,
I've always wondered if/where economic status comes into play in the name game.

It seems to me that the families lower on the economic scale have kids with the more 'creative' names. May just be my experience but I wonder what the parents are thinking - the kids are already going to have to fight to make it in the world and now they've been saddled with a WTH name to top it off.

Quote:
At the height of the baby boom, nearly 25 percent of all boys and girls had the 10 most popular names.
I remember those days. Four Susans in a class of 22 or 23, Lori x 3.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:32 am
@ehBeth,
Linda seemed to have been popular in our generation. I was in a very small class (only 22 of us by the time we graduated high school) with five Lindas.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:38 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Linda seemed to have been popular in our generation.


I discovered while learning Spanish that it means "pretty" or "neat" (female gender) in that language.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:42 am
@contrex,
Yes, Tricky Dick Nixon was from Yorba Linda, California, so we learned that a long time ago. It is identified by the Census Bureau as the richest city in the U.S., based on median income.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:43 am
The 20 Most Bizarre Celebrity Baby Names

raprap
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:47 am
@Lustig Andrei,
I knew of a Catholic family with seven girls--all named Mary. Mary Jane, Mary Beth, Mary Ann, Mary Jo, Mary Kay, Mary Ellen and Mary Catherine. Wonder how they skewed the stats for Mary?

Rap
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:51 am
@Irishk,
Ha . . . they missed two of the best: Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa . . .
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:59 am
@Setanta,
I kinda like Dweezil lol.

Penn Gillette named his daughter Moxie Crimefighter.

Almost makes 'Apple' sound normal.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 12:03 pm
After the civil wars in England, after Oliver Cromwell became the Lord Protector, he called a new Parliament. It came to be called the Barebones Parliament. That was because of the participation of Praise-God Barebone.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 12:11 pm
James "Big Jim" Hogg of Texas, who was Attorney General and Governor of Texas, named his only daughter Ima.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/93/ImaHogg.jpg/220px-ImaHogg.jpg

Ima's "coming out" photo, in 1900. Big Jim struck oil on his property, and became fabulously rich. Ima became the best known philanthropist of the U.S. in the first half of the twentieth centurry, and a significant patroness of the arts.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 12:14 pm
@Setanta,
That's just cruel Smile
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 12:17 pm
@Irishk,
I infer that one can consider Big Jim to have been an honest-to-god good ol' boy.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 12:33 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Yes, Tricky Dick Nixon was from Yorba Linda, California, so we learned that a long time ago.
It is identified by the Census Bureau as the richest city in the U.S., based on median income.
He WAS tricky; he betrayed us too (his supporters). Have a good laff; go ahead.
He was known to propagate his political technique
that a politician shud: "run on the right and govern in the center."
Therefore, those of us who voted for Original Americanism,
i.e., constricted, curtailed, strangled, debilitated, degraded government,
did not get what we 'd expected nor craved. He tricked us.

(None the less -- I still have a full color 14" X 18" portrait of him up on my wall,
that I bought at his Inaugration in 1969, and Inaugural cufflinks.
[I had an uncle who looked a lot like Nixon.]
Call me a fool (or an "idiot" since u love that word with such devotion).





David

P.S.:
I like your new Avatar.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 12:57 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
If you are born in and around North Platte, NB, there is a high likelyhood you surname is some variation of Yokum.

For a study of given names, Super Freakonomics is an interesting read.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 01:06 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
My parents and I seem to have something in common -- we were early adopters of names that were unusual when selected but then later became quite common.

People were always asking me how to spell my name when I was a kid, now there are a bunch of little kids running around with my name. (They tend to be age 25 or younger, with a large proportion being 12 or younger.)

And I picked out sozlet's name about 20 years ago (9 years before she was born), when it was vanishingly rare, still liked it once she was born even though I was starting to see it here and there (almost ditched it after a celebrity used it for his new baby) and now it's super-common. Grr.

I did give her an even weirder middle name in case she wants to differentiate herself. Haven't met anyone at all by that name, yet.

So far there's only one other girl with the same first name in her grade, and she spells it differently.

It fits sozlet really well though, glad I didn't let the celebrity dissuade me.

(And in case it needs saying, the name is not actually "sozlet." Smile )
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 01:28 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I think its kinda risky to name a baby upon the basis of political admiration.
U cannot predict the kid 's ideological preferences.
It must be an ugly feeling to be named after someone whose principles or history u dislike.
Bad enuf to attend a public school named after one of the Kennedys (hate to have that name on a diploma; gross).
For instance: I hold the late General Augusto Pinochet in very high esteem, because of what he did to communists,
but if I had a kid whose principles differed from my freedom-loving ideals,
possibly he might not wanna be named after Gen. Pinochet; u never know !



My parents were big Roosevelt supporters.
We argued at length for years n decades qua the merits of liberalism,
which I disputed n rejected, in the spirit of anti-authoritarianism.
Eventually, I succeeded in convincing them both to join me in voting for Barry Goldwater in 1964, but it took some work,
my point being that kids can and DO reject parental ideology.

My mother named me after King David in the Bible.
I like that name a lot.


One of the reasons that I 'm glad to not have any kids
is that I know that if I had a son, possibly he cud energetically support principles
that I hold in abhorrence and seek to apply my property toward their success.
If I had a son, among the possibilities: he cud be a nazi, a supporter of gun control, or a commie; anything is possible,
including the chance that he might be good. I don 't wanna bet too much on it.

(As it stands, I also know that I remain IMMUNE to the efforts of any impatient legatees
to give Nature a helping hand, incidentally accelerating their enrichment.)





David
contrex
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 01:30 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
For instance: I hold the late General Augusto Pinochet in very high esteem, because of what he did to communists,


I always thought you were a prick, but now I really know it deep in my soul.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 01:37 pm
@contrex,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
For instance: I hold the late General Augusto Pinochet in very high esteem,
because of what he did to communists,
contrex wrote:
I always thought you were a prick, but now I really know it deep in my soul.
Your recognition is GRATIFYING, Contrex. That was a very nice thing to say. Thank u!

That 's a FIRST TIME for u.

U made my day! ( U and some unexpected financial good fortune that I experienced )





David
0 Replies
 
 

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