Category: upswing baby names
Determining what makes a name contemporary vs. what makes a name established can be tough.
For example, if a name was first used by one notable person (real or fictional) in the 17th century, but hadn’t become widespread or familiar until within the past decade, does that qualify the name as established or modern?
There may be some debate, but to me, any name that hadn’t been widely familiar or used until within the past 20-30 years is a modern name. That isn’t to say that sometimes modern names can’t have historic origins. Modern names with historic origins are new names that sound… well… old.
Here are some examples:
Fast forward to 2014 and I would be surprised to see Deborah on a birth announcement, but not on a grandmother. At the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Allison on a birth announcement but I would be shocked to meet a grandma Allison.
Yet I can imagine both names on moms.
Savvy parents looking for a name consider how well the first, middle, and last name get along (or how well the names flow).
But before we talk more about name flow, some discussion about where flow stands in the pecking order would be helpful. My motto when it comes to names, clothes, home decor, etc. is:
“Style without function causes unnecessary grief.”
Some of my favorite names are those that come across as modern but end up having a big past. These names hide their age well, giving them versatility.
Simply put, these are old names that sound new. If you are torn between the imaginative and the established, these names could be for you.
Certain names seem as likely to be on children as on their parents, but are unimaginable on grandparents and great-grandparents.
These names are modern classics, names that have been highly ranked on the Social Security list for about 30-40 years, but were very uncommon or even obscure before then.
To me, modern classics can follow two different paths. There are:
- Former revival names and,
- Former modern names.