quinta-feira, 25 de agosto de 2011

Name In Coffin: Madison

This name, like it's ending suggests, means "son of" - in this particular case, "son of Maud or son of Matthew". Any name that ends in "son" has a masculine meaning, but it seems these days that isn't important when naming a daughter. Madison has become the iconic "son" name for girls, and made the "son" ending a trend that seems to be getting more and more popular these days.

So what started this trend on girls? A movie. In 1984, a film starting Tom Hanks called "Splash" starred a mermaid who happened to adopt this name when walking through Madison Avenue in New York. It just goes to show you anything can change your perception on a name, and even make it skyrocket in popularity out of the blue. But sadly, just like with most male names that get adopted by girls, this name started to sink for boys and exited the chart soon after.

So let's see how Madison performed for boys:

The name was already in the male ranking as far back as the 1800s, at #383. The name was going downhill, until it became popular again in the 1980s - it seems parents at first tried to rescue this name for boys after seeing it being so widely used for girls. But alas, it was a lost battle, and after 1997 it started to fall again only to exit 2 years later. It had a brief re-entry in 2004, and that would be the last time it would rank in the male top1000.

Normally when I do the "Coffin" articles, I'm careful to choose names that I think most people would deem as too feminine to use on a boy, at least for now. Madison, whilst to me sounds very masculine, has been in the top10 for girls for over a decade now. Also, other -son names are getting more and more popular for girls, making it very hard to see this name making another gender switch anytime soon. However, we will see if this more modern unisex name will fall into the oldschool category of it never returning for boys again - like Hilary, Vivian or Carol,  or will it fall in the more modern category where it's usage for boys is still a possibility - like Kerry, Darcy or Shannon. Perhaps the latter, as I can see this name dating really badly on girls.

Different spellings are: Maddison, Madisyn, Maddisyn, Madisen, Madisson, amongst many others.

Similar names are: Emerson, Allison, Peterson, Addison, Harrison, Anderson, Jameson. All of these are masculine names that are usable by girls these days. For a true feminine alternative, the name Madeline and it's variants are the best options.

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