Category: baby name Finnegan
Has it really become harder to name a child?
It seems to be the theme in recent days. Over at Offbeat Mama, Caitlin wrote about her struggles to name – and eventually rename – her youngest child. The New Zealand Herald reported the same thing, noting a 12% increase in parents filing to legally change a child’s name prior to his or her second birthday.
My maternal grandparents named their first three children in accordance with family and cultural custom. My dad’s mom, undecided, pulled his middle name out of a hat. As for my parents, they felt no obligation to honor anyone, and chose short, peppy, upbeat names for their three daughters – until along came a son, and suddenly, family names mattered. If any child ever went nameless for months, or if aunts were divided over accusations of name theft, I’ve never heard the tale.
Once more this year the list of most popular names—particularly for girls—is vowel –heavy, with six of the top ten names starting with A, E, I or O, and five more filling out the top twenty.
As a result, naturally, there are fewer consonant-starters visible, some letters practically non-existent. One of these is F, with only a single representative, Faith, in the top 100, and a grand total of nine girls’ names out of the whole list of top 1000.
If we look back a century—testing the 100-year rule–it was a very different story, with 31 girls’ and 34 boys’ names starting with this initial. Several of them were versions of the same name (variant spellings are nothing new!); for instance, Freda, Frieda, Freida and Freeda all made the list—but not the current Kahlo-influenced Frida. Florence—no longer visible on today’s list–was represented in 1910 by Florance, Flora, Flossie, Flo, Florrie and Florene, and Frances (which hangs on at #802 today, with Francesca at 470) showed up in such variations as Fannie, Fanny, Francis, Francisca and Frankie, and there were three spellings of Fay/Faye/Fae.