Category: baby names
There’s a lot to be said for having a name that is familiar in many countries. It makes travel and working overseas just that little bit easier, and if you have a particular cultural background, it’s nice to know that relatives in your country of origin will easily be able to spell and pronounce your child’s name. Even if your child never leaves their native shores, we live in a global village, and they will most likely meet, study, and work with people from other countries.
To me, a name with high international recognition needed to be popular in as many regions as possible, so that as a mimimum, it needed to be Top 100 in the English-speaking countries of Australia, New Zealand, England/Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Canada, and the USA. It also needed to be popular in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia.
The good news about naming a girl: the options are limitless.
The bad news about naming a girl: the options? Limitless! How do you choose?
In the US, around two-thirds of all newborn girls are given a Top 1000 name. We play it safe with our sons, with 79% – nearly four out of five – parents sticking with something in the Top 1000. Sure, Cortez, Kamdyn, and Garrison are included in that Top 1000 definition of safe – but they’re not nearly as out-there as some of the rarities given to girls.
We were talking to a new mother the other day who said she waited until her son was born to make a final decision on his name.
Another parent at the table gasped in horror: Just as she’d had the nursery decorated, the layette laid in, and the car seat installed, she’d felt compelled to have the name choice prepared well in advance of the birth.
And then yet another parent confessed that he and his wife had chosen a name only when the hospital demanded that the birth certificate be finalized, well after the birth, while another dad said he’d discussed names with his wife on their first date!
When did you decide on your baby’s name? Before or after the birth? Maybe before you were even expecting?
If you’re expecting now or if children are still far in your future, when do you think you’ll make the big decision?
And how did the timing of your name decision play out? If you waited, do you think that helped clarify things or did it add to the pressure? If you chose early, did that make you feel more secure during your pregnancy or only lead to too much second-guessing?
A little while back our question of the week asked berries to name their own Name Ticker family, choosing only from names in the name ticker at any given moment. It was a big success and a lot of fun with some truly fascinating results.
So continuing on that theme, today we’re asking you to name a family using only the names found on the Similar Names page of any name you choose.
I was inspired to ask this question by the Similar Names page for Eulalia, here. So many great choices! I might create a family of two girls and two boys named Eulalia and Corisande, Booker and Cyrus. Or I might go a bit more exotic and choose Aviva and Kamala, Dmitri and Vladimir.
And though we wrote all the name entries ourselves, we’re constantly re-encountering names that we maybe kinda forgot existed and now appreciate anew. Wow, we think. That’s a cool one. Wonder if it will ever come back?
This just happened to me with the name Cyrilla. The boys’ equivalent Cyril is handsome if a bit effete for the modern world, though it may get rediscovered thanks to the revival of the similar Cyrus and Silas. But what about Cyrilla? That’s a cool old name that’s at once exotic and familiar, highly unusual — there were NO girls named Cyrilla recorded on the most recent Social Security list — yet not invented. Besides being the feminine form of the Latin Cyril, it’s also a botanical name for flowering plant found throughout the tropics.
So I nominate Cyrilla as a name that’s ripe for revival. What are some old names you think might become new again?
Photo of antique doll from Kathy Libraty’s Antiques at Ruby Lane.