If you’ve been reading this blog for a while (and as of last month, you’ve had 12 years to do so), you know about the slow demise of Patrick as a first name in the United States. Yes, we’re seeing the first uptick since 1994, but it’s going to take more than one good year to reverse the trend. Turns out, it’s also going to take recovery in Patrick central: Ireland. According to the Independent, the name is struggling in the land of St. Patrick as well.
Not only has Mary — the top name in 1901 — fallen back to a three-way tie for 71st place among girls. But Patrick — once third-most popular there — has dropped to 21st among boys. It turns out traditionally Irish names are taking a beating in the country, “Margaret, Anne, Jane, Catherine, Annie, and even our patron saint Bridget have all disappeared off the records.”
The trend actually looks much like ours: “Other former heavyweights that have fallen out of favour include Jeremiah and Cornelius. They’ve been replaced by the previously unheard of Leon, Mason, Logan and even Kacper which ranks at 98th.” Yes, my friends, it’s the attack of the Ns.
Hat-tip to Lori on this article. The io9 headline is “America, Why Are You Naming All Your Boys Like This?” From the piece, we learn: “The rise in popularity of boys’ names that end in ‘n’ has been unprecedented. … A full 36% of boys’ names now end in the letter.” Pushing Patrick downward.
The comments on the Gizmodo piece are excellent almost across the board. Just in the first few, we get: a father-to-be rethinking what he and his wife will name their child, another poster promoting the name Walter and a third referencing a Bill Cosby line, “Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name the sound will carry.”
Or, I would propose, end the name with a K. It’s a strong consonant that says what it thinks and means what it says. For your arriving baby, vote Patrick in 2014. When it learns how to talk, your baby will thank you.