Category: Cool Baby Names
Popular names are popular for a reason: They’re attractive, fresh, feel right for the times.
Their only problem is that they’re, well, popular.
If you like a name that you’re starting to hear a bit too often, we’ve come up with more original substitutes that may strike the right chord. Here are ten popular girls’ names and ten boys’ names and ideas for more unusual substitutes.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
In case you don’t think the middle name choice is an important one, just take a look at the startling number of celebrities who have opted for using theirs in lieu of the first name on their birth certificates! Some have dropped a ho-hum common in favor of a more dramatic middle, others, to avoid confusion, have shed a name shared with their parent.
To begin with, there have been five US Presidents who have made the first-middle name switch:
Hiram Ulysses S. Grant—At 17, when entering West Point, his name was mistakenly written as Ulysses S. Grant and he apparently was happy to lose the HUG initials. The S was for his mother’s maiden name, Simpson.
Fifty years ago, a prime-time comedy launched on ABC. That show was Bewitched, and it put the name Samantha on the map. Here’s how the numbers pan out:
- The year before the show, 1963, there were fewer than 100 born in the U.S.
- By 1964, there were over 400 born
- By 1965, there almost 2,000 born
A glance at the US Top 100 lists from 1963 and 2013 suggests that the most popular names have gotten longer over the last fifty years. Back in 1963, the only Top 100 name longer than three syllables was Elizabeth.
There are more three-syllable names, and fewer single-syllable ones, too.