Sunday, June 17, 2007

Baby Bens (as in plural)

Down the river the Cincinnati Enquirer points out the Carson Effect presumably resulting from people naming their children for Bengals' QB Carson Palmer. (note to local papers, the Enquirer's Footnotes Blog really ought to be replicated up here... I'm sure Toland and Houser could handle a few more assignments per week).

Is Ben having the same impact here? As pointed out in Footnotes, or you can dig into the data source yourself, you will see that Benjamin is the 14th most popular name in Pennsylvania in 2006. Could be the legacy of Ben F. I suppose, but the recent trend for baby Benjamin's in Pennsylvania is:

2006 14th
2005 17th
2004 19th
2003 20th
2002 25th
and just for context.. in 1968 Benjamin was a lowly 90th.

Which got me thinking.. since 1968, what are the the biggest changes in baby names in Pennsylvania? Christopher is down from 12th to 20th. No doubt due to the near de-beatification of St. Chris, to the really great chagrin of my mother... but nationally Christopher still ranks #7. For PA Ethan is now #8 on the list yet was not listed in the top 100 in 1968. For the women, the 25th most popular name was Gianna in 2006 (not quite sure where that is from). and Mia is 21st. Both were not on the list at all in 1968. and finally, again for PA: the 98th most popular female name these days: Peyton.

Also, despite the fact that the naming babies for city names is becoming more popular, there is little evidence of a lot of baby 'Pittsburgh''s around. I think a commission should be commissioned to investigate and propose a solution to the lack of baby Pittsburgh's out there. Actually, is anyone at all named "Pittsburgh".

and finally.. just some trivia. Alliteration abounds in the naming of twins.


Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

Searching for the name 'Pittsburgh' for either sex in any year, and I got "Pittsburgh is not in the top 1000 names for any year of birth in the last 25 years."

The name Cleveland was ranked nationally #775 in 1982, and was #975 in 1989.

Benjamin has risen nationally pretty steadily from being ranked #33 in 1982 to last year being #24.
Ah, punching in 40 years for popularity of a name, in 1968, it was nationally ranked #99.

You can also see the big jump nationally in popularity was in the early 70's. Not sure if it was the rat movie or the song sung by Jacko.

Counting the instances instead of the rank. In 2006 there were 671 boys named Ben, vs. 589 boys in 2002. So, 82 more out of (guessing) 70K boys.

Are there county by county name distributions? Are there less Bens now in Philly because it is a yinzer name?

Monday, June 18, 2007 5:07:00 AM  
Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

OK, I officially have better things to do now. But... Cleveland was ranked the highest in 1884 at #92. By 1900, it was only #239. It dropped below 500 in 1959 with a rank of #506. It dropped off the top 1000 in 1988, returning just once in 1989.

Monday, June 18, 2007 5:15:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I seem to recall that the name of a character in "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" is Cleveland.

Monday, June 18, 2007 9:15:00 AM  
Blogger Jerry said...

For a graphical presentation of baby names, here's a cool site:
The Baby Name Wizard

Monday, June 18, 2007 9:50:00 AM  
Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

"The Mysteries of Pittsburgh"? I think I know more people named Cleveland (also a character on Family Guythat live in Pittsburgh, than have seen that movie.

Also the blond from Monty Python was Carol Cleveland. Although, that does not count for a first name.

Monday, June 18, 2007 1:01:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I was of course referring to the book, though I did not know the film had made it to theatrical release. It was filmed less than a year ago.

Monday, June 18, 2007 3:18:00 PM  
Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

I just assumed the movie version. Books? Paper? What's that? ;-)

The movie does not seem to have had a official theatrical release. Given the nature of the comments on the IMDB message board, there must have been a sneak preview or two.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 4:50:00 PM  

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