Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id LAA07600 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Mon, 4 Jun 2001 11:09:39 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745ED5@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Children's names Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 11:06:04 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
Here's a good example, I expect, of the weird ways the media do have an
impact. In the UK, celebrities with unusual names, or popular soap
characters have an impact on names. A good example would be 'Courtney', the
name given to the baby of Grant and Tiffany Mitchell- characters in
'Eastenders'. I don't remember where it came in the lists, but I remember
newspaper reports saying it had moved up significantly.
Religion, ethnicity and nationalism have a role in name choice also, I
expect. Very interesting to hear that Danes often give their kids English
names. Of course, there's been a trend in the US for African-Americans to
develop variations, and new names to avoid their slave names. In Scotland,
some like to make a point of spelling their names the gaelic way (even when
it's not a gaelic name in the first place), and so on. Pagans try and avoid
biblical names, and so on.
Like you say, possible memetic subject there. Perhaps studying the trend
for new names amongst African-Americans would be a good way in to finding
their origins, rates of spreading, and mutation on the way. I bet someone's
done this somewhere.
> From: Metascience
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Sunday, June 3, 2001 12:17 pm
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Children's names
> The names that parents give their children is strongly influenced by
> fashion, at least here in Denmark. A top 20 list of the most popular names
> for children born in a specific year is published by the Danish bureau of
> statistics (www.dst.dk/dst/37).
> The top 20 list for girls born in 2000 has only one name in common with
> top 20 list for the entire female population (Anna). The similar lists for
> boys have no names in common. The most common name for the entire male
> population (Jens) is number 46 for boys born in 2000, and the most common
> woman's name (Kirsten) is not on the top 50 list for girls born in 2000.
> Many old-fashioned names from the great-grandparent generation have been
> It is also striking that long names are in fashion, and that girls' names
> are longer than boys' names:
> Number of syllables in name | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
> top 20 all men | 9 | 11 | 0 | 0 |
> top 20 all women | 0 | 18 | 1 | 1 |
> top 20 boys born 2000 | 1 | 12 | 7 | 0 |
> top 20 girls born 2000 | 0 | 9 | 7 | 4 |
> Although Denmark is not a very class-divided society today, there are
> well-known class differences in names. Working class parents often choose
> American names for their boys, such as Johnny, Ronny, Dennis, Brian, Mike.
> This tendency is so obvious, that contemporary folklore consistently
> associates names like Brian and Dennis with troubled boys. No
> statistics are available, though.
> Doing memetic research on children's names is quite straightforward, when
> the statistics are available. But finding the psychological motives behind
> the name choises is probably much more difficult.
> M. Schwartz, Ph.D.
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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