An Abundance Of Jacobs After years as the most popular baby name in America, waves of Jacobs are entering the workforce, dating world and college. Wall Street Journal reporter Jacob Gershman talks with Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

An Abundance Of Jacobs

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Something's going on at the University of Washington.


UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Go Huskies, go.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Jake Browning is the star quarterback for the Huskies. But get this, there are three more Huskies quarterbacks named Jake or Jacob.

JACOB GERSHMAN: They had this issue coming into the season. You know, if we want to be able to communicate with everybody on the team without causing confusion, we can't have everybody named Jake or Jacob.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Too many Jacobs - so the quarterbacks got together in a room and they settled it.

GERSHMAN: Only one of them got to be called Jake, and that was Jake Browning. And the others had to go with either their last name or a shortened version of their last name. And I think - you know, I think they're all fine with it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Sure. They're fine with it, but there's still two more Jacobs on the team. That makes six Jakes and Jacobs wearing the purple and gold. So what gives? The person we've turned to for answers is yet another Jacob, Jacob Gershman. He wrote about this Jacob glut in The Wall Street Journal.

GERSHMAN: Jacob was the most popular name given to newborn boys starting in 1999.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: From there, it spent the next 12 years in the top spot, according to the Social Security Administration. That's 13 years of Jacobs, Jakes and Jakies (ph). And the oldest of the wave are now starting to enter college, the workplace and the world of dating apps. While researching his story, Gershman saw people online complaining about it.

GERSHMAN: They say, God. There's so many Jakes. It's just - you know, why are there so many Jakes, Jacobs on Tinder?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And there really are. The dating app company told Gershman that Jake and Jacob combined make up the most popular men's name on Tinder. Going forward, though, Gershman doesn't think any one name will have this kind of run at the top of the charts.

GERSHMAN: There are fewer names that are common. There's more diversity. Parents are just more aggressively looking for something different. So if you're number one, it kind of puts a target on your back.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Still, we had to ask Jacob Gershman, who's 39, if he's worried about all those younger Jacobs nipping at his heels.

GERSHMAN: Look. You can either look at them as rivals or, you know, you say, we have to join together and advocate for our Jacob rights. I think the more, the merrier. I'm fine with a lot of Jacobs in the world. It's a good name.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And that was The Wall Street Journal's Jacob Gershman.

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