Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Is the Name George Poised for a Comeback?

I'm as big a baby-name enthusiast as anybody, but even I have had a hard time getting excited about the choosing of the new prince's moniker.

There are only so many options they can pick from, and so the result is invariably a combination of predictable names. (I was pulling for Arthur.)

The choice of George seems to have landed with a thud — at least here in America — and perhaps not surprisingly. The name has been steadily losing ground for more than a century.

I've talked before about the ideal chart for a name. You want something that peaked at least a hundred years ago...but is showing signs of making a comeback over the past five years. (Think: Violet, not Gertrude.)

George doesn't fit this pattern, and it's hard to tell if the prince's name will alter the trend.

It doesn't help that our collective consciousness immediately turned to George Costanza, a standard bearer for boorish ineptitude. (Another famous George, our 43rd president, could easily be described the same way.)

George Harrison does credit to the name, but he's been dead for almost 12 years. And Curious George, well, he's a monkey.

Will a wave of copycat names help resurrect this name? Maybe, but it seems appropriate that George is such a hard sell in America. After all, this country was founded as an act of rebellion against another royal George. We should probably stick to our guns.