Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Name Droppers

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Name Droppers

Article excerpt

George W. Bush was America's most admired man of 2004, according to Gallup, but his first name continued its almost century-long decline. George ranked in the top five names for American boys from the dawn of recordkeeping, in 1880, through 1911 (the year of George V's coronation--coincidence?), and then started slipping. The Social Security Administration, which tracks such things, says George was last year's 148th most popular name, one slot below Omar.

For the first name of 2004's most admired woman, the descent proved steeper. Hillary entered the top-thousand for girls in 1963 and mostly climbed, hitting 131st place in 1992. Then it tumbled, dropping off the list altogether in 2002 and 2003. Now Hillary is back, the 805th most popular name for girls. An augury?

Another name with political resonance, Madison, ranked third on the girls' 2004 list (after Emily and Emma). A rededication to constitutionalism, perhaps, or tenderness for America's shortest president? Nope. It's part of "perhaps the single hottest subgenre of names in America," explains name watcher Laura Wattenberg (http://babynamewizard. …

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