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Category: top names

Rate Your Own Name

baby names

How much do you like your own name?

Quantitatively, we mean.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest of the low (in my book, Ethelbert) and 10 being the most wonderful gorgeous amazing name in the universe, what number do you give your own name?

As baby namers and name afficionados, it’s intrinsically interesting to analyze our own names. Rating your own name can also help you think about what qualities you want in a name for your child.  And reading how other people feel about their names over time can help you make a better informed choice of a name for your baby.

I’d rate my own name, Pamela, maybe a 6, but Pam only a 4.5.  Pamela is pretty and has literary credibility, I think, though I’ve always found it a bit prissy and precious for use in everyday life. Pam is definitely friendlier, but also plain vanilla and time-stamped to the middle of the last century, when Pamela and its down-to-earth nickname were in the Top 20 for girls’ names.

Your turn!

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What name do you hear waaaaaay too often?

a-lot-of-babies

I love the name Henry.

If our first child had been a boy, she would have been named Henry.

Then, by the time we did have a boy, I decided I really wanted to use a family name — Joseph, if you’re curious — instead.

And when we had our third child and second son, it seemed I knew too many Henrys.

There’s a Henry my youngest son’s age who lives across the street from us.  One a little older down the street.  And one a bit younger, a friend of my son’s, around the corner.

I still love the name, a strong yet stylish classic.  And yet while I feel that it’s a favorite that got away, I wouldn’t use it for a baby now because it seems there are too many Henrys in my neighborhood, my town, my life.

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Your Favorite Names from the Top 100

popbaby

Many of us at Nameberry automatically dislike names that are “too popular.”

But look more closely at the most popular names and you’ll find lots of wonderful names that deserve their widespread use.  Names that have stood the test of time, that have intrinsically pleasing sounds, that are associated with heroic characters.

So let’s this once set aside our name snobbery and own up to names we love from the Top 100 most popular names.

I love the name Sophia, for instance, and would proudly give it to a daughter or wear it myself.

Other girls’ favorites in the Top 100 include Charlotte, Claire, Alexa, Scarlett, Julia, Piper, and Annabelle.

For boys, there are even more popular names that I love.  In fact, my own two sons’ names, Joseph and Owen, are both in the Top 100.   And I also adore Elijah, Caleb, Henry, Nathaniel, Isaiah, Isaac, Thomas….almost too many to mention.

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Blue Jean Baby Names

bluejeans

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Maybe it’s because I used to be a fashion editor, but I’ve often thought that names were like clothes: coming into and going out of style, some choices enduring through the ages while others are momentary trends, everywhere for a season and then sinking from sight.

But the other day I started thinking that names are like clothes in a different way.  Some names, I decided, are like magnificent couture ballgowns – gorgeous, luxurious, distinctive, dramatic, but a bit grand for everyday use.  This may be the factor that keeps parents from choosing names like Raffaela and Orlando, Atticus and Anastasia, lovely as they may be.

More comfy and cozy, better suited to real modern life, may be the blue jean baby names.  Down-to-earth and easy to wear, these blue jean names are popular but not trendy, attractive but never showy.  With these names, you register the person first and the name second….or maybe fifth.

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photo by Elena Kalis

The big news in baby names this week has been the Most Popular Names 2012: Top 1, Top 10, Top 100, Top 1000.

But swimming just below the surface — not quite on the radar but not truly off, either — are dozens of more unusual baby names poised to find wider favor….or dropping from view.

Many Nameberry favorites exist in this limbo of baby names, including choices such as Aurelia and Wren for girls that missed making it into the Top 1000 by a single point.

Of course, that may bring relief rather than disappointment to many parents.  If you want to name your baby Magnolia or Clementine, Bishop or Langston — or already have — you may tremble on surveying the new Top 1000, hoping your favorites stay off the list.

We looked below the Top 1000 for girls and boys and found those names within 50 points of the cutoff that we felt were heading back into style, along with those sailing off into the sunset.

In raw numbers, 251 girls received the Number 1000 name Katalina while 197 boys were named Number 1000 boys’ name Dangelo.  The numbers after each name below represent the number of children given that name in 2012.

One note on the names we say are Heading Out: Some of these may appeal to parents in search of a name with Geek Chic or an unusual classic.  Hello, baby Ralph!  Or….dare I suggest….baby Pamela?

Here, the names just under the Top 1000 coming into style and heading out:

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