Names (was Re: Help wanted: arthurian novels)

Abe Gross argross at
Wed Sep 24 07:29:45 EDT 2003

> --- Ros <argross at> wrote:
> .
> >
> > My name, Roslyn, appears to have been briefly
> > popular in the 50s, when I was
> > born. About the only Roslyns I know are of my
> > generation, though they're not
> > all spelled the same way.
> >
> > Zoe, our daughter's name, was pretty unusual when
> > she was born in 1981, and
> > is still fairly much so even now, but we thought
> > that Josh (short for
> > Joshua) wasn't commonly used back in 1985. Nowadays,
> > there is usually at
> > least one Josh in a classroom, and at the Jewish day
> > school I teach at
> > sometimes, there are several in most classes! :-/

Jon replied:

> I can remember a few Roslyns from school in the 1960s,
> and a lot of Lyns.

Yes, I also remember Lyns from that time, and a variant, Lynette, which
seems also to have been popular in the 50s and 60s.

> Zoe is one of those Dr Who names, like Tegan. There
> have been several names that I've noticed appearing
> about 12 years after a new assistant appeared on Dr
> Who. Actually I've know a couple of parents of Zoes
> and they were more into the classics than dr Who.

Interesting, because although I always enjoyed Dr Who, I wasn't aware that
Zoe was a Dr Who name, and it wasn't why we chose it.

> I've just looked at the given names of our students here
> (our computer system can be made to do some
> interesting things). The most popular girls name is
> Jessica (21 of them), followed by
> Ashlea/Ashleigh/Ashlee/Ashley/Ashliegh with 19 and
> Catherine, Cathie, Kate, Kathie/Katheryn with 19.
> There are 13 Amandas, 12 Kylies, 12 Emmas, 11 Amys, 10
> Rachael/Rachelles, 10 Nicoles and 10 Sarah/Sarahs.
> Amoung the boys we have 19 Jamies/James, 18
> Christopher/Chris, 16 Matthews/Mathews/Matts 16
> Benjamin/Bens, 15 Joshuas, 14 Daniels (and 3
> Danielles), 13 Michaels, 12 Mitchells, 10 for Nathan,
> Brendan/Brenden/Brendon and also for John/Jon/Jonathan
> (although half of these are teachers). Tim/Timothy has
> 9 as does Adam. The only Charley is a Girl

At the public school I often work at, the names you've mentioned are also
popular, along with Andrew and Nicholas for boys--I can't think of
girls' names off the cuff. It does seem to me that, while traditional boys'
names like Tim, Chris, Andrew, Matthew and so on--and even John and
Peter--seem to be popular still, many traditional and previously girls'
names have gone out of fashion--names like Mary, Margaret, Sally, Susan.
Elizabeth, though not wildly popular, still appears sometimes, especially in
forms like Liza and Lizzie.

I also find it interesting to observe the trends in English names in the
Jewish community, which partly overlap the general community but which are
also often completely different.


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