Something got my attention when those new photos from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Birdman appeared on Entertainment Weekly‘s site on 6.19. That marquee shot informs that Michael Keaton‘s actor character is named Riggan Thomson, and right away it hit me that I’d never once heard or read about a guy named Riggan in my entire effing life. Not even when I visited Ireland in ’88. So I ran it by pokemyname.com, and here’s what they had to say:
“In order of popularity in the U.S., the name Riggan ranks at 30,487. In other words, there are 30,486 names that are more popular than Riggan. One in every 702,203 Americans is named Riggan. For every million people in this country, 1.42 persons are named Riggan. As of 6.21.14 there are 456 people named Riggan in the United States and the number is increasing by 4 people every year. The use of Riggan as a middle name is more common than its usage as a first name.”
I’m now reaching out to any one of those 456 people whose first name is Riggan with the following questions: (a) As the origin of Riggan is Irish/English, were your parents from Irish or English stock?; (2) Did you resent or even hate them for giving you that name when you were six or seven?; (c) Were you made fun of by the other kids for having that name?; (d) Does Riggan strike you as a muscular manly name (as in rigor or rigorous) or does it feel more like…well, you tell me…what kind of name is Riggan to you? Has it ever gotten you hired? Laid? Do U.S. customs agents look at you suspiciously when you hand them your passport?
Incidentally: “Jeffrey is the 22nd most popular name in the U.S. One in every 107 Americans is named Jeffrey, and the popularity is 9.31 people per thousand. As of 6.21.14 there are 2,978,675 people named Jeffrey in the U.S. and that number is increasing by 24,454 people every year.”