Tag Archives: baby names

10,000 baby names of Harvard

My 20th Harvard reunion book is in hand, offering a social snapshot of a certain educationally (and mostly financially) elite slice of the US population.

Here is what Harvard alums name their kids.  These are chosen by alphabetical order of surname from one segment of the book.  Most of these children are born between 2003 and the present.  They are grouped by family.

Molly, Danielle

Zachary, Zoe, Alex

Elias, Ella, Irena

Sawyer, Luke

Peyton, Aiden

Richard, Sonya

Grayson, Parker, Saya

Yoomi, Dae-il

Io, Pico, Daphne

Lucine, Mayri

Matthew, Christopher

Richard, Annalise, Ryan


Christopher, Sarah, Zachary, Claire

Shaiann, Zaccary

Alexandra, Victoria, Arianna, Madeline


Grace, Luke, Anna

William, Cecilia, Maya

Bode, Tyler

Daniel, Catherine

Alex, Gretchen

Nathan, Spencer, Benjamin

Ezekiel, Jesse

Matthew, Lauren, Ava, Nathan

Samuel, Katherine, Peter, Sophia

Ameri, Charles


Andrew, Zachary, Nathan

Alexander, Gabriella


Andrew, Nadia

Caroline, Elizabeth

Paul, Andrew

Shania, Tell, Delia

Saxon, Beatrix


Nathan, Lukas, Jacob

Noah, Haydn, Ellyson


Leonidas, Cyrus

Isabelle, Emma

Joseph, Theodore

Asha, Sophie, Tejas

Gabriela, Carlos, Sebastian

Brendan, Katherine


James, Seeger, Arden

Helena, Freya

Alexandra, Matthew


If you saw these names, would you be able to guess roughly what part of the culture they were drawn from?  Are there ways in which the distribution is plainly different from “standard” US naming practice?


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Guess the state by its popular names

I’m messing around with some Social Security baby name data, preparing examples for the upcoming Humanities Hackathon at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, where I’ll be teaching a one-day course on networks and graphs.

So here’s a quiz.  I give a list of baby names which were strongly overrepresented among babies born in state X in 2011.  You name the state.

  1. [‘Jamison’, ‘Keagan’, ‘Nolan’, ‘Cullen’, ‘Finley’, ‘Dane’, ‘Bennett’, ‘Clay’, ‘Clayton’, ‘Sullivan’]
  2. [‘Santiago’, ‘Roberto’, ‘Iker’, ‘Alberto’, ‘Joe’, ‘Jose’, ‘Arturo’, ‘Gael’, ‘Armando’, ‘Raul’, ‘Gustavo’, ‘Juan’, ‘Mauricio’, ‘Julio’]
  3. [‘Francis’, ‘Nasir’, ‘Semaj’, ‘Shane’]
  4. [‘Ivan’, ‘Ismael’, ‘Edgar’, ‘Uriel’, ‘Francisco’, ‘Ramon’, ‘Damian’, ‘Gerardo’, ‘Emiliano’, ‘Sergio’, ‘Fernando’, ‘Esteban’, ‘Joaquin’, ‘Ernesto’, ‘Cesar’, ‘Moises’, ‘Diego’, ‘Ruben’, ‘Maximiliano’, ‘Johnny’]
  5. [‘Brendan’, ‘Conor’, ‘Seamus’, ‘Ronan’, ‘Theodore’, ‘Jadiel’, ‘Jacoby’]
  6. [‘Lawson’, ‘Khalil’, ‘Jamari’, ‘Chandler’, ‘Brantley’, ‘Cason’, ‘Davis’, ‘Braylen’, ‘Mekhi’]
  7. [‘Trenton’, ‘Remington’, ‘Kale’, ‘Dayton’, ‘Blaine’, ‘Clark’, ‘Karter’, ‘Jase’, ‘Lane’, ‘Gunner’]
  8. [‘Alonzo’, ‘Zaiden’, ‘Ezekiel’, ‘Trace’, ‘Orion’, ‘Cruz’, ‘Asher’, ‘Milo’, ‘Brodie’, ‘Jonas’, ‘Finley’, ‘Soren’, ‘Archer’, ‘Kellan’, ‘Ryker’, ‘Dillon’, ‘Zane’, ‘Kade’, ‘Nash’, ‘Kian’, ‘Cyrus’, ‘River’, ‘Uriah’, ‘Porter’]
  9. [‘Muhammad’, ‘Ali’, ‘Ahmed’, ‘Mohamed’, ‘Moshe’, ‘Aron’, ‘Solomon’, ‘Mohammed’, ‘Justin’, ‘Alvin’, ‘Mohammad’, ‘Wilson’, ‘Abraham’, ‘Ibrahim’]

Hint:  most of these are pretty big states, and one of them is Wisconsin.

Hint 2:  Knowing about football will help you with one of these and knowing about baseball with another.

I think these are pretty hard.

Answers below the fold:

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Oliver and Olivia

A couple of years ago I was surprised to learn that the most popular boy’s and girl’s name in Germany were Leon and Leonie, respectively.  I thought it was weird that the leading names of each gender would be cognate.  But per the NameVoyager blog, last year’s top names in Britain were Oliver and Olivia.


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