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V is for woman

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Aug. 26th, 2011 | 10:12 am

Hearing that someone out there thinks 'V' is a feminine initial in a name, I was quite intrigued. Time to Do Some (Very Vague) Science!

Hunting about on the internet, I found this page:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=15282

with "Historic Baby Name Ranks":

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_population/historic-names.xls

Taking a quick look at this, some things pop out.

There really are only two traditional boy names beginning with V in the lists:

VICTOR
VINCENT

Vincent was only the 72nd most popular name in 1964, three years before I was born. It then completely disappears from these tables. Victor was quite popular in the earlier years of last century, declining to 93 in 1954 and then dropping out of the list too.

So at least we can say that since at least 1974 a boy's name beginning with 'V' has been very unpopular.

Whereas there are seven traditional girl names in the lists:

VALERIE
VANESSA
VERA
VERONICA
VICTORIA
VIOLET
VIVIENNE

Victoria has really picked up in recent years. It's not even in the lists prior to 1974, then goes:

1974: 23
1984: 12!
1994: 32

So since at least 1974 a girl name beginning with 'V' has been much more popular than a boy name.

I'm curious now. What happened in the early 70s? I can vaguely remember them. Was there some amazing TV series featuring a Victoria? Were Vincent and Victor the villains? Nothing obvious springs to mind.

Completely unrelated, but you can clearly see the massive peak and decline in my wife's name (Tracey):

1964: 11
1974: 31
1984: 80

Then it no longer appears. Curiously, I was in Tesco's cafe a couple of days ago and I'm sure I heard a woman calling a child in there Tracey! I've never yet me a child called Tracey since Evie came into my life.

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Comments {15}

Richard Clegg

(no subject)

from: steer
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)
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Victoria Principal (I think) was in Dallas (Pam Ewing). That was huge viewing at the time I suppose.
Victoria's Secret was founded in the 70s but that surely wouldn't inspire your child's name?
Victoria Wood was on TV at the time.

Vincent was the malformed sewer beast in Beauty and the Beast.

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Vin Petrol

(no subject)

from: vin_petrol
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 10:18 am (UTC)
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Victoria Principal (I think) was in Dallas (Pam Ewing). That was huge viewing at the time I suppose.

Yes! "Who shot J.R." was 1980, and Victoria Principal is astonishingly beautiful, so that easily accounts for the 1984 peak.

Vincent was the malformed sewer beast in Beauty and the Beast.

Broadcast in the late 80s, so no explanation for anything :-P

Richard was the malformed human in Shakespeare's Richard III :-)

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Richard Clegg

(no subject)

from: steer
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
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Richard was the malformed human in Shakespeare's Richard III

And also from Yorkshire! Ugh!

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Rich

(no subject)

from: rich_r
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
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Although he was of the House of York, he was born in the midlands somewhere I seem to recall.

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Vin Petrol

(no subject)

from: vin_petrol
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
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Wikipedia says: "Richard was born at Fotheringhay Castle" [Northamptonshire] so he couldn't have played cricket for Yorkshire :-)

Although it does go on to say "Richard spent several influential years of his childhood at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, under the tutelage of his cousin Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick" so he hung around in Yorkshire a lot. Kinda like steer did, thinking about it!

Edited at 2011-08-26 01:56 pm (UTC)

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Rich

(no subject)

from: rich_r
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
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Are you implying that there might be two young mathematicians bricked up in a wall in Goodricke College?

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Richard Clegg

(no subject)

from: steer
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
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Bless... he was sort of television friendly ugly. I think jolie laid is the phrase (or some correctly spelled variant).

Incidentally, you know who produced and wrote most of that? George R. R. Martin of "Game of Thrones" game?

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Valkyrie

(no subject)

from: valkyriekaren
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
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I did not know that!

I bought Game of Thrones to read on the train back from Exeter on Monday, and now I'm really regretting it because it was SO GOOD I now have to buy the next six books. Argh!

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Richard Clegg

(no subject)

from: steer
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
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Oh no! This is like hearing someone's just tried heroin and quite likes it. You do know that it took about six years for the last book. I reread the previous books in the weeks before release. Then it arrived. Then I read it in two days. Then I reread it. Now I'm settling in for another six year wait.

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Valkyrie

(no subject)

from: valkyriekaren
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
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I know. And I generally have a rule (borrowed from zotz that I don't begin reading incomplete series by living authors. But then again, GRRM was the exception to that rule for zotz too.

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Taglibro de la programistoj

(no subject)

from: smorgasbord
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
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I'm still managing to stick to that rule but it's getting harder.

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Valkyrie

(no subject)

from: valkyriekaren
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I break it all the time. Really, it's more of a guideline. Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards sequence, for example, has had me on tenterhooks for the next volume for a couple of years now, mostly because Scott has been unwell. But he's doing better now and hopefully I should have Republic of Thieves in my hot little hands in about six months.

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Carolyn

(no subject)

from: cazzioc
date: Aug. 27th, 2011 01:30 pm (UTC)
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Carolyn was 80th in 1964 ( and '54 funnily enough), so how come I've only ever met a handful of Carolyns? But Julie is second & I have 6 close friends called Julie, so that's certainly correct! (It does get very confusing round here - the Julie's get mixed up all the time!)

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Tiffanie Wells

There is womans name

from: angryangeltoo
date: Aug. 29th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
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Called Veerena, which I belive is named after an Irish saint, there are more V names in Polish and Eastern European langauges. Lovely seeing you at the Fest, the outfit you missed is on my facebook
xx

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