Tuesday, May 2, 2023

What About Bob? Or Robert?


A friend sent me the image of the Bob hat. It made me smile because it seems that I am always doing "Bob" things. 

The hat got me thinking and I did a bit of research about the name Robert and the nickname Bob. 

The name Robert is of Germanic origin and means "bright fame". It was introduced to England by the Normans in the 11th century, and it quickly became a popular name. Many notable people throughout history have been named Robert, including Robert the Bruce, the king of Scotland who lived in the 14th century, and Robert Burns, the Scottish poet who lived in the 18th century.

The nickname Bob is a diminutive form of the name Robert. It is thought to have originated in the Middle Ages as a shortened form of the name Rob or Hob, which were common nicknames for Robert at the time. By the 17th century, the nickname Bob had become more common and was used as a standalone name in some cases.

I go by Bob because I always felt Robert was too formal. 

Interestingly, both names have separate histories in popularity since 1900. By decade, for the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940, and 1950s Robert was the most popular name for boys. I guess that is why there are so many of us. Robert has since declined to bar the 65th most popular name fir boys during the 2010s.

Bob was not in the top 100 during the 1910s but rose to become the 2nd most popular name during the 1950s. It dropped out of the top 100 names for boys after the 1960s. 

What I found very enlightening was that Robert was the most popular name for boys during the 1950s and Bob was the 2nd most popular name during the same decade.

So, when Bob's do Bob things, that means there are a lot of us who are getting things done.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


The information on the history and name popularity was derived from ChatGPT, an AI language model trained by OpenAI. The two queries were:

What is the history of the name Robert and the nickname Bob?

By decade, since 1900, how has the popularity of the name Bob or Robert changed?

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