A Letter to Jacob and Sophia

Here, with the kind permission of  writer Jonathan Anker, we’re reprinting his humorous take on the possible future effects of  megapopular names; it appeared first on the hlntv.com site.

Dear Jacob and Sophia,

You should know that your mother and I spent the better part of both her pregnancies agonizing over your names. We did the bookstore thing.  Surfed Nameberry til we fell asleep. Many nights. Had wayyy too much fun on NameVoyager and Nymbler. Talked to friends, made mental notes of names we heard shouted at playgrounds and malls.

We tested out hundreds of candidates to see how each sounded with our last name, what possible nicknames there were, teasing likelihood for each, whether we enjoyed alliterative names or hated them. And in the end, we happily selected Jacob and Sophia — or Jake and Sophie depending on whether or not you’re in trouble. And for that, we’re sorry.

Your beautiful names are once again the most popular in America, confirmed today by the Social Security Administration, which keeps track of such things. And retirement funds. Different departments, I assume. We know it’s been tough as, respectively, one of 8 and 12 kids in your class named Jacob or Sophia.

All your personalized pencils and notebooks keep going home with the wrong kids. You never know if your teacher is talking to you or those other children. Every time you think your drink order is ready at Starbucks, someone else comes and grabs it first. And Sophia, you’re 11, what are you even doing at Starbucks? We’ll talk about this later.

Your best friend, Jacob, is Jacob. This has proven weird and tricky. Though also kind of funny. It’s just what happens when your name is the most popular for newborns every single year since 1999.

Honestly, mom and I still love your names. I know you sometimes wish you had something funky and original like your little friends Flip-Flop and Bavaria, but you know what? Their parents are weird. And your names are great. And also make it remarkably easy to find personalized souvenirs at Disney World and the state fair.

If you’re still upset, you can always commiserate one day with Mrs. Davis‘ new baby. Her son, Mason, has the second most popular boy’s name. Even worse ? He was named after some Kardashian kid.


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14 Responses to “A Letter to Jacob and Sophia”

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woodwinder Says:

May 12th, 2013 at 11:42 pm

too cute and too true… this is why i am committed to giving my c hildren traditional first names but really cool and unique middle names to go by should my favorites appear in the top 100

KibaTalutah Says:

May 13th, 2013 at 1:03 am

I’m naming my baby Rose 🙂 I’ve only met one Rose in my life and no others! I meet too many Emilys, Sarahs, and Ashleys. Rose is pretty and ages well and is a name that can’t be teased.

LexieM Says:

May 13th, 2013 at 9:29 am

Awe, just too funny, true and cute.

TheClockTowerOfJoy Says:

May 13th, 2013 at 11:48 am

Funny post, but nobody should feel bad if he/she chooses unique name. Some people prefer popular, some people prefer unique names and neither choice is bad. Both choices have bad and good side, neither is more righteous than other.

tori101 Says:

May 13th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Funny post and completely true! Stable classics are the way to go, however they can become over-used but that’s mainly because the names being over-used are brilliant stable classics.

GrecianErn Says:

May 13th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

That’s great. 🙂

auroradawn Says:

May 13th, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Very funny…and I like the gentleness of the humor. Jacob and Sophia ARE great names; they’re just so, so popular. “Your best friend, Jacob, is Jacob.” Yep, it’s going to happen.

“Flip-Flop” and “Bavaria”?!? Someone, somewhere, probably has used Bavaria…

cannebella Says:

May 14th, 2013 at 11:08 am

I love this!

jenjenbarnes Says:

May 14th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

haha this is great! As a Jennifer, I knew this all too well growing up.

@KibaTalutah I have a daughter named Rose. It is so so wonderful to have a name so unique without having to name her “flip flop” :).

calypsotheoneandonly Says:

May 26th, 2013 at 8:15 am

“And Sophia, you’re eleven, what are you even doing at Starbucks? We’ll talk bout this later.” Hilarious 🙂

Great post!

thesnowwhiterose Says:

July 9th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I don’t know…megapopular names aren’t as HUGELY popular as they were in the past…there might be 2 or 3 Jacobs or Sophias in a classroom, but not 8 or 12.

CandaceMarie321 Says:

October 23rd, 2013 at 11:58 am

I have 3 Jacobs in my family: my brother, my brother-in-law, and my cousin (who is the same age as my children). It can get a little confusing at some family get-togethers.
My husband was one of three Joshes in his class and doesn’t want to use anything too popular, but he doesn’t want anything to “ethnic” or kree8tive or strange…. So we are out of options for a fourth boy (hopefully this baby is a girl).

lovingElizabeth Says:

November 7th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I wouldn’t want to name my child something too popular, just because I feel like if there are 4 or 5 kids in your class with the same name, your name suddenly doesn’t seem as special. Unfortunately, that means some of my most favorite names are out for future babies.

RainstreamofSpiritClan Says:

June 29th, 2017 at 11:59 pm

As a Tiera, I never heard my name used for other kids, though I rarely heard it used (pronounced correctly) for myself either. 😛 Most commonly I became Tee-air-uh rather than Tear-uh (Think Kira with a T). Honestly I rarely even notice it anymore. (Even my grandpa mispronounce sit sometimes!)

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