Despite current royal trends, the true name that rules us all is ‘Emma’. But one expert believes her reign will be short-lived.
The news may be old hat, but we now know the name of the latest royal baby: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. God save our gracious et cetera.
However, as the sun has long set on the British Empire, another Queen reigns the kingdom (of newly named infants), one that deserves retelling in a fearful tone. Lo, ye peasants gaze upon the weighty tome of the US Social Security Administration that dateth back to the year MCMII, for it forthtells the rule of the monarch of the day. Or in plain (modern) English, the most popular baby names according to year, since 1909, is listed below.
Clearly, Queen Emma sits atop the throne of cack, broken sleep and unreasonable tantrums. Since taking back the throne in 2014, she has ruled far above more contemporary claimants of faux-royal stock. Of course, no Name Queen was ever more popular than Mary, who ruled in two stretches, from 1909-1946 and 1953-1961. Not entirely sure why, but perhaps surviving two World Wars does odd things to the psyche of the mothers that lived through it. I mean, why else would you name your child Linda?
So, why has Emma climbed the leaderboard? “The key to Emma’s success is that it’s the meeting point of two trends,” says Laura Wattenberg, a US naming expert who runs the Namerology. Wattenberg explained to Quartz that in the early noughties, names that had a classic lilt and had alternating consonants and vowels, like Sophia and Amelia, were all the rage (conversely, classic names with two consonants in a row, like Mildred and Florence, never came back). Today, we’re all about short names with multiple vowels, hence why ‘Emma’ rules the roost. Does this mean ‘Otto’ could return?
However, Wattenberg thinks Emma’s rule is not forever. “ashion generally moves incrementally, seeking freshness in small steps away from the familiar—until the trend has reached its limit and something totally new sweeps in,” she says. It’s possible, she thinks, that we may soon overthrow Emma, returning to the vintage kink of longer soubriquets.
Bring back Persephone!