Infographic: A (dec)line graph of the name Rex

line graph tracking a century of the name Rex
[Click to embiggen.]

On Thursday, the Social Security Administration added 2010 baby names to its web-accessible database of top 1,000 popular names for boy and girl babies. Reuters says reality television and movies have influenced the rapid rise of such names as Maci, Bentley and Kellan. If you don’t know the source of these names, consider yourself lucky.

The Popular Baby Name database has a feature that allows the user to see how a name ranked in popularity for each year, dating back to 1878. Okay, I bit and decided to plug in the name, Rex. What I discovered first made me think: If someone named Rex doesn’t get on a reality TV show, the name could soon be (r)extinct.

And then I remembered, one Rex was. By coincidence, that evening, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan appeared on Stephen Colbert’s show to promote his new book. Noting that Rex’s brother, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, is named “Buddy,” Colbert quipped, “Is everyone in your family named after a dog?” (When your name is Rex, such jokes are a constant.)

Curious, I discovered this Wikipedia entry on the given name, Rex and after reviewing the list, concluded that the best hope for a resurgence in babies being named Rex is for the Jets to win the Superbowl.

As I’m a Titans fan, I’d prefer that not happen, however.