We all care about our names. Whether we like them or hate them, we can’t avoid having a relationship with them. They’re inescapable, unavoidable, impossible to ignore. So, submit to your fascination and obsess a little with me; check out NameTrends and play around!

There you can trace the arc, paintball splash, steady descent into mediocrity, or other misbegotten shape of your name’s popularity over time, geographically, and all sorts of other ways. You can identify others with similar patterns, and much more. For instance:

Mine doesn’t appreciably exist in America until the early 40’s (although it was more common in Europe with a slightly different spelling long before then), started to gain in popularity in the mid-60’s and peaked in the early 80’s at 5.429 per thousand, and has since precipitously dropped to a paltry 0.647 per thousand last year. In the year that I was born it was 0.854 per thousand. What goes around comes around, I guess.

Geographically, my name first got a toehold in Louisiana, Delaware and Maryland. It then invaded the eastern seaboard, California, and Alaska, eventually becoming “popular” in all 50 states of the union. Then the die-off began, retreating to east of the Rockies around the turn of the century, eventually lingering with any significance only in North Dakota, South Carolina, and West Virginia. I’m sure if there was an “East” state it would have been there too, just to complete the set.

Okay, what are you waiting for? Go have fun, for Pete’s sake!  For namesake.   whatever.

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