Posts Tagged With: Skyler

Tuesday Conundrum: New Data, New Gender

It’s my name!

A few weeks ago now I set out a little weekend conundrum, giving you 14 names and asking you to all correctly identify which 7 ranked higher for girls, and vice versa.

These were the answers:

Ranked Higher For Boys

Ashley, Brook, Harper, Laurie, Mackenzie, Morgan & Tristyn

Ranked Higher For Girls

Beaux, Bobbi, London, Lou, Reese, Skyler & Storm

Since the release of the 2011 data, there are three names which have altered slightly; one name no longer ranks for either, whilst two others have since swapped to the other gender, care to guess which three names you think they are?

I do recommend reading through the linked post for guidance if you feel a little uncertain, as that may help narrow down the options when you take a peek at the rankings.

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Categories: Friday Conundrum | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Friday Conundrum Answers

Wrong type of celebratory card, but you get the idea

We’re back, with the much-awaited answers to Friday’s fun little conundrum.

Truth be told, I was a little cheeky when it came to choosing the names to feature in the Friday conundrum, so for me it came as no surprise that the same names were consistently being wrongly identified as the other gender. However, now you shall know the truth.

The names which ranked higher for boys:

Ashley, #178 compared to #516 for girls

It’s understandable if you got this wrong, a recent Nameberry blog post did say:

at this point, do leave Ashley to the girls

Well, not us Brits, clearly. I don’t suppose anyone is watching the Euros? We have two Ashleys in our current England squad, Ashley Young and Ashley Cole. The former was born in 1985, the year Ashley ranked at #2 in the States and in 1984 the name ranked at #49 for boys in England&Wales.

Brook, #1109 compared to #1389 for girls

This is despite the fact that Brooke ranks inside the Top 100, at #45, so this one was a surprise for me. But obviously, not for some of you since a couple of you called right on this one.

Harper, #897 compared to #930 for girls

This name was a case of testing to see whether you’ve all been listening, and clearly you haven’t since everyone got this wrong. This name is also the reason I carefully worded my definition of ‘most popular’ to highest ranking, because truth be told more baby girls were named Harper in 2010, but the name ranked higher for boys. Crafty wording on my behalf? Perhaps.

Laurie, #1109 compared to #1815 for girls

Spelled Lori, this name only ranks for girls (at #2392), but this spelling is more popular for boys. I do know lads named just Laurie, my age and indeed younger.

Mackenzie, #239 compared to #1332 for girls

The interesting thing to not here is that the name is climbing for boys, and falling for girls. The alternate spelling of McKenzie ranks even higher for boys at #153.

Morgan, #106 compared to #229 for girls

My goddaughter, whom we’ve previously mentioned, was going to be named Morgan should she have been a boy. I will hand it to anyone who thought this ranked higher for girls, Morgan ranked inside the Top 100 for girls back in the early noughties – peaking at #59 in 2000, however the male ranking still eclipsed the female one at #52 in 2000. Both have clearly dropped since then, but more so on the female popularity list.

Tristyn, #3332 compared to not ranking at all for girls

I wondered whether the spelling-with-a-y would trip some up, and it looks like it did. I know, this was another mean-spirited selection and perhaps you all would’ve opted for the blue side if it had been spelled Tristan.

What it does demonstrate is that -yn isn’t necessarily a feminine ending, and indeed in Wales many male names are spelled with a y, i.e. Gwyn is a male name, Gwen is a female name.

As it so happens, another variant Trystan only ranks for lads too, and the highest ranking version of the name is Tristan at #121. Possible Top 100 aspirations? With all the variants to consider, it’s very much a possibility.

The names which ranked higher for girls:

Beaux, #2843 compared to not ranking at all for boys

Clearly, if you have a working knowledge of French grammar, your inclination would be that this name ranked higher for boys, as beaux is the masculine plural form of beau, a French word meaning beautiful. This was a slightly mean pick on my behalf, especially as late last year there was a Brit celeb-baby boy born named Beaux.

Bobbi, #1093 compared to #1801 for boys

I wondered whether those whom know that Bobby ranks at #83 for the boys would be inclined to believe this ranks more highly for a boy, but that sadly isn’t the case. I do wonder, however, whether people were swayed by Ms. Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of Whitney Houston, as I presume more know about her than the fact that Bobby is in the England&Wales Top 100.

London, #2392 compared to #2941 for boys

There have been two examples of celeb-babies of both genders being given the name London in recent times: in September 2011, Jay McGraw welcomed a son named London Phillip; at the end of May 2012 Brooke White welcomed daughter London Ray.

Lou, #4012 compared to not ranking at all for boys

Woo! How could I resist not including my name? This is in line with European trends for Lou as a female name.

Reese, #1180 compared to #1241 for boys

The names Rhys (#65) and Reece (#84) both rank not only higher for boys, but both are inside the Top 100. Then we have the Reese Witherspoon spelling which is slightly ahead for girls.

Skyler, #1731 compared to #2400 for boys

This is the flipside to the States, where Skyler ranks higher for boys at #287 compared to #456 for girls.

