By Any Other Name …

Babycenter recently announced its top baby names for 2009. And I am not one bit happy about it, because 2 of my 3 children’s names are on the list.

I pride myself on choosing traditional, pretty-yet-different names for my girls. This probably came in part from being named Susan, a name so common in my day that I had to be named not just “Susan B,” but “Susan BA” to differentiate me from “Susan BL.” My mom had wanted to name me Caroline, which my dad nixed, then Julia, but a cousin was named that, and finally Suzanne, which my dad deemed “too fancy.” So, Susan it was.

Back to the present, “Isabella” is name #1, while “Sophia” is #5. Granted, my girls are Isabel and Sophie, but it’s too close, folks. Too close.

I comfort myself with the fact that these names were not that popular at the time I chose them. I remember reading in Freakonomics that certain names were first chosen by an “elite” group, and then they later gained mass popularity. I remember this because “Sophie” was one of his choices to hit mass popularity in future years. No doubt I’m just an elite :).

It’s true I’ve tended to like names before they become massively popular. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, I loved the name Brittany (I think it’s the European connection). Nowadays, I wouldn’t dream of naming a child that. It totally screams white trash to me (sorry to any of you Brittanies out there!), and I blame Britney Spears in large part for that (speaking of which:  “Britney?” what kind of spelling is that?)

What’s your preference in names? Traditional? Unique? Do you like your own name?

6 thoughts on “By Any Other Name …

  1. Good morning, elite Susan. 🙂

    You know, my preference is for traditional names – if my Surly Boy (who’s really a Joshua) (and he was a Joshua long before the Joshua explosion), if he’d been a girl, he would have been a Margaret, I think.

    One thing that makes me NUTS is when people take “normal” names (i.e., Brittany, Michaela, Zachary, etc.) and DELIBERATELY misspell them! What a lousy thing to do to a kid – force him (or her) to have to go through life correcting the spelling of his name!

    (In real life, I’m Kris-with-a-K-and-no-H. It does get tiresome. And my 6th grade teacher nick-named the 4 us (me, a Kristina, a Christine and a Christina, if you can believe it!) after the Little Rascals – I was Spanky.) (sigh)

  2. Dear Susan,

    I feel your pain. I don’t have any children yet, however, I always wanted to name a daughter, if I had one, Isabella. Now with the explotion of the Twilight franchise, that name is far too common and I get the feeling it will be at the top of the baby name list for at least a few more years.

    Hopefully since your girls already had these names before their vast popularity, they wont have too many classmates with the same name. At least, not in their grade level. I think the names you picked out are beautiful. And I like the fact that you picked them before their explotion. Best wishes.

  3. Such beautiful names! I think everyone likes to be unique, but since you named your girls early, you can always assume everyone was so charmed by the names, that they then became uber popular. Our first grandchild is due in late June and the only word on the name so far is that it will be spelled simply, or “right.” I do like my name, even the spelling, but rarely does anyone spell it the way my mother had hoped.

  4. I agree…I chose Hannah for my daughter right before it took a huge surge in popularity. Uggh. At least my son Harrison doesn’t have a host of like-named kids in school. He loves his name.

  5. I was supposed to be Eleanore, after my grandmother. Alas, I was born during the reign of FDR, hence my dad would not permit me to have that name. I like my name, but would have preferred to be named after my grandmother.

  6. I like traditional names. I, too, wonder why some parents give their child a name with an odd spelling. It will be a plaque from cradle to grave for that child. I also question parents giving odd names to their child such as Judas, Wolfgang (yes he is in our extended family), Heaven Leigh (a real prize there!). I tried to use names so the child would be called by their name. I would not have used names that lend themselves to being called something else like William, Robert, Elizabeth, etc. etc. My mother was named Leona. I think that name is awful, although Rev. Anderson told me it was Italian and he thought it was a beautiful name. Had I been a boy I was going to be Stanley!

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