Sunday, February 28, 2010

Slight Name Panic

As is to be expected, I'm having minor second thoughts on the baby name. We'll probably still go with it, but I've felt the need to go back to old lists and revisit my options. This is really important. I want to get it just right.

A good place to start was to find a Top Names of 2009 List and make sure none of my choices were on it. Those lists usually have all the names you'd expect. But I was really surprised by some of the ones I saw this time. I expected boy names Oliver, Owen, Jack and Jacob to be on the list, but so were Rhys, Miles, Brody and Gage, while the all-time classic John is at 100 - almost off the list! And on the girl list, I did expect Sophia, Olivia, Alexis and Lily but was definitely thrown off by Harper, Cadence, Isla and Scarlet. I'm impressed with the direction naming is going! Which makes it all the more crucial we choose carefully.

I browsed another site that led me to user lists, kind of like Listmania! for baby names. Anyone can make a list of names that fit any description, and others can browse them. It was unnerving, and at the same time little affirming, to find two of my names on a short list entitled "Fun but Unrealistic." This tells me that at least to this person, the names are awesome but she doesn't have the nerve to use them. Right up my alley. It reminded me of when we were expecting Ginger. I shared our name list with a close friend and she said something like, "Well, I mean, if you named her Ginger she could never be a CEO or a great scientist or something like that." Which is complete bull because as soon as someone has a name, the name begins to suit them and not the other way around. I don't know anyone who has been actually and truly held back in life because of their name. And that's just another reason why we don't tell people our names before the baby's born.

Can we really have a post about baby-name-freaking without at least a reference to the Nicholas Cage SNL skit that is probably older than I realize? The quality is horrible but it's all I could find on YouTube. Still good for a laugh after all these years. Anyone else ever been part of a conversation like this?

In other browsing, I found a couple of fun lists that helped me kind of take my mind off things. First we have the Girls' Name Coolator, which allows you to take a girl name you might like and bring it up-to-date, make it a little cooler. For example, for some reason you like the name Joan. To make it cooler you go with June. Need it cooler than cool? Juno. Fun idea.

Also we have a list of Boys' Names Kids Consider Cool. Don't we all want our kids to feel as cool as we think they are? Can't hurt if he has a name others envy. My personal favs on that list? Orion, Shane, Taj and Zeus. Easy to say since I'm not having a boy.

I recently attended a baby shower and was told about another name website, Nymbler, which has a cool approach. You type in up to six names you like and it generates more suggestions, kind of like, "If you like Hazel, then you might like..." I typed in Hazel, Ginger, and a few others we've considered in the past. I admit, I didn't care for many of the suggestions, but I'm picky. It might work well for other people.

Finally, I found a site awhile ago that I can't seem to find again but I will keep looking. It allows you to look up names and it provides the typical stuff like origin, meaning, etc. Then it says, "If this is your name, click here." And it takes you to a survey to fill out. Then people - potential parents like myself - can go in and look at the survey results. It asks things like, "Is this name often misspelled? Mispronounced? Hard to say in other languages? Was it made fun of a lot? Did you like having this name?" And the question we all want the answer to - "What were the schoolyard nicknames people called you?" As parents we can try to guess but you can never think of everything. I've found reading these survey results one of the most enlightening and helpful tools in the naming process. I'll try to find it again.

Right, then. Enough babbling on. This post has been therapeutic and I'm feeling better about things. Back to regular life...


Shells said...

One of Enoch's best friends here is named Gage. I have always thought of it as a cool, not well used name. I had NO idea it would make it on a popular list! Shows you what I know.

Disco Mom said...

I know, I don't know anyone with that name. But that particular list is done by people who use the website (=people who may be especially naming-savvy), it's not the official social security list or anything.

Anonymous said...

I know a little Orion; I really wouldn't have thought it would be a name others would find "cool."

There have actually been a number of studies that show that people with non-classic names are discriminated against by both teachers and employers. Teachers tend to have lower expectations for students with questionable names and employers plain don't call people for interviews if they have screwy names. Not even really screwy, just not really normal. Obviously, that reflects more poorly on the societal institutions than the kids or their families, I am just saying that bias exists.

Sorry about the disorientation. I am with you on not telling anyone your names. That said, I had pretty much decided on Amos, told my sister my misgivings when she visited at the hospital, filled out the paperwork the next morning, and THEN had her call and say "NO! Don't do it." Too late. I'm good with it.

Lindsay said...

I have to laugh at this post because when it comes to baby naming, my mind works very much the same as yours does. :)

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