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Thursday, October 28, 2010

This & That

I saw an interesting item in the news this morning. Over in the U.K. they are meticulous record keepers when it comes to family records, genealogy and such. I found this out several years ago while tracing a couple of stray branches on my own family tree back to Cardiff in Wales, and County Caven in Ireland.

Well, this penchant for meticulous record-keeping has provided an interesting factoid this morning:

According to the AFP, the most common first name given to boys born in England and Wales during the year 2009 was... no, not Oliver... not Jack... not Nigel... but rather, Muhammad.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. But it does give a hint of things to come in Merry Olde England.

On an unrelated note, a big shout out goes to my friend and fellow blogger Jameel for putting together an excellent demotivational poster inspired by the dream post I put up earlier this week. You rock!


Dreams2

Posted by David Bogner on October 28, 2010 | Permalink

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Thanks for the shout-out :)

And why is it "completely unrelated" -- maybe "Jameel" is going to be a popular name in England as well?

(unless you meant that, and I'm just being thick this morning...anything's possible, *yawn*)

Posted by: Jameel | Oct 28, 2010 9:34:46 AM

We studied Israeli name-giving trends in my ulpan. One of the things that skews the numbers somewhat is that Muslims pick names from a small pool. They are highly likely to name a son Muhammed or something like Muhammed. So this statistic doesn't NECESSARILY mean there are more Muslims in England, just that all the Muslims there pick the same name.

Still . . .

Posted by: Sarah | Oct 28, 2010 11:38:43 AM

You need to be careful with statistics - otherwise you might assume that the most common name on earth is Mohammed Chang...

Posted by: Dave (Balashon) | Oct 28, 2010 11:53:45 AM

Jameel ... I hate to tell you, but before we met, I had never heard the name Jameel. Jamal, yes. Jameel, not so much. I'm just saying. :-)

Sarah... I agree, the factoid as presented in my post and in the source I linked to is worthless in terms of determining what percentage of the population in the UK is currently Muslim. However, it is interesting for the very reason you state, that a relatively small culture whose customs and laws are extremely (for lack of a better word) 'concentrated' can quickly overpower and change the character of a larger society whose customs and laws are more 'diffused'. I know I'm expressing this badly. Perhaps one of my math genius friends (Ben Chorin) can step up and tell me what I'm trying to say. :-)

Dave (Balashon)... Clearly you've never been to China. It would be Chang Mohammed. They put the family name first. ;-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Oct 28, 2010 1:33:41 PM

The past few years,Jacob has been the most popular male baby name in the US.In the future, a US president named Jacob, meeting a British PM named Mohammed?

Posted by: Ed | Oct 28, 2010 4:06:43 PM

David, you are lucky that Jameel didn't include his usual pic of himself- you know the one of the guy with the big yellow smiley face on it.

Posted by: Jack | Oct 28, 2010 5:20:14 PM

Jack... You forget that I know Jameel personally. The happy face would be less nightmare inducing than a real pic of his face (sorry Jameel, a set-up like that comes along maybe twice in a lifetime!). :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Oct 28, 2010 5:23:43 PM

I suspect that this is one of those "regression towards mean" and "regression away from the mean" events (see, for example, why we no longer have baseball batters who hit .400). The general non-muslim population uses a more diverse pool of names, while the muslim population uses a much more restricted one (As I see Sarah already pointed out).

I'm SO stealing the "Muhammed Chan" line, though...

Posted by: efrex | Oct 28, 2010 6:38:10 PM

Dude, Cardiff? How have we not talked about this before....I was born there....maybe we are mishpacha??

Posted by: Hadassah | Oct 29, 2010 6:26:20 AM

Hadassah... I used the word stray advisedly to describe that branch of the family tree. The name on that limb is Jenkins. Need I say more? :-)

Posted by: Treppenwitz | Oct 29, 2010 6:38:41 AM

I echo Sarah's words, including the last word.

Posted by: Ilana-Davitata | Oct 29, 2010 10:10:34 AM

I thought you might like this video re: Holocaust survivor on life.

http://www.youtube.com/user/AliceTheFilm#p/a/u/0/QlccsLr48Mw

Posted by: mal | Oct 29, 2010 5:18:36 PM

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