Friday, August 1, 2008

Name game

Yes, it's a waste of time, but I've just been checking on the popularity of my name over the years. It seems I caught the peak: Kenneth hit 13.5 per thousand the year before I was born and my birth year was number two at 13/1000.

It's supposedly the #135 male baby name historically, but only cracked the top 100 in Alaska, Tennessee and South Carolina last year. Ken peaked in 1960; is that a Barbie bump? Kenny's had a few minor blips, nothing after South Park came out.

It's a fun black hole for your time, the State by State Popularity Map has a slider so you can check going back to 1960--Flash is required. The Historic Popularity Chart reaches to 1880. It's available on

What's in a name?

I've always wondered whether those poor refugees from the 60's and 70's like Sublime Sunbeam were affected by their names and how they felt about them.

The book Freakonomics claims there's an economic effect and discussed a lot of names popular among blacks. Interesting, though I thought Levitt and Dubner's snide presentation was classic liberal racism, or maybe 'elitism' would be closer.

(This was just an idle post to kill time until my 'scheduled' power outage. I missed it by five minutes. KSPN-2 had perfect timing last night; we were just hearing "...the new schedule will be..." when the screen went blank.)

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