American Names

What is Your Name in a Different Year?

How about a fun little exercise? Find out the popularity rank of your first name and middle name(s) in the year you were born. Then, take those numbers and find out what your name could have been in other years. Maybe you’ll stumble upon a new favorite baby name!

You can do this by entering your name on the front page of the Social Security Administration’s Popular Baby Names page under the section “Popularity of a Name,” or just look for your birth year’s name stats under “Popular Names By Birth Year.” I recommend choosing the option for Top 1000 popularity (the default is 20; just click on that and scroll down). If you choose the “Popular Names by Birth Year” option, simply ctrl+f the lists to find your names. Once you have the rank # for your names in that year, look at the lists for other years and see what names have those ranks then!

The year I was born, my first name ranked #9 and my middle name ranked #369 in the U.S. Remember, that’s #369 in first names, since the SSA doesn’t publish data on middles. Taking girls’ names ranked #9 and girls’ names ranked #369, here are all the combinations from 1985-2016:

  • 2016: Emily Kira.  Emily ranked #9 in 2016, and Kira #369. 
  • 2015: Charlotte Sage
  • 2014: Madison Sloane
  • 2013: Madison Kelly
  • 2012: Madison Tiffany
  • 2011: Mia Journey
  • 2010: Chloe Bethany
  • 2009: Chloe Londyn
  • 2008: Elizabeth Tatum
  • 2007: Hannah Kiley
  • 2006: Sophia Iris
  • 2005: Ava Violet
  • 2004: Samantha Christine
  • 2003: Elizabeth Jayda
  • 2002: Samantha Hailee
  • 2001: Elizabeth Jaqueline
  • 2000: Elizabeth Julissa
  • 1999: Jessica Addison
  • 1998: Madison Martha
  • 1997: Elizabeth Cassie
  • 1996: Rachel Kailey
  • 1995: Amanda Melody
  • 1994: Elizabeth Jane
  • 1993: Elizabeth Jane
  • 1992: Elizabeth Maya
  • 1991: Elizabeth Kaila
  • 1990: Elizabeth Alana
  • 1989: Lauren Jazmin
  • 1988: Nicole Traci
  • 1987: Heather Ruby
  • 1986: Heather Elena
  • 1985: Elizabeth Tanisha

I actually completed this exercise going all the way back to 1880, which is as far back as the SSA’s birth data extends (though it honestly isn’t very accurate before 1937-1940; I did this for fun!). Here are some of my favorite combos from earlier years:

  • 1959: Deborah Leigh
  • 1946: Judith Ginger
  • 1938: Margaret Lottie
  • 1934: Helen Virgie
  • 1918: Elizabeth Roxie
  • 1916: Frances Maudie – adorable!
  • 1914: Frances Ramona
  • 1908: Alice Philomena
  • 1904: Mildred Vada
  • 1903: Ethel Rae
  • 1887: Florence George

Shirley Margarita (1931) was an interesting combo. It sounds like a cocktail!

Next, I did the boys’ names. Here are all the combinations from 1985-2016:

  • 2016: Elijah Solomon
  • 2015: Michael Aden
  • 2014: James Atticus
  • 2013: Jayden Cohen
  • 2012: Alexander Knox
  • 2011: Aiden Braydon – Ouch. This reminds me of Marcy Darcy from the show “Married With Children,” and also of someone else I recently met whose first name was the same as her married name!
  • 2010: Aiden Braylen – Not much better than Aiden Braydon, but at least only the first half of the names rhyme! 
  • 2009: Noah Colt
  • 2008: Christopher Keaton
  • 2007: Matthew Nickolas
  • 2006: Anthony Hugo
  • 2005: Joseph Walker
  • 2004: Joseph Carl
  • 2003: Christopher Charlie
  • 2002: Nicholas Rodney
  • 2001: Daniel Roger
  • 2000: Daniel Zackery
  • 1999: Daniel Malachi
  • 1998: Andrew Guillermo
  • 1997: Austin Grayson
  • 1996: Austin Steve
  • 1995: Daniel Marquise
  • 1994: Daniel Leonard
  • 1993: Jacob Eugene
  • 1992: James Alvin
  • 1991: Joseph Graham
  • 1990: Justin Elliot
  • 1989: James Jarred
  • 1988: James Elias
  • 1987: Justin Tyrell
  • 1986: Robert Jamar
  • 1985: John Rickey

Favorite combinations from earlier years:

  • 1984: Robert Noel
  • 1982: Robert Graham
  • 1977: Matthew Levi
  • 1973: William Blake
  • 1956: Thomas Rufus
  • 1955: Mark Alfonso
  • 1953: Charles Aubrey
  • 1933: Joseph Wiley
  • 1931: Joseph Randolph
  • 1904: Edward Arlie
  • 1898: Edward Jennings
  • 1895: Henry Archibald – swoon!
  • 1894: Henry Dallas
  • 1885: Robert Granville
  • 1880: Henry Loren

Obligatory snarky comment: the men’s combination for 1954, Gary Royce, sounds like the start to a serial killer’s name. Just add a surname?

What do you think? Some of the first-middle name combinations this exercise generated sound like people’s real first and middle names. And I’d love to hear any interesting combinations that completing this exercise gives you!

9 thoughts on “What is Your Name in a Different Year?

  1. 1987 here. My first/middle name is Lynn Gilbert.

    “Lynn” didn’t even make the top 1,000 male names but was like #462 for females (yes, I lamented having a name more commonly associated with females for a very long time, but I’ve come to terms with it). Gilbert was #290 on male names though.

    That said, I also went back to 1915 when my great-grandfather was born (and who I was named after) and “Lynn” was #284 on the list of male names but not in the top 1,000 for female names. Interesting how that flipped over. That said, his middle name (Elmer – which he hated by the way) was #45.

    Interesting stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting, thanks for commenting!

      Have you met any other men named Lynn outside your family? There were 80-some born in 1987, and there were even a few in 2016.


      1. OMG – funny story.

        Back when I was in middle school I was at a local lab needing to get some routine lab work as ordered by my doctor and my dad had signed me in and whatever but when they called my name apparently there was an elderly gentleman named Lynn G. Blair in the waiting room and he said “Oh I’m sorry, I don’t need anything; I’m waiting on my wife.”

        Well we didn’t hear that and were wondering what was taking so long so we asked the receptionist and she mentioned that there was another person named as such who said he didn’t need any help, thus the confusion.

        Ain’t that something else?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, I’m not sure if the middle initial was Gilbert or something else but same first name, middle initial and last name anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun little exercise! Well, my 1880 name would have been Myrtle Myrtie! LOL! My 1926 name would have been June May (I actually love May as a first name.) 2016 – Claire Jayla. My favorite was 1967 – Kathleen Kerry.

    Funny how George was a girl’s name? For yours I love Roxie and Ava Violet. But I also love Elizabeth, which always seems quite popular!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being an Elizabeth, I have to say I love it too! 😉

      Ooh, Kathleen Kerry is lovely. And June May isn’t that farfetched; I knew someone whose parents wanted to make her whole name (first, middle, last) months of the year. They copped out on the middle name and I can honestly say this person would have preferred months all the way through because she *hated* the middle they actually gave her (which was the school bully’s name, I think). That, and she liked the original idea to begin with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is an interesting thought, if the last name already happens to be a month! There is an idea for a blog, if you have not already done it — months of the year as names! Offhand I think of the actress January Jones… not sure about any Septembers, etc.

        Elizabeth is such a regal name! Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth Taylor to name a few.

        Liked by 1 person

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