Monday, November 06, 2006

More Names

The Social Security Administration publishes a list of the names most commonly given to newborns. Here are last year's top ten:

Rank Male name Female name
1 Jacob Emily
2 Michael Emma
3 Joshua Madison
4 Matthew Abigail
5 Ethan Olivia
6 Andrew Isabella
7 Daniel Hannah
8 Anthony Samantha
9 Christopher Ava
10 Joseph Ashley
Note: Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth.

You can follow the above link and see, for example, the top 1000, which includes Tyler (#16 as a boy's name, #764 as a girl's name) and Madison (#3 as a girl's name). Which leads me to think of president's last names that have been given to some famous, infamous, and semi-famous persons as first names (though often without reference to the President being honored or dishonored):

  • Washington (Irving, author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," which engendered the terrible movie starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci)
  • Jefferson (Davis, leader of "The Lost Cause")
  • Madison (Kuhn, obscure historian -- but not a girl)
  • Jackson (Pollock, artist dribbler painter)
  • Harrison (Ford, still life car dealer film actor)
  • Tyler (Mathieson, of CNBC)
  • Taylor (Booth, computer scientist and namesake of an education award)
  • Pierce (Brosnan, ex-007)
  • Lincoln (Chafee, Republican in Name Only)
  • Grant (Hull, founder of Enabled Solutions -- never heard of him or it, but I found his name here)
  • Hayes (Milam, a security guard at the think-tank at which I worked, for about as long I worked there, which was 30 years)
  • Arthur (Godfrey, entertainer/radio-TV host remembered mainly for playing the ukulele, buzzing the control tower at Leesburg, Virginia, airport, and firing singer Julius La Rosa on the air)
  • Cleveland (Amory, cat lover and writer)
  • Roosevelt (Grier, immovable object defensive lineman)
  • Wilson (Pickett, recently departed R&B and soul singer)
  • Truman (Capote, American poof writer)
  • Ford (Madox Ford, English aesthete writer)
  • Carter (Stanley, Ralph's very late brother)
  • Reagan (Dunn, member of the King County, Wash., council and son of former U.S. Representative Jennifer Dunn)
  • Clinton (Eastwood, still life film actor -- bet you didn't think of him as a "Clinton")

By my reckoning that leaves

  • Adams (not to be confused with Adam; John wasn't the first "man")
  • Monroe (cooler than Madison)
  • Van Buren (way cool)
  • Polk (might be mistaken for an invitation)
  • Fillmore (for fatties)
  • Buchanan (pronounce it properly: "buck-an-un")
  • Johnson (don't go there)
  • McKinley (very preppie)
  • Taft (ditto)
  • Harding (double ditto)
  • Coolidge (triple ditto)
  • Eisenhower (no parent should do this)
  • Kennedy (déclassé, an instant Tiffany or Brittany)
  • Nixon (the American Adolf)
  • Bush (absolutely don't go there)

Any takers?