Category: Guest Bloggers
The most popular names for boys used to hold steady for years. In 1932, the ten most popular names for boys born in the US were Robert, James, John, William, Richard, Charles, Donald, George, Joseph, and Thomas. Twenty years later, eight of those ten names were still dominant. Fast-forward to the 1980s, and 30% of the 1932 boys’ Top Ten still ranked.
As for the girls? That’s a different picture. Between 1932 and 1952, seven of the girls’ Top Ten fell. Shirley and Doris made way for Linda and Susan, and the change has continued at a rapid pace. None of the 1930s or 1950s girls’ favorites still held a top spot by 2012.
And yet there are more wearable names for boys than ever before. Plenty of parents are still passing down grandpa Joseph’s name, but the pressure to do so seems to be on the decline. We live in a more accepting age, where diversity in names feels quite normal.
We’re just days into the new year, and there’s so much to anticipate.
What will Zara Phillips Tindall, the least conventionally named of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren, name her first child? When the 2013 data is released, will Jacob still be the most common name for boys born in the US, or will Mason unseat him? Which fictional character names will take us by surprise?
But this week, I’m thinking about a very specific question: of all the unconventional word name possibilities, which will go from sounding wacky and way out there to mainstream in 2014?
Plenty of parents must be hoping this is true. Or at least they’re untroubled by the possibility. Because we’ve been borrowing from the dictionary with abandon as 2013 slipped into 2014.
Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain
As the year draws to a close, we have a bumper crop of celebrity birth announcements to celebrate.
The newest arrivals answer to some very on-trend names: fierce, daring, nature-themed, a little bit rock and roll.
Some of them might even seem fanciful, the tiniest bit over-the-top. But we live in an age where imagination and creativity are prized. From Pinterest to Etsy, the rise of DIY and crafting and an emphasis on design has filtered into how we think about our children’s names.
If it is the end of the year, it is time for top names, and individual health systems to entire countries oblige by releasing their data.
But what does it mean if you are actually choosing a name for a child in the next few months?
Some parents insist on avoiding the newly-declared Top Ten, even if Noah or William was a long-time favorite. Others hope for something familiar, but not shared with too many others. And some of us will go to the fringes, considering obscurities from the dictionary and our family trees.
It’s as scandalous a choice in French as it would be in English, and the fellow guests are aghast.
The party goes downhill from there. Other guests are criticized for their children’s “pretentious” names: Myrtille and Apollin.
Such scathing comments are usually reserved for gossip, or maybe anonymous online forums. Can you imagine yourself in a social setting, hearing your child’s name ripped to shreds? Let’s hope the movie – and the play it is based on – are pure fiction.
Then again, even if Adolf is your beloved grandfather’s given name, I would think long and hard about giving the name to a son. It’s one of a very few names, like Lucifer, that strike me as off limits for good reason.