Confessions of a Name Heretic–or, in defense of Jayden

Watch out, Berries–today’s guest blogger, Claire Shefchik, has plenty of bones to pick!

Since the age of six, I’ve loved names.  Back then, whenever I renamed myself, I was Crystal (spelled Christal) and later, Jordan.  These days, I prefer Presley to Penelope, Jayden to Jasper.  In the novel I’m writing, two of the main characters are Dempsey and Vaughanfemale characters. Eek!  That’s right, I am a name heretic.

When, a few years ago, I came across the Nameberry-led community of Internet naming enthusiasts, I thought I’d found heaven (sorry, “nevaeh”).  But I found myself, more often than not, at odds with my fellow “name nerds.”  Many claim to be open-minded and liberal, but are much more rigid in their approach to naming than you’d think, especially when it comes to names popular with, as one poster put it, “the WalMart set.”  Another poster declared her goal was to encourage “classically-named babies,” which let’s face it, is just a euphemism for “babies with names of which I, as the self-appointed arbiter of taste, approve.”

One “rule” I quickly ran afoul of concerns unisex names–which, I’ve often been informed, don’t really exist.  “Unisex” just means “boys’ names on girls.”  Even if this is so, I fail to see the problem. Like it or not, the sexes are perceived differently, and choices like Dempsey, Vernon or Monroe are so clunky that I would never even consider saddling a son with them.  But for some reason, slap them onto a pretty girl and presto.  Magic. That’s how the mermaid in “Splash” single-handedly started the Madison phenomenon, and I guarantee that if you’d been sitting in that movie theater back in 1984 (or were),  even you would have thought, “Hmm, on her, that’s actually kind of pretty.” So why the gasps of horror when I say I would consider naming a future daughter Harrison?  These are the same people who have yearly panic attacks when they see names like Mackenzie and Marley inching up the girls’ popularity list.

Which brings us to Jayden (and for that matter, Ryker, Colt and Ace).  Two words: Smokin’ hot.  But I’m 26.  When it comes to choosing between Jayden and a name-nerd hero such as, say,  Atticus,  my thought process is still, “Which one would I rather date?” instead of “Which one would I rather pick up from preschool?”  I tend to go for bad boys with girly good looks,  and I just know Jayden will be skinny and grow up to get tattoos and wear his hair long, whereas Atticus, to me,  screams “sweater vest.” Granted, I’m picturing an adult,  not a kid, but isn’t the one piece of naming advice we can all agree on is that you should name a person, not just a baby?  Seriously, parents, your child will one day be a lovelorn young adult.  Give him a leg up in the dating world, please.  Anyway, when someone knocks Jayden, what they’re really reacting to is not the name itself, but the “aden” rhyme epidemic, of which Jayden just happens to be the most successful product.  Don’t hate him because he’s beautiful.

I’ve considered that I’m stuck in the naming equivalent of a rebellious stage, and this is all just a result of some unhealthy obsession with nonconformity. It’s the only explanation I can think of for my strange affinity for Hortense.  But remember, there’s a difference between actual nonconformity (naming your daughter Hortense) and what sometimes passes for nonconformity on Nameberry (naming your daughter Hazel, along with four other couples on your hip urban block).  The ugly truth is, those blogosphere darlings I’ve noticed popping up over and over again–Barnaby and Beatrice, Esme and Ezra–are just as trendy as the so-called “trendies.” The only difference is that these trends are smaller, so people can follow them and still feel superior.

All that said,  for me, marriage and kids are still a long way off.  My whole approach will probably change once motherhood is nigh, and the unnamed in question are my own children rather than fictional characters.  More than likely, the ‘berries’ will have the last laugh when I end up with Olive and Milo rather than Jagger and Pilot.

Claire Shefchik is a freelance writer and editor now living in Minnesota; she has contributed to PopMatters, AOL, and The Budget Fashionista, and is working on a young adult novel.  Find her on LinkedIn and Twitter @clairels.

So, Berries, how do you respond?


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85 Responses to “Confessions of a Name Heretic–or, in defense of Jayden”

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Scrambledmegs Says:

September 19th, 2012 at 11:58 pm

This is probably my favorite blog post in a long, long time! I often feel the “holier-than-thou” opinions of naming traditionalists on the forums. I’m also 26 and came to this website not because I was looking for the perfect name for my offspring, but because I simply love and appreciate names. I mean, I name everything. I name inanimate objects! Which allows me to un-limit myself. I can name my bicycle “Lisa” and my cat “Renegade” and see the beauty in both.

Rin Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 12:16 am


sahd721 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 12:16 am

THIS. I LOVE THIS. One of the better blog posts I’ve read on names! Gets right down to it, with out all the fake BS. Love it. YOU GO GIRL – Go with Jayden.

PS – Love the part about the skinny/tattooed/long haired boy…

baileystar Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 12:21 am

Amen! I do find these trendy-is-bad and if-it’s-on-the-top-1000-it’s-off-my-list and you-should-be-punished-for-naming-your-child-Jayden attitudes here, but there’s nothing wrong with being trendy!

mkenison Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 12:21 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel like you climbed into my head and wrote down the inner monologue that is always playing when I am reading Nameberry forums. Not that I don’t enjoy the name snobbery that runs rampant, but its nice to hear from a fellow “heretic”.

WaltzingMoreThanMatilda Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 12:22 am

Very funny, and a lot of it is very true.

I do think once you actually have a baby boy though, you won’t be thinking of him as someone to date!

Laura Kathleen Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 12:30 am

As another 26-year-old can I say I love this post too! I’d never really thought about it before but it’s the popularity of the name Jayden that has always made me dislike it. Rather than the name itself. Nameberry really is a world unto itself, sometimes when you surface from it you realise the names people hate on the forums are really not so bad. Nameberry opens up so many possibilities to us but it can also make us paranoid about considering a name that is overly popular. Still Nameberry is an addiction I will never give up. Great post!

niiskuneiti Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 12:48 am

Props for the point of view. I especially appreciate your point that parents are in charge of naming a person, not just a baby – you’re naming a student, a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, an artist, a doctor, a teacher, a husband, a wife, a parent, a grandparent!

