June 16, 2021
My wife’s name is Karen. According to the Social Security Administration, in the decade of the 1950’s, Karen was the 8th-most popular girl’s name (behind Mary, Linda, Patricia, Susan, Deborah, Barbara and Debra). 332,504 girls were named Karen in that ten-year span. In the 1960’s, while the raw numbers went down (as the Baby Boom petered out), Karen was the 4th-most popular girls name (behind Lisa, Mary and Susan), with some 286,053 girls getting the name in that decade.
My, how times have changed.
In 2020, now saddled with connotations of white entitlement and a chronic need to speak to the manager, only 325 babies were given (saddled with?) that name, making it the 831st most popular name (a smidge below Kairi and Amoura, but ahead of Scarlette and Yareli).
Still, Karen is the 10th-most popular girls name over the last 100 years.
Claude (my given name), on the other hand, was never even remotely popular. In 2018, the most recent year for which I could find this critically important data, a grand total of 51 newborn boys were named Claude, making it the 2,499th-most popular boys name. The high point for Claude? The year 1921, when the 1,888 boys named Claude made it the 96th-most popular boys name in the country.
The things you learn by reading this blog.