Category: name remorse
By Sarahbeth Caplin
First day of fourth grade: the teacher takes attendance with strict efficiency. Since my last name begins with C, I am the fifth student called. “Sarah Caplin?” I raise my hand. By the time she gets to the end of the list, it is apparent that Sarah is the female name of choice: there are four Sarahs in our class of a dozen students, which Mrs. F thinks is hilarious. She places us all at the same table: Sarah K, Sarah M, Sarah W, and myself. It was not the first time I had to be differentiated by my last initial, and it wouldn’t be the last.
And dammit, I was already tired of it.
My parents told me, “We just liked the name; we had no idea it was so popular.” It never occurred to them that giving me a name from the Bible with timeless appeal (why else do so many women have it?) and no pronunciation problems in the English-speaking world would be such a burden to me. As an adult introvert, I’m okay blending in, but Childhood Me was the opposite. How could I stand out with a classic baby name shared by so many?
Nameberry was quoted last week in news stories all over the world about a new study that claimed 10 percent of parents regret their baby’s name. The reports ranged from this one in the Huffington Post to a piece in Britain‘s Daily Mail that found its way to the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera and on to Jezebel.
There were many questions on whether the 10 percent figure could possibly be accurate, though a story last year put the figure even higher, at 20 percent. So we decided we’d bring it back to you with a poll of our own. Any regrets about your own name choice? And if so, why?