I think you touched on something really important when you mentioned the comment about “The Walmart Set.” Sometimes issues of race and class are lurking beneath the surface when it comes to naming disputes. Naming forums have a tendency to praise what are typically upper-class white names and scoff at naming styles popular among working class, Black, or otherwise marginalized communities. I’m not saying that preferring Atticus to Jayden makes you a racist in any way, but it’s worth examining why you might think one name is inherently better than another.

Why the joke about La-a (La-DASH-ah)? Is anyone really picturing her as white? What is someone really saying when they label a group of names “the Walmart set?”

Thanks for the article!

ellieberry Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 12:51 am

Opinions are like names: everybody’s got one. Great post 🙂

wednesdaysnow Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:20 am

Haha, I think it’s funny what you said about Atticus and Jayden! I actually know an Atticus who is more like the Jayden you described, and I know a Jayden who is very studious and hard working.

gwynicole Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:22 am

Great article! Makes me reevaluate my name snobbery. I guess I like the “what sometimes passes for non-conformity” names best.

susan.n Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:24 am

This post is perfect on so many levels. I was cracking up-love it!

The part about Jayden/Atticus is my favorite.

Skylark Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:27 am

You say a guy with “tattoos” who wears “his hair long” and I think “guy who will beat his wife and cheat on her.” You say “sweater vest” and I think “stability, love, and sensitivity.” Try to picture sweater vest in Walmart. Now try to picture tattoo jerk in Walmart. There you go.

RachelLeah Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:56 am

This is funny and well written. I’d like to hear the author’s take on unique spellings. You like Jayden so how about Jaedyn, Jaidinn, J’Aidon?

Saranel Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:58 am

My husband wears his hair long and has a tattoo on his arm that he got when he was 16. He also wears argyle sweater vests. Yes we do shop at Walmart on occasion but he is definently not the type to “beat his wife and cheat on her.” Please don’t make assumptions about people just because they fit a stereotype.

lahdeedah Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 2:15 am

I agree with this SO much! I used to frequent the forums daily but find myself spending less and less time here as peoples elitist attitudes shine through. I just think there’s so much worse that could happen to a kid than to be named “Jayden” or to (God forbid!) share a name with another kid in his/her class. I also find my eyes bugging out of my head when a poster tells an expectant mother that giving her daughter a “boy” name *obviously* means she wanted a boy and is anti-feminist.

I too tend to look at names in a “would *I* date someone with a name that that?” But then, I’m 19, unconventional and not attracted to sweater vests either. 😉

Annnd, the stereotypes that seem to be tossed around. Skylark is a PERFECT example. Please, lets continue socio-economic and racial stereotypes based solely on a persons name. (rolling my eyes here) I know plenty of “well-to-do” men who are often revered in their communities who have turned out to be wife beaters and plenty of hard working, blue collar, walmart shopping men who are through-and-through family men.

Skylark Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 2:18 am

First impressions, Saranel. And relax . . . he only has one tattoo. It’s the confederate flag on the neck that would be a dead give away. Or perhaps the swastika on the forehead. Those are the type of “bad boys” I think we all want to avoid.

Llama_Lord Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 3:24 am

I will just say that what you said, skylark, is offensive on so many levels. It is exactly that elitist attitude that is so irritating to me about this site.

A classical/stylish name is not a guarantee that your child wil grow up to be upper class, posh, intellectual, succesful, whatever. And a trendy name does not make someone trash.

upswingbabynames Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 4:43 am

@Laura Kathleen: I was going to say the same thing, Jayden is not a bad name, just too popular. And in 10 years Atticus could be very popular and will probably see a backlash on nameberry 🙂 Some nameberries (at least me) like to find the next Jayden.

Also loved the tattoo vs. sweater vest comparison. I like the guys who can pull off the sweater vest AND the tattoos. That’s why I like Julius, because in my mind a Julius can pull off both. Julius rides a motorcycle and writes poetry.

TheFutureMrsB Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 5:01 am

I wouldn’t say I’m heretic but I so like some uncommon names on some random things. My car is Johan but my iPod is Sir Peter the Panda the III.
As for kids I’d just as soon name my son Claymore as Isaac or my daughter Skye over Lilith, Delilah or Avery.
What gets me is my sister’s fascination with taking a masculine name and changing the spelling to make it feminine and then wanting to name a daughter that. Devynn and Tylyr are not less masculine in sound than Devon and Tyler.
And whoever said that putting masculine names on girls makes the namer anti-feminist, out of curiousity my friend is Kelsey Anne and he’s a boy.

Jesba Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 5:31 am

This post made me smile. A lot of the names the poster is defending are (I think) literally not my style, bu the fact that they’re the style of so many other people isn’t why, it’s about sound and a preference for history over newness. But I agree 100% that there are many who post on these forums who really need to change their classist attitude in both respects – both that certain names are “only” used by working class people, and second of all that there is something “wrong” with being working class. While perceptions are important to consider in naming a child (I do think a William Robert has an advantage over a Billy Bob, even if he’s called Billy Bob day to day), the reality is that the vast majority of people aren’t going to have the turn-up-the-nose reaction to say, Ashlyn or Kenzie or Jayden, that the majority of people on here have. Same for spelling variations. While a truly difficulty spelling actually is likely to cause some practical difficulty for a child (let’s say, Ah’nesti for Honesty), some creativity in spelling actually isn’t something that most people think more than 2 seconds about, if at all (i.e., Honestie).

Mego0801 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 7:08 am

Wow! After reading the comments I have to say, I never knew there was a problem with shopping at Walmart! I live in a small town, we only have a Walmart, everything else is an hour away. Plus why would I be stupid enough to shop somewhere else and pay more money for the exact same stuff?? Anyways…

I disagreed with alot of this post! My reason for not liking boy’s names on girls is because I really believe it’s almost impossible for boys to get the name back. Unisex names exist, but very few of them imo. I kinda feel like people want to be creative and bold, but instead of doing research (which takes time, trust me) to find a girl’s name that would work perfectly, they just pick a common boy’s name for a girl.

I dislike Jayden (and all the aden names) because I feel the last part gets mispronounced (Jay-dn instead of Jay-Den), the ‘e’ gets lost and that bugs me!!!! Also, when I see Jayden I think of a boy that never had to work hard in life, his parents gave him everything, and a girl Jayden would be like one of those toddler pageant girls. Atticus would be the one with tattoos, playing guitar in a metal band. But I also know that my opinion of the name is not how a kid with that name would turn out. And tattoos and long hair have NOTHING to do with the person inside, ink doesn’t go on your personality, out goes on your skin.

