If there is a man named John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, it is exceedingly unlikely that he would run into somebody sharing the same name while waiting in the courthouse lobby for his name to be called for jury duty (though in an ever expanding universe filled with nearly infinite possibilities, I suppose it isn’t entirely impossible).
However in 18 years it is very likely that there will Jackson and or Sophia Smith will run into one another at the courthouse or some other public forum.
I say this because The Baby Center came out with their list of the top 100 baby names of 2013. With Jackson and Sophia taking the top spots for male and female names, and Smith being the most common last name in the good ol’ US of A, it stands to reason that we will have plenty of Jackson and Sophia Smiths running around for the next ~80 years (probably longer as medical science continues to advance).
Other popular names last year? Emma, Olivia, Isabella, and Mia round out the top-five for girls, while Aiden, Liam, Lucas, and Noah follow Jackson atop the list for boys.
Sometimes a singular event or celebrity or anything really can spark a rush toward the name, resulting in so called fad names. Also, it can happen that names gain popularity as new generations are named for their grandparents, or as great-grandparents die leaving a vacuum for those names.
Part of me has to assume that lots of people chose Sophia because of the character on The Walking Dead, and most of me hopes that Jackson marks a resurgence in public interest for our seventh President, Andrew Jackson, best known for his fondness for dueling.
But who knows? Names have a funny way of cycling in terms of popularity. If you feel like checking to see if your name is a fad name, or how names have gone boom and bust or run steady through the years, click go ahead and have some fun.