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:





Joan or Joanie




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.


2 responses to “What’s in a name?

  1. I have friends who named their baby girl Sylvia Joan last year. The Sylvia is one of those old names making a comeback but the Joan was definitely one of those middle-age names like you mentioned above. It’s pretty cute though! I think it was for both grandmas.

  2. New reader! I’m enjoying your blog. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve linked you on mine.

    About those names, I do have relatives over the age of 65 who are named Joan and Linda. I have not met anyone around my age with either of those names, and it’s always a laugh when people find out my middle name is one of the above.

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