Monday, May 18, 2015

Modernizing Your Name

...or sort of. In the United States, the Social Security Administration keeps lists of the most popular baby names. Here are the top names for 2014, and if you click on the tab, you can find popular names from other years.

Using that information, TIME magazine published a name generator (fill in your name, year of birth and sex, and the generator will figure out what your name's ranking was the year you were born and then tell you what name has the same ranking this year as well as other recent years). Kind of fun.

Clearly my name was never popular in any era. Even in 1954, Myrna was only ranked 422 (not exactly a surprise to me), but here are some of the names I might have been given in other years (I wonder where that Larry came from). I actually like most of these.

Names from different eras

Given your name's ranking from the year you were born, what name did the generator come up with for you?

7 comments:

  1. I would be Emma. No, I don't see that at all. I am not an Emma.

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  2. Monica is my first name: 160th = Emilia today (really?)
    You know my second name: 105th = Hazel (OMG, I'm going to put my head under a bed right now)
    I've always felt like my name was one notch up from Gertrude or Ethel, but Hazel today? That's just wrong, LOL!

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  3. Mary. I've always found it interesting to match names to personalities. I once had an editor ask to change a major character's name in one of my books (not sure why she didn't want the one I had used), and I had to immediately inform her that no, no, no, that new name would never fit that character. It was just all wrong, so I totally understand your not being an Emma.

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  4. Laney4 (Monica?), I am so there on your feelings about Gertrude, Ethel, Hazel (my apologies to anyone with those names), because...you know...Myrna? I've been called Myrtle, Myra, even Gertrude (who knows why?) and their just isn't any good way to get around my name. You'd think when I was aiming for a pseudonym I would have changed my first name rather than my last, but by now I'm so used to it that I was afraid I wouldn't realize people were talking to me if I had to answer to a different name, so...I kept it.

    By the way, I don't think of your name that way at all. Isn't it funny how we view our own names differently from the way other people see them (sometimes, that is--I am pretty sure that I'm dead on about the world view of Myrna, other than possibly in Mexico. I once had a student named Myrna, but in Spanish it's pronounced differently, of course, so it's far less grating to the ear).

    I think I'm most surprised that Emilia is 160th. I've never, ever met an Emilia. I wonder if it's an alternate spelling of Amelia.

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    Replies
    1. There, not their (ugh, I hate the fact that there's no edit function on comments).

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  5. I too wish there was an edit function when commenting. There's been many a time when I've hit send and then wished I could go back. Ugh is right!
    The more I learn about you, Myrna, the more I feel we are so similar in many things (and yet so different in others). It's nice having that "bond"!

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  6. Laney4, I totally agree with you! The "bond" is very nice. Reading your comments is always fun and enlightening.

    There have been lazy (or just busy) weeks when I haven't been here much, and I begin to wonder what you and Mary are up to (which sounds rather weird, but doesn't actually feel weird to me).

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