Kildare must have a fair number of Jack’s at this stage.
It emerged this week that while Emily was the most popular name given to newborn girls in Kildare last year, Jack was the top name for boys. Jack was also the most popular the name for lads in the State.
Kildare is not the only county where these lads are tops, according to the Central Statistics Office this week.
In 2017, Jack was also the top name for boys, Louth, Meath, Wexford, Wicklow, Clare, Cork City and County, Kerry, North Tipperary, Waterford County and Mayo. It shared top spot in South Dublin with Adam and James.
In Limerick City, Jack shared the honours with Adam, while Jack along with Conor was the most popular in Laois.
Emily proved most popular for baby girls in Carlow, South Dublin, Fingal, Longford, Westmeath, Limerick County, Galway City and Mayo. Emily shared the top spot with Chloe in Galway County and with Amelia and Aoife in Clare.
The Jack’s have been topping the table for some time now.
In 2017, 685 newly born lads in Ireland were named Jack and 459 girls were named Emily.
Jack was followed by James (619) and Daniel (536). Emily was followed by Emma (393) and Grace (371) in the popularity stakes.
How many Jack’s are there in Kildare? The Leader can only speculate aided by CSO baby name figures going back to 1998.
Nationally, Jack was the most popular name in fourteen of the years since up to 2017. It was second and third most popular in other years.
Since 1998, a total 18,310 lads have been named Jack, across the Republic of Ireland.
Kildare represents around 4.6% of the population currently, which suggests that there could be over 800, possibly 900, Jacks born since 1998 to mothers resident in the county.
The question for Kildare is: are all these Jack the Lads?
Definitions of a Jack the Lad vary. One is young man who thinks he is attractive to women and behaves in a way that is thought to be typical of a young man who is not married. Another described them as a young men who are regarded as a brash, loud show-off or who behave in a very confident way.
Jack could be “a bit of a bad boy.”
Other sources say the original Jack the Lad was a colourful English thief, Jack Sheppard, jailed and, at the age of 22.
An early use of the expression came in a 1840 song Jack’s the Lad. The lines include: “If ever fellow took delight in swigging, gigging, kissing, drinking, fighting; Damme, I’ll be bold to say that Jack’s the lad.”
What ever about Lads, there’s probably a Jack in Kildare for all the trades by now.