Sunday, March 4, 2012

Is Amy the new Audrey?

Over the past few months I watched some of the movies from the (National Lampoon's) Vacation series, in which the (probably 1970s-born) daughter was named Audrey. If you look at that name's popularity graph, you'll see that the 1970s was Audrey's low point between its 1920s-30s peak and its current revival. Although using the name outside its prime generation(s) caught my attention, it doesn't seem too out of place (like Shirley from the 1930s or Isabella from the present would) on a Gen-Xer.

Last fall when the TV series Up All Night premiered they named the baby in the show Amy. Once again, a name used outside its peak generation that catches the attention of some name enthusiasts but is not too far-fetched (although having her mother named Reagan and another character around the same age named Ava makes it seem a bit like they reversed the names).

After comparing the two mild name anachronisms I described above, I think that Amy and Audrey are following two similar but opposite in phase cycles: falling like the other names of the era, but eventually leveling off rather than continuing to fall steeply. Maybe these are signs that Amy will not fall off the radar completely and has a chance of being revived comparatively sooner than many of the other '70s-era names?