When I think of summer baby names, here’s what sticks in my mind: a poster of Kelly Slater spotted in an Ocean City surf shop. I was there to stock up on sunscreen, but found myself wondering about those fearless athletes who travel the globe in search of the endless summer.
Baby names inspired by surfing stars make for a surprisingly eclectic group, but the common thread is an edgy kind of energy. While many summer baby names are laid back and relaxed, this list is daring.
Here are my picks for the most vibrant, interesting appellations to ever hang ten.
Gidget – Sally Field’s bubbly television character from the 1960s was based on a series of novels by Frederick Kohner. Kohner’s daughter Kathy surfed with the boys and earned the nickname Gidget, just like the fictional version.
When we were preparing the article “Bizarre Baby Names: A Growing Trend?” for the July issue of Reader’s Digest magazine that’s just hit the stands, we put together a lonnnnnng timeline of the key markers in American name history–much longer than they could possibly use with the story. So here we offer you some of the dates and events that you won’t find in the magazine.
1845. The Irish famine sends masses of Bridgets and Patricks to America.
1946. Publication of Dr. Benjamin Spock’s The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care encourages parents to be more relaxed, confident and collaborative: husbands participate more in child care–and baby naming.
1974. The first issue of People magazine accelerates fascination with celebrity culture, parents start to be increasingly influenced by names stars give their babies.
2000. The Internet inspires parents to search genealogy sites for old family names.