I do really agree about the ‘small trends’ part, I don’t like most of the popular names on Nameberry in the forums, and I really don’t like the ‘give your kid a nickname before they’re born’ trend that seems to be really hot on NB right now. I feel like alot of names are really talked up on the forums, but no one actually uses the names, because their ‘husband doesn’t like it’ our whatever reason.

The line about the other 4 hip parents on the block seriously made me laugh out loud, thanks for that!! 🙂

starophie Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 7:53 am

This post needs to become the example for all people who post on this site. Claire is posting an extremely controversial point of view, but is doing it with grace, wit, and a smidge of badassery. She doesn’t, actually, care what any of us think about her – HER opinions are the ones that matter, not the fact that the outspoken majority of those here would judge and turn up our noses at her choices.

I, too, have felt persecuted at times. I like names with nicknames. I like nicknames, period. I think that people who intentionally choose a given name because of its lack of nickname potential are the same people who will not let their children sleep at their friends’ houses or go to parties or live in a college dorm. But the thing of it is, if someone posted in a forum saying that they desperately needed a name for their unborn child and under NO circumstances could anyone shorten it to anything ever, I would push my own feelings aside and help out. Because, in the end, it’s THEIR child, not ours.

I ask that you follow Claire’s lead, berries, because I think we all have a bit of growing up to do when it comes to conversing on the internet. Follow the golden rule!

p.s. @upswingbabynames I totally agree about Atticus/Jayden! And Julius…can you say yum? :3

klcalder2 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 7:55 am

Thanks for the great article! It’s people like you that make me think twice about how I react to names. Even if I don’t like some of the names you like you’re still a cool person and that kid you’ll have one day will probably also be super cool, no matter what said cutie is named. Besides, I fell onto a trend wagon while naming my daughter and I finally told myself that that’s ok. You can’t change what people think, but you can surely be tolerant and kind about it :)!

vanessaaball Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 7:58 am

Looks like we could all use a tall glass of tollerance.

As name lovers, we in turn have those names that irritate like a nagging mosquito. While we share our opinions let’s try and remember that someone out there LOVES that name we rip to shreds.

blush Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:03 am

I am a namer through and through. But for goodness sakes, name your child what YOU like. I am not a fan of Jayden, mostly because of Hayden, Brayden, Cayden, Aiden, Zayden, and all of their spelling equivalents. That makes the trend way broader than then vintage-chic trend (which, by the way, I won’t use either).

I try to think long-term. The -ayden trend will inevitably date to exactly this time period. As will Madison, Emma, Ella, et al. But if trends, or popularity, or something being “dated” in 15 years don’t bother you, more power to you! You certainly have more options to choose from!

Plus, popular names are popular for a reason. You’ll have a lot of others in real life, who totally get your style.

Lo Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:14 am

My hubby and I have picked super classic names but the ones most berries would consider boring or over done so I don’t really fit the nameberry trends or the Jayden trends. For example, one of my sons is Mark which I never see recommended by berries. But I like reading and posting anyway.

bluejuniper Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:22 am

It’s great to see such an entertaining post, and such lively responses 🙂

I loved this post! While not personally a fan of Jayden, I love Aiden, and quite like Brayden & Hayden, but they all get tarred with the same brush – i.e. dislike for the popularity of the “ayden” trend. I can understand not wanting your child to have the same name as every second child you meet, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad names.

Like everyone, there are some names that just make me cringe. But all that means is that I know that’s one less name I have to add to my evergrowing list 🙂

Thebeijaflor Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:27 am

Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. All kids names Jayden are not the offspring of stupid people – in the same way that naming your child Camilla or Beatrice doesn’t mean you are upper class or intelligent.

There is a difference between people acting superior and people being sensitive to Common stereotypes and thinking about their child’s future and how they will be perceived. Aside from the fact i dont like the look of the name Ryker and dislike the American feel of it, I think it would be unfair to name my child Ryker purely because of the preconceptions people would have about him. And that goes for names that try to hard to be posh, too. Both extremes are unappealing.

I don’t like Atticus but I imagine an Atticus to be a cool guy, an intelligent guy. A Jayden, in my mind, is a boy that never becomes a man, unreliable and a thinks he is the best think since sliced bread.

It’s interesting how people can have such different feelings about the same name!

templekat Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:32 am

I love this post – thank you for it. My feelings are similar, which is why I’ve pretty much always avoided the forums. I try and avoid ‘elitists’ whenever possible. I find their attitudes just promote negativity and hate and really bring me down. Why would I want all that negativity to permeate a subject I usually find so enjoyable?

mrstrivette Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:35 am

like, Like, LIKE!!!

sillysheila Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:45 am

To me, this stance is just like the one it is fighting against. The “I like Jayden, get over it” sentiment is the same as the “I hate Jayden, get over it” sentiment. Everyone has their own style of names. Mine happens to be old-fashioned, classic names. I long to name a child Agatha or Frederick. But in real life, I am shot down. My family and friends hate these names and they aren’t shy about saying so. This is the only place where my style is (at least) a little more popular. Agatha and Frederick are much more likely to have problems with their names in the real world than the super-trendy Jayden. Out there, the names I love are made fun of. And I feel alone. But here, some (not all) people actually like them. They think like I do and I am no longer alone.

And I think sometimes this feeling makes me view Nameberry as my sort of clubhouse. I can be myself here and not shy away from expressing my opinions on names I really love. I don’t usually reply to posts on names I dislike. (And trust me, there are thousands of names I don’t like.) I think that some people can be a bit more kind when discussing names they dislike and that some posters (when asking for opinions) are really asking, “don’t you just love this name?!” But, I guess I feel that because there are obviously MANY people who love trendy names and alternate spellings, do you really need praise from us, as well?

People are certainly going to feel that the names they like are the best names. Sometimes, this can be for pretentious reasons. But naming a child Atticus because they feel it sounds classy, is no less of a reason than naming a child Jayden because you think it sounds sexy. Kudos to you for standing up for yourself, but don’t get upset if I do the same.

