Category: Family Names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Congratulations and welcome to all the beautifully named babyberries born in December, and thanks to their parents for posting and sharing their name stories.
More boys than girls this month and just one set of multiples, who carry on the family tradition of double first names (two of the more unusual names reported):
By Alicia Chon
I recently watched a documentary titled The Grace Lee Project, where a Korean-American filmmaker named Grace Lee from Missouri investigated why people assume that most Grace Lees are ‘reserved, dutiful, piano-playing overachievers.’ The film explored the importance of a name and the stereotypes that are correspondingly cast as a result.
Once again, Whitepages, that huge storehouse of the names of people residing in the U.S., continues its practice of putting together interesting—and often humorous– statistical reports on the popularity of names, particularly focused on holidays.
And Christmas is no exception. This current list is of the twelve most festive first and last names in the country, released just in time for the holiday season. Carol (first name) and Bell (last name) were at the top, with 1,148,024 and 385,651 people sharing the names, respectively.
Let’s say right up front that we don’t advise naming your daughter Davette to honor Grandpa Dave, or any of the other similarly awkward cross-gender namesake names.
So how do you, did you, can you best choose a name for your baby that honors a relative or friend or hero of the opposite gender?
Some parents simply use the name, as Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard did when they named their daughter Lincoln or several celebrities recently have in giving their daughters the middle name James. But this cross-gender appropriation happens most often when giving male names to girls, which may be inherently sexist — though even the most feminist parent may stop short of naming a son Mary or Patricia, even in the middle place.
So what do you do then, use the name Patrick? Or choose a name that’s more conventionally gender-identified that starts with the same first letter? Or maybe appropriate Grandma Mary‘s maiden name as a first?
There are all kinds of ways of approaches and beliefs on this subject, and we’d like to hear yours.