Charlie Buttrey

It’s official: The royal baby’s name is George Alexander Louis (or, to his friends, “His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge”).  This got me to thinking whether this will lead to a newfound popularity for the name “George.”

“George” is one of those names that used to be hugely popular (in the 1890’s, it was the 4th most common first name) but, George Clooney notwithstanding, its popularity has eroded over time.  In the 1980’s it was the 69th most popular boys name, and a decade later it had dropped out of the top 100 altogether.

Some names used to be very popular and seem to have dropped off the map — how many kids under the age of 10 do you know named Nancy or Karen or Cynthia or Linda or Deborah?  Similarly, other names that used to be rare are now extremely popular (think Ava, Jayden or Mason).  Then there are the names that are popular irrespective of the era: Michael, Sarah, James, etc.

I was born with the given name of Claude.  CLAUDE HAS NEVER BEEN POPULAR.  Ever.  The Social Security Administration has a fun tool on its website where you can track the popularity of names over time.  In 1959, the year I was born, Claude was the 271st most popular boys name in the country.  In 1993, it had plummeted to 889th.  And you wonder why I choose to be called Charlie?

If only the new royal had been named Claude….

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