Parents today – and I include myself in that number – crave distinctive names for our children. We don’t want them to share with three other kids in their class. We don’t want them to be Jenny A. on the swim team.
We’ll go to great lengths to avoid repeating names. We guard them like state secrets. We watch popularity lists with hawk-like intensity, crossing out anything that looks like it might be catching on.
Which is well and fine.
By focusing on finding a unique name, we put all the power in someone else’s hands.
Think about it.
If you name your son James because it’s your beloved grandfather’s name, well … by definition, you know there are other men with the name.
Call your daughter Primrose because it’s always been the name you loved best, and you’re aware it’s a name, albeit an uncommon one.
No one can take anything away from those feelings. Stories explain why you made your choices, and whether those names are Top Ten classics or beyond-the-Top 1000 rarities, your stories are yours.
But choose a name because you’ve exhaustively determined it’s unique?
A stranger can ruin that for you.
I love Nancy’s name quotes round-up, but I’m especially intrigued by the part about LeBron Jr. Have you considered naming your son for his father? Or do you feel strongly about avoiding juniors? I don’t think I’m a fan, but I need to give it some more thought.
Is Antigone the next Penelope? There’s (another) Antigone in last week’s birth announcement round-ups from British Baby Names. (Also – that sibset! Swooning. Wondering if they’ll call her Tiggy?) Find more Penelope-like girl names listed here.
Can’t get enough birth announcements? Nameberry published July’s round-up here. Swooning over Nell Victoria. Plus, double Theodores! Maybe that’s no surprise, since Theodore was our winner of the Summer Names Showdown.
Double names are big in romance languages, relatively rare in English. Nancy highlighted the most popular picks in Brazil. Eight out of ten girls’ names and seven out of ten boys’ names are doubles. Maybe we’re missing out?
Did you wait until you met your baby to choose a final name? I’m team choose the name ahead of time for a few reasons. But mostly? Because when I met my son, I mostly thought he looked like an alien. (Hey – I was in labor for EVER.) But I’m intrigued by the opposite approach, particularly because I know lots of families who chose their mind at the last minute.