Powered by WebAds

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Baby Names

Cute article in the NY Times about the most pouplar names given to babies in NYC, and how they have changed as NYC becomes more and more diverse.
In New York Cribs, Jeff and Lisa Give Way to Ahmed and Chaya

In the last several years, New York City has had more baby girls named Fatoumata than Lisa, more Aaliyahs than Melissas, more Chayas than Christinas. There have been more baby boys named Moshe than Peter, more Miguels than Jeffreys, more Ahmeds than Stanleys.

... The city's large Orthodox Jewish population has helped to push Moshe to No. 68 , Mordechai to 155 and Shlomo to 199.
Experts quoted in the article point out that the phenomenon has a lot to do with the willingness of today's ethnic groups to give a traditional name rather than use one of the anglo classics, that made "Michael" and "Emily" (still the most popular names) even more popular.

That is definitely a trend that I notice in the Orthodox community as well. Gone are the days when Moshes and Miriams sit in Yeshiva alongside Marks and Micheles. I don't know of one child in any of my three children's classes that uses an Anglo name. When I went to Yeshiva, on the other hand, I had regular playdates and sleepovers with girls by the name of Lisa, Leah, Chani, and Carrie. Definitely more of a mix of Anglo and Jewish names than I see today.

It's also a no-brainer that Jewish names would make it to the top 100, just for the sheer volume of children being born to Orthodox parents, as compared to many of their secular or non-Jewish counterparts.

20 Comments:

Blogger Ezzie said...

Interesting post... I have a nickname, but I was always happy that my parents gave me my Jewish name as my 'real' name as opposed to some Anglicized version. Then again, I always find my friends who have Anglo names to have interesting ones which are more convenient in many cases. Hard to say which is better.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Five towns east of Lawrence said...

Frankly your post would not be so accurate -if you went further east in the 5 Towns-you see such classical Jewish names as Mather, Mark, Jason in use among day school attendees in the 5 Towns!!!!

11:01 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

That is definitely true. I made an observation about my kids' classes, which is a true one as well.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous alan scott said...

interestingly enough, the same thing happened historically in persia in ancient times around the era of their shivat tsiyon. business records dug up that span generations in a town in persia (i forget its name) with many jews show a steady progression as the Second Commonwealth is being rebuilt and succeeding of more and more Jewish individuals with Hebrew names, whose parents had Babylonian or Persian names.

3:35 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Wow, Alan. Fascinating.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Another interesting issue is how we all define "Jewish" names. Many names that we consider Jewish -- thos names that our grandparents in Europe used -- are really yiddishized versions of Polish, Hungarian or Russian names. They are Jewish in the sense that they are identified as Jewish and are non-Anglo (which I suppose for the purpose of your post is the significant issue). I wonder if there are any patterns in the use of Biblical/Hebrew names vs. Yiddish/European names in our communities.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Biblical names aren't as common here as they are in Israel. Franky, I'd prefer a biblical name to some Jewified Polish name, especialy the females names. Yencha? Vilcha? Shprintza? Ugh.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife has cousins who named their kid(Are you ready for this?)
BIANCA.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Tova said...

Yeah, but names like Ariella and Gabrielle are "cool" in today's preschools, too. Are they really "Jewish" names?

10:48 PM  
Blogger MDmom said...

hi. yet here in israel, at least in my more m.o. community, modern hebrew names take precedence. names such as "bar" (meadow), "shir-el" (g-d's song),noam and yuval (for girls), aviv, dvir, lavi, are the norm. tanachi names are less popular, unless one goes to places like bnei brak. but there, names are more eastern-european/yiddush in origin -- are they, with the exception of tanachi names, "jewish" names?

1:44 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

In a way, it seems nicer to have a name that actually has meaning than even a 'tanachi' name. I've always loved that my own name (Eliezer Chaim) means 'God has helped me live', when my mother had a very difficult pregnancy - and I think it reflects on my own life. My sister is Aviva Tova because my parents decided it was a great spring (June 22nd birthday), because of my sister's birth. My cousins switched their last names to Eliad: Aleph for his last name, Lamed for hers, Yud for Hashem, Ayin Daled for forever; to show they wanted to serve Hashem together forever.
The tanachi names, at least if one considers the shevatim and others, had meaning and a reason; why shouldn't ours?

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Abigail said...

The question of Biblical vs. Yiddish names is interesting. My first name is Abigail (not popular when I was born, but among the top 10 girls' names now). When she was told my name, my grandmother said "What kind of name is that?" by which she meant "That doesn't sound Jewish." My mother responded "It's in the Bible," and my grandmother said "Oh, okay." I don't think she would have asked if I had been named Yetta! Oddly, though, she gave all her children Biblical names -- she just didn't happen to know mine.

10:24 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

mdmom:
Great facet you bring up. I guess the fact that these names, though nontraditional, and in modern hebrew, are "Jewish" by virtue of the fact that they are in the hebrew language. But I'm not sure. Anyone have a different opinion?

10:32 AM  
Blogger MDmom said...

two of my children have modern hebrew names (given to them while we lived in the states!)while one daughter has a name which appears in tanach but is modernish, popular, and very "israeli." i guess it depends on the meaning of the name. the name "shir-el" or "li-el" or any other name including the name of g-d would count as a modern yet jewish name. on the other hand, as we all learned as children in our pre-pesach studies, one of the saving graces of b'nei yisrael in yitziat mitzraim was our ancestors use of hebrew names for their children. were those names tanachi? what was tanachi then? many tanachi names are explained in the text, yet so many are not. we choose them sometimes because we simply like the sound of them, or because of what the person did, or stood for -- but somebody along the line came up with the original name and it stuck. and many of these names have origins outside of what is now the land of israel (ancient sumaria (sp?), for example) so i would say that an israeli name by it's virtue of being hebrew would also count as jewish.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi

I've created a new resource for russian baby name you can with lots of information and links related to russian baby name
Now I've finished I thought I look around for other russian baby name sites and see what everyone else is talking about, you know get ome more russian baby name ideas etc...
This blog looks pretty good, though I'm not sure my russian baby name site will get this many visitors - ah well, can only but try ;)
If you have a spare moment please visit my russian baby name site and let me know what you think, I'll check back here again later.

Bye
Steward

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Baby Meaning Name said...

Your site momof4, I found to be interesting. When I was searching for Baby Boy Name yours was the most eye catching. While working on my site Baby Boy Name I have been looking for ways to make it better and found yours to be helpful. Thanks!

9:54 PM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

This is so cute, for example I named my child Petroncio Arbelinoso Scrupinajo I think that name is so cute, What do you think abut.

1:50 PM  
Blogger 贝贝 said...

Microsoft Office is so great!
Office 2010 –save your time and save your money.
The invention of Microsoft Office 2010 is a big change of the world.
Office 2007 is so powerful.
Microsoft Office 2007 is my love!
Office 2010 key is for you now!
Office 2010 download is available now!
Microsoft outlook 2010 is convenient!
Outlook 2010 is powerfull.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

order alprazolam can you really buy xanax online - how do xanax pills look

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alprazolam mg xanax for cheap - xanax pills what do they do

8:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home