Girls, Girls, Girls! 133 Years of Popular Names

Name.Kitchen editors are mesmerized by this video evolution of popular U.S. girls names -- from 1880 to today.  It's very VH1 "Pop Up Video" meets Trivial Pursuit. We were even more awestruck to learn that it was produced by two 18 year olds.

Twins Cary and Michael Huang have been working on this video since June of 2014, while navigating life as high school students in the San Francisco Bay Area.  They were inspired by a YouTube video for Top Searches of 2012, but felt they could improve on the presentation. "Seeing something good done almost right is pretty frustrating," says Michael. "We wanted to do something like it in our own way."

In between classes and during their summer break, the duo leveraged programs such as Processing, After Effects and Blender to fuse together animated infographics, pop culture tidbits and an original music score.

The finished product is an entertaining homage to the wax and wane of popular girls names during the past 133 years, complete with historical references that illuminate why certain names gained popularity during certain years.

For instance, it was fun to chart my mother's name, Linda, as it reached No. 1 the year she was born and better understand why it claimed the top spot.  Leading up to the year of her birth, several "Linda" pop culture references emerged on the screen alongside the morphing bubbles of the most popular girls names.  Among the references: Linda Darnell made headlines as an actress from the 1940's and the Jack Lawrence song "Linda" topped the charts in 1947.  I'm not familiar with either, likely due to the generation gap.  But it better explains why my grandmother had "Linda" on the brain -- as part of the 3.18 percent of U.S. parents who bestowed the name upon their baby girls in 1953.

Watch the video, and perhaps you'll learn something about the names of special women in your life -- or even your own name.

Next up for Cary and Michael: a video highlighting the evolution of popular U.S. boys names.  Subscribe to their YouTube channel, and stay tuned.