Thanks to Bud for the video above. I need to go off on a tangent real quick about this website I am using for this post because it blows my mind. The first thing I noticed about the site WaitButWhy was that they only have new posts on Tuesday???  Seriously, your website is 100x more popular than mine and you only post once a week.  What the fuck is that about.  Then I read this on the FAQ:

Is WaitButWhy a blog or a real website?

We want you to think it’s a real website and when you forward the link to someone we don’t want you to say, “Check out this guy’s blog” cause then it seems like it’s just this guy writing and it’s just a blog.  We want you to say, “Check out this site” cause then we seem like a bigger deal and it seems like a legit thing.  Okay?

This is my exact problem.  I’m just a guy with a blog.  There’s no doubt that these guys put more research into their weekly posts but they have 70k Facebook likes and I have 400 friends who don’t read my website.  With that behind, onward to the dissection of naming a baby.


The Name of Your Baby


JKash and Ambsy Bambsy are having a baby together and I thought that this would be a popular post.  This POST (you’ll want to click here to understand what I’m referring to) on the aforementioned website will be the data for my post.  They actually use Babynamewizard for their data but they do a great job of pulling from it.  It starts off with 4 ways to name a baby:

1) Go Timeless – John, James, William, David, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth
2) Go Super Weird – Winter, Namaste, Jameliah, Stormy, Cameo, Grudzel
3) Go a Little Weird But Not Too Weird – Ashton, Wyatt, Luca, Brooklyn
4) Just Go Into The Current Honeymoon, Knowing You’re Picking a Popular Name – Anything from the current Top 20.

They show a list of the Top 20 names:

top names 2012

The post concludes with a look at fads, trends, and names within a location.  It’s fairly interesting and you’ll have to see for yourself.


What to make of this data?

The one thing that I’ll do that they don’t is have an opinion.  The first thing I notice about the girls list is that pornstars must view this list before choosing their names.  Abigail (Salem Witch Trials) and Emily (Dickenson) sound like they are from the 1600’s.  11 of the first 20 end in a vowel (16 of 20 if you include Y). How are these the 20 most popular names?  What happened to Jen, Ashley, Kristen and Michelle?  It’s like everyone tried to go off the beaten path and now that path is becoming beaten.

If you want your son to grow up without any masculinity name him Mason, Aiden,  Jayden, or Elijah.  The rest of the list isn’t awful.  They are mostly strongish male names but I see a few that have fallen off quite a bit since I was young.  Thomas, Justin, Jeffrey, Bill, Bob, Mark, and Eric have taken a nose dive.   Matthew, although still in the top 20 has come way down from it’s peak.  These normal names are being replaced by names like Issac, Oliver, Tanner, and Landon.  How are these turds going to develop into men when they will be looking back at generations of manly men with names like William, Bruce, John, and FPS Doug?  Society is moving away from convention and trying to be different because that’s what our society preaches which brings us to…


The Problem

Everyone is trying to be different nowadays.  How can you be unique if your name is the same as a million other children?  This thought creates a problem because it makes people wacky.  They start scrounging their brain for a name that sets the kid apart but the only thing they are really doing is distancing themselves from societal norms.  There’s a chapter in Malcom Gladwell’s book called David and Goliath that outlines how a case of dyslexia helped a person achieve great success in life.  The point was that the person had extreme perseverance and an ability to gain strengths from their weaknesses.  What the chapter doesn’t tell is about the 1,000’s of people who are less fortunate because they can’t read properly.  This works the same way with names.  Maybe your kid named Criminal will be the only Criminal out there but it’s just possible that he’ll be so outcast that you aren’t doing him any favors.  A name is only a name but it’s also an identity.  A normal name doesn’t take away from the child’s ability and he forms himself.  A wild name immediately stereotypes the kid as weird and he’s forced to overcome that.  Some will, most won’t, and now you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t just name your child John.   I think Freakonomics had a good segment on this idea.  Basically the whole idea comes down to this, if you name your child a bad name and he grows up to be a screwball, it’s on you..