The Name Game

Baby center released its top 100 names of 2012 yesterday. In the Facebook post, it asked if any member’s had chosen one of them.

Naturally, both A’s full name and nickname fall in the top 20. I knew this going into it. Name popularity was never a factor in choosing A’s name. Most of the comments on the post differed from mine, however. Most members had chosen “unique” names, on the premise they didn’t want their child to be “one of many” in their classes, life, etc.


Am I the only one who doesn’t understand this trend? Since when does the name make the child? EVERY child is unique, regardless of his/her name. EVERY child is special and memorable in his/her own way, even if they are a Sophia or Jacob.

I grew up with a popular name (lots of Katys and Katies born in the mid/late 80s), and it never bothered me. If anything, I wanted the more common spelling of Katie/Katherine instead of Katy/Katharine. Back then having personalized crap was ALL THE RAGE and I couldn’t find my name on a damn pencil or cup ANYWHERE. I distinctly remember in kindergarten having to practice writing my name and writing KATIE on the paper and my mom having a fit. “That is not what I named you!”

I don’t remember ever wishing I had a more exotic name. If you remember correctly I named my dolls totally popular names, and if I remember correctly, in sixth grade we wrote a skit and named our own characters, and I chose Brittany. Clearly I was not enchanted with “different” and “unique” names.

When we were picking names, our criteria was simple: It had to go with our last name (no names starting with L or ending with a hard E sound), it had to be adaptable (appropriate for a kid and an adult), it couldn’t overtly get a kid made fun of, and we both had to love it. I also tried to avoid names that were a mouthful, mostly because I didn’t want to scream “OPHELIA WILHEMENIA” when she was in trouble.

Forgive me, but I think a name should be chosen because you love it or it means something to you, and if it happens to be “unique” or “trendy” then so be it. But, IMHO, purposefully picking out a different name just because it’s so far out there no one else would think to name their kid that is a little unfair to the child. Trust me, even with the less common spellings of my names I am CONSTANTLY correcting people. How on earth do Aadien or Mckynzie stand a chance?

Plus, they’ll never find their name on a cup.

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