Three Cheers for the Teenberries!
By Kate Menlove
I have been an active member of the Nameberry community since 2010 when I was thirteen years old.
In fifth grade, I was obsessed with the names Britta, Delta, Olivia, Mason, and Porter. That was in 2007, so for as long as I can remember I have been a name nerd. Now, at eighteen, when I meet new people, I can tell them the meaning and origin of their name. Family members, teachers, friends, and relatives of friends come to me for name advice, which I am happy to give. The first thing I named with the help of NB was our dog, Lola.
I am currently a freshman in college, spending too much time on Nameberry (is that even possible?), and I have been trying to find a Baby Name major to no avail. Since I first joined Nameberry, I have felt a little bit left out because I am not yet having children and I feel as if my input isn’t as important. It may just be me, but I wanted to take a minute to praise all of the Teenberries on Nameberry and to highlight the special qualities they bring to the site.
I have been asked on NB what my children are named, and I’ve been tempted to make up some funky name that I would not be brave enough to use in real life (Hero Adelaide?), but I wouldn’t because it isn’t true. For some reason, I feel as if I need to hide my Teenberry self from the rest of the website, almost feeling unqualified to be here, so I mostly use it for name games and the occasional birth story stalking. I have recently started to spend more and more time looking up new names, finding meanings, and giving advice.
The question is, since I don’t have children, and won’t for at least five years, does my opinion matter? Are Teenberries as important to the Nameberry community?
I, of course, personally think that they are, that teens can bring a fresh outlook to the forums. For example, the names my mother likes and those that I like are very different. I feel as if my age group has more of a sense of what can become more popular in the future, since our peers are going to be the next generation of mothers. We can see what people in our age bloc are leaning towards and steering far away from.
Younger people are also more willing to take risks: parents tend to pick more common or classic names as they gain more perspective on the world, while young mothers often make a more daring choice. Teenberries may not be in the same situation as others on the site, but they do bring their own unique perspective.
That said, I value the opinions of Nameberry’s seasoned veterans and think that Nameberry wouldn’t be the same place that it is if it didn’t have its wide range of members, in age and geography. This is more of a call to Teenberries everywhere to be proud of your interest and passion for names. When a friend asks, “What are you doing?” and you quickly shut the screen to hide your Generations CAF, feel proud that you are one of the few name-educated people in the world. Sharing your knowledge with others, giving input on children names, dog names, and even new nicknames is a great way to entice more people to join the site and create an even wider community. A Teenberry shouldn’t stick to the Baby Name Game forum: try to share your opinion and find others who think the way you do.
Nameberry provides everyone with the unique opportunity to meet with people of all ages from all over the world and discuss a common interest So, Teenberries, let’s stand up and be proud of who and what we are!
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on March 25th, 2015 at 6:43 am
Thank you Kate! I’m glad that I am not the only one. I am a teenberry also, and empathise with all that you have written 🙂
on March 25th, 2015 at 10:35 am
Thanks Kate 😀 Great to know I’m not the only teen berry one here. I too understand when you say you’re worried your opinion won’t be valued as much because you’re “just a teen” and not a mom!
on March 25th, 2015 at 11:16 am
While I am the opposite of a teen berry (I’m 52), I too have loved names since forever and had already named my children by age seven (though of course I have changed the names a million times since). I think one is either into names or one is not and age is irrelevant. I know that if personal computers and nameberry had existed in my 1970’s teens, this is where I would have been too! 🙂
I also resonate with what you write about hoping your input is as valuable as a pregnant woman or mother’s. I tried very hard to have children and have two in heaven but to most of the planet I don’t count as a mother so I have at times felt uncertain about my place on nameberry.
On the other hand one can be an expert (on criminology, orchids, names, whatever) and not actually be a criminal or own orchids or name one’s own babies. I feel people who aren’t in the midst of having babies — teens, young adults, those with years to go before kids, people who didn’t have kids, older people – bring something absolutely crucial to nameberry.
We bring freshness of ideas, names that not everyone would choose for their child but are still wonderful names, names with a tad more vitality than some of the stale old classics. Names that are very new. Very old. Word names. Place names. Video game names.
