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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I think you’ve already figured out I’m not the poster boy for normal."
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May 21 2003

Kennedy is twice as popular as Tara. And people like Willow more than Xander. I’m talking about baby names, of course. The Social Security Administration has released its annual list.

According to the SSA, Kennedy was the 138th most popular girl’s name last year. Tara was 300. Xander weighs in at 541, just below Willow’s 510. Other popular names: Angel (46), Connor (48), Wesley (186), and, down the list a ways, Anya (486) and Dawn (920). Not in the top 1,000 for any of the last 12 years: Buffy, Spike, Rupert, Cordelia, or Joss.

And, oh, yeah, Riley was the 77th most popular name last year… for girls.

Someone with even more time on their hands than me can dig a little deeper if they want. The rolls go back to 1880.

If memory serves, Xander's given name is Alexander - which is consistently in the top 25 along with Spike's given name, William.
Angel's given name is Liam, which is 113.
Not only is Buffy not ranked in the first thousand for 1990-2002, but a quick Edit|Find search on each page of the 1000 most common names for each decade since 1900 reveals that the ONLY time Buffy shows up in the list at all is the 1970s - where it ties at 119th alongside Devon, Stacia and Tosha.

I don't care what others think or what Joss says. Buffy is a nickname - a pet name for "Elizabeth." Just as "Tom" isn't really a unique name unto itself but actually derived from "Thomas" and shouldn't be considered stand-alone, "Buffy" is just like that. It's equivalent with "Lizzy." It's not a real name. Unfortunately what butts up against this theory of mine is that "Beth" and "Eliza" are both considered stand-alone names, when really they're just derivatives of Elizabeth. So if "Beth" is stand-alone? Why can't "Buffy"? BECAUSE. That's why. Okay so that's a lame answer, but why Buffy's mom would name her daughter Buffy and not Elizabeth, Joss has never really explained. I mean although I'm personally a bit anal about this point, it's not something that's ever been necessary for plot developments. Although I seem to recall once it was hinted that Joyce named Buffy after an old friend of hers in college. Which episode I can't remember. Anyone know?

Joyce ranks 617 by the way. Oh. And Elizabeth ranks 11th, so technically Buffy's one of the most popular of all the names from the series, especially if you count "Xander" as a derivative of "Alexander."
Well, some people just skip right to the nickname. A good friend of mine named his son "Jack," which is generally a nickname for John.

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