Baby Names

These Are The Two ‘Trendiest’ Baby Names In The U.S For The Past Century

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Trying to decide on your baby name when you are pregnant or after your babe arrives is a source of stress for a lot of people. There is so much to take in consideration when gifting what people will call them for pretty much ever. You want to make sure it sounds good. Works with your last name. That it’s not going to be twisted into some embarrassing nickname. For other people there are more considerations like how unique it is, if it passes a “resume test,” or how many people in your kid’s class are likely to have the same name.

And baby name trends are always changing, too. So what’s cool now might switch into a source of embarrassment later.

It’s happened: think of all the girls named Siri or Alexa a few years ago. Those names are cute and years ago would have been a great mix of uniqueness and not too weird. Now, they’re taken over by technology and it’s been a struggle for anyone with those name. The same can be said for the trends that happen where it swings from being really cool to have a unique name or fun spelling to people favoring names that have been in rotation for a long time.

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If you’re someone who likes a baby name to have stood the test of time, David Taylor of did some fancy chemistry calculations and determined “trendiness scores.” Vox explains the technique as, “The score for a given name is equal to the peak frequency of the name divided by the number of years between when it first hit 10 percent of that peak frequency — as it got more popular — and when it last hit the 10 percent market, on its way out. The resulting quotient is maximized by names that get very, very popular for very, very brief periods — trendy names, in other words.”

And using this technique, it was discovered that one boy name and girl name stood the test of time and have been the “trendiest” for the past century.

baby boy and girl

Credit: iStock / katrinaelena

So, what was found to be the most trendy names over the past century since he Social Security Administration started keeping track in 1880? For girls, the trendiest name was Linda, followed by Shirley. For boys the very clear runner for most trendy name was Jason, and Mark was the next runner up. Looking at the graphs on it looks like the girl names have a few top to choose from, where the boy’s names, the top two were very clearly at the top.

“As has been remarked by many analysts, girls’ names tend to rise and fall in popularity higher and quicker than those of boys;,” Taylor  says, “This analysis bears that out. There are really only two boys’ names that one would consider a sharp peak; the other three are presidents’ names”

So, if you like names that hold on to some form of trendy for a long time, maybe Linda and Jason are your go-to top choices.

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