Archive for the ‘
In Name Only ’ Category
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
The Social Security Administration just shared their compilation of the top baby names of 2012, and it looks like Sophia and Jacob continue their reign in the top slots again for the second year in a row! Sophia brings to mind classic actress Sophia Loren, while Jacob, a classic Biblical name, got a shot in the arm from the uberpopular Twilight movies.
There are subtle little shifts in the top ten lists: Isabella slots back down to number three and Emma moves up to take the number two spot, while William heads out of the top three names for boys—making it Jacob, Mason and Ethan as the top three most popular names for boys. New to the top 10 this year for boys are Liam a red-hot name which jumped from #15 in 2011 to #6 in 2012, and Elizabeth, which traded spots with Chloe.
And here’s the top 10 in all their glory! Keep watching all this week and next as I analyze the heck out of the lists and see what big changes have occurred over the past year. (Like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby name scoop!)
Want some more insight? Read about the biggest movers and shakers on the baby name list, or check out which baby names are falling out of fashion—fast!
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Could your baby’s name impact his future success? High-end recruiter The Ladders crunched some numbers around its members, and came up with some interesting insights into first names and future income or success. Their overarching theory, based on their 6 million members? The shorter the name, the better! People who went by three-letter monikers (like Bob, Tom and Rob) made the most money—and every additional letter in your name cost you $3,600 in annual salary. And that held true for both men and women—as most of the top earning names in the ladies’ category were short and sweet, like Lynn, Dana and Cathy. One notable exception for the ladies was Christine, which ranked as the top C-level executive name for women, and was also on the top 5 high earners. (Maybe those ladies went informally by Chris when actually addressed at work?)
Another interesting insight was that informal nicknames trumped their more formal roots—so going by Bill instead of William, or Debbie instead of Deborah could help you earn more cash. My thought? Short, one-syllable names like Rob, Marc and Lynn are easy to pronounce, simple and straightforward. And who wouldn’t want a colleague (or leader), who was straightforward?
Admittedly, some of the names among the top earners, especially on the ladies’ list, felt a little less-than-fresh. Denise, for instance, is on a steep trajectory out of the top 1,000 names, and Cindy is following on Denise’s heels. On the boys’ side, Wayne recently had a sharp spike in popularity, but it’s still near the bottom of the top 1,000 names for boys.
Though of course, you’ll have to take all of this number crunching with a grain of salt. The pool of people in their sample is skewed toward high-level business folks (I’m sure there are plenty of Denises and Robs who have less than 6-figure salaries), and I can say with authority that despite our short-and-sweet names, my husband and I aren’t C-level executives.
But maybe this is food for thought as you pick your baby’s name. Look for names that are short and sweet, or that can be lopped off to a simple nickname.
What do you think? Could your name (or your baby’s name) be holding you back?
(Want to keep up with the latest in baby names? Follow In Name Only on Facebook for the latest!)
Image: Baby names by Amir Ridhwan/Shutterstock.com
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
One cool part of running the In Name Only blog is getting to talk about baby names with some of the top naming experts in the country. And I love nothing more than chatting with Laura Wattenberg, the lady behind the super cool Name Voyager tool, and author of The Baby Name Wizard, now in its third edition.
What’s new in the latest version? You’ll find, of course, updated stats on each name, but also new naming maps of the United States show the distinctive styles of boys’ and girls’ names you’ll find in each state, from “Preppy Cowboys” to “Romantic Flourish” names. A name that’s rare in the rest of the country can be surprisingly common in your own backyard. Each name entry also includes a new section called “In the World” that lists the associations most likely to come to people’s minds when they hear a name. Those associations could be people, like reality tv judge Simon Cowell, but also phrases, products or titles, like “Simon Says.” That real-world context helps paint a fuller picture of each name.
(Want to know more? Check out our Mom Must Read blogger Kristin Kemp’s review of the updated version of Baby Name Wizard!)