R_J Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:47 am

I like this post because it calls out some classist attitudes I have seen on here, it avoids casting ALL berries at elitist, and she ends the post with a self-aware, humorous tone. I do feel a little bad for posters that get very few replies when they are looking for a middle name for little Kinley, while meanwhile the Beatrice thread has three pages. I’m probably guilty of this.

LexieM Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thank you for the well argued and respectful blog. I often feel that if you don’t like a name simply stating that it’s nms (not my style) in a thread says it all. Like your mother taught you “if you have nothing nice or constructive to say, don’t say anything”. So Claire, thanks for giving those who might feel a little misunderstood a well written voice.

What I love about nameberry threads is that it makes me reconsider how I think of names. I used to find nature names a little odd, but they have grown on me immensely. This is because, when people ask for advice or thoughts on names I go do some research. Not super in-depth research, but at least I give it a try and hope that my suggestions spark a thought in them that leads to a name they love. So while Jayden is nms and Atticus hasn’t grown on me yet, I’m looking forward to reading about the names everyone loves and hope it will expand my own thoughts and opinions. Cheers!!

labmama Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 10:05 am

I really enjoyed this post! I’m among those that don’t like Atticus or Jayden!

When it comes to forums, I don’t usually reply if I don’t have anything nice to say. If I feel I have some insight, though, I try to answer respectfully and kindly. Too often I see people jump straight to bashing the name AND the person who made the original post.

For the record, I don`t think you can judge a person by their name or their tattoos!

carlson.camille Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 10:08 am

So funny! Claire, kudos. I agree through and through that the attitudes of some berries could use a good comb through, but that isn’t to say that they should shy away from expressing their opinions. Simply stated, the forums are there for advice. If someone is asking for an opinion on names: give your opinion, just BE NICE. I, too, feel that many berries “understand” me more than people in the real world when it comes to names- very rarely do i propose a name to my boyfriend or family that they are as excited about as I am! When it is all said and done, nameberry is a place for CIVIL exchange of naming opinions, which we are all entitled to.

rowangreeneyes Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 10:17 am

I’m so glad someone made a post about this! I have my own style but I believe Nameberry should be a site where everyone can come for advice and suggestions no matter what their style is. I love unisex names and I definitely feel picked on when I post about my name choices, even though I only have 2 unisex names on my girl’s list right now. I generally dislike “trendy” names but I totally understand why some people like them and I have met plenty of educated, classy people with daughters named McKenzie or Brinley and sons named Aiden and Jayden.

As for the image of names, your children are much more influenced by their parent’s lifestyle and backgrounds than their names. If your parents are into tattoos and punk rock, you have a greater chance of being into those things as well. If both of your parents are Harvard graduates that love to read classic literature, you will probably follow that path in life. Names don’t matter that much, it’s parenting that matters.

Danni Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 11:09 am

Great article, Claire! I think you’ve done well to point out a double standard that tends to exist when it comes to naming elitism: if you choose a popular or trendy name/differently spelled name/nickname/etc., then you’re child is cursed and you the parent are illiterate, low-class, or unintelligent. However, if you pick a “classic,” “hip,” or a name that’s not commonly used, your child will be blessed with a prosperous life… It doesn’t make a lot of sense, and, as other pps have pointed out, there are a lot of class and race issues underlying this view on names.

PinkPenguin87 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 11:14 am

@ Skylark:
So…what you’re saying is, as a Mommy who has numerous tattoo’s and piercings AND who shops at Wal-Mart, that I must beat my children? Is that right? Why don’t you come down off your high horse and join the rest of us? The name doesn’t make the person. I’m an Elizabeth, just about as classic of a name as you can get and yet I wouldn’t look out of place at a Metallica concert. Does that make me a bad mother? Of course not. Judging someone by their name or where they shop is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

PinkPenguin87 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 11:14 am

Oh, and now that I’m done ranting, I loved this article!!! It’s one of the best blogs I’ve read in a while on this site!

maple_blythe Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 11:41 am

I’m also 26 (and a freelance editor, too). I like your sass and your heartfelt defence of some of the names that don’t get much love on the forums here. And I *definitely* agree that naming a person, not a toddler, should be top priority.

Some things I see differently from you, though, and probably more along the lines of Nameberry Orthodoxy. Jayden is the guys’ guy, the dude who just refuses to grow up. Colt, Ryker, Ace? I’m not picturing men I’d trust. Just perpetual man-boys, who behave at 30 they same way they did at 17. I’m not a fan of Atticus either, mind you. Atticus seems like the sort of guy who’d make a snide remark about the ‘Wal-Mart set’ from the safe and stylish confines of his handmade Icelandic sweater vest (while framing his Ivy League diploma, which he thinks he earned on his own merits, completely oblivious to all of the advantages he’s been granted since birth). Equally ick. There is plenty of middle ground, both in men and in naming style.

That said, isn’t your comment about what ‘passes for nonconformity on Nameberry (naming your daughter Hazel, along with four other couples on your hip urban block)’ just as derisive (and classist) as a snide reference to the ‘Wal-Mart set’? Let’s set this aside already!

As for rebellion vs. conformity in boys’ names, if the name ends in n, it conforms.

People have an enormous range of taste and style in names, and it can’t always be predicted by geography, education, age, income, or anything else. With the internet, we have access to a glorious amount of name-related information. We can tell which names are and are not commonly given to kids in dozens of countries, and in the case of the US and the UK, we can even see which names are used rarely but steadily, and which ones have been all but forgotten about. And that’s what makes it all so much fun; having all of that information at our fingertips (or at least, that’s what does it for me).

Wildsyringa Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I remember not long ago someone on a naming forum suggested that people aren’t truly “name enthusiasts” until they can see both the appeal of ALL names, not just the ones on their personal love/hate lists. Honestly, I just love names! All names. Modern names, old names, fusty names, boring names, dated names, trendy names, popular names, unisex names. Love them all. My personal tastes might fit in with the vintage granny-chic trend, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t also enjoy all the other options that are out there. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just appreciate the diversity of our tastes and stop pitting one style against another?

jbdcampbell Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

“Atticus seems like the sort of guy who’d make a snide remark about the ‘Wal-Mart set’ from the safe and stylish confines of his handmade Icelandic sweater vest (while framing his Ivy League diploma, which he thinks he earned on his own merits, completely oblivious to all of the advantages he’s been granted since birth).”

