Posted by Jay Livingston
Flaneuse at Graphic Sociology reprints a neat graph by Baptiste Coulmont showing trends in the endings of girls' names in France.
The final “e” has long been characteristic of French female names, though with some variation (the “ette” suffix is so 1930s). The most remarkable trend in recent decades is the rise of the final “a” to the point that it is now more common than the final “e.” The three top names in 2006 (the most recent year I could find data for), were Emma, Lea, and Clara. (I also noted that Oceane has now dropped out of the top ten. Apparently, in terms of fashion cycles, Oceane is to France what Madison is to the US.)
Final letters of boys’ names in the US have also seen a dramatic shift, as documented nearly two years ago by Laura Wattenberg at babynamewizard. The half century from 1906 to 1956 saw little change. D,E, S, N, and Y shared the closing spotlight, probably thanks to David, George, and James/Charles/Thomas, John and several Y names.
But by 2006, N had conquered the field and stood pretty much alone.