I interviewed Laura to get a few pointers for anyone looking for a little help in the baby naming department:
So many parents today are worried about picking a name that’s too popular. How can parents avoid that?
We all wish we had a crystal ball to predict the next hot name. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that the only way to make sure that the name you choose won’t become popular is to choose a name you don’t like, that feels really boring to you.
Rather than just looking at a ranking, you should look at Name Voyager, to see in what direction a name is going. If it’s been pretty steady for past decade, or if it’s already heading down, it will probably keep going that way.
What’s your take on the creative spelling trend? (We’re talking Aiden, Aidan, Ayden, etc.)
It’s easy to fall into trap that if you spell it differently, it’s going to be different. But it’s still going to be the same spoken out loud. Some kids love having creative spellings, but most just end up frustrated that everyone gets their name wrong.
What baby name advice do you think is most important for parents to consider?
Choosing a name has become more difficult. The more choices you have, the harder it is to know that you’ve chosen right. But as long as you love the name you chose and it brings a smile to your face, it doesn’t matter that there’s another name out there.
It’s important to stay positive, and focus on what you love rather than getting too caught up in the competitive drive to choose a unique name. That’s easier said than done, though! Once you have a short list, try to “narrow up” to a choice by thinking about what delights you about the names, rather than “narrowing down” by finding fault. (You can read more about her baby name strategies here.)
Sunday, May 5th, 2013
Actress Keira Knightley tied the knot over the weekend, with musician James Righton—and wore the most divine short little wedding dress (take a look!). While I liked her in Pirates of the Caribbean, her short vignette in Love Actually, as the newlywed who is the object of affection for the best friend of her husband. (The best friend was played by Andrew Lincoln, who’s now more famous for his role as Rick Grimes, the leader of the Walking Dead survivors.)
Keira’s a lovely Gaelic name, a variant on Ciara, and the name of a 7th century saint. It means “dark-haired,” and it’s held relatively steady in the top 200 for the past seven years.
It goes beautifully with Claire, Belle, Jane and Maeve—though Keira Knightley has the longer Christina as a middle name. And it’d work wonderfully with a sibling set that includes some of the other Celtic classics, including brothers with names like Liam, Aidan or Gavin.
What do you think of the name Keira? Is it a name you’d consider for your daughter?
Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest news in baby names.
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Don’t tell my husband, but I have a slight case of baby fever. My kiddos are becoming big way too fast. My youngest just lost her first tooth, and my oldest is rolling her eyes and campaigning for a cell phone. Couple that with a teary post I read about how one mom suddenly realized she’d carried her kids for the last time without ever noting that milestone, and a chance to hold my friend’s delicious, chubby baby boy, and I’m thinking it might be nice to have one last baby around the house. I know it’s not going to happen (there’s no such thing as a “surprise adoption”), and I know that realistically, two girls are more than enough for us to manage at this point. And it’s nice to have kids who are old enough to fix themselves breakfast, tie their own shoes and brush their own hair. But babies are just heavenly, aren’t they?
Plus, I have so many baby names I love, that I won’t ever get to use—unless it’s for a future kitten or puppy. If I had another daughter, she’d be Adeline Mary, after two of my great-grandmothers. (After our daughters each got family names, we can’t just go with something we happened to see in a baby naming book, can we?) Boys are a little trickier. We’d probably give a son the middle name Kenneth, after my dad. But I’m not sure about the family name options. I never met my great-grandfathers, so I don’t have much attachment to their names. There’s a Walter, and I think a Louis and a Charles—both names that were given to my grandfathers. I still love Alexander and Nicholas, which were the two names my husband and I were hashing out before we found out our second child was a girl. And of course, now that I’m deeply immersed in baby names on a daily basis, I’ve found new ones to love: names like Dixon, James and Nolan. And I can’t forget Luke.
Do you have a baby name you love that you’ll never get to use? Share it here!