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Personally, I’d rather go with Teragram

This one stunned me but perhaps will be no surprise to those of you who are under 30. Laura Wattenberg writes:

I live in a state where a baby girl is more likely to be named Margaret than Nevaeh.

Let me restate that: I live in the only state where a baby girl is more likely to be named Margaret than Nevaeh.

Wow. But I guess you can’t really use the name Teragram for a baby girl, it will make it sound like she’s fat.


  1. Anonymous says:

    How about Heaven and Jesús…

  2. zach says:

    i’m under 30 and had no idea this was going on.

  3. dab says:

    I’m over 30 and knew all about it. But, then, my wife works in pediatrics, so maybe that’s cheating….

    Still less seriously, while Teragram is bad, it sounds better than the equivalent Megatonne.

  4. Steve Sailer says:

    I guessed Massachusetts. It’s becoming among the most culturally conservative states.

    • Richard says:

      Out of interest, do you know if there is a way of quantifying cultural conservatism among states? Like some metric or index that people might generally agree on?

      • Nathan Goldblum says:

        Autocorrelation in naming practices?

        • Robert Grant says:

          I love thinking up alternative social indicators like this, it’s one of my little parlour games but I usually have to do it in my own head or people think I’m some kind of snob or racist. Autocorrelation in family names is a really good one. My rules are:
          (1) appear totally unscientific, but
          (2) be probably as good or better than some enormously complex and copyrighted “validated” scale, while
          (3) taking a fraction of the time to complete.
          Bonus points if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

          In the UK, there was an old scale called ACORN that nobody takes very seriously anymore, which contained a question about how often the family watched ITV. You could substitute Fox if you like.

  5. Noah Motion says:

    I guess I’m not sure what’s stunning you here. Is it that there is a state where Margaret is more popular than Nevaeh? Or is it that there’s only one such state?

  6. Ethan Bolker says:

    Any name (like Neveah) that appears on a top-N names list will be more popular than lots of traditional names. In this case Margaret happens to be one of them.

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