I was looking this morning through the list of baby names that have entered the US Top 1000 since the turn of the decade — more, much more, on that later — and I was struck by how many of them overstate the case.
In early editions of our first book Beyond Jennifer & Jason, we included a list called Names That Are Too Much, or Not Enough, To Live Up To. Then somewhere along the way, we dropped it. But clearly it’s time to bring it back.
Listen, there’s something sweet about giving your child a name to live up to — a name that carries a positive image, that conveys a quality they can aspire to, that references a person they can be proud to be associated with.
But there’s a point where a name seems to seems to protest too much, as in the case of Precious. If not in toddlerhood then in adolescence, a child named Romeo may feel overwhelmed by impossible pressure to be a romantic superhero, and Patience may become determined to show you how thoroughly she refuses to live up to her name.
Names we are hearing today that may prove too much to live up to include: