Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What's in a Name?

I am not pregnant.

Now that I have that out of the way... Wyatt and I from time to time like to suggest possible names for our future children to one another. It's a lot of fun hearing the different names that Wyatt likes (and I don't) and vice versa. However, over time my frustration has slowly increased. Names that I have liked for several years have become overly popular, overly used and spelled a thousand different ways. To the point where I just want to gag myself with a spoon.

Take for example the name "Isabella." It was the character of Aunt Bella in the musical Lost in Yonkers that made me first fall in love with the name (and yes, I do realize she was mentally impaired). However, the name Isabella was the 4th most popular name in 2006. The name Bella was ranked at 181. There is no way that I will ever name my little girl Isabella.

Next on the list, Georgia. After my wonderful momma. Again, I have wanted a little Georgia of my own for years - for more sentimental reasons than the name Isabella too. Georgia is currently ranked at 273 and who knows where it'll be by the time we get around to having children. And at that point I'll have to choose if I want my baby to be named after my mother even though every other little girl will share the same name.

I guess I just like having unique - but not bizaar - names. My name was not popular growing up. It wasn't until the 1990 Brittany's or Britney's surfaced and abused the use of the name. Believe it or not it was years before I could ever find a keychain with my name on it. And I was the only Brittany in all my classes grade K-12. It was all the underclassmen that stole my beautiful name. Wyatt on the other hand has only met one other Wyatt in his lifetime. That is until the past two years where every other boy under the age of four is named Wyatt. It is currently ranked at 82.

If you're interested in learning about how names come to popularity you should check out chapter six of this book (or read the whole book, it's a good one). And if you're anything like Wyatt and me and desire a unique - as in unpopular - name, check out this website brought to you by the Social Security Department.

To all our prego friends - good luck with the name game!


Collette said...

I agree with you on not wanting the most popular name out there. I always loved that my name was not very common-but not weird!
We tried to do the same thing. I think Corbin might be on the rise...I guess time will tell.
Good luck finding a name you both love. That was one of the hardest parts of getting ready for our babies. We have very different opinions!

Collette said...

PS. Corbin doesn't have red hair, it's brown. I was shocked (really) when they showed him to me seconds after birth! I thought for sure all of my kids would have red hair.

Dan said...

This is the coolest thing for checking out names. For example it tells me that the name Jane was very popular during the 1950s. You type in the name at the > (carat)sign. It's pretty fun to play with.


Josette said...

if i really really liked a name that was kinda popular and billy agreed. i would snatch it up. who cares if there's a couple people with the same name. that's just my stance. and yet...i seem to like the weirder names that nobody else likes...including billy.

AJ said...

I am not pregnant either but really appreciate this post and actually have a note book dedicated to possible baby names. Although we have only 3 solid girl names (first and middle) and 2 solid boy names. I think the girl names are unique not bizarre however our first born son will hear my weeping tears at night because of his name. i promised jake before we got married that we could name him. Jake has made me promise that I wont tell anyone (but I think I might have already told you guys) so we will just call him "he who must not be named" aka Voldemort, for the time being.

Ryan said...

Brittany, there were 5 Ryan's in my 9th grade English class: Wilson, Olson, Holmquist, Erickson, and one who wasn't sexy enough for me to remember a last name.What was most important was that I was the sexiest. Name your kids whatever you want, just make sure they're really sexy to overcome any moniker similarities.
