Do you regret your child’s name? If you could go back, would you choose something less common? More mainstream? Would you use that out-there option that others dismissed as too weird? Or maybe embrace something from your family tree that felt too old-fashioned to bestow on a newborn?
Every so often a study grandly announces that a percentage of parents – in the most recent article, it was a whopping 8%, rounded up to “a tenth” for the headline – wish they could get a do-over on their child’s name. While plenty of parents report disappointment that their choice turned out to feel too ordinary, reports and comments tend to focus on the extreme cases: “Yes, I knew a couple who called their son Bullet and really wished they’d stuck with Bill.”
But I can’t help observe that parents who have picked out-of-the-box baby names seem more satisfied than those who gave it less thought. Rowan at Eponymia summed it up perfectly: “It hardly matters what the name turns out to be, but I believe naming someone is an honor, one that requires effort and thought.”
Which brings us back to one of my new categories of favorite names – blogger kids. It comes as no surprise that writers put extra care into picking names for their children.
Ottilie Valentine – The deliciously frilly, but still edgy, name of Rowan’s daughter. Her tale of spotting a related name on an athlete during the Summer Olympics, then thumbing through a short story collection and seeing it again is a great example of how, as she puts it, “the right name will find the right person.”
Coraline Audrey – She could be Ottilie’s sister, but instead Coraline Audrey is the newest addition to the Jodilightful family. She joins four sisters – Philippa Violet, called Pippa; Romilly Alice; Beatrix Joanna; and Juniper Lucy. They make for a fascinating combination of vintage and modern, classic and unexpected, and Jodi tells great stories about choosing names, too. What would they name a boy?
Drummer Zion – Speaking of naming a boy, the No Big Dill family recently welcomed kid #6 – their first son! After some thinking, the parents settled on a meaningful and inventive choice, one that fits with big sisters Divine, Pearl, Olive, Azure, and Clover.
Ends-in-o continues to be quite the stylish category, with two high-profile parents welcoming –o babies this week:
Arlo – Now on a girl, thanks to Johnny Knoxville and wife Naomi. The Knoxvilles have an older son named Rocko Akira. Bothered that one of Nameberry’s top picks for boys is now on a girl? I hear you, but Knoxville is fond of borrowing. He also has an older daughter named Madison. Call Arlo more evidence that it isn’t just ends-in-o, but ends-in-lo choices that are hot: think Marlo/Marlow, Lola and Harlow, too. I’m just waiting for a girl called Carloe.
In other starbaby news:
Emmett Emmanual – Second-generation actor Spencer Grammer, daughter of Kelsey, breaks from her family’s preference for gender neutral names with her firstborn, son Emmett. It is quite the homespun, understated choice – the kind of name that makes you wonder if Spencer might have always wanted to be known as Sarah.
Hattie Margaret – Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott have welcomed a daughter, and prompted cries of “no!” from name nerds everywhere. Sure, most of us would put Harriet on the birth certificate, but many of us were planning to be the first on the block to bring back this vintage gem.
Odds are we’ll hear something about the name choices over the next few weeks. Here’s hoping they all have great, thoughtful stories to tell.