With a pregnant niece and several daughters of friends who are in the family way, my thoughts turned to baby names this week. It’s really tricky naming your offspring these days. You have to avoid names that are difficult to pronounce or that might make your child a target of ridicule. You have to pay attention to what initials they’ll have. Bullies look for the smallest things they can use to make your child miserable. Parents have to make sure the first and last names go together and not create something weird like Ann Teak or Eve Ada or Ima Hogg. Childish names also cause problems, names like Bunny, Barbie, or Bambi. They might sound cute when the child is little but I can’t even imagine a professional businesswoman named Bunny or Bambi. I doubt she’d get much respect.
When I named my children (Kevin, Melinda, and Lori) I didn’t think of all these things. Maybe I should’ve spent more thought even though everything turned out all right. The thing is they positively hate their names. There were umpteen Kevins and Melinda is too old-fashioned. I don’t exactly know what Lori has against her name. It’s hip, short, and easy to spell. Plus, there really weren’t that many out there at the time.
I’ve always hated my name because every class in school had at least three other Lindas. I think half of the girls around the time I was born (nevermind what year that was) carried the name of Linda. And another bad thing is that I didn’t even get a half good middle name either.
So, I went looking to see what the top names were in certain years. In 1888, they were mostly Biblical names. The top five of each gender were:
And in 2006, the girls took boy names:
And names these days are spelled really weird. Jacob is Jakob; Michael is Mikal; Derrick is Deric; Cindy is Cyndi; Katie is Cady; and Asia is Asia’h. Two of my granddaughters are named Bayleigh and Emilee instead of Bailey and Emily. I guess change is what the world’s all about. It doesn’t really matter to anyone except the kids who have to wear the darn names. I’ve heard of people who don’t name their kids at all. They wait until the child is old enough and let him pick out his own name. Maybe that’s the way to go. Then the child can’t blame anyone but themselves if they don’t like what they choose. Heaven forbid more angst!
So, what’s in a name? Are you happy with yours or do you wish you had another? Or what about your children’s names?