Category: baby name Harper
Not every parent, of course. Casual choices like Charlie and Molly, Mia and Jack have been popular in recent years. And I’ve always thought that George Alexander Louis was a pretty low-key pick for a future king.
But whether the name is an outlandish borrowing from the dictionary or one worn by an accomplished historical figure, it’s worth asking: When is a name too much to live up to?
By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain
Here’s something I overheard recently:
There’s something to that statement, isn’t there? Olivia feels like a vintage revival, a literary choice thanks to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and a wildly popular name for over a decade. Aria is a newcomer, a noun name that leapt from obscurity to prominence thanks to more than one pop culture reference. They’re very different names.
Yet on sound alone, Aria and Olivia are similar. Reverse the histories – make Aria the Shakespearean choice and Olivia the twenty-first century television darling – and it is easy to imagine the statement reversed, too. After all, five of the current US Top 20 girls’ names end with -ia.
Nouveau or traditional, popular or obscure, our favorite names tend to share sounds.
How far would you go to find a truly stand-out name for your child?
Good thing, too, because as of Saturday morning, the wisdom of crowds had Cthulhu All-Spark as the top choice.
The full list alternates between the silly – Unicorn, Moonpod, Sprinkles, Fluttershy, and the truly lovely – Alice, Isla, Aria, Iris, Adelaide, India, Caroline, Claire, Elsa. Odds are that baby McLaughlin will end up with quite the wearable name when she arrives in April.
Few subjects are as divisive as gender neutral baby names, and yet I can’t stop talking about them. Some of us deny their very existence. Others are willing to call a daughter James, but hesitate to name a son Avery or Madison. Many of us are discovering nature names or other novel appellations, ones that don’t easily declare themselves pink or blue.
Not every culture splits names into such neat categories, and names certainly shift over time. Plenty of ends-in-a options, like Noah and Joshua have become favorites for boys, even though they’re very different from the once-dominant Bob, Tom, and Bill – proof that we can reconsider names every generation, if not more often.
I’ve heard parents fret that they can’t use Harper now that the Beckhams have bestowed it on a daughter. Suggest that you might name a son Jayden and you’ll be warned that the name will be considered trendy, dated, damaging to your child’s future career. What’s worse, we scan message boards, wondering if our favorite name will be the next rising star.
But why all the worry? Generations of parents have sought out stylish names, even if they haven’t talked about them in quite those terms. My dear grandmother nearly named a daughter Loretta after Hollywood-star-turned-television-host Loretta Young.
We can trace the rise of many appellations to television, celebrities, literature, and other pop culture influences. Even so-called classics often owe their revivals to pop culture. Would Charlotte be the favorite she is today without Sex and the City? Statistics link the character with the name’s resurgence.
Let’s embrace the influences that bring great new names to our attention, even if they’re promoted by the most unlikely of sources.