Saturday, August 23, 2014

What's in a name?

It's gratifying to see that at least one of my names, Daniel, was among the top 10 male names assigned to infants during 2013 --- according to Social Security Administration data. That name has been a fairly consistent achiever, except in 2012 when it dropped to 11th; among the top 10 since at least 2000.

Frank, on the other hand, not so successful. It was 327th in 2013, continuing to slide downward (it was 208th in 2000).

I came by both of these names genealogically. My father was Daniel as was his paternal grandfather. And that grandfather's grandfather was a Daniel, too; although on the maternal side and therefore with a different surname, Dick.

Frank was one of my dad's names, too, honoring a Wyoming uncle, Frank Dent, who was in turn named for Franklin Dunlap, his grandfather and my great-great. It could have been worse. Had one of our mutual names honored my dad's maternal grandfather, we'd have had part of Cassius Marcellus Clay Dent to contend with.

Here are the top 10 male names for 2013, in descending order: Noah, Liam, Jacob, Mason, William, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, Jayden and Daniel. "Jayden" is the true oddity here. It appeared first on the Social Security list during 1994 and no one still is quite sure where it came from.

Here are the top 10 female names: Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Mia, Emily, Abigail, Madison and Elizabeth.

The reasoning behind some of these names escapes me, but it may just be that parents have become increasingly reliant on Social Security data when naming their offspring.

If you want to play the name game yourself, the Social Security data is here.


It's raining, hard, for the third morning running here. I wish we could share with others who need it more.

Especially since this doesn't bode well for the ceremonies at Mt. Zion and Graceland cemeteries, scheduled for this morning to honor Lucas County's longest-surviving Civil War veterans.

We'll see how that goes, providing the crick don't rise --- and the White Breast is between here and both of the "theres."

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