Cool Name of the Week: Conan
This past weekend was "nerd prom" (AKA the White House Correspondents' dinner). It's a fete for all the journalists who cover the executive end of the political spectrum, along with an ever-larger dollop of Hollywood types. (This year, the eclectic group included Sofia Vergara, PSY, and Katy Perry. )
And though his jokes weren't quite as biting and memorable as my favorite former host of the proceedings, Stephen Colbert (who memorably took George W. Bush down), Conan O'Brien did an admirable job poking fun at the President, various members of the press corps, and other notable names.
Conan has been late-night royalty for two decades now (and that's after he served as a writer on two comedy staples, Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons)—but his popularity hasn't led to an increase in popularity for his name. Conan is an Irish name that means "wolf," and you'd think it'd be rising up the charts right now, close on the heels of Celtic winners like Connor, Aidan and Gavin. But it's still languishing well below the 1,000 mark.
Conan's cool factor isn't limited to the ginger-tressed late-night host—there's also author Arthur Conan Doyle, the mastermind behind genius detective Sherlock Holmes. Of course, there's also the pulpy comic book hero Conan the Barbarian, which is probably what's holding back the popularity of this name.
Conan pairs nicely with some of the longer middle names, like Frederick, Alexander or Zachary. If your surname is longer, consider a short middle name like West or Lee. Just skip anything with an -an ending, to avoid a weird rhyming cadence with the first name. (Conan O'Brien's parents paired it with Christopher, in case you were wondering.)
So why do you think Conan hasn't become more popular? Is it the "Barbarian" connotation? Or are fewer people on "Team Coco" than we thought?