Baby names, and their popularity trends, make for a very interesting study. Incidentally, when we talk of popular baby’s forenames, what we are referring to are simply the names that everyone seems to be giving their new born baby. Some seem to enjoy near universal popularity. Others seem to be names whose popularity is limited to certain regions. But the defining feature is that almost everyone seems to fancy them, and when occasion arises, everyone seems to select one such name for their baby.  GETIX.ID

Turning back to baby’s forename popularity trends, we encounter some names that prove popular for one generation or so, before their popularity wanes. Then we encounter others whose popularity seems to hold over time. They are names our grandparents loved to give their kids (our parents). They are names our parents loved to give us. And they are the names we still feel inclined to give to our kids. Often, the popularity of these names is such that we come to regard them as ‘ordinary.’ Here, we are looking at a name such as Mary for girls and Peter for boys. These are simple names, but they are popular. You take any sample of people in some cities, and as long as it is a random sample, you know that you will definitely have some Marys and some Peters. It is almost a guaranteed thing.

Such names wouldn’t be particularly remarkable, were it not for the fact that there are other names which also qualify to be termed as popular baby’s forenames, but whose popularity seems to be temporary. There are names that are currently trending, but which we can bet won’t be popular ten years, or even five, years down the line. That is how we end up with a situation where, in some places, many girls (now elderly ladies) born in the 1950s were named Magdalene, at a time when that was a popular name. Yet, in many of those places today, that same name would be considered ‘odd’ and ‘old fashioned.’

So, why have some names (like Peter and Mary) managed to remain in the list of popular baby’s forenames over the generations, whereas the popularity of other names seems to be faddish, usually not even lasting one generation?

Well, the truth of the matter is that the names that remain relevant and popular over the years are usually names that are part of a wider (and equally popular) narrative. The narrative in question also tends to be one that strikes a cord in many people, and a narrative that is so simple that most people can relate to it. The said potentially popular names tend to be, in the same narratives, names of characters with truly likable qualities.

There is also ‘name inheritance’ to account for the persistent popularity of some tags. This is where we realize that, for instance, at the christening/conversion of societies, many people opt for names of central Christian characters such as Mary and Peter. The name ends up being take by so many people that it comes to be regarded as an ‘ordinary’ name. Once a name gets into that list of ordinary names, it soon gets so deeply embedded in people’s memories that when the average person is considering a name for their baby, they are the first tags that come to mind. And, of course, with every new baby who gets the names, their position in the list of chronically popular baby’s forenames gets even more strongly consolidated.

By yanam49

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