It looks like Olivia and Oliver have bagged first place on the top baby names for 2020, but it’s bad news for Nigels and Carols.
Many have been using TV as inspiration, with the rise of names like ‘Maeve’ and ‘Otis’ from hit Netflix show Sex Education.
Margot, after Margot Robbie’s appearance in The Wolf of Wall Street also saw a rise in popularity, as well as ‘Kylo’ from Star Wars’ Kylo Ren.
Blogger Nick Winter found a more unconventional inspiration for his child’s name – he used a mathematical algorithm.
Yes, you can actually use mathematics to determine something like a baby name – who knew?
It took a little bit of work though, and this method definitely isn’t for those with little patience.
So, how did blogger Nick do it?
Firstly, he downloaded the entire Social Security name database onto his computer, which had 93,600 names on it that have been used more than five times since 1880.
He then wrote his very own web app which ranked all the names according to 12 algorithmic ranking criteria.
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The 12 different ranking criterias were as follows:
- ‘Spellability’ – penalises names which sound similar to other common names, since people will not know how to spell them.
- Pronounceability – penalises names which we think could be pronounced two different ways, or which have Rs in them.
- Timelessness – penalises anything that’s extra old-fashioned, is extra trendy now, or was a fad name in the past.
- Relevancy – penalises very rare names.
- Rarity – penalises names that are very common.
- Secularity – penalises names which are clearly Biblical.
- Shortness – penalises names with many letters or many syllables.
- ‘Recitability’ – penalises names that aren’t easy to spell aloud.
- ‘Nicklessness’ – penalises names that have shorter nickname versions.
- ‘Nickedness’ – penalises names that are nicknames of longer names.
- ‘Chineseness’ – penalises names that would be hard to pronounce for native Chinese speakers due to unfamiliar consonant clusters and other sound patterns.
- ‘Genderedness’ – penalises names that are ambiguously gendered.
The web app allowed him to specify which points were important to him and which points were not.
In his blog, he said: “For me, this was the obvious way to do it. I quickly went through about 3600 of the 93,600 names, liking 76 and hating the rest.
“Chloe (the mum-to-be) did about 3700 names (different ones, for her different preferences) and liked 81 of them.
“We then reviewed each other’s, often using the phone test, where you pretend to answer the phone with your name (“Kent Winter–err, no.”).
“This left an overlap of about 15 names (mostly girls’ names).”
To make the final decision, they both put their favourite options calculated by the web app on a sticky note on the fridge and took down the ones they didn’t want until just two remained.
The two winners were Hazel and Max and shortly after, Chloe gave birth to a little baby boy, so Max it was.
Who knew mathematics could make such heart-warming decisions?