If your local dog park sounds more and more like your local playground, you’re not alone. Recent trends in dog and kid names indicate plenty of convergence between the two, but the phenomenon appears to say more about pet owners than little people owners. For 2013, only two of the top 50 dog names appear in the top 10 people names (“C’mere, Emma and Mia! Good girls!”); meanwhile, 10 of the top 20 dog names are in the top 100 boys and girls names.
Much of what’s known about pet names is thanks to the courageous work of anthropologist Stanley Brandes, whose 2009 paper “The Meaning Of American Pet Cemetery Gravestones” exhaustively examines the country’s oldest pet cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. While the earliest dog-that-might-be-a-person there was dear old Robert Burns (died, 1921), the frequent use of human names started in the 60s and has been accelerating ever since.
The following chart shows the top 10 male and female dog names from the past year, alongside their popularity as kid names. If you’re still figuring out a name for your kid, keep this in mind – it’s bad enough when more than one kid comes when called. When dogs start coming, too, it’s just awkward.