So many of my friends are having babies...it's like a plague of cuteness. They're dropping all over the place and being the name nerd that I am, I'm just relishing in the names I'm seeing everywhere.
Here's a list of recent and upcoming namings (2010) from FB friends:
Kembe (who was FINALLY adopted from Haiti after the earthquake. His Momma has a great blog I highly recommend.)
Evyn (said like Evan)
Molly & Mayson (twin girls!)
Olivia (x3 so far this year!)
So, I think 2010 is a year for girls, first off. Wow! And this is just what I came up with off the top of my head!
But picking out a name is fun! It's new and associated with the newest and presumably cutest member of your family. It's like shopping - you can be cute, classic, sophisticated, quirky or whatever you want to be.
But it's also a tremendous amount of pressure. This is the name your child will be saddled with FOR LIFE. Until the day they die your child will be known as Frederick Smeaderhead Jones or Talullah Jezebel Franklin (married name: Saunders). It's a forever commitment. It's a lot to live up to.
I happen to know a girl named Precious. And another girl named Cherish. Neither of these girls are precious nor are they cherish-able in my book. They're kinda snotty. I used to have a girl in my after school care class named Treasure. And boys named Prince, Urhines (that's "Your Highness," not urine, I promise!) and Messiah (yes, Messiah is a given name now) just have too much pressure on them to achieve star status. Wowee! I'm all for virtue names (Faith, Mercy, Honor) but some are just too much weigh to put onto a child.
Some names are stuck as perpetual 5-year-olds. Cute on little kids with pigtails and skinned knees...not so much for doctors, professors or even butchers. Nicknames (Ellie for Eleanor/Ellen, Benjy for Benjamin) are great, but not as given names. Give Gracie a chance to grow up in the "grace"ful woman she can be!
Something that I think most couples go through when coming up with a name is tossing around using family names. Do we name the baby after Grandma Clara or Uncle Theodore? What about Aunt Bertha or Cousin Percival? (PS - initials are a great way to honor someone, Martha Annette becomes Madeleine Anna. Or use name meanings. Katherine becomes Karis (pure), Margaret becomes Megan (Megan is also an old Welsh diminutive for Margaret.))
This is what Marshall and I have done...we agreed to use family names for our children. It saves us from arguing too much over what we named our kids. Considering the name Jacqueline? Hmm, it's not on the family tree so out it goes.
For us, Sarah Bradley was named for both my grandmothers. Her middle name is actually NOT a family name, but it was the name of my college roommate who passed away from Leukemia at age 24. Mac is actually Marshall IV and I insisted on him having a nickname so as to differentiate him from all the other Marshall's and nicknames in the family (in addition to 4 Marshall's in a row, there's also cousins with the name as well).
Now, some families I know purposely decided to NOT use family names at all so as not to offend anyone whose name did not get used.
I try to respect other people's naming habits, though I admit I'm a name snob and cringe at some truly horrid names (Pilot Inspektor anyone?) and even some not so horrid ones (Harper? Really? One who harps? Not good, people! Sorry.).
Oh, I see you over there... you think maybe I'm silently judging the name you have cherished most since you were 14. Maybe I am. But it's your baby, and you can name him or her anything you please. Just remember that child will be saddled with it for life (unless they decide to change it a la Miley Ray Cyrus, who was born Destiny Hope Cyrus).
If you're reading this thinking, "Okay, name snob, what other names would you use for your children?" I'd say I'm so glad you asked because I'm going to tell you.
Of course, all names are subject to change, as we all change our minds about things on occasion, but for the record, right now if we were to adopt or have another child (none coming that we know of, BTW) they would be:
Girls: Laura Elizabeth "Betsy" _something_
Alice Mariella _something_
Boys: Our top names are Patrick, Felix & Gus, but we're not sold on a particular order or anything. James is a very likely middle name as well.
So there you have it... the name post. Sure to be repeated annually. I'll try not to go off onto rants.
Here are some name links if you're interested:
I also highly recommend reading The Baby Name Wizard book!