By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain
Reality television has become a real influence in baby naming.
And why not?
Hollywood A-listers like Hugh Grant and Owen Wilson might hesitate to announce details of their new arrivals, but reality stars tend to be eager to share pictures, and, of course, baby names.
There’s no shortage of reality stars, either.
There are certain names, like Merry
, that scream to the world. “I’m a Yuletide baby!” One way around this, if you still want to acknowledge the season, is to pick names that are related but are also used all year round, to the extent that they’re found in the Top 500, given to babies born in July
as well as December
. Here are some examples—both religious and secular — that do relate to the holiday, but in a quieter voice, shown in the order of their current popularity:
Canadian guest blogger and name book writer Shandley McMurray offers some advice on global baby names–picking a name that will travel well. (And those are her beautiful kids in the illustration.)
Growing up with a name like Shandley in Canada wasn’t always easy. I became tired of correcting people’s spelling and pronunciation of it, and, of course, I bemoaned the lack of personalized products like pens and rulers that adorned the desks of my more traditionally-named friends. Then, the world’s increasing reliance on email made things even more difficult, with online editors and others I hadn’t met in person often referring to me as Mr. rather than Ms. in their correspondence.
Now don’t get me wrong—I’ve always loved my name. I’m a loud and opinionated free spirit and a quieter name like Elizabeth or Ashley just wouldn’t have fit. My name set me apart and I took pride in the fact that my parents had invented such a unique name. So when it came time to name my own children, I thought long and hard about my decision.
Which unisex names are getting more feminine and which more masculine? And which are rising and falling for both sexes? Here, the ups and downs of the most popular unisex names:
UNISEX NAMES GETTING MORE FEMININE
RILEY (though still strong for boys)
UNISEX NAMES BECOMING MORE MALE
HAYDEN (though the gender gap is narrowing)
JADEN, JAIDEN, JAYDEN
UP FOR GIRLS AND DOWN FOR BOYS
UP FOR BOYS AND DOWN FOR GIRLS
UNISEX NAMES RISING FOR BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS
AND THOSE FALLING FOR BOTH SEXES
Check out which unisex names are truly equal!