When my co-anchor Denise D’Ascenzo and I were growing up, our first names were very popular. I certainly wasn’t the only Dennis in class and if you called out “Denise” at least four or five girls would turn around.
Not so in 2015. You’d be hard pressed to find a youngster in school with the name Denise or Dennis, and even less likely in a hospital maternity ward, where Noah and Emma rule and newborns with Denise or Denise written on their bassinets are rare.
According to the federal government, Noah and Emma were the most popular baby names in 2014 followed by Liam and Olivia. Denise ranked 777 last year on the social security baby name index, right up there with Joyce and Wendy, but trailing once hot names like Edith and Marjorie. Gladys, which once competed with Denise in the cool moniker department didn’t even make the top 1000.
As for boys, Dennis comes in at 491, with Harvey and Darren in the same neighborhood. Have you met a child named Harvey lately? I didn’t think so. In 2014, Dennis was beaten out by Lawrence yet left Gary and Ralph in the dust.
But could pop culture fuel a resurgence of Denise and Dennis as baby names? Kermit the frog’s new porcine paramour is named, Denise and the new baby vampire in Transylvania 2 is called Dennis. We can hear it now in delivery rooms everywhere, “let’s name our daughter after the new pig on The Muppets” or “our son should bear the name of the grandson of Drac from the movies.”
It was worth a shot.
By the way, Denise and I were truly humbled to learn that a local woman named her daughter and son after us. Seriously. At last check those babies with our names were in college. Ouch.
Check the popularity of your name here: http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/#&ht=2