Category: Angela Mastrodonato
Legions of expectant parents search for that “underused classic” name each year.
But what exactly is an “underused classic” name? Do underused classic names even exist? Are they some impossible standard like names that are universally appealing and forever-guaranteed-to-stay-unique?
“Classic” can be interpreted differently by different people. Instead of describing a name as “classic” I usually use “traditional” or “timeless” instead.
Semantics aside, a working definition of how I decide what makes a name “classic” might be useful. And in my world there is more than one type of classic name:
Authentic Classics – Evergreen names like Elizabeth and James. Ideally these names have never left the top 50 since 1880, the earliest year name rankings are available from the Social Security Administration.
These names could be your middle-aged neighbor or a kid in your child’s class. These names are all familiar. Most are traditional. Most are likable. Most are timeless.
And not one has ever made the top 10 on the Social Security list since 1880.
To me, this seems remarkable.
These names seem like they should have hit the top 10 by now. Take a look at the list and tell me if you agree:
After years of long-frilly girl names, the winds of fashion are once again shifting and one syllable names are getting recognition.
Here are some names that are short on frill but full of spunk.
Bex - This diminutive of Rebecca makes a sharp edgy stand alone name with the trendy X.
Reminiscent of fifties doo-wop songs and southern cotillions, combo names are finding their way back to baby name lists after a decades-long absence.
Boy names have inspired me lately. Here are some brilliant names with masculine swagger and a bit of 1960′s charm. If I were to write a novel with beatnik characters, these would be the names of the male characters. In my opinion they embody the motorcycle-riding poet.
These names were loosely inspired by the media portrayal of beatniks from the late 50′s-early 60′s. Beatniks were portrayed young adults who wore black turtlenecks with berets, hung out in coffee shops, recited poetry and expressed anti-establishment sentiments. They were precursors to the hippies.
These weren’t necessarily names of real beatniks or popular baby names in the 60′s, but most have a retro feel and many have artistic or literary associations. These names seem cultured with an edge.