Storm, #1093 compared to #1801 for boys

No one got this right either, and I can see why, the name Storm could be seen as akin to the name Bear – which is seen almost exclusively as a boy name, amongst the emerging crop of boys names with an almost wild & rugged edge to them. But alas, this is not the case.

Categories: Friday Conundrum, Popularity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Friday Conundrum: Unisex Names

I despair

Unisex names are on the rise, and I’ve been on the receiving end of the issue myself.

Picture the scene:

There I was, innocently helping Santa give out presents to young children, and lo and behold a child with long blonde hair stepped forward, and told Santa that their name was Sam. It was by pure chance that Sam got the right gender present because I was at a loss. Yes, Sam is technically boys name, but it’s also a popular short form of Samantha, a girls name. Then along came another girl with shoulder length brown hair and the name Jimmy. I almost threw my hands up in despair.

Thus, I challenge you to my Friday conundrum, listed below are 14 names: 7 ranked higher for the girls in 2010 in England&Wales; and vice versa for the other 7. Can you guess correctly?

1. Ashley

2. Beaux

3. Bobbi

4. Brook

5. Harper

6. Laurie

7. London

8. Lou

9. Mackenzie

10. Morgan

11. Reese

12. Skyler

13. Storm

14. Tristyn

I’ll be honest, some surprised me when researching this post, and ye who cheat make bunnies cry.

Categories: Popular Names, Popularity, Unisex Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Closet Chemistry: Amines and Esters

I’ve been thinking about organic chemistry quite a bit recently, and the combining of it with the topic of names struck me when we mentioned Amine last week. It’s a name of relative popularity in France, but it’s also the name of a functional group containing a nitrogen with a lone pair of electrons. For those interested, they can look like this:

Primary Amine, from wikipedia.org

You may have no idea why they’re important but it’s from amines that we get amino acids, which collectively make up proteins. That makes them vital for life. So, one could call Amino a slight variation of the name Amine – especially given that the French slightly altered the Arabic name Amin to get to Amine. Amin comes from the Arabic word for truthful and the female form of the name is Amina(h). Aminah was the name of the prophet Muhammad’s mother, who died when he was young. The Arabic word and name Amina means feel safe. For Bosnia and Herzegovina, Amina was the #1 female name in 2010; the most popular male name that year was Amar.

Names that sound like they’re related to the above ones include the Iranian name Minoo, sometimes seen as Minu, which derives from Persian and means heaven or paradise. Like the English name Heaven, or alas the infamous Nevaeh, Minoo is a feminine name. A name of Arabic origins which means heaven, or indeed sky, is the female name Alya. Going back to the French, in 2009, the name Alya ranked at #259 in France.

The reason Arabic names feature in French name popularity is Algeria and Tunisia. Both are former colonies of France, from which many immigrants have moved to France, and brought their naming tendencies with them. For both, Arabic is the official language and both earned their independence from France in the middle of the 20th century.

Other popular names of Arabic origins in France include Mohamed, Rayan, Mehdi, Nassim, Farah, Naim, Sana, Marwa and Salma, to name just a few.

And for those wondering whether we’re using Amine in England&Wales, we are – to a certain extent. In 2010, 11 boys were given the name Amine with a further 37 named Amin, putting the latter name at #792. Amina ranks even higher for girls, at #182, with 285 girls given the name and Aminah ranking at #254 with 128 of them born.

Another group of organic compounds are called Esters, said pretty much the same as you would the name Esther. She fit’s nicely with our already established post-theme of names inspired by our friends from the East as Esther means star in Persian. An Ester looks like this:

Ester, from tqn.com
Of course, it’s not concrete that Esther derives from Persian and hence means star. The name Esther comes from the Bible, being given to Hadassah upon the moment she entered the royal harem of King Ahaseurus. Esther could also have derived from the name Ishtar, the name of the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love, war and fertility; the Phoenicians called her Ashtoreth. What is worth noting is that the Dutch word for star is ster, which has given birth to the Dutch name Sterre (ster-ra).
Esther has given birth to a plentitude of variations: from Hester to Estee; Eszti (Hungarian) to Esteri (Finnish). What’s worth noting is that the spelling Ester is a legitimate international variant of the name Esther, used by Scandinavians, Spaniards, Czechs, Finns and the Portuguese.
When it comes to Esther vs. Hester in the popularity charts for England&Wales in 2010, Esther wins outright. She’s at #156 with 334 girls given the name compared to Hester, who is much further down at #1815 with only 15 born.
The -er ending for male names is starting to be touted as an upcoming trend, but there are some undoubtedly pretty girls names which end the same way, like Esther and Hester:
  • Amber
  • Aster
  • Clover
  • Demeter
  • Ember
  • Ginger
  • Grier
  • Harper
  • Heather
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Miniver
  • Piper
  • Skyler
  • Summer

Notice how most derive directly from English words? What’s more both Jasmine and Jasper are names popular in England&Wales, and of Persian origins, as Esther could be; Jasper means treasurer in Persian. Colour names Azure and Scarlet also have links with Persian words, and that’s where we shall end this post.

Categories: Chemistry Inspirations, French Words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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