Maybe I shouldn't overpromise. But this social security site has ME addicted at least.

Yesterday I wrote a light piece about how the name Karen has been completely destroyed by people who have commandeered it to use as a slight against white, privileged women. If you're the last on the planet to not know the meaning of "a Karen" see the article here.

In writing this I was looking at the Social Security Administration's website where it gives you a breakdown of the most popular boy and girl names for every state. I found Karen is just about nonexistent anymore for newborn girls but names like Penelope are in the top 40 in the Dirty Jerz. Go figure!

Then I stumbled upon this other page, and this one is too cool. It allows you to look up any first name, male or female, and select how many decades back you want to go (all the way to 1900) to see the rise and fall in popularity of that name.

Here's the link. Important: Scroll down to the bottom right where it says Popularity Of A Name. Type in the name. Choose how far back you want the years to go. I would suggest going all the way to 1900 to present day; it's the most fun. Then choose male or female then hit go.

I can all but guarantee you will put in dozens of names before you're done.

Example: Bill Doyle prides himself on his name William being a name that never falls out of favor. And he's right. In the course of more than 100 years it's almost always been in the top 10, and now number 3 in the country, just not in New Jersey.

My name on the other hand, whether you go by Jeff as I liked to be called or Jeffrey the formal name, has fallen so far in popularity it is ridiculous. The shortened Jeff has not been in the top 1,000 in 18 years. The formal Jeffrey is 331st.

In other words, when I'm in my 80's everyone will know it just by my first name.

Dennis and Judi? Dennis is ranked 556 for babies born in the last year available (which is 2018 by the way.) Judi? The shortened form of Judith has not made the top 1,000 since the year 1970, then ranking 932nd. The formal Judith? 850th in 2018.

You'll look up your kids, your paternal grandmother named Agnes to see if that was EVER popular, the emo kid named Chaz who works at the Wawa, and on and on. Just remember to eat, shower and pay attention to your kids.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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