Category: baby names blog
It seems like a pretty fair bet that I would have a more glamourous life than I do now, one that involved, I don’t know, lots of evenings (Vesper means “evening’!) at nightclubs and zooming around European locales on Vespa motor scooters.
Or is that just an illusion? Would I still be myself, whether my name was the straightforward Pam or the glamourous Vesper, the peppy Pippa or the sophisticated Sophia, would I still be the same person?
Do you think a name can have the power to change your life, and if so, what name do you think could change YOURS? And how and why?
(Sorry, but Vesper is mine.)
One of our most popular blogs of the year was the one in which Elisabeth Wilborn of You Can’t Call It It transformed the Top 100 girls’ names — and the following week, the most popular boys’ names — into choices with the same feel but more distinction and style.
This is the kind of exercise that Linda and I have long offered in our books, with our If You Like X, You’ll Love…. feature, in which we substitute fresh ideas for overused favorites. You can see dozens of such lists here.
But what if the name you want to move beyond isn’t popular, really; isn’t exactly overused but just, to your thinking, too trendy? What if you want to take an already-stylish and distinctive name and just scooch it toward being….more distinctive?
That’s what we tried to do here. We bet you clever berries will have lots more ideas of trendy names and possible substitutes: We’d love to hear them! Here are some of ours:
Guest blogger JILL BARNETT gives out Olympic medals. No, not for the sports, silly; for the names. But before we begin, an Olympic name trivia note: Roughly 20 percent of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team is named Ryan. Why? We’re guessing the inspiration might have been the hockey-playing heartthrob played by Ryan O’Neal in Love Story.
When I was in second grade, I had figured out two things: that the Rubik’s Cube could be easily solved by simply peeling off the colored stickers and reaffixing them onto the correct squares, and that I was destined to roller skate in the Olympics. Granted, there was no artistic roller skating event, but I was confident that if just one member of the International Olympic Committee could see me doing my best Xanadu routine while wearing my new unicorn-embossed roller skates with fuzzy pink pom-poms, he or she would recognize the need to include it in future Olympiads.
Being firmly grounded in reality, however, I soon realized that my gold medal dreams would more likely be realized by transferring my exemplary roller skating skills (I could skate backwards and forwards, and when I needed to stop, I’d gracefully dive into the grass) onto the ice. I would become a figure skater–the next Dorothy Hamill–and after a brief stop at the Olympics, I’d join her in the Ice Capades, or better yet, become a cast member of Disney on Ice!
With my new ice skating obsession, I was naturally fixated on the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics, rooting for Rosalynn Sumners as she skated her way to the women’s silver medal, and cheering on Scott Hamilton as he won the men’s figure skating gold. I even stayed glued to the TV long enough to watch other events such as skiing, speed skating, curling (which I affectionately call “shuffleboard on ice”) and bobsledding, which of course inspired me to ride a greased cookie sheet down the hill in front our house and into oncoming traffic.
And even though my ice skating dreams quickly melted after I crashed into a wall at my friend Monica’s fourth grade skating party (I never quite grasped the concept of braking), I’ve continued to faithfully view the Winter Olympics on television every four years. But it’s not only the sporting events that I enjoy; I also love to hear the athletes’ names!