90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Baby Names

The Social Security Administration released today its top 1,000 baby name list for 2011.

For boys, the big news is that Mason has cracked the top ten. The sudden surge in popularity just might be because that’s what Kourtney Kardashian named her son. Talk about keeping up with the Kardashians.

For girls, Sophia and Isabella still rule the roost.  Top girl trenders  in 2010 include Briella, Angelique, and Aria. Names that end with the letter “a” are hot.

In 2007, we talke with Laura Watternberg, creator of “Name Voyager” about what kids names say about our culture. In that hour, we looked at the relentless quest for parents to find unique names–or at least unique spellings.  The weekend after the show aired, I was at a baptism in Michigan. Thirty babies were baptised that day, and I can attest to some very unusual spellings. One adorable girl was Brooklynnne. (Extra consanants are one way to stand out from the crowd, according to Watternberg.)

In 2008, we loooked at bad baby names  with Michael Sherrod and Matthew Rayback. They had poured over a century of census data and came up with some really awful names. Can you mimagine going through life as Mary Christmas or Zombie Davenport?

I was one of three Karen’s in my fifth grade class. In 2011, “Karen” wasn’t so common, coming in at a distant 287 .  Maybe, I should add another “n?”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • ebw343

    One of my coworkers named a baby boy Aidan. There were five Aidans on the delivery floor of the hospital. It’s due to become a classic time-capsule name – one that’s so popular for such a relatively short period of time that it becomes indelibly associated with that age cohort throughout their lifetime.

    • JeanBruce

      So how does one pronounce that?

  • J__o__h__n

    Brooklynnne — What an awful name. 

  • Christine Miller

    Two outstanding books! One outstanding new author.
    Hidden Hell and Portraits of Service. These are now being published by Helen Patton grand daughter of the iconic WWII General George Patton. You should check them out and have him on! BTW, Both books won 2012 Independent Publishers Book Awards, Portraits – won Most Outstanding book of 2012 – Freedom Fighter Award.

    http://www.pattonpublishing.com/

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’d like a resource that could assist an author with a broader outlook that Charles Dickens in picking names for individuals in their books who are from Damascus or Baghdad, Kabul or Kuala Lumpur, or Shanghai or Beijing?  I can imagine writing about American children, stemming from Iraq, where one names the Sunni one with a Shiite name and the Shiite one with a Sunni name, not that it would have necessarily made any difference to the characters in the story, but certain readers would gag to see it.

    The reason I’m over here is to find a place to point out as to the videos you post — any time you do that, it becomes about impossible to carry on any conversation on the comments column.  I think it may reflect my virus protection, but maybe not.  I cannot hit refresh (or get the page to let me scroll down, or even type full sentences, let alone post) without getting all sorts of “wait” messages, and time ran out, and this or that is now crashing.  
    And I do try closing this and that, making life easy for my computer, but really I think the computer (either yours or mine) is just scanning the whole video.  Or the whole something.  And meanwhile I’ve maybe visited whitehouse dot com, and their live stream is now coming in, and competing.  

    In short, wouldn’t it be a super idea to post those videos OUTSIDE of the comments section, and merely post there to go to this sidebar area to see related videos?  (Maybe I’m not the only one, but my heart sinks when I see a video posted on top of a comments section.  Goodbye conversation for the hour and topic, I always think.)

ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 2, 2014
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks with Mark Wilson, event political speaker chairperson, with his wife Elain Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, August 4, 2012. (AP)

Nine weeks counting now to the midterm elections. We’ll look at the key races and the stakes.

Sep 2, 2014
Confederate spymaster Rose O'Neal Greenhow, pictured with her daughter "Little" Rose in Washington, D.C.'s Old Capitol Prison in 1862. (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

True stories of daring women during the Civil War. Best-selling author Karen Abbott shares their exploits in a new book: “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy.”

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

 
Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

More »
Comment
 
Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

More »
Comment
 
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
1 Comment