Category: new baby names
With the new US popularity list due out in less than a month, we thought it would be fun to look at today’s most popular baby names and guess which similar choices might move in to replace them — if not at the next tally, then at some point in the future. Â Our picks:
Sophia â€“ Sister names that might theoretically replace the gorgeous classic Sophia include her cuter, more irreverent French cousin Sophie, which has risen from obscurity over the past 30 years to reach Number 51, and Seraphina, which has never been in the Top 1000 but is finding favor thanks to its choice by Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck.
Being a name nerd used to be hard work.
Do you remember paging through lists of Olympic medalists in the paper, gazing at name plaques in art museums, seeking out family trees in history books at the library?Â Did you know exactly which days the local paper ran birth announcements?
Then you must be a thirty-something or better name nerd.
I borrowed my motherâ€™s only baby name book and kept it on my bookshelf, between Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew.Â I read it obsessively, even the small print listing nicknames and foreign variants.Â That long lost book is where I fell in love with Libby andÂ Nan, Katrinka and Alexei.
So many stories about twenty-first century baby naming trends are dismissive.Â They claim parents are trying too hard for their children to stand out and be unique.
Maybe that happens some of the time, but to me it seems straightforward.
With access to all of these fabulous names, why wouldnâ€™t we consider a wider range of possibilities?
The truth is that a century ago there were scores of invented names, names with kreeative spellings, surnames and words turned first names, gender crossovers, and trendy choices that were there today and gone — very very gone — tomorrow.
And then down toward the bottom of the Top 1000, below such oddities to our ears as Milburn and Mafalda, are names that seem eminently “normal,” even cool, in the modern world like Lilah and Reid, Lexie and Reese.
A while back we did a blog called Not Your Mother’s Baby Names, about names that fail to bridge the gender gap. That post focused on newly-minted names that the older generations may not get, but those aren’t the only kinds of names that don’t translate across the generations. Â
Mom may have liked perky cheerleader names — Kerry, Missy — while you prefer serious Biblical names — Abraham and Lydia. Â Time-honored choices such as August and Imogen that sound classic and handsome to you may feel hopelessly dowdy to her.
The fact is, each generation tends to reinvent baby names anew, gravitating to new choices and new tastes in names. It’s how we make our name choices our own — but by definition, that may mean that Mom (and Dad and Grandma and Aunt Sue) fails to like or understand them.