something-about-mary

WHY DON’T PARENTS NAME THEIR KIDS ‘MARY’ ANYMORE?

Once upon a time, Mary was America’s most popular girl’s name.

From the beginning of record-keeping (so back until at least 1800) right up until 1961, it was the most common name for a female. But then, it wasn’t.

According to Philip Cohen at The Atlantic, “In 2011, according to the latest report from the Social Security Administration (SSA), Mary fell three more places, to 112th. In absolute numbers, the number of girls given the name Mary at birth has fallen 94 percent since 1961.”

But why? What is so wrong with Mary?

It’s a combination of people wanting different and uncommon names (culturally, people value individuality), and fewer Christians standing by the religious significance behind the name ‘Mary’. Cohen notes: “It’s not just that there may be fewer devout Christians, it’s that even they don’t want to sacrifice individuality for a (sorry, it’s not my opinion) boring name like Mary.

But based on Cohen’s linear prediction methods, could Mary be due for a resurgence? Will she have her day once more?

Read at The Atlantic: Why Don’t Parents Name Their Daughters Mary Anymore?

 

 

 

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    Freya

    My girlfriend has a Mary, shes 6. And a Bernard, he’s 3. :-P

  • Reply December 8, 2012

    Bettina

    Mary is my middle name. I like it! And it’s handy for me to quote the story of Jesus and the two sisters, Martha and Mary. I identify with Mary, who did all the listening, while Martha who did all the work. When I’m a bit slack with the housework, I excuse myself saying, “My middle name’s Mary, not Martha.”

  • Reply December 8, 2012

    Veuve

    Mary will have a re-surgence if Duke & Duchess name a daughter Mary.

  • Reply December 10, 2012

    Kev

    Why don’t we name our boys Jesus? It’s quite common in Latino cultures but has never seemed to be popular in Anglo/European cultures. Personally, I wouldn’t want my kids named after either.

  • Reply December 10, 2012

    Frankly Feisty

    It would have been my fouth child’s name (if a daughter), but I stopped at three. I love the name. She would have been Mary Rose. X

  • Reply December 10, 2012

    marnie52

    I’m Mary. My great grandmother named me after her mother (born 1834) so to me, my name is special. I would love to see one of my great grand children called Mary.

    I must tell you a funny story. My mother was told one of her great grandsons would be called Joshua and she was horrified. “He’ll get teased at school with that horrible chant ‘Joshua, Joshua, sweeter than lemonade you are’.” we’d never heard of it but apparently it was quite common in her day. My son laughed and said “Yes, he’ll see little old ladies standing at the school fence pointing at him and singing out Joshua, Joshua……..” LOL
    (school bullying great grandma style?)

    • Reply December 10, 2012

      Joni

      “Joshua Joshua, Sweeter Than lemon Squash You Are”

  • Reply December 10, 2012

    Claire

    Mary, Mary, sweet as any name can be.
    In society, propriety they said Marie.
    But it was Mary, Mary, long before the fashions came.
    There’s something there that sounds so square (true).
    It’s a grand old name
    Anon
    Only your very old readers will recognise this old song.

  • Reply December 10, 2012

    Claire

    Sorry, that song was written by George M Cohan who also wrote I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy and many other toe tapping tunes.

  • Reply December 10, 2012

    Pet

    In Australian states apparently the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages will not register Jesus as a child’s name.

  • Reply January 7, 2013

    Therese (second name Mary)

    My 17-year-old niece is called Mary sometimes nicknamed Mez. It’s a great name and I predict will make a comeback.

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  • Reply January 15, 2014

    Erin

    My four year old cousin is named Mary Lola. It suits her a lot!

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