I’m intrigued by a phenomenon. Parents often look for names that are broadly familiar, easy to spell and pronounce, but not too common. In fact, I’d say that more than half of all wish lists include these qualities in some combination.
And yet, we’re not willing to choose names that fit those criteria – but step outside of current styles and trends.
I’d argue that names like Wilbur, Edwin, Shirley, and Wanda meet every one of those criteria – familiar, easily spelled and pronounced, not too common. And yet, they’re grandparent names, aged and unfashionable.
Nancy’s Five Name Friday touched on this topic a few days ago. The comments are rich with boy name suggestions that hit this note. But will we suddenly hear more boys called Wilbur and Neville? Probably not.
Should we? I’m not sure.
- Practical advice on managing double middles, from Kate at Sancta Nomina. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but I do think that bonus middles are becoming more and more common. Also: one of the suggestions on her post is a crazy clever way to handle the issue.
- Could Dove be the next big bird name? Names 4 Real spotted a birth announcement for a Dove Harper, and Disney Channel actor Dove Cameron is turning into quite the star. This list of bird names remains one of the best-read on the site, years after it was published. And Dove’s ‘v’ makes it feel like a cross between Evelyn and Wren.
- Speaking of next big things, sometimes names just seem to be in the ether. First, Emily published her eclectic list of little names with big personalities. It emphasizes that you don’t need three syllables or more to make a memorable name. She included Nim, and then someone pointed this birth announcement for Nym Calliope. Now I’m captivated by this mini name.
- Oh, grandma! Please don’t insist your grandchildren be named in your honor. (Dear Future Self: please remember this post and don’t meddle in your children’s decisions about their children.)
- Thanks to everyone who has sent me this: Why I wish my parents had spent 22,000 on naming me. Tim Lott argues the importance of naming.
- The hottest name on television today is … Kevin. No, really. Found via the marvelous Clare’s Name News Scoop.it page.
- But the thing that really caught my eye was the phrase “class aspiration.” Names signal social class – in the US and, probably, almost everywhere. But it’s rarely discussed in the US – and difficult to bring up.
- On a much lighter note, how amazing are these Friday the Thirteenth baby names? And bonus: most of them are subtle, and perfectly wearable. Well, maybe not Ophiuchus.
- Names that mean shrieking and screaming and dusty – aren’t they marvelous?
- I’m obsessed with these alphabet videos from Days of May. She picks great, eclectic names.
- The wisdom of crowds, at Swistle.
That’s all for this week. Thank you for reading – and have a great week!