2005-11-17 : You can call me Susan, if it makes you ‘appy.

We just had a quick discussion about ludicrous names, precipitated largely by the news that the Socceroos have gotten through to the World Cup finals by beating Uruguay (as if there's anyone who knows an Australian, who hasn't heard yet!) – Paul the Dodgy Aussie's comment on the matter was: “I've already sung the national anthem to the office, and exchanged emails containing such phrases as 'URUGUAY CAN SHOVE THEIR DIVINE RIGHT TO PLAY IN THE WORLD CUP UP THEIR DIVINE ARSES'”. It was unanimously agreed around the office that “Socceroos” is the stupidest sounding team name one could possibly envision. Possibly with Jamaica's “Reggae Boys” running a distant second.

But anyway, as I was getting my black leather trenchcoat coat on to go outside, one of the guys made a crack about The Matrix and me needing to pack 400 types of weapon to get down to the ATM. The question immediately came to me – with parents being as easily influenced by pop-culture as they can be, how many babies between 1999 and now have inherited the indignity of being named Morpheus. Ever the keen Googler, I decided to have a look around, and the results surprised me somewhat. Given that in the US Trinity went from the 526th most popular girl's name in 1998 to 67th in 2001, and Britney went from 449th in 1998 to 137th in 2000, it seemed fairly evident to me that people are influenced quite easily. I was surprised, however, that in the statistics I found, Morpheus failed to appear (US Social Security Online and UK National Statistics online)! In fact, even using the iVillage Baby Name Finder, there was no suggestion of Morpheus in '3 syllable boys names starting with M'. Mordecai got a look in though. The 900-1000th most popular boys names in 2004 included Thaddeus, Maximo, Teagan (!), Jovanni, Branson, Chaim and Trevion… but not a Morpheus in sight.

Probably just as well really. The other kids would have to call him “Morph” for short.

The NameVoyager was a bit of fun too. Say it better with graphs.