Monday, August 22, 2005


Naming your baby? Not Without my Handbag!

Is it a blog? Maybe not, but it's Blog Of the Week™

Let's not get all rigid and formalistic about what qualifies for Blog Of the Week™. If it's funny, frequently updated, a non-mainstream web site, and something I want you to know about -- then who cares?

© Diana Goodman.

Not Without My Handbag is an extraordinarily entertaining website with bloglike tendencies. Here's the bio of "Diana Goodman," the website's creator:
Born to luxury in 1742, Diana Goodman, the infamous "Bastard of Castille" spent much of her life as a patron of the arts and professional gadabout. Her funding of Manet and Degas was considered scandalously ahead of its time, as she funded them nearly 100 years before they were even born.
Goodman produces and sells fabulous handbags made out of old record album covers and board games. But my favorite part of N w/o MH is her substantial section on "Bad Baby Names," (click on Bad Baby Names icon on main menu), called "Baby's Named a Bad, Bad thing." Here's a short sampling (letters to Goodman in italics, her responses in bold):
I've suggested to my sister that she name her little girl to be - Manchester. She's not sure about it but she's considering. What do you think?

Clever. Like being named Pittsburg or Schenectady. Kid'll grow up to be beaten to death by Liverpool fans.

brayden,makynzi,or karsyn, tyler, preston,or mason

Makynzi: Name or vanity license plate? Type of blade or rogue Japanese crime outifit?

So far we have come up with; Boys;Finn, Drake, Regan, Hazen, Tannith
Girls; Mehina, Miette, Acenzion, Reina, Sarika, Taise.

Ooh! Anagrams! I want my family tree to look like a Jumble game from the back of the Sunday Sports section. Extr;a credit for u'se of sem'colons. Wait a minute....Semicolynn!

Beaufort Michael. It's French for "handsome and strong."

Especially works if he's an after-dinner port. I'm naming my kid Voiturenez. It 's French for "Automobile nose."
Go check it out. Explore the whole site. It's huge! And buy some handbags!

Most Popular Upper-Middle Class White Names in the 1990s

1. Alexandra
2. Lauren
3. Katherine
4. Madison
5. Rachel


1. Benjamin
2. Samuel
3. Jonathan
4. Alexander
5. Andrew

Most Popular Lower Class White Names in the 1990s

1. Amber
2. Heather
3. Kayla
4. Stephanie
5. Alyssa
1. Cody
2. Brandon
3. Anthony
4. Justin
5. Robert

If you compare the "high-end" and "low-end" girls' names with the most popular ones overall from 1980 and 2000, you'll see that Lauren and Madison, two of the most popular high-end names from the 1990s, made the overall top-10 list in 2000. Amber and Heather, meanwhile, two of the overall most popular names from 1980, are now among the low-end names.

There is a clear pattern at play: Once a name catches on among high-income, highly educated parents, it starts working its way down the socioeconomic ladder. Amber, Heather, and Stephanie started out as high-end names. For every high-end baby given those names, however, another five lower-income girls received those names within 10 years.
(from the book "Freakonomics")
I don't know if it's intentional or not, but "Not Without My Handbag" is also the name of an extremely funny animated feature involving a little girl, her dead aunt, the devil, cheap imitations, and too many baked goods.

Looks like a great site.
Damn you, Oscar Madison! I just spent ALL DAY reading that site. And tomorrow I want to go back for more, more, more!

What will be your B.O.W. next week? Crack cocaine?
I'm looking forward to the influx of law students named "Madison."

Allison, see Phantom's comment.

At the risk of sounding like a sicko, I find your comment to be somehow very gratifying.
Ha! My work here is done. (guess who is the Evil One who showed this website to Oscar?) Muahahahaha!
Very nice blog, hard to come by these days,

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Not what I was searching for, but none the less and interesting blog here. Thanks for putting it up. I've enjoyed reading alot of the text here. I got you bookmarked for the future, I'll be back.

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Interesting blog you have here, I landed here on accident. I was searching for something else and came across your site. I found it pretty interesting and entertaining. I got you book marked.

I will pop back in from time to time to see what you have new here.

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