A bit off-topic, but why does Atticus have this reputation? The character from TKAM was a compassionate public defender in rural Alabama, for Pete’s sake!

mjhatcher Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Great post!

ejs82 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

So you feel marginalized on nameberry because you like the name Jayden? If you name your kids Jayden and Madison, you’ll get mainly positive reactions from other young parents in real life- these names are decidedly mainstream. I like coming to Nameberry because I find other people who share my personal style (I love the old-lady names). When we announced our daughters names to family and friends, we got a lot of raised eyebrows and whispers behind our backs, so it was nice to hear from people who don’t think I have terrible taste.
The elitism is just people who are insecure. No one should feel the need to justify or defend their taste.

ScarlettsMom Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I loved this article. I too used to be all over the NB forums and then gradually stopped because I was tired of seeing the same kind of thing over and over. If you don’t agree with the “nameberry style” then these forums can be a lonely place!

I think it’s so funny how people have completely different impressions of the same names. I know Ryker gets a lot of hate on here, but I know a ten-year-old Ryker who is a bright, sweet-natured, mature boy who I could never imagine being violent. I see Ryker as a surname name, not a weird homage to a prison or violence (Rikers Island was named after a Dutch man.)

That same friend (mother of Ryker) thought about naming her second son Atticus and I advised her against it because I just couldn’t imagine it on a young person. And now that I know the little boy (who was named Carson) I especially couldn’t imagine him as an Atticus.

Dearest Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

This is probably the most important blog post in Nameberrey history. Thank you!

On the forums, I’ve recently tried to be conscious about which threads I reply to, the rule being ‘if you don’t have anything useful/positive to say, stay silent!’. I think a lot more of the posters should keep that in mind.

I also have to mention that I don’t like Jayden. Not because it’s popular, or it’s getting confusing with all the other names ending in -aden, but because it doesn’t tell me a story. My favourite boy name is Samson. Great story instantly comes to mind, and my favourite place in the world, where my father grew up, Samson has always been unusually popular. Same thing with Bastian, I love ‘The Neverending Story’. Or Lydia which was my great-grandmother’s name, and I somehow look just like her. Oleanna is my absolute favourite for girls, she would be named for my father, and I’m also reminded of Norwegian Violinist Ole Bull who bought a lot of land in America and dubbed it Oleanna, his own state or something that never came to be. It’s a good story. I realise that all these names are pretty much in the ‘sweater-vest’ territory, like Atticus (which I don’t like because there are so many sharp sounds in it, it seems unbalanced sonically), but they’re the ones with the stories, so they’re the ones I like.
Jayden tells me nothing.

I’m the same with music, I prefer music that tells a story, like song cycles and concept albums. I also have an aversion to a lot of jazz because all the story I’m able to grasp from it is ‘we’re really good musicians’.

Jennai Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I dislike this new tradition of giving girls boys’ names. Vice versa it doesn’t happen. That is what bugs me most about it.

caroline147 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Hmm, interesting blog, but I’m not sure that offensive stereotypes are a good way to fight offensive stereotypes! Although some of this is spot on (especially the point about berries thinking they’re avoiding trends by simply following smaller trends), it came across as merely inverse snobbery in parts. If we want increased tolerance, I don’t think implying a Jayden will somehow grow up to be innately sexier than an Atticus (whilst simultaneously deriding the idea that classic names could give a child a leg up) or dismissing Hazel as only used by hipsters is the way to achieve it. I particularly disagreed with the suggestion that those who favour classic names really mean that their taste is necessarily superior (surely everyone who favours a particular style of name believes that style is superior anyway?).

What was most offensive though is that this blog, and moreso the comments, tar all berries/classic name-lovers/anti-Jayden types with the same brush. Stereotyping is wrong both ways. It isn’t any better to suggest that all those who are anti-Jayden must be elitist snobs (and perhaps are even subconscious racists/classists!) than it is to suggest that all those who love Jayden must be members of the ‘Walmart Set’ (a term I’ve never come across before, despite frequenting the forums regularly).

I’d also like to point out that, having frequented a lot of naming sites, Nameberry forums are among the most civil and polite! Any more civility and we may even risk losing the important aspect of tolerant disagreement.

More tolerance, less preaching (from both ‘sides’). Please.

kerry_with_a_k Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I agree with the point that current Nameberry faves are just as trendy as those on the Top 10 list, although they appeal to a particular group. I’m curious, commenters, what names might have passed muster among the Nameberries of the late 70s/early 80s (the mothers to those of us deciding the current trends)?

I grew up with at least two girls in each class named Jenny, Megan, Abby, Christie, Stephanie, Amy, Lauren, Melissa and some derivative of my own name, Kerry — clearly mainstream trendy. What were the name snobs of this era naming their children?

Eos82898 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

THANK YOU! All of this definitely needed to be said. While I love names and trying to help people decide on them, the one thing that I absolutely can’t stand about this website is the elitist snobbiness (I know that’s not everyone, relax). Would I name my kid Jayden? No, but I wouldn’t judge you if you did. I can see the appeal. Some people on here act like you are a blasphemer of the highest order if you mention a name that’s popular or just isn’t their style. I was really getting sick of it, but this post has restored my faith in Nameberry.

auroradawn Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Thanks for the post, Claire. I don’t agree with all of your opinions, but I don’t need to. For me, this was a reminder to step back, take a deep breath, and be open-minded and civil when it comes to other people’s name choices.

I am guilty at times of feeling, like a pp mentioned, as if Nameberry is my own little clubhouse. I love chatting with people who share my taste in names. I don’t enjoy it so much when a name I post about is rejected. But we are here to share advice, and most of the time my fellow Berries are polite. I also try to follow the rule, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

By the way, the biggest reason I dislike Jayden is because it’s so popular it’s become boring. It’s a cute name. I’m just tired of hearing it.

And for the record–I will be 26 in two months, and though I think my real taste falls somewhere in between, I’d far rather date the sweater vest than the long-haired tattoo guy. No matter what their names are. 🙂

arunciblespoon Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I found this post quite odd, because whilst calling some berries out for being name snobs who stereotype people who like Jayden and Jordan, you also are trying to pigeonhole people who like Beatrice and Benedict. Why should picking a classic name mean that you really want people to know how clever you are? Couldn’t it just be that you find the name beautiful?

