Monday, September 26, 2005

What's in a name?

This link is to a story about the popularity of certain baby names that come from celebrities.

Once at a talk on Mary, the speaker said we'll know that Marian devotion is really on the upswing when people start naming their girls "Mary" again. I checked the list of the 50 most popular names from 2004, and "Maria" is number 45.

Although this isn't a scientific study, the popularity of celebrity names as opposed to saints' names does give a sort of rough idea of where popular culture is trending. One interesting note is that the name John Paul jumped from 888 in 1978 to 647 in 1979 (Pope John Paul was elected in October, 1978).


Christine said...


I love this idea! Of course, being in a Catholic homeschool group (with lots of real, honest-to-goodness assenting Catholics), we have quite a few Mary's and Maria's and Maries. My younger daughter's middle name is Marie, and while it is both a family name and one that we just plain like, we tell our daughter that her patron is the Blessed Virgin.

I also have friends whose young son's middle name is Karol (causing some confusion with people who weren't too aware of JPII's baptized name).

If you want to play with an interesting name site, try going to . There, you can type in a name, and it tells you how it ranks in popularity (top 1000 names each year) staring in the early 20th Century! Not only that, but it has some of the coolest graphics I've ever seen for this kind of exercise.

I really enjoy checking in on your site, Sister. Thanks so much for your insights and thoughts on all kinds of things. God bless you and all the Daughters of St. Paul. Your work is wonderful! (My older daughter would agree - she loves when her new My Friend magazines arrive in the mail!!)

Sr. Lorraine said...

Thanks, Christine, for the link to the other name site. Thanks also for visiting the blog and leaving your comments. They really add a lot!