Monthly Archives: August 2011

What’s in a name?

This post doesn’t have much to do with medicine, but some coworkers and I were recently discussing whether a person’s age could be guessed by looking at his or her name. Admittedly this works better with women’s names. I guess men have more timeless names. There are a few names that fall into the “could be 2, could be 90” category of old names that are new again, such as Lucy and Grace. I haven’t seen any Britneys or Kaleighs about to appear on TV for a “Happy 100th” acknowledgement.

However, we came up with a list of names that, well, aren’t old and aren’t young. I bet you could guess that ladies with these names fall somewhere around halfway to 100:

Cynthia/Cindy/Sandy

Linda

Diane

Susan

Joan or Joanie

Carol

Barbara

Marilyn

A couple of grade-school teachers confirmed there aren’t many, or even any, little girls coming through with the above names. How about men’s names? I can’t really think of any. Maybe Steve. Or Richard.

There’s actually a government website where you can type in a name and it will tell you over whatever period of time you select the popularity of a given name. I guess this post is personal as my own name (Julie) was 10th about 40 years ago and is now 389th! Nope, no Julies these days. Add that to my list above.