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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Tuesday, June 21, 2005

NameVoyager is a fascinating application showing changes in the popularity of first names in the USA over the last century. VitQ sought out some names which have become recently popular and others which have faded with the years:

10 names with recent boosts in popularity:

Kylie - 1300 per million babies; rare until early 1980s
Serenity - 430 pmb; rare until 1990s
Candace - rare before 1930s, peaked in 1980s, now uncommon again
Paris – rare until 1970s, increasingly popular since for both genders
Abigail – although considered old-fashioned in the UK, in the US Abigail was rare until the 1970s and is now in the top ten girls' names
Xander – recent leap in popularity, formerly barely used
Nadia – now common – barely known before 1960
Brad – rare before 1930s, peak in 1970s (666 pmb); oddly, marked dip in past decade
Logan – big riser which barely registered in the mid century
Tyler – dropping after huge surge in the 1990s; not many men over 45 have this name

10 names which have fallen from favour:

Durward - relatively common 1890-1930
Barbara – very common 1920s to 1960s, now increasingly rare
Theodora - rc 1900-30
Carl – very popular 1890s -1920s, dropping ever since
Theda - rc 1880-1940
Fern – popular 1890s-1920s, rare since 1960s
Edna – v popular in 1890s and 1900s, rare since 1970s
Jeanette – very popular 1920s-1940s, now negligible
Fannie – in the top 100 for decades until the 1910s, now rare
Vernon – popular between the wars, now barely used

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