The Social Security Administration released the list of most popular baby names, including ones just in our great states. Here’s the list.
1 Noah 1 Emma
2 Jacob 2 Sophia
3 Daniel 3 Isabella
4 Liam 4 Mia
5 Jayden 5 Olivia
I’m obsessed with etymology and what names say about us as individuals and about society as a whole. Here’s what this list says to me about Texas.
10. This Bible Thing is Getting Out of Hand
Four of the boy names on the list are all straight from the Bible, and it sort of bothers me that the No. 1 spot is held by a Biblical figure who just had a major motion picture about him. Considering that we’re the state every other state is laughing at because we made Moses a Founding Father of America in our school textbooks, maybe we could go easy on the Biblical names for a while.
9. What is it With the Letter A
I went through a period where I was trying to prove there was some sort of significance to the fact that nearly all the clones in Orphan Black have A's in their name until I realized the sheer number of girls' names that contain the letter. Boys, too, now that I think about it. Every single name on this list has an A in it. What’s up with that?
8. At Least the Girls Represent Houston’s Diversity
The five girl names represent five different countries of origin. Emma is Germanic, Sophia is Greek, Isabella is Italian, Mia is Dutch and Olivia is English (Shakespeare, of all people, invented it). On the downside…
7. I Should Have Said White Diversity
Yeah, those are all European nations, and the addition of Liam, an Irish name, to the boys' side doesn’t help much.
6. The Power of Star Trek Compels You
Jayden is a Biblical name, though it appears in Nehemiah as Jadon. That’s not why it’s popular, though. It started showing up big time in 1994. Know what else happened in 1994? The planet Jayden was mentioned on Star Trek: the Next Generation during the episode “Thine Own Self.”
5. No One’s on the Pole
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a stripper, but this uptight country sure seems to. So let's ease your mind; none of the top five girl names appear on the list of the Top 50 Stripper Names. Unfortunately, Houston itself does. We’re number 38, considerably below Dallas. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
4. Twilight and Harry Potter
Years after the release of the final movies in both the Twilight and Harry Potter series, their influence is still clearly felt. Emma Watson played Hermione Granger, and Bella Swann’s full name was Isabella. It’s comforting, though, that Emma is the more popular since Watson’s gone on to be a women’s rights activist and Bella was part of one long gay conversion therapy metaphor.
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3. Those Who Will Be Mocked
Parents, Olivia is still being shown on TV, so maybe it’s not really the time yet to name a girl that so kids can ask her, “Are you a pig, too?” Similarly, we’re still maybe 15 years or so away from Jayden no longer being turned into GAYden by the pancake-sharp wit of the playground bully.
2. A Note on Irish Heritage
I am of Irish descent through my mother’s side. I am proud of that. However, over the course of the past year, I have watched a ton of white people say, “Well my family was Irish and they went through bad stuff and we’re not rioting!” Folks, the experiences of the Irish in 19th-century America don’t mean a warehouse full of truck nuts to the modern white person. You’re not suffering for being Irish now. Please, for the love of Rassilon’s fabulous red dress, I hope the parents of Liam aren’t using their heritage to groom this ridiculous form of colorblindness any further.
1. Where Are the Presidents?
On this list there’s not a single name of any United States president. That might seem like a non-starter for the girls, but that includes names with male counterparts like Olivia with Oliver. So hopefully this crop of new young’uns will add some names to the top boss position in the country.