Any good points you made were lost in your own snobbery.I don’t think you need to defend loving Jayden, if you love it then that’s enough.

bre Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I find that most who like boy names on girls to be hypocritical. Would you name your son Lilly, Isabelle, Grace? I’ve never heard a yes to that question. Usually it goes ignored, because truth is it’s a no. Yet most seem fine with giving a boy name to a girl. Double standard? I think so.

You assume berries to be self righteous, when your attitude displays the same quality that you’re trying to write against.

Let’s call a spade, a spade.

raqkel Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Great article!

Nameberry has been a huge influence in my taste in names. It has exposed me to names I’d never heard of before, helped me see the appeal in names I previously did not see appeal in, and caused me to put a lot of serious thinking in naming my future children.

Yet, now I am also very worried about using popular names because I’m afraid my future children’s names will be dated after a few decades, which is something I would not like. Also, I’m worried that if I used a popular name, that I’m setting my child up to feel less unique.

Thanks for reminding me that a lot of popular names are appealing!

Daisy40 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Thank God she’s not planning on having kids anytime soon.

pixiewoo Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Great post. I agree with everything you said. Nameberry isnt exactly friendly on the forums unless you love vintage names. If you like mainstream or trendy names, then the members make you feel as if your dooming your child, that they are going to be regarded as the lower half of society. I’ve often seen freakonomics cited here as a source to support that theory, when in fact the reality is that freakonomics has no leg to stand on, there has never been any kind of significant study done to support the their name theory. I think that this article has highlighted a major downfall with nameberry, that its not a place where people can discuss all name styles, and not end up feeling beat up by the end of it.

OhLuna Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Thanks for the post, I really enjoyed reading it!

bounceparty Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Such a good post. Not that I’m really in favour of Jayden, but it definitely made me think about trendy names in a different way.

Sugarfoot Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I’m with skylark and Daisy40 on this one.

Jasminejo714 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Refreshing article! My due date is Sept. 25th, coming up quick! My husband and I are naming our daughter Rossi, a name we have both liked for many years now and yes a boy name for a girl. I was curious as to what others thought of the name so I wrote a post…Yes I opened myself to other’s opinions but I never expected people to be so rude. I don’t mind the “don’t really like it” comments it is the “It’s awful and if you name your daughter that, you are Wacked” comments that frustrate me. I had made it clear in the post that this is what her name will be, and some people went beyond a constructive opinion and straight to hurtful.
As for Mego0801, if people like boy names for girls, it does not mean they lack creativity or even that they are TRYING to be different..Possibly they merely like the sound and feel of the name like my husband and I do with Rossi. Before I began reading these name forums, I had no idea how touchy people were over the fact that some people like boy names for girls or unisex names…Yikes, sorry! Names can only say so much about a person. It is up to the parents to provide guidance, love, balance and happiness to the child, that is what makes a person, and not their name. My name is Jasmine Alvarado, I am Caucasian but my name sounds ethnic. Does it bother me that every once in a while a telemarketer might insist in pronouncing my name as Yazmeen Alvarrrrrrado? No. ITS A NAME.
As for Jayden, I love the name and I know a boy and a girl named Jayden, they are very different and they are both great kids. Hopefully this article will help the Nameberry community realize they should be here to help one another like any healthy community, and not tear each other apart with elitism and snobbery. Like I said before, opinions are fine and they’re a big part of why we are on these forums, its the attitude and severity of where some people take it that is offensive.
As for Bre, hypocritical for people liking boy names for girls and not visa versa? Silly. Many boy names used for girls are not as masculine as Lilly is Fem. Also, women can pull off menswear as a fashion statement and its a bit tougher for a man to pull off women’s inspired styles, right? Does it make the women who love the boyfriend look or a blazer hypocrites? And guess what, my friend is naming her son Jun and I love it.

Taz Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:05 pm

In defense of bad taste? Lol to each his own. But I don’t think loving classic historic names makes me a snob. I am sure the lovers of Navaeh & Jayden wonder why I don’t like “pretty” & “normal” names & have their own moments of superiority that might not be represented in these forums but exist nonetheless. Jayden might end up a hipster, he might end up a total trash bag. He might end up marrying a girl named Jaxon or a girl named Agnes or a boy named Atticus.

Aurra Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

As a young teenaged name nerd, I liked your post. Some names just sound cool to us. And, like you, when I think of a name, I am picturing it not on a baby- but a teen.

Personally, I just came across the girls’ name Elowen, and love at first site! Ellie, Ella or Wendy could be a pretty Americanized nickname. However, if I told people on here I want to name my future daughter Elowen, I’d probably get a scolding through the Internet.

And, people we know have an influence on our name opinions. I know a girl named Mia, who is sweet and bubbly, therefore I associate the name with a spunky and sweet girl. Perhaps, a bunch of girls with classic names like Evelyn, Elizabeth and Molly (making this up, because all of the girls I know named this are awesome) were mean, and therefore I’d dislike the names.

linda Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Hey berries–We were so glad to have this great blog submitted by Claire and delighted that it’s provoked such a lively debate and to see such diverse responses. Whether we agree with all her points or not, it does remind us all to be generous, civil and open-minded in our responses on the forums.
We really are proud of and do love this community that’s grown around Nameberry!
xx Linda & Pam

simkitten85 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I will always hate names like Jayden and Madison and the more misspelled they get the worse they are. I don’t believe these names have any staying power at all. Worst of all they don’t even have real meanings. Who wants to be the kid who says, “Yeah, my name doesn’t mean anything, doesn’t follow basic laws of spelling and grammar, and my mom and dad just thought it might sound cool when in reality they just look illiterate.”

No thanks.

sadlola Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I think my problem with names like Jayden, Presley, and “boy” names on girls, is bad name association. The girl Michael I knew growing up, she got knocked up at 16. The Lexi and Jaylyn I knew developed bad meth problems. So, names that fit into those categories carry bad associations to me. For my future children, I don’t think, “what boy do I want to date?” rather I think, “would this look good for a doctor or engineer?” but different priorities for different people.

blueberry1215 Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I adore this blog! Just a few days ago I saw somewhere on here that Marigold was a gusty name. Really? It’s jut a fancy version of Mary! I’m just fifteen and usually feel out of place on nameberry, surrounded by older people, and I think that my kids will have edgy names, because I’ve started thinking so much earlier. When girls my age start thinking about baby names, I will have already decided my favorites and broken down the barriers keeping me from wilder names. Or maybe I’ll have passed that phase, and will end up naming my kids something that truly has meaning to me?