You name it, we bring it. And that counts! 🙂
on March 25th, 2015 at 12:18 pm
I agree w/lesliemarion…I was interested in names at a very young age, but there were no personal computers, blogs, Internet, etc., back in the mid-’70s, so I just acquired name books as the years went by. Here at Nameberry I enjoy seeing everyone’s perspective, no matter what their ages are or their parental statuses are, & think everyone brings a unique slant to the discussions here. I hope that the community here continues to be inclusive of all. 🙂
on March 25th, 2015 at 12:26 pm
Great read, and I think your points are correct on what teenberries bring to the site (and more)! I agree with what everyone above said. I’m not a mother yet, but probably will be within 6-7 years (I’m 27)! I started loving names, and using this site (I hardly use any others) in college. It’s just FUN to me!
on March 25th, 2015 at 12:37 pm
I think it is also a mistake to assume that just because someone is a teenager, that they aren’t a mother. There are many teenage mothers out there that would like advice and I think a good deal of the time they are more interested in what people their own age would say than us “old folks” have to say. Us older folks aren’t stogy and boring in our tastes, in fact there are some older people that are very into unusual names. With age you gain perspective (usually) and so we’ve been there and done that. Many of the things a teenager thinks as being new and exciting aren’t really, and you’ll all learn that in time, just as we did. Many of those fresh ideas are the very ones we had at one time. But of course, that’s exactly the last thing any teenager wants to hear. I certainly dismissed it when I was that age. I think the biggest thing a teenager can do to bring helpful advice to baby naming is to be aware that their particular opinion and experience is just that, and may not reflect on broader universal truths. In fact, being a teenager generally means your experience is fairly limited, so advice about how a name performs for adult may be harder to understand. Being a teenager is only one phase of your life, and a name is for a lifetime.
on March 25th, 2015 at 12:54 pm
I remember when I first joined, I thought it was weird to be a teen on a baby name website. Now I don’t care! I’m more of a name enthusiast than expert, but still!
Thank you Pam, Linda and the community for a welcoming and accepting name site.
on March 25th, 2015 at 12:57 pm
Thanks so much for this. It’s good to know I’m not the only teenberry. ^-^
on March 25th, 2015 at 2:59 pm
Good for all the teenberries! Love the fact there is a name for your group:)
I have been a name-lover since I was 6 years old and poured through my grandma’s book about our family names.
I didn’t have my son until I was 30, so my name tastes varied a little throughout 24 years of name pairings! I also had to include my husband on the naming choose (drat!), but we ended up with a name we both love!
Your input is welcomed, and so many things to name beyond children; characters, products, animals, homes, vacations spots, groups; the applications are endless!
Sometimes I scroll through “dress” names on fashion web sites to see what they think are great names!
on March 25th, 2015 at 3:48 pm
I’ve been obsessed with names since I was very young as well. I remember taking it very seriously when we played dress up and I got to choose a new name. It would change weekly, but I always took longer than everyone else to choose my name for the day.
I joined nameberry way before I had my daughter and felt a little weird about it. I didn’t know there were people interested in names, like me, just because. This article is great. It shows that someone doesn’t have to be having babies in order to be passionate about names. Even though I’m not going to have #2 for a while, I still come to nameberry as often as when I was pregnant. I don’t want to stop loving names just because I don’t have anyone to name, if that makes sense.
Yay for teenberries and all berries.
on March 25th, 2015 at 7:21 pm
Yay! I’m a teenberry as well.
on March 25th, 2015 at 8:00 pm
My three daughters, now age 15, 17 & 20, have all spent time on Nameberry, and still do, and I love our shared name interest. Two of them are members of Nameberry.
I agree, though, with Anaxandra about teens lacking in perspective and experience. I notice this when teenberries make comments such as “I would never use_____” (popular or made-up name). Wait until you’re trying to find a name you and your partner both agree on; you may have to change your mind.
My girls come up with some wild names that I’m sure they understand they’ll likely never use. (But who knows?) It makes our discussions so interesting!
on March 25th, 2015 at 8:02 pm
Teenberry here woooooaahh
I was also name obsessed since really a young age. Blame it on my 1st grade Religion class: we had a whole unit dedicated to our names (I don’t get why either, lol). I remember having a really old book full of name definitions, and once I even brought it to my class because I thought it was so cool.
I would take ages to name my teddies, dolls and even my own name when roleplaying a family. All my friends went as “Sally” and “Mary”, and I was like, “Hi, I’m Calliope”.
Not to mention when I started to write. I spent much more time choosing the main character’s name than actually developing the story. Well, I -spend-, in present tense.
But I’m a proud name nerd and the only ones not allowed to see my Nameberry-spammed e-mail and history are my classmates. Not gonna give them another reason for them to think I’m a weirdo 🙂
I’m quite new here, and it’s good to know we are quite a lot of Teenberries. I’m definetely going to go further than the Makeover Game now 😉
on March 25th, 2015 at 10:03 pm
Teenberry and proud! (sort of…. 12 is close enough to a teen, right?)
