Tuesday, December 09, 2014

How the Name Lynn Morphed Into Brooklynn

Remember my Nameberry post where I showed how baby names are getting longer (with four-syllable picks like Isabella supplanting Mary and Anne)?

Well, while researching that piece, I came across an interesting quirk of the data. Short picks like Lynn and Lee have become relatively uncommon, but they're living on as components of longer names. In fact, names containing Lynn (including Lynn itself) are 50 percent more popular than they were during they heyday of Lynn as a standalone name. Who knew?

I ended up using this information as the basis for a follow-up piece, which you can read here. The most popular "-lynn" name is currently Brooklynn, which lets parents honor New York's most populous borough while using some kr8tive spelling.

Turns out, Lynn lets parents pay tribute to all sorts of place names: Berlynn, Irelynn, Oaklynn and Scotlynn were all used as baby names at least 20 times each last year.

Lee has undergone a similar transformation. As a standalone name, it's long been in decline. But there's a new generation of Kaylees and Rylees out there.

I prefer classic old-lady names, so these aren't really my style. But it's nice to know that Americans aren't abandoning unfashionable names like Lynn; they're just glomming them onto other names.