Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Name game

My friend Ann sent me the list of the Top 100 Baby Names of 2007, according to Baby Center. Some thoughts:

--Thankfully, Kelly is not on the list, for either gender.

--Aiden, Jayden, Caden AND Brayden? Stop the insanity! They sound like a boy band.

--I hope someone names their twins Madison and Addison. Also, who is out there still naming their daughter Madison at this point? It's about the most overused name there is, the purest example of a cliche name for its era. How about moving on to another random state capital, like Albany or Sacramento?

--The last name as first name trend continues to rage. Our own last name, Cooper, is #70. STOP NAMING YOUR KIDS MY LAST NAME!

--When in doubt, turn to the bible. Elijah! Gabriel! Isaac! Isaiah! But stop with the backwards names...Nevaeh?

--It's funny to me how many people are shocked when they choose a name like Sophia or Emily and then their kid goes to school and meets seven others.

42 comments:

Jeff Sparkman said...

I thought all those moms who named their daughters Madison were just really big fans of "Splash."

Anonymous said...

And stop naming your little girl my boy's name. My sixteen-year-old son shares his name with about 10,000 three-year-old girls in my town -- Riley. It means valiant and it's not girly at all.

Anonymous said...

Emily is totally the Jennifer of the new millennium. It may not be number one anymore, but my god, it's been waaay at the top for about ten years now. Madison is a close second in that vein, and I agree w/Jeff- I always laugh when I hear it, and think of Tom Hanks telling Daryl Hannah that Madison is not a name.

Sars said...

Girls can't be valiant?

queen4124 said...

i'm soooo tired of the kaitlin, kaytlyn, caitlin, katelyn, kaylee, cailee, kaytelynn, etc trend. what kind of name is that anyway? i can see it now..."please stand for the president of the united states, katelynne blah blah blah.

oh and the abigail, emma, grace thing. seems to me like every girl is named some combination of the three. just think about it.

Steph said...

I think that list is a little biased, since it's based only on a survey of registered Baby Center users. I trust the SS index for each year a lot more in showing the actual trends in baby naming, but that one usually doesn't come out till the spring I think. I'm so tired of all the Madison and Mackenzies, it seems like every other little girl I meet has one of those names.

Ginger said...

I named my son Aidan years before it became popular. I thought we were just naming our kid a nice scottish name.

Wendy Pederson said...

We have a little girl's name all picked out should we ever have a little girl, and now I'm afraid to use it because Lillie has come back into style.

Kaitlin Redmond said...

http://notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames/

hilarious blog of terrible baby names, mostly culled from parents-to-be on baby forums

(and queen4124: "what kind of name is that anyway?" ... I never thought there was anything particularly wrong with it. it HAS become a bit too popular in the last 10 years, though)

Joe Reid said...

I love how naming your baby has become the same thing as liking the White Stripes or whatever underground band of choice, and it's only cool until they get popular and then it's everyone else who sucks for bandwagoning. At this point, "Madison" would be...Snow Patrol?

Katie said...

If you like looking at the trends, there's a nifty site that charts the popularity of names since the 1900s or so. http://www.babynamewizard.com/namevoyager/lnv0105.html

I'm a little disappointed that my own name, Mary, gave up the number one spot after so many years.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago I worked at an OB/GYN and filled out the paperwork to send to the state capital for birth certificates. An amazing number of 22-25 year old mothers were named Angela, Jennifer, Amanda and Sarah/Sara. They were naming babies "original" names like Madison and Dakota and Brooklyn.In about 20 years, there will be a lot of mommies named Brooklyn and Madison (probably naming babies Jennifer and Amanda. . .).

Laura said...

Sars, that's what I want to know!

VanillaBean/Maria said...

Dammit, Gael! I was totally going to use Sacramento someday, and now everyone else is going to take it first!

Beth said...

The only Madisons I know are either older girls (teenagers) or boys. Well, one boy: a woman in my mother's group named her son Madison; it was her last name before she married. They call him Maddy and I think it's adorable, but probably other kids will think it's girly. How a name ending in "SON" got to be "girly," I don't understand.

I love the mother's group because of the pairings of names. When Beth, Amanda, some Jennifers, a couple of Karens, a Julie, and a Laurie take our army of Blythes, Lilas, Rubies, Ediths, and Penelopes out to lunch, it's hard to tell whether we're pushing strollers or having an outing with our grandmothers.

Anonymous said...

