I am fascinated by names and am from a family that routinely gives uncommon family names to their too-young to argue babies. (My grandmother’s name was Pocahontas, sadly, everyone called her Pokey.) My name, Dabney, is unusual and has never made the list of top names chosen by Americans for their progeny. How do I know this, you ask? Well, each year the Social Security Administration posts a list of the top ten boy and girl names for the previous year. Currently, the website is showing the names from 2009.
If you were a girl born as a US citizen in 2009, there’s a good chance you were named Isabella; a boy, Jacob. Isabella is the first girl name NOT to start with an E that’s held the number one rank in the past fourteen years. For twelve of the past years, 1996 to 2007, the top girl name in the USA was Emily. In 2008, it was Emma. If you were a boy born as a US citizen in 2009, there’s a good chance you were named Jacob. In fact, if you were a male born any time in between 1999 and 2009, you might be named Jacob. It’s held the number one spot for the past ten years. And if you’ve noticed a lot of young men out there named Michael, that’s because, with the exception of one year, 1960, when American parents went for David, Michael held the number one spot from 1954 to 1998!