Sunday, 29 January 2012

#192: What's in a Name: Name Shame

Back in 1944, I am sure my parents thought they were giving me a name for the ages. 

That was certainly our intention when we named our daughters, but somehow we blew it completely......twice. The unusual, imported name we gave our firstborn?  It seems to have been imported in bulk that year. Confident that we had made an original choice for our second child, we were dismayed to discover that hers topped the list of most popular girls’ names for 1978. In her grade one class, she was one of four who went by their first and last names, proof that we were not alone among families unwittingly seduced by popular culture.  

It’s not that there isn’t a ton of help for name-picking parents, either.  Baby name books abound, and I still encounter new moms in the library pouring over the thousands of choices.  Based my insight as a failed baby namer, I yearn to offer advice. “Yes, I know you are an environmentalist, but are you really sure about Ocean?  That is a trending “green” name, so there are bound to be a few other Oceans in your daughter's kindergarten class, not to mention a River or two.   Why not go with with a classic name, something that will suit a corporate nameplate", I want to say. "There are plenty of lovely names that have never gone out of style: Catherine, Charlotte, Sarah, Grace, Emma, Jane.....


Oh, that Jane Fonda.  She scores again.     


  1. I like the tried and true names -- obviously, because I named my kids Jill, John and Jennifer. ...No, I didn't intend to follow the 'J' theme. It just happened.

    Jennifer topped the list in 1970, too. And John is a name that goes on from one generation to the next. Although, I don't think there are any Johns in either Rowan's class or Spencer's. Spencer's middle name is John, though. Lots of odd names abound, or insane spellings of traditional names.

  2. You daughters still have beautiful names. Will they 'date'? I don't think so.