Name Spotlight: Lindsay, Lindsey, Lynsey etc. (female)

Variants of Lindsay

This post brings back to this post that I made in July. This time around, I’m taking a closer look at Lindsay (and its variants) as a feminine name to see how they got popular, when they peaked and what their positions were last year with a primary focus on England & Wales since Lindsay’s position there is, in my opinion, a bit more interesting to look at, seeing as if it was already moderately popular by 1966.



The graph shows that Lindsay and Lindsey for girls were already moderately popular by the 1960s, which means that they would most likely be put in the top 200 (since the ONS doesn’t have a top 500 or a top 200, just a top 100 without any numbers of babies with a particular name).

Now, let’s look at the rise in numbers for Lindsay in 1976 and 1977. This is pretty much played out in America and Canada as well, thanks to Lindsay Wagner when she appeared in The Bionic Woman as Jaime Sommers. However:

1975 1976 1977 75-76 % 76-77 %
USA 516 2,071 2,635 301.36% 27.23%
BC 13 70 99 438.46% 41.43%
Ontario 38 182 252 378.95% 38.46%
E&W 273 415 559 52.02% 34.70%

Whilst her appearance helped Lindsay rise into popular usage in America and Canada, here in England & Wales, she only helped popularise the name more. It it, pretty much, the same for Lindsey:

1975 1976 1977 75-76 % 76-77 %
USA 361 873 1,381 141.83% 58.19%
BC 5 14 17 180.00% 21.43%
Ontario 18 25 45 38.89% 80.00%
E&W 438 539 542 23.06% 0.56%

As for when Lindsay and Lindsey reached its peak performance, there is another difference. In the USA and British Columbia, Lindsay peaked in 1983 while Lindsey peaked in 1984. In Ontario, both of these spellings peaked in 1984, while in England & Wales, both of the spellings peaked in 1981.

Now, let’s take a look at Lynsey. When you look at the graph without the zooming in (contained in 2 version below the normal one), the gray line at the start is tightly packed with other lines, meaning that it was only given to a handful each year. But in 1972, Lynsey’s fortunes changed when Lynsey de Paul made her debut that year with songs such as “Sugar Me” and “Getting a Drag.” The birth count increased to 71 from just 12 in the previous year and it kept on increasing. At one point, in 1975, it overtook Lindsey as the most popular spelling with a birth count of 531 compared to Lindsey’s 438.
What’s interesting to know about Lynsey is that the popularity of de Paul also made the name usable in the USA and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, an estimated 23 baby girls were born with this name in 1972 and ’73. Given the fact that the population of that country was around 13,438,000 in 1973, the impact might seem less noticeable than in England & Wales at first glance since there were 257 baby girls in E&W born with this name from 1972-3 and the population of Britain in 1973 was around 56,159,000. In the USA, 5 girls were named Lynsey in 1973. Given its vast area and large population (around 211,357,000 in that year), the impact isn’t being noted at all, thus Lynsey had to wait a couple of years before it arrived in the top 1000.

Moving onto my last intriguing bit of the graph, Linzi. Notice that there were 2 spikes in birth counts, one in 1970 and another in 1974. I did a look around for any clues and I cannot find any. While I was doing that, I found out about Linzi Drew, though I’m pretty sure she didn’t cause the spikes (especially the first one). So, the reason for these spikes is a mystery.

Now, to end with the post, here are the most popular spellings out of the nine shown from 1966 to 2010*/2014.

E&W USA BC Ontario*
1 Lindsey 13,175 Lindsey 153,550 Lindsay 2,770 Lindsay 10,051
2 Lindsay 10,757 Lindsay 126,873 Lindsey 908 Lindsey 2,782
3 Lynsey 7,194 Lyndsey 14,067 Lyndsay 127 Lyndsay 872
4 Lyndsey 7,070 Lyndsay 6,656 Lyndsey 101 Lyndsey 477
5 Lyndsay 2,358 Linsey 4,984 Lynsey 10 Lynsey 201
6 Linzi 1,527 Lynsey 4,859 Linsey 5 Linsey 40
7 Linsey 1,255 Lindsie 969 Lindsie <5 Linsay 6
8 Linsay 152 Linsay 667 Linsay == Lindsie <5
9 Lindsie 21 Linzi 552 Linzi == Linzi ==

If you have any thoughts on the name, the post or the graphs and tables, leave a comment below the ‘sources’ section.

Available at England & Wales Birth Index (1916-2005)
For USA: Social Security Administration
For England & Wales (1996 onwards): Office for National Statistics
For British Columbia (1915 onwards): Government of British Columbia
For Ontario (1917-2010): Female
For population statistics: Wikipedia (United Kingdom, Netherlands, United States)


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