I just hate finding names that I really like one month, and then realizing that they’re not “wow” enough for me the next. I’ve gone through my original favorites such as Rebecca, Katia, and Alexander. Plus, I’ve really grown to appreciate my favorite spellings…while I’ve outgrown Katia, I still like Katja.
I do like masculine names on girls, but not the “safe” choices, such as Drew and Charlie. They’re just so over-used that they seem silly, an attempt at daring. Monroe is rising quickly on my list of favorites for a girl, because of the legendary Marilyn. It’s glamorous and tough, allowing for a baby to grow into a woman and define her personality. Sadly, Harrison is a no-no for me, because my Dad adores it on a boy.

To be honest with you, when I first clicked on this blog, I could only think “I hate the name Jayden!”, but by the end of it, you had completely changed my mind. The idea of “which would I rather date?” is really great! I’ve never liked Atticus for its stuffy sound, even if the character was great.

Right now, I have no idea what my kids names will be, naturally, but I hope I’ll never fall for boring classics! XD

Claredelune Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Hilarious post! It’s great to read some good name theory–my favorite kind of Nameberry post.

I have to say, I think the rage about anyone daring to state that they make class/education assumptions based on a name is a little disingenuous. Obviously, it happens.

I don’t have kids yet, but I think I’ll be drawn to names that don’t feel too pointed towards any particular life direction. I don’t want to imprint my kids with my clear expectation for their lives with the very name I give them–ie, Alistair Athanasius, obviously intended to read philosophy at Oxford, or Ryker Jett, who will of course become a BMX biker and fulfill his father’s childhood dream–etc.

NataleeMJohnson Says:

September 20th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Great post! It’s great to see different points of view.

On a side note, I am a well-known top contributor to the baby names section of Yahoo! Answers, and I’ve been recognized in other areas of the naming community. I’ve always wanted to be a guest blogger on this website, and I’m wondering if there is any way my wish can come true.

I already have the perfect idea for a post, and it’s saved on a Word document on my computer. The idea? Alternatives to the top 100 boy names of 2011. A girl version already exists on this site, but many have been waiting for a boys’ version — which never appeared. My goal was to create a more distinctive, original, yet similar name for each name in the top 100. I spent tons of time writing and perfecting it, and I’d be psyched if it could appear on this site!

Thanks for reading this, please respond! :3

imperioustigerlily Says:

September 21st, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I second the fact that Skylark’s comment about tattooed-long-haired men are wife beaters. That’s just rude. My dad has over ten tattoos (a full sleeve actually), a goatee, works on cars and paints motorcycles. A regular southern “biker”. BUT he’s also a loving father, a caring husband, and a FANTASTIC elementary art teacher whom is loved by all. Tattoos don’t make you a bad person.

But, anyway, I did enjoy this post. Sometimes “classic” names are for you and if they’re not, you definitely shouldn’t be chastised for it. And I don’t anyone should “bash” names. You never know who has that name themselves or named their baby that. Giving opinions is one thing, but you have to remember it’s actual people you’re talking to, not just a computer screen. I think people forgot that sometimes 🙂 I personally like Hayden/Jayden/Aidan.

cristinamariane Says:

September 21st, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I think there’s a reason why some people on NB argue for more classic/timeless or unusual names and against trendy or popular names. Sometimes that reason can be as simple as “I’ve seen someone post this popular name/introduce me to their kid with this popular name x amount of time and I want to hear something different, please.” And I don’t know about arrogant attitudes on here (the worst I’ve seen is the thread on Felix for a girl) but I DO see people giving their honest opinions.

For the record, my husband has long hair and a motorcycle and he was a **** until I met him, long story, but the point is that names don’t necessarily have anything to do with looks or personality, so I think the Atticus vs Jayden point is moot. There are so many Jayden’s that each will be completely different. I would rather date or raise the Atticus described than the Jayden described. And when I think about names and popularity I’m trying to put myself in my kid’s shoes. I didn’t like sharing a popular name and craved something more unheard. And one more thing, people are going to judge you and the name you picked regardless of where it ranks on the charts or where you live.

Hayley88 Says:

September 22nd, 2012 at 8:54 am

Interesting article!
I must admit that Jayden and all it’s variants are unappealing to me. I first heard the name when my brother was born over 16 years ago. A young woman on the same ward as my mum named her son it. No idea on the spelling.

I will admit that I would deliberately avoid using names that are “low class” or “common”. This probably makes me a bad person,but the class system is alive and well in the UK and continues to have an impact on everything a person does in their life. It’s also a far older class system than Americas,with untold levels in the class hierarchy.

I genuinely like names like Hermione,I think it sounds beautiful. I also love Jasper,I like the history (Jasper Tudor,uncle of Henry VIII).

Names like Olivia are lovely,very much in the sphere of girls names I like. But I wouldn’t use it,because someone I know used it and I don’t like her! I admit that I make judgements about the parents of Jaydens,Ellie-May’s,Ruby’s (it is far from unusual in the UK),Riley’s . But those parents are just as quick to make judgements about parents who name their children Jasper. So it’s six of one,half a dozen of the other.

If Hermione became astronomically popular. By this I mean top 10, i would use it still. Because i love it. though I like relatively unusual names, a name doesn’t have to be outside the top 1000. In the UK Jasper is fairly unusual but far from unheard of. Probably in the top 200, at a guess. I think to deliberately seek a name outside of the top 1000 is a bit…much.

There is a difference between loving an unusual name and seeking one out to be different.

I think it unfair that people judge small children by their names. They didn’t choose them after all. Judge the parents not the child! I must admit certain names do carry certain preconceptions. For example,Kyle. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think “absolute horror” when Kyle is suggested dicussed. I knew one. He was indeed an absolute horror,destined for prison,where he duly spend some time.

I think it a little odd to name a child on the basis of “I would like to date someone with that name though”. People don’t become date able or not because of their name (generally speaking) it’s their personality and okay,let’s face it…looks.

