Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Interview with Blair

Gender: MALE
What is your name? Blair
Do you have any nicknames? Gonzo
What is your ethnic background? Greek, French Canadian, German and Irish
What decade were you born in? 80s baby
How did you get your name? Same name as father and grandfather
How did you feel about your name growing up? Loved it until the Blair Witch Project came out
How do you feel about your name now? Love it, unique
What are some names of your family members? Blair, Clare, Betty
If you have any kids, what are their name(s)? If no kids, do you have any names you know you’d like to give to future children? No, I don't know the names of my future children
What is the name of your best friend? Dave
What are some common names for your age group? Chris, Dave, Ryan, Jeff, John
If you had to give yourself a new first name, what would it be? Rialb (Blair backwards)
Are there any personal stories about your name? No stories specifically about my name other than both my dad and I got called the Blair Bitch Project. (You may want to omit that.)
Are people ever confused about your name? People usually think I say Brian when I say my name if they don't know me
Would you suggest someone give your name to a new baby? Sure, it's not utilized enough
Of the kids you've met most recently, which are your favorites and least favorites? Of the kids I met most recently, Celina is my favorite, and my least favorite is a girl who I met named Blair, it felt awkward.

This was an excellent interview, given that most baby Blair's today are female, thanks to Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl. Blair is of Scottish Gaelic origin meaning "field, plain." Once a Scottish surname relating to local places, it transferred to use as a male given name, and now it is making a crossover to the girl's side, in the works since the 80's. The name has not appeared on the top 1000 for boys since 1995 at #950, slowly declining from #580 in 1990, but for girls, it ranked in the top 1000 in 2011 at #973, and I have a feeling it's only going up. Before that, it's last appearance on the charts for girls was in 2000 at #971, so there was a ten year gap. It had a steady decline on the girl's side from the mid 80's, where it was in the #400's, when it ranked higher than boys. The only difference between use as a male name and use as a female name is that Blair has been given as a male name much longer - every year since 1881 until 1995, whereas it has only been given to girls since 1980 (on the charts, anyway). That's a 99 year difference. 

Despite the rivalry between girls and boys, this name is unisex. As a place-name-surname, even though given to boys first, it can still be used for girls, as there is nothing about it that is strictly masculine. My best example of Blair as a surname can be seen on actress Selma Blair. For male's with it as a first name, Blair Redford. For female's with it as a first name, Blair Fowler. In Scotland it's still all boy, ranking at #87 in 2011.

In 2011 there were 75 baby boys named Blair and 5 spelled Blaire, and 260 girls named Blair, 123 spelled Blaire.

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