Selecting a name for a baby boy?

From the land of princes and pageantry, the UK, comes their favorite choice:

 

          MOHAMMED

 

That’s taking into account and adding up these variant spellings:   Muhammad, Mohammad, Mohamed, Mahamed, Muhamad, Mohmmed, Muhamad, Mahammad, and others…

 

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Wait!   The (British) Mail Online News Daily Mail Reporter (citing BabyCentre) tells us something different. It declared on Dec. 11, 2012 that the top 10 boys’ names in the UK were these:

1. Harry   (One can thank the current prince for that choice, or there’s Harry Potter.)

2. Jack

3. Oliver

4. Charlie

5. James

6. George

7. Thomas

8. Ethan

9. Jacob

10. William  (another current prince…)

 

So who’s right? The problem is that “Mohammed” is spelled in more than one way. At last count there were at least 10 choices. (Remember when you had to refer to a dictionary to spell Kadafi?–you know, the past head of Libya?)  So what’s our source here?  The CNN Belief Blog (Aug 14, 2012). Somehow the British government declared that Harry was the top pick (no “Harri,” or “Herray,” or “Hurray” to confuse things) and the multiple “Mohammeds” sort of disappeared.

According to Richard Allen Green of CNN the popularity of “Mohammed” (in its varied spellings) in the UK could become even more popular because of “the adulation surrounding long-distance runner Mo Farah who won two gold medals for Britain” in the recent Olympics. For the record, Mohammed in its varied forms has been the most popular name for baby boys in England and Wales for the past 5 years, outpacing Harry, Oliver, and Jack. According to CNN, using records collected by the Pew Forum, Britain’s Muslim population in 1990 was 2%; in 2010 it had more than doubled to 4.6%. The U.S. by comparison is now 0.8% Muslim. Four of the variations of “Mohammed” ranked in popularity from 480th to 609th.

As you chase down and check this, and similar, information, be sure to check your dates and sources. Often the differences in data are startling. (This is a good example of what we mean by our “documented new ideas” under the picture on our home page.) It’s easy to walk away from the Internet and simply report “they” said. We try not to do that.

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[♠]  The chasing down of names and the varieties of ways they are spelled (Mohammed, Kadafi, etc.) is a fascinating, informative, and workable small-scale project.