Hayley88 Says:

September 22nd, 2012 at 9:05 am

The main bugbear I have on nameberry is yes,of course,boys names on girls. I am one of THOSE people. But I have a particular hatered for cultural ignorance…that is using a name from one culture on one gender,then using it for the opposite gender in your culture
But more of that when I (eventually) finish my guest blog.

Biancah Says:

September 22nd, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I struggle with the Jayden,Caden, Brayden crew and maybe the connotations are different in the US but it screams of fake Burberry prints, matching shell suits and pitball terriers to me. Imagine it being screamed it out through the gob of a woman with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and an energy drink the other “Jayden, don’t chase those kids with that axe”. That is all the name conjures for me. I’m all for bad boys in your 20’s but I draw a line between a bit arrogant and darn sexy to a teeth to tattoo ration that would make Pete Doherty weep. Sorry, I couldn’t do an Aiden, Jayden etc on that basis.

cnd0020 Says:

September 22nd, 2012 at 9:50 pm

*slow clap*

Me likey!

skizzo Says:

September 23rd, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Boy names on girls is just wrong, period. Until people start naming their sons Isabella I’m not down with it

littlemissmariss Says:

September 26th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I love this article!! Its funny, as I’ve had a paranoia on using more popular, “trendy” names… including Jayden! I don’t picture Jayden the same way as you, but to each their own 😉

I just found out I am pregnant barely a week ago, so I’ve got a ways to go. Though I’ve had namelists since I was about six, the same as you. And especially once I stumbled upon internet communities of “name enthusiasts”, I ran into quite a few who trashed my name choices because I like Haley and Aiden… It caused me to venture out and find new names that I’ve really grown to adore. But especially after I met my man, my name paranoia has calmed. He said he loved Jacob on a boy, and my first thought was “thats so high on the SSA charts!!” and I explained how every boy in “Jacob’s” class would have the same name about, and his response was “so?” It made me reevaluate it a lot.

googoogixie Says:

September 27th, 2012 at 2:30 am

Best blog post ever!! Seriously, I get so sick of hearing over and over how great Hazel, Penelope, Mabel, Felix, Atticus, Dashiell, Jackson, etc. are. I love nameberry, but I wish some members were a little less uptight. Never been a fan of Jayden though… Lol

MilOlive Says:

September 28th, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Ummm… My kids names are Milo and Olive. No joke.

Valkyrie Says:

September 29th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Don’t go stroking your egos yet, “name heretics”. You call it “bucking the system”, thinking you’re so cool, tough and unstoppable, but I say it just makes you look like you have WAY too much growing up to do. Yes, it’s just as bad to look at the name Jayden and scoff, saying it belongs in “the Walmart set”. (I’m not quite sure what means though. I’ve never heard that term used anywhere, and I frequent the forums) However, it’s no different, if not more annoying and maddening, to say something like, “You’re such a prissy snob for liking Atticus!” (for reference, I’m not into either Jayden or Atticus)

Also, @caroline147, you brought up such a great point. Honestly, why are people praising this woman (the article author) for a blatant online hissy fit? Sounds like a serious reality check is in order here.

lorencs3 Says:

September 30th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

If you like common trendy names, why would you go looking for affirmation on naming message boards where tastes run much more eclectic? I turned to nameberry when I was pregnant so people who care deeply about names could give me honest feedback, while people in real life made suggestions like kaylee that I wouldn’t use in a million years. I dislike jayden because it was invented recently and is way too common and boring. It will always be very obvious how old you kid is. And is it just me or is it kind of gross to plan for your kid’s sexiness? There are a lot of things I want my daughter’s name to signify before what a sexpot she will be.

JamieApril13 Says:

October 2nd, 2012 at 10:37 pm

hipster parent of Hazel here, and you got it right Jaden or any of the other many spellings is one of my least favorite names ever. I love Atticus too! I think it is redicoulous you equate traditional with elitist. Sounds like your own name snobbery to me.

ali78 Says:

November 5th, 2012 at 10:47 am

I have to admitt that I laughed so hard when I read this posting…it was so funny! I also have to say I like your choice in names for your characters….I mean I have pretty much decided that I am naming my girl Tennyson Ivy! I figure if you go with a unisex name for a first name you should go with a really girly girl name for a middle and it balances out.

GIjanie Says:

December 4th, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I am surprised at the number of people who feel that commenters in the forums are rude and inconsiderate. As someone who is new to the nameberry forums, I am actually surprised at how rarely I see comments that I would consider rude and I have never heard anyone refer to the “Walmart Set.” If someone is upset by comments which merely state that a name is nms (not my style) or similar, they they are being far too sensitive – you asked for comments and should not expect all of them to be glowingly positive (though all of them should be respectful).

HandKMom Says:

May 31st, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Hi Berries,
Hello my name is Kimberly and I am a true name heretic, I have a Hayden Paul and a creatively spelled Korben Reese. (Yes, we like the -EN names at our house.)
To the poster who said these names don’t mean anything, I think you are wrong. To the namer it may mean a great deal.
My hubby has an unusual name Octavio. He wanted something latin-ish for his child He is Hispanic and I am not I loath the latin -O names( Julio et al) and the -US(Augustus et al.) names…They just aren’t my thing.
To make a long story short he started giving me names.Oh the names he gave me…. from Ceaser, Romulous and Jethro and his made up Jevus (I can hear his mom saying it Hey-boos) On his list of Roman generals one of them was Hadrian (as in the Wall).
Hadrian sounded too harsh for a little boy and odd(not an Adrian fan, Yo ADRIAN!!), so out came the name book and we compromised…Hayden it was.(See Hayden isn’t sounding so bad now is it.) We didn’t know it was trendy, it just worked and after Heybus… it was a huge improvement!!! We’ve met one 50 something Hayden and one who was a few years older than him, but so far he’s the only one around us/ There are lots of -Ens in his class, Jalen, Braylen, Reagan. They all sort of liked it, it was their ice breaker and they had something in common.

As for the creative name Korben (Thankfully this went much smoother than last time, Ah the power of veto) We liked Corbin just fine, but my son shares my birthday, so I gave him my K in honor of our birthday and we made the E change to share with his brother.
I just hate to see people bash the -Aiden names I adore them. Some of us have a reason for tweaking the spelling, Doesn’t mean we are the dumb, uneducated, unwashed mass with the plague either. ~K

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