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The name blame

Written by: Ginny April 13 2010 I’m pretty PO’ed about the naming trends in this country. When we picked Charlotte’s name (I was preggers in 2006/2007), it was ranked right around the 100 spot on the girls’ name popularity list. We felt pretty safe there, seeing as it had stayed in that position for the...

Written by: Ginny

I’m pretty PO’ed about the naming trends in this country. When we picked Charlotte’s name (I was preggers in 2006/2007), it was ranked right around the 100 spot on the girls’ name popularity list.

We felt pretty safe there, seeing as it had stayed in that position for the last century or so, but the name has picked up speed every year since then, and now it’s on the short list of hot names predicted for 2010. Barf. I wanted to rage against the injustice when there were two Charlottes among the small crowd at the playground the other day. But who can I fault, really? Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. named their kid Charlotte—there’s an easy place to lay the blame. And Julia Roberts has dragged several of my prized picks through the spotlight.

Now we’re working on boy names, and somehow we seem to be catching the wave of popularity once again. (I guess it’s better than drowning in a sea of whacko or out-of-date names, right? Maybe?) Shawn and I weren’t agreeing on a name, and I wasn’t really coming up with any one name I was crazy about, so I finally gave in and let Shawn choose. I was starting to feel really pleased with the appellation when I noticed that—although it was ranked 380-ish as of 2008—the name definitely seems to be on the rise. Suddenly I can’t avoid it, and half my facebook friends are either using the name or know someone who is. So do we start over and pick a name that might not be our first choice? I was the only Ginny in my classes growing up, but Shawn always had to use his last initial—he says his name never gave him a strong sense of identity, since he shared it with 20 other kids in the school. I don’t want that for our baby! But what to do? And how can I really know what will become a chart-topper in the future? I feel for the parents of Aidens and Olivias who thought they were being so unique at the time.
Meanwhile, I’m still mulling over names in my mind and checking in frequently with my fave site, babynamewizard.com. As it would seem, I can opt for a name that’s (1) totally strange like Moxie Crimefighter, (2) way too safe like Michael or Abigail, (3) so unstylish it’s sure to be rare (have you met many baby Karens lately?), or (4) in between—and that’s where it gets risky.