What’s your name?

You know that club of girls on the cartoon “Recess”? all of them are named “Ashley”?

That is so true! That happens all the time, when somehow a name gets mysteriously popular with EVERYONE for a year or so.

The government has a site about it. Alas, it only goes up to 1990, so those of us over the age of 13 will have to look elsewhere for our birth year.

My (nick) name Murphy does not hit the charts. My REAL name, Elizabeth, is WILDLY and enduringly popular.

No wonder I don’t use it.

But something else struck me. The most popular girls names have less incidences (girls named that name) than the most popular boys names. So, there are vastly more, like more than 10 THOUSAND more boys named the most popular boys name of the year than there are girls named the most popular girls name of the year.

The girls names are also substantially weirder. Did any of us see “Madison” becoming the rage? Suddently, it was everywhere.

But for males, Christopher, Michael and Joshua are inescapable. John has dropped off the top ten in the last decade, thank god. But not the top 20.

Anyway, I find it intriguing that males have far more name conformity than females, and their names are far more conservative, less risky. They don’t seem to get tricky or different names.

I wonder what implications this has. I wonder what it says about parents’ expectations for the roles that their male children and their female children will fill as they grow older.

I thumbed through the top 50 boys names, being struck by how vastly status quo all the names were. That is until I saw 2002 bringing in a new contender:

at number 46 in popularity.

You think that Buffy had something to do with it?