When was the last time you met a baby named Gertrude or Elmer?
How about a senior named Zoe?
Plenty of sites for parents-to-be list the current most popular and trending baby names. But nobody has taken the time to figure out the average age of people who go by specific names – until now.
Thanks to Nate Silver, the statistician and political analyst who made his name predicting election outcomes, we can now judge how old someone is just from their name.
Silver and Allison McCann crunched standard Social Security Administration data to produce an analysis of names’ shelf lives and the stories they tell about age. “The median living Mildred in the United States is now 78 years old,” the analysts tell us in their article on Silver’s fascinating stats-driven website fivethirtyeight.com.
These days, a fraction of all the babies born are given a top 100 name – the majority of 21st-century kids have unusual or invented names – but in our baby days, parents were more likely to pick something popular. That’s why there are plenty of Mildreds who are now in their 70s and a lot of Susans in their 60s.
Is you name on this chart?
Because parents have been more fashion-bound when naming girls, girl names tend to have shorter lives, and so about a quarter of all living Gertrudes are 87 and older according to the article, “How to tell someone’s age when all you know is their name,” and you’re unlikely to meet one who is under 70. In fact, Gertrude is today’s oldest girl name.
And yet more Mabels than Gertrudes have died, according to Silver and McCann. (Maybe they’ll follow up with a statistical look at names and longevity.)
What about the boys? Boy naming 60-odd years ago seems to have been swayed by a fondness for the letter “H”; “The majority of living Hermans, Howards, Harrys, Harolds, Harveys and Herberts are in their 60s, or older,” Silver and McCann tell us. Elmer is the oldest male name – median age 66.
Click here to see “Deadest Names,” “Youngest Names” and more on fivethirtyeight.com.
What does your name say about your age?
How old is the name Kathleen. I read it started in Egypt and didn’t look or sound like Kathleen!
What about Brandy?
How about Latara
How about Nikolaja?
Marvin and Bryan
A Bible dictionary states that Derek is the Hebrew for “Way” Gk Hodos)
I have never known another Maylene. How hold is that name?
I have never hear of Maylene either, I knew a Marlene when I was at school, but she came from Wales, Maylene sound like something from the Beverly Hillbillies, so is probably an American deviant of a name.
My father was Alfred L; my grandson is George Alfred, and his great Grandfather was Alfred – a British Major General – the first flag officer on the beach on 6 June 1944 at Normandy.
What about Zuraida
how about Doughty.put in mind NOT DOROTHY but my name is doughty so how old is my name?
how about maureen?
I always thought the ‘Peter” is a popular one.
so my second name ( Nicole ) is a complete no show, and my first one i’m not even gonna ask ( Jhenaei ). Well its kinda cute knowing that my name its not really that popular anymore. My brother’s name is John Nicholas so that’s where my mom got my name because my brother wanted me to be named like him.
They are talking about popular names – yours looks somewhat made up – when was it ever popular and in what country?
My name is EURO. I’m the only one in the world with that name?
clearly only women would be interested in this article
Seems its ok to be sexist against men!
That would appear to be the case.
I was supposed to be named Lucia after my grandmother, but in a desire to Americanize my name I was given the name Lucille although I prefer Lucia. A friend’s granddaughter is named Lucille and when I asked her mother why she replied that she thought it was a very feminine name – poor kid!
My name is Lluwellyn and I really would like to know where it originates from.
Surely it’s Welsh? (Though usually spelled Llewellyn).
Almost certainly a corruption of the Welsh Llywelyn
You are named after a Prince. The double L at the beginning of the name is pronounced like an fl combination. https://seniorplanet.org//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llywelyn_the_Great
I don’t know but judging by the spelling it looks very Welsh (as in Wales)
My Name is Agnes I am 83,my Mothers name was Agnes she died at the age of 89yrs.
Agnes has been in my family since 1810yrs so far.
Seems my name is no show. So was it just 1930’s – 40’s?
Is my name old or not
I hope u can make me my right age cause my name Is certainly one of a kind…
Why do people assume Kathleen in an Irish name when I was told the song I’ll take you home again Kathleen was written by a gentleman in Illinois in 1906 for his wife named Jean?
You’re half right, the song was written by Thomas P. Westendorf in 1875, in Hendricks County, Indiana for his wife Jennie,
A song title does not point to the origin of the name – are you saying before the song was written there were no Kathleen’s in existence? I doubt it.