The Social Security Administration has just released their list of the most popular baby names in 2008:
Violet has gotten more popular in recent years, ranked the 184th most popular girls' name in the U.S. in 2008, up from #229 in 2007. And that's up from total oblivion in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, when it almost never even made the top 1000; 1999 was the first time it cracked the top 900 since 1968. Which explains why I've never met anyone named Violet before. It's the name's highest rank since 1937, but still below its peak popularity in 1919 (when it was #74).
At the rate the name is gaining in popularity, it could be a top 20 name by the time Violet gets to elementary school. Which is kind of what we were trying to avoid - we were looking for something classic, not too crazy, but not too popular. Perhaps we're bigger trendsetters than we had thought.
A name that might better fit that bill these days is Susan. Poor Susan. The second-most popular girls' name back in 1957 and 1958, it was still #24 the year my wife was born, but dropped out of the top 100 in 1985. And now? It's a pitiful #712. What the heck is wrong with Susan? Does it deserve to be less popular than Shyanne, Destinee, Yaretzi, Paisley, and Payton? (Payton? Who names a girl Payton?)
As for Peter, it's a semi-respectable #183 for boys, not nearly as popular as it used to be, but not dropping off into oblivion. Yet.
(PS - Violet is two places below Brooklynn. Brooklynn? Come on people, even with one n that's just... I mean... Brooklynn? Really?)