Fandom Introduction: Onomamania

Welcome to another Monday fandom introduction! This week, I would like to cover one of my favorite geekdoms and longtime obsessions, onomamania, otherwise known as name enthusiasm. It is especially timely this week as on Friday the SSA released the top names of 2009. This is very exciting to any name lover as it shows the current name trends in the US and gives lots of new geeky name data to investigate and explore.

People have had names as far back as any oral history seems to go. Over time, name pools formed for various cultures which have continued to change and develop according to a variety of trends. Name enthusiasts love to study the effects of name trends nowadays. It is an incredibly enjoyable hobby, as the trends of names change frequently and are fun to keep up with and learn more about. Some are rooted in history, some in pop culture, and some in interesting (and geeky!) patterns. If you are interested in learning more about name nerdy-ness please read on!

A great way to start exploring name trends is the Name Voyager. Just enter the first few letters of a name, and see how trendy the chosen name and similar names have been over the last century. Also, this blog gives weekly insight into a variety of timely and interesting name trends. One interesting fact about names is that they tend to repeat in a 100 year cycle, so many of the top names of the early 1900s are popular once again today like Emma.

When obsessing over names there is also more to do than just learn about interesting trends and name popularity. There is also the whole history and meaning behind a name. To learn about names from certain cultures I recommend Behind the Name. Another extensive source for finding out name origins and meanings is Think Baby Names. If you looked up the top girls name this past year, Isabella, you could discover that it is a variant of Elizabeth for example.

A few more name enthusiast tips. If you like certain names and want to find more in that style there is a great tool at Nymbler. There are also a variety of name sites with boards where you can discuss everything about naming, share your favorite names, play name based games, or even give expecting moms your name knowledge. My recommendation is exploring the boards at Nameberry for a fun time!

Let me know what current name trends you find particularly interesting or amusing, and we can geek out over this together!

On that note, are you planning to give your kids any geeky names?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. girlsaregeeks
    May 10, 2010 @ 10:59:34

    I have to mention that my sister here has been naming her children since she was about 5. Really.

    Me and my husband have pre-planned names for our future child. Both of them have Final Fantasy character middle names. I wouldn’t let him use them as first names. Also, he’s worked out the initials to relate to geeky things too, like the boys initials would be E.L.B., which is Doc Brown’s initials, and the girl would be A.T.B., for active time battle system like in FFIV. Yeah. We’re good. Don’t worry, the first names don’t give away anything too crazy!



    • Ruth
      May 10, 2010 @ 11:15:03

      I promised myself that if I do name the kids something REALLY nerdy, it has to be a middle name so they can drop it and use the initial.


  2. Ruth
    May 10, 2010 @ 11:14:17

    You have no idea how excited I was when I found out Kira was a “real” name. Of course, then a friend named his daughter Kira. (According to that graph, it spiked in the last 90s and into the 00s…hmm.)

    I’ve always liked reading about names & name meanings. Don’t plan to have kids right now, but would like a sweet mid-size dog (Cocker Spaniel or Sheltie, perhaps) named Leviathan. *giggle*


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