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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Jews in the News: The Jew-ening of America
We have a number of non-Jewish obsessions here at JONJ Base Camp. One of them is baby names and the waxing and waning popularity of said names. It always comes back to Jews in the end, though. Anyway, you've probably noticed that "old lady" names are back in amongst the girls, but the boys? There actually is something kosher about all this. Per Yahoo, the 20 most popular male baby names of 1911, aka 1 century ago: John, William, James, George, Rover(ROVER?!), Joseph, Charles, Frank, Edward, Thomas, Henry, Walter, Harry, Willie, Albert, Harold, Paul, Arthur, Raymond, Richard. The Jewiest name on the list? #6, Joseph. After that? Ummm, well Walter and Harry are fairly Jew-y but not for any reason other than there are a lot of old Jews named Walter and Harry. Let's be clear. This list is Christ city. Now let's look at 2011: Jacob, Mason, William, Jayden, Noah, Michael, Ethan, Alexander, Aiden, Daniel, Anthony, Matthew, Elijah, Joshua, Liam, Andrew, James, David, Benjamin, Logan. First thing you notice? Mason and Jayden. What the fuck?! OK, second thing you notice? Holy Jew! Jacob is #1 with a bullet. Then Noah is #5, Daniel is 10, freakin' Elijah is 13, Joshua is (actually down) at 14 then David and Benjamin close out the top 20. This is a remarkable amount of Old Testament names popping up. Some of this is, as mentioned for the girls, is the coming around of "old names" which went from passé to popular. Some of it is a return to Biblical naming as the US of A goes through its latest religious revival cycle (but then where are the New Testament names?). But some of it? Some of it is just inexplicable. Neither Jewish population nor Jewish culture is particularly ascendent. Frankly, I don't know what to make of this. What does it all mean? Almost certainly a lot more work for JONJ in the future...