clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Steely Dan, Aaliyah, and the trendiest names of the century

New, 25 comments
via <a href=""></a>

Some baby names come into fashion over the span of years or remain constant mainstays. But sometimes a name will appear suddenly in a single year, turning each baby bearing it into a little time capsule for future generations to ponder. At Flowing Data, Nathan Yau looked at the annual US census report on baby names to track which ones saw sudden surges in use — not the most popular names, but the trendiest — and tracked down the source of each boom. Some, like singer Aaliyah, are still in recent memory, and others, like Steely Dan's album Aja, will likely be remembered despite their age. But what about Catina and Katina, drawn from the same baby in '70s soap opera Where the Heart Is? And Deneen, which showed up in 1964 and quickly disappeared? Meanwhile, statistician Hilary Parker tackles the opposite question: why do certain "poisoned" names suddenly fall off the charts?