Thursday, March 1, 2007

baby names.

I read this article last week and found myself laughing at it's equity. You know those little pet peeves that you shouldn't allow yourself to get so roughed up about..but you do? "Made up" names or crazy spellings does that for me.

To sum it up, baby names have transitioned from the traditional "Ralph or Neil or Lisa or Ellen" to "cool names," or names that are either popular, or different (born from words or places or nature), or entirely invented. The authors of the article believe that a baby's name is one last thing that parents hold on to--to prove that they're still trendy and cool even after they become parenting adults.

So, what really is "cool" when it comes to a name? The world would say unusuality: "easy to like and understand but also somehow distinctive or even one-of-a-kind." Names express individuality; they even define potential for power and success--is the claim.

I'm thinking that it's sad that we (the world, in general) have diverged from giving a child a sense of honor, meaning or respect in their name, to choosing a name for a child to act as leg warmers did in the 80's or big bangs ("fringe") in the 90's or the most recent- skinny jeans: trendy.

What's "cool" right now?
Spunky Cool: Roxy, Maisie, Ace, Rinnegan
Unisex Cool: Auden, Rowan, True, August
Classic Cool: Eliza, Flora, Atticus, Barnaby
Spelled Cool: Izabella, Cait, Jaxon, Xan
Cool Colors: Teal, Azure, Indigo, Gray
Nature Cool: Plum, Ivy, Canyon, Birch
Hot Cool: Lolita, Salome, Romeo, Cruz
Funky Cool: Sadie, Jazz, Rufus, Clyde
Noun Cool: Stone, Arrow, Dream, Story
Bible Cool: Kezia, Tamar, Levi, Josiah
Starlit Cool: Scarlett, Sienna, Jude, Orlando
Place-Name Cool: Avalon, Vienna, India, Boston

I don't say stray away from cool. (Because I really like the idea of a name saying, "Go, be yourself.") I just say don't go so over-the-top cool that a name becomes something to regret or a source of confusion (with spelling or pronunciation, for example) in a couple of years. I feel sorry for the Nevaeh's (heaven spelled backwards) and the Arrow's and the Jehn (pronounced John).
I think Avery and Isobel are classy. Some of my other favorites? The classics: Audrey, Grace, Madeline, Sophia, Owen, Joseph, Ethan, name a few. So, we'll see what happens with our second. My two cents.


  1. yes, I totally agree! There are so many names out there that parents, and kids, just end up having to "explain" all the time and spell out loud. But that isn't as bad as just plain weird. I like traditional, but with a little flair. My favorites (besides Addie and Ian) are Avery, Harrison, Julia and Max

  2. have you read freakonomics? if not, there's a chapter on baby names that you would probably find really interesting.

  3. What an interesting article. I read one a while back, in the NY Times about how nevaeh was becoming popular.

    I think there is a fine line between "different" and "too different" in the name arena. Believe it or not, there was a family in our ward in Utah that named their girls Jennika and Jessifer. WEIRD right? I think they called her Jess, but still.

    Funny to think about how times are changing though and how names come in and out of trendiness.

  4. I like the idea of a name being distinctive, but yet not made up. I am not into crazy spellings either because 1. I don't think they always look that nice and 2. The child will have the most annoying time spelling and explaining how to spell his or her name!

    I totally think it's up to the parents, but I'm not into crazy spellings and made up names.

    I love the name Sophia or Sophie and I also like Jude (but would not want people to think I named a baby Jude because of Jude Law.

    I really like the comparison with big bangs and skinny jeans. So true.

    Anyway, I am Spain and will post when I get back! I may be out of action for a few more days...

  5. Good enough excuse, Linds. Don't you love the ease of traveling from England. (Is it vacation?) ENJOY!

  6. There is a couple in our ward who named their new baby "Manhattan". I think it is a terrible idea to name your child the place where they were conceived. Strange.

    I like classic, Grandma-type names. :) Some are trendy right now (e.g. Abigail, Madeline, Sophie), but I think they are still really classy.

  7. Kathryn, Cole was going to be Madeline Grace if he was a girl. :)

  8. We really liked Madeline too. And of course, we love Grace (Ave's middle name).

    I'm at a loss for boy names. We both idea if our next one is a boy. It's fun to think about though.

    Kelli, if your next is a girl, how cute would Cole and Madeline be? I love it.

  9. Madeline is very cute but if you want something unique then just know it is a very popular name right now. I can think of at least five different people in the last six months that used it. But if you are not worried about that and just want to name your kids names you like (which is great), then of course use it.

  10. I love that name,Kelli. "Madeline" was my favorite book when I was a little girl, so I've always liked that name (but yes, it is really popular right now). And Grace is just classic (and I like Gracie is really cute for a little girl).

  11. I like the French pronunciation too. I's popular. But it won't always be. It's not a #1 choice anymore...but I think I still like it a lot.


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