A new category for Yesterday’s Thoughts, Famous Rays.
My experience of being named Ray has been curious. I never met a Ray my age until I was in my forties. I was born in 1958 and Ray was a name from an older era. It was the name of the assistant greenskeeper at the country club where I worked and other older men. Ray wasn’t a common name for children in the post-war era.
Data from the Social Security Administration on the frequency of children name Ray since 1890 shows that the name is declining in frequency.
Frequency Rank of the Name Ray: 1890-2004
(The y-axis is 700 – frequency rank, since Excel’s graphing capabilities are nearly useless.)
In the early twentith century, Ray was in the top 100 most common names for male children. It went to 100 in 1948, 206 in 1973, 305 in 1988, 413 in 1993, 516 in 1999 and 618 in 2003. If the name Ray were a stock, you would have been wise to sell in 1932 and things were looking bad by the time I got the name in 1958.
I have been collecting Ray’s over the past few years. I don’t have a complete list by any means (subliminal lazy web request for more) but here is the current list:
- Ray Bolger
- Ray Bradbury
- Ray Charles
- Ray Conniff
- Billie Ray Cyrus
- Ray Eames
- Ray Goulding
- Ray Harryhousen
- Ray Kurzweil
- Sugar Ray Leonard
- Ray Liotto
- Ray Malozzi
- Ray Ozzie
- Ray Ramanno
- Stevie Ray Vaughan
Four of the above appear in the first 30 results from Google. Can you guess which ones?
Any infamous Rays?
Anyway, I am going to start an irregular feature here on famous Rays. We’ll celebrate the bearers of the name, and maybe serve as Ray Central. Is your name Ray? Let’s get to know each other.
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