[DWJ] In which I satisfy the curious (I hope!)

Emma Comerford emmaco at tpg.com.au
Wed Sep 20 19:32:09 EDT 2006


I wonder if that US data has changed much since 1990?

Eyeballing the Australian names at this website (has time series for a 
handful of countries) about half the girls names end in "a".  There's also 
strange lists of things like "Catholic" names and a random name generator 
(http://www.thinkbabynames.com/popular/0/Australia+(NSW)/2004)

Completely off-track is this cool website which looks at trends in names 
(http://babynamewizard.com/namevoyager/lnv0105.html) . You can search by 
the start of a name, but not the end, unfortunately.

Emma (an easy name to live and travel with as everyone finds it easy to 
pronounce, but becoming dismayingly even more common since I was born! It 
was about the thirtieth most popular in my state when I was born and there 
were nearly always other Emmas in my age group).


At 02:43 AM 21/09/2006, deborah.dwj at suberic.net wrote:
>In my family, counting out to first cousins, I count 10 male
>names, none of which end with "a", and 14 female names, only two
>of which do (me and one of my sisters). And we have pretty common
>names.
>
>Okay, now I'm being retentive. Checking the 1990 United States
>census data for most common female names, I get, out of the first
>1000 names, 378 ending in "a" and seven ending in "ah" (one of
>which, of course, is mine).
>
>Checking the male data, I get 7 names ending in "a" and nine
>ending in "ah".
>
>What this comes to is that almost 38% of female names commonly
>used in the United States end this way, and not quite 2% of male
>names commonly used in the United States and this way. Which
>certainly goes somewhere towards explaining the tendency.
>However, my guess would be that if you look at fantasy names --
>not names like Sophie which are used in fantasies but are actual
>names, but instead names that are coined specifically for
>fantasy worlds-- you will find that the percentage of male names
>ending this way is much smaller than 2%, and the percentage of
>female names ending this way is substantially higher than 38%.
>
>Well, outside of Tolkien, who had an actual system for coming up
>with names and languages outside of "it sounds kind of Elvish
>this way".
>
>DWJ, by this light, does very well with her Cennoreths and
>Asheths and Dillians and Shines.
>
>-deborah
>--
>What does it matter whether we hang,
>If we've learned a little wisdom?       -- _Jade_, Sally Watson
>
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