You’ve probably felt buyer’s remorse, but what about namer’s remorse? A unique name like Mowglis or Boulevard might sound like a good way to set your child apart from all the Jacob‘s and Isabella‘s when you name him, but once your baby starts to develop a personality and go to school with his unique name, will it still sound so perfect?
Celebrity parents continue to lead the wacky baby name charge. Or should we call it a competition? Alicia Silverstone named her son Bear Blu; Mariah Carey called her twins Monroe and Moroccan; and Antonio Sabato Jr. just gave his newborn the Hawaiian middle name Kamakanaalohamaikalani — at least it’s a middle name.
TODAYMoms even found a name-happy mom who gave her daughter seven unusual names instead of just one. The list includes Astravaganza and Angeletta, but not the name her 15-year-old daughter goes by today — Lola.
Perhaps your kids will thank you later for if you give them a popular name.
The U.S. Social Security Administration just announced the top 100 baby names for 2010 and Jacob and Isabella are the most popular baby names for the second year in a row. While the top 10 girls names of 2010 include the same mix as 2009′s list, two new names made it into the top 10 list for boys: Anthony and Aiden.
As William and Kate prepare for their highly anticipated royal wedding day, are their names getting ready to jump to the top of the list of trendy baby names? Lesley Bolton, author of The Complete Book of Baby Names, thinks so. She predicts that tomorrow’s big event will spur a trend in royally inspired baby names.
“With the royal wedding taking center stage, we’re going to see a big boost this year in more formal, classic names, and of course those with a royal history,” Bolton says. “While there will certainly be an uptick in Williams and Catherines, we’ll also see a rise in names such as Liam, Wilhelm, Katarina, and Caitlyn, all variants of the couple’s names. Along the periphery, we’ll find names such as Charles, Elizabeth, Victoria, Alexander, Edward, and Caroline.”
Why do names in pop culture rise to the top of baby name lists? If we do see an uptick in royal names, it doesn’t necessarily mean parents are naming their children after Prince William or Kate Middleton. It’s more about the fact that these names are given greater presence, hitting the radars of larger numbers of expecting parents, says Bolton.
“Like any other trend, it takes a little while for a name to be considered overused and thus old-hat,” Bolton explains. “It starts out being used by the trendsetters, then works its way down to the everyman (where it gains the most ground), and then finds itself in the back of the closet, likely to be pulled out and worn fresh in another eighty or so years.”
While (no shocker) Aiden and Sophia head the baby-name popularity lists, a little further down on the lists, you’ll find some surprises. Say, Betty. Or… Apollo.
What’s causing the spike in names like these? Take a look back through last year’s big events, and the answers become clear. “Mad Men” grew in popularity right along with the (character) name Betty, as did “Glee” and the names Quinn and Finn. There was also the Sarah Palin effect, with her daughters’ names Bristol, Piper and Willow rising in the polls. (Shoutout to Willow Smith of “Whip My Hair, too!) Demi and Tiana? Look no further than your latest Disney Princesses. And on the male front, names like Bode, Shaun and Apollo caught on after the winter Olympics.
I love movies as much as the next couch-potato-dwelling film geek, but even I was a little surprised by the recent news that Twilight is taking over more than the book and DVD sections. According to the Social Security Administration, Jacob and Isabella (or Bella) are the top baby names for 2009–both leading characters in the vampire series. I get those. They’re nice, traditional names. But Cullen? Yes, the last name of the lead, Edward, is also making a decent showing. True, pop-culture naming isn’t anything new. I’m even guilty of toying with the name “Joss” in honor of my favorite writer, Joss Whedon. Just promise me that “Vampyre” won’t be trending next year, mmmkay? What do you think about the Twilight-themed names? Did you pick a pop-cult-inspired one for your child?
Choosing a name for your baby has got to be one of the hardest decisions you’ll make. It’s something that your offspring will live with for the rest of their lives! My parents, thankfully, did a phenomenal job. I love my name—but I’m bummed that there’s no real "story" behind it. I think my mom read a book with a character named Janna and said BINGO! The end. No Name Voyager research, no arguing, and no lists. And she doesn’t even remember what book it was!
So what’s your story? How did you come up with your baby names? Leave a comment and you could be in an upcoming issue of Parents magazine.