Monday, May 25, 2009

The Name Game – part two

Last week, when I wrote a column entitled “The Name Game”, a lot of people told me they were expecting to see: “Hannah, Hannah, bo-bannah; banana-banna fo fannah; me, my, mo-mannah… Hannah!”

No such luck.

Instead of the words to that iconic Silly Song of the Sixties, I wrote instead about the Social Security Administration’s annual list of baby names for 2008… a list headed by “Emma” and “Jacob” as the most popular names for newborn girls and boys, respectively.

(“Respectively”, incidentally, means “in precisely the order given; sequentially”, according to my Internet dictionary. If you’re like me, you’ve read or used that word for years, but never knew exactly what it meant. Today, however, I decided to look it up to make sure of what I was writing… possible through the miracle of the Internet dictionary, right here on my same laptop computer, meaning I didn’t even have to walk across the room to the bookshelf to pick up an actual dictionary. If I had been required to get up from my Lazyboy and walk across the room, I wouldn’t have bothered: I would just have used the word anyway, and crossed my fingers in hopes that I guessed right.)

While I was conducting “research” for my column about names last week, I came across several other interesting lists of names: names of racehorses, pet dog and cat names, and names of boats, to mention a few.

Pet names, it turns out, have morphed primarily into people names in recent decades, or so it seems.

The most popular name for dogs and cats is “Max”, we are told. That can’t be good. It sounds like a plot to force dogs and cats to get along in peace and harmony, which is against nature’s plan, I’m pretty sure.

The next nine most frequent names for dogs are Bailey, Bella, Molly, Lucy, Buddy, Maggie, Daisy, Sophie, and Chloe. Virtually all of them are people names. There are no Fidos, Rovers, Ruffs, or Spots. Not even a Toto or Astro. No dog-names at all… just people names.

Cats are almost as lame. The next nine most common names after “Max” are Chloe, Tigger, Tiger, Lucy, Smokey, Oliver, Bella, Shadow, and Charlie. But still no Puff, Boots, or Felix.

My favorite bit of name research, though, was not cats, dogs, horses, or people. It was boats. And seeing as how we’re now moving into the boating season, I thought I would share some of the names of boats you’re likely to see out on the water this year.

The Top Ten boat names of 2008, according to the folks at Boat U.S. magazine are: Seas the Day, Summer Daze, Second Chance, Aqua-holic, Wind Seeker, Dream Weaver, Black Pearl, Hydrotherapy, The Salt Shaker, and Sea Quest.

While those are the most popular names, the Boat U.S. folks go on to mention their 10 FAVORITE boat names… which are my favorites, too:

1. What College Fund?
2. Stocks-N-Blonds
3. Anchor Management
4. Sweet Em-Ocean
5. Knotty Buoy
6. Reel-e-Fish-ent
7. A-Frayed Knot
8. O-Sea-D
9. A-Loan-Again
10. Really Big Car

Boat-owners, it turns out, still have a little personality when it comes to choosing names… like dog and cat owners used to have. What ever happened to Scooby-Doo?

That’s it for my weeks of “research” into the most popular names for babies, horses, dogs, cats, and boats. Next week, we’ll return to my usual style of column… with no research at all!!!

See you next week… but before I leave…. Let’s do Bella!

Bella, bella, bo-bella; banana-banna fo-fella; me, my, mo-mella… Bella!

1 comment:

Jaimie said...

"What College Fund?"
My favorite.