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!