I think many of us here can relate to name-obsession
When I started writing, I began using Nameberry much more often. You kind of become fascinated by how a person’s name affects your perspective of a character. There are people with these incredibly unique names(I, on the other hand, am simply named Michelle), and more common names can have meanings you never really thought about. I just think it’s really interesting how a name can imply something about a character, even if the meaning is completely unrelated. And the variety of names is just amazing. Old names, new names, names you didn’t even know existed till now. There are so many!
I’m new here, so it’s great to know that there are other Teenberries out there!
Yay Teenberries! 🙂
on March 26th, 2015 at 12:10 am
I am in my mid 30’s and TTC. I have always loved names, always have a journal to write my favorite names in, and always been name obsessed but I just found Nameberry about a year ago and it honestly keeps me sane. TTC is painstaking and makes you feel crazy, but Nameberry is where I can daydream and think positive thoughts and not be judged for being baby obsessed. I love Teenberries because I used to be one and because Teenberries have such a flair for the dramatic. I notice Teenberries seem to have very enchanting, elaborate and well composed combinations. I love Teenberry signatures too, they don’t hold anything back. So bravo Teenberries and thanks for the inspiration!
on March 26th, 2015 at 11:27 am
Another teen berry here! I joined at fifteen, and I was very hesitant at first, I remember thinking to myself, “Oh gosh, I’m joining a baby name website but I’m just a kid…is this even allowed? Am I going to get thrown in name jail?” But I soon realized that I wasn’t too much of a minority. In fact, I’ve made many friend on Nameberry, both young and old. Personally, I think most teenagers are rational enough that their advice should be worth just as much as that of a mother or adult. If anything, being in high school gives us a modern perspective of what works and doesn’t work as a name for kid.
I’m forever obsessed with names, and it’s priceless to have a community of people that is equally addicted!
on March 26th, 2015 at 1:02 pm
I’m 19 and not having kids for like 10 years but I’ve loved names and their meanings since I was 12. A teacher looked up our name meanings for fun in 6th grade and I think the bug was planted there. Also I like writing stories so I can name characters but I think those names are just as important as humans. Look at Holden and Atticus, or even in the Bible–Adam and Eve, Rachel and Leah, King David, Mary and Joseph!
I found this website serendipitously but I’m glad I’ve found a little nerd colony who gets as excited about names as me! 😛
on March 26th, 2015 at 1:45 pm
I have nothing against teen Nameberry users, but things are getting out of hand when YouTube celebrities and members of One Direction suspiciously pop up at the top of the “famous people” lists on the individual name pages–BEFORE actual famous people like, you know, saints or kings. If you want people to take you seriously, try acting like it.
on March 26th, 2015 at 3:01 pm
But the members of One Direction are famous people! At least right now.
The “famous people” list doesn’t say what kind or caliber of famous people or whether they have suitable gravitas to be included.
Famous is famous.
Plus, for all we know there’s a 35 year old One Direction fan out there, adding them to the list.
And who really cares anyway?
This blog is about how teen berries enrich the site, or so I thought.
on March 31st, 2015 at 3:50 am
“When a friend asks, “What are you doing?” and you quickly shut the screen to hide your Generations CAF” Haha this is sooo me!
on April 5th, 2015 at 3:20 pm
I have absolutely nothing against “Teenberries,” as they call themselves. They have as much right to be here as anyone else, and they often do have observations or ideas that an older person wouldn’t necessarily think of.
On the other hand, though, I’ve noticed that some teenagers – certainly not all, mind you, but a subset – have a tendency to be unnecessarily blunt and somewhat rude when they don’t like a name. The attitude seems to be: “I don’t like it, it’s not my style, I wouldn’t use it myself, therefore it’s an ugly/frumpy/trendy/weird name that your child is going to hate, and what’s wrong with you for liking it?” I’m not saying all teenage users behave this way, but it does happen, and it gives the group as a whole a bad rap. If a poster identifies as a “teenberry” and they bash a name that I have a soft spot for, I skim the comment to see if they actually have reasons for their dislike; if not, I don’t give the opinion any further weight.
I don’t mean to generalize – I know there are sensitive and thoughtful teenberries. I just ask that teenberries in general be mindful of the tone of their comments and remember that the names they “hate” might mean a great deal to someone else.
Remember the Golden Rule. Be mature, thoughtful, and respectful of others, and you’ll get respect and consideration in return.
on April 7th, 2015 at 3:35 pm
Yay teenberries! I’m 18 too, and ever since I was little I have been called the “Name Queen”
on August 29th, 2015 at 12:51 pm
Love this, coming from a Teenberry! I feel proud, but also somewhat embarrassed when my sister comes into my room and sees me doing Generation CAF…but what can ya do? LOL:)
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