Our last name is Tanner - tons of boys are now named Tanner. It doesn't bother me, it just seems weird. What is even weirder is that our son is Jake and tons of people name their dogs Jake.
For a good time with baby names you can go to the Mormon baby namer - there are some pretty strange names there.
http://wesclark.com/ubn/

Belle Plain said...

Er, what's wrong with Kelly? I'm not particularly fond of my name, but I don't think it's quite as bad as, say, Doris.

The Caitlin thing annoys me, because all the Katelyn Kaitlin Kayteynnnnne names etc stem from a mispronunciation of the original name. It actually sounds more like "Kathleen" (and I think that in fact is where Kathleen came from, a phonetic spelling of Caitlin).

But anyway, none of these hold a candle to the worst baby name in the world. You ready? Behold: http://www.newbabynews.net/hospitals/stf33/public/stf33birthannouncement.pl?babyID=h33-440

ninebel said...

I think "Cooper" as a first name is part of a trend of occupation names for boys. They're last names because they're also jobs: Sawyer, Cooper, Mason, Hunter, Carter, Tanner, Parker?. And if my second child had been a boy I was toying with "Archer" so I know the attraction...

Heather said...

We had our first child this year (a boy we named Samuel David), and I was so relieved he wasn't a girl because my husband INSISTED that she would be named Emily; I kept saying, "She will be one of 15 Emilys in the class," but he didn't care.

At least we didn't name our kid "De'Lorean" like someone at our birthing hospital did (seriously, we saw the nametag in the nursery).

Ali said...

Totally agree with the top two posters. I actually watched Splash over the holidays with a ten year old cousin who was into Aquamarine and was looking for more mermaid movies, and I had to explain the whole Madison thing to her, because she was confused as to why Tom Hanks said she couldn't use that because it wasn't a name when every other child in her class is named Madison.

Leslie said...

I always love watching my kids fill out valentines or birthday party invitations. There's always at least a dozen variations on the spelling of one name because the parents were trying to be oh so unique. *sigh*
Actually I try not to scoff at names since the case managers I work with started telling me some of the names the mothers who are on drugs give their kids. (note these are slightly changed from the original names for obvious reasons) Eight. B (yes just the letter B). Baby. Electric Juice.
Sure Bradyn, Cadyn and Jadyn are obnoxious but there's far worse out there.

shannonslocker said...

I just want to tell all the parents to be out there that Shannon is a female only name. Apperently there are basketball stars and football stars with this irish inspired girls only for females only not for the male gender ever name. Arrrgh this is my pet peeve. Shannon is a girls name.

Anonymous said...

My mother named me Amy in the mid 70s, honestly thinking it was a nice old fashioned and uncommon name. Imagine her surprise when I always knew a minimum of 5 other Amys.

Chrystal said...

Not only can I confirm a pair of twins out there named Madisyn and Adisyn (thats how they are spelled, according to the elementary school yearbook), I can raise you on the insanity: twin boys at my kids school named Remus and Romulus.

Chrystal said...

also? Kudos to you and Rob for finding a beautiful, lovely name, and not ruining it by spelling it Kehlleigh or something like that.

Miss Kelly will surely thank you for that, someday.

Belle Plain said...

Shannonslocker: Shannon began as a boy's name, is still a boy's name in Ireland, and is still perfectly acceptable as a boy's name. Sorry.

Emily said...

I have to agree with whoever said earlier that this list isn't as accurate as the SS one because Emily, not Emma, was number 1 in '06, like it along with Michael for boys, very frequently is. And considering the fact that Shannon is the name of a river, I think it can be a boy's name just like Kelly can be.

grandefille said...

I thought I had a very unique name until I ran upon a woman 10 miles from me with the very same name. Only our middle names are different. We even use the same vet, so we have to get that middle initial in there!

I used to type up birth announcements for a living, and one has stood out from all the Emilys and Jakes and Sara(h)s and Tylers: Cesare Courvoisier.

!

Aside from the fact that his nutty parents are immortalizing how he GOT here to complete strangers, ew, can you imagine how that dear kid has had to answer roll call every year on the first day of school?

Teacher: "Emily Ann?"
Emily: "Here."
Teacher: "Jake Robert?"
Jake: "Yes, ma'am."
Teacher: "Tyler Lee?"
Tyler: "Here, ma'am."
Teacher: "Cees ... Cess .. Caesar? Corvoo ...? Cor ..."
Cesare Courvoisier: (sighs) "Yes ma'am. It's CeZAAR CorVOseeAY, but you can just call me 'C.C.' Everybody does."

Madison&CaitlinsMom said...

When I named my 1st daughter Madison in 2005, I had not ever heard that name (my husband and I took it off a clock we have in the house that was made by the Madison Clock Company). Little did I know it would be so popular.
My second daughter, Caitlin, got her name from a series of books I read when I was in high school (in 1986); the main character was named Caitlin and I fell in love with it then.
There are some of us that name their children because we like the names, not because they are popular.

Anonymous said...

To Sars - you go girl! Why do you never cease to amaze me - so quick with the dead-on wit you!

To Wendy - I think Lillie is a beautiful name!

To Gael - wonderful column - thank you.

From: A Jennifer (sigh)

Katie said...

Amy, my mother thought the same thing about naming me Katie.

I've never liked Madison either. There were two Madison's born at the hospital the same night as my daughter. Her name hit most of the same annoying trends I guess (boys name for girl, last name first) but I like Morgan better.

Jess said...

You missed Hayden...

Lindyv321 said...

I am a unique name liker considering that my name is Lindy and I bet you will never see that name on any list! My children are named Adia (another non lister) and Landon which is becoming more popular. The only thing I can say I hated about my non popular name was that I was never able to find any cool stuff that was personalized with my name. My daughter is also doomed to never see her name on anything!

Belle Plain said...

I just wanted to say, after posting my initial comment, I scrolled down to catch up on posts, and whoa! I didn't realize you'd had a baby! And that answers my question about the Kelly thing :)

Which brings me to another thought: I've heard of my contemporaries (mid-30s) naming their kids things like Kelly or Nicole, and I was thinking, WHY would they give their girls these names that were so popular for our generation? It seems like usually names skip a generation - like with Max or Emily - or they are all-new, like Madison or Tyler. But after talking to some of these parents, it seems that these names were NOT popular where they grew up - which is totally weird to me, because I was always one of at LEAST two other Kellys in any given class growing up, and I knew lots of Nicoles, too. Could it be that my name was just extraordinarily popular in California around 1974....and nowhere else??

nikka said...

check this out...celebrity parents have to be the craziest 'baby namers'
http://www.cracked.com/article_15765_20-most-bizarre-celebrity-baby-names.html

katrynanne said...

1. Why does everyone have to be creative? It's not only a pain in the arse, but for those of us who value spelling it's painful to look at. Although nothing is more painful than Nevaeh.
Sadly, I can just not picture anyone being successful with most of the names on the list. About half of the girls names sound like porn stars or exotic dancers.

2. Shannon is not a girls only name. It's a river, an airport, a town and a million other things. That includes of course, the name of boys.

Anonymous said...

A friend of a friend just named their baby Madison Grace, so yes, ppl. are still using it. I know, surprsing!

Anonymous said...

I named my daughter (born Sept 07) Prudence. A nice classic name with no egregious apostrophes, hyphens or kre8tv spelling.

Granted, she'll never find anything "personalized" in mass market, but then again, neither did I.

Did you know that the spelling of Tonya (with an O and Y) is apparently wrong? At least according to the manufacturers of all the fun personalized stuff (mugs, keychains, license plates) in the 70s. :)

Anonymous said...

Okay, my cat is named Cooper, but he had that name when we got him from the shelter, so I remain blameless. He generally goes by Coop, anyway.

LI Laura said...

I grew up as a Laurie in the late 60's and 70's. There were always a bunch of Lori, Lorie, Lory's in my class.

I'm actually posting because a co-worker of mine just named her daughter Ashlyn. She thought she made it up herself!

kerry said...

I grew up wanting to name my daughter Cailin, after an Unwritten Law song (I'm shallow!) and now.. not going to happen

my friends and their ridiculous spellings of names (Kyleeh? stop the madness) have ruined half of the names I love. :(

and whoever said Shannon is a "girl's name only," you apparently don't know much about the Irish heritage behind your name. I'm a Kerry, a proud one, and I know for darn sure it's unisex.

Anonymous said...

I was one of 5 Cindys in my high school class. Recently when giving my name to people, they always think it should be Sidney (Sydney?).

I think it's interesting how it seems to be a regional thing. My daughter has a Keeghan in her class, and a different Keeghan in her Sunday School class! I'd never heard of that name before - much less twice!

My daughter is Abby and has an Abby in her class. It's funny when they call each other Abby J and Abby R when they are playing with each other! Little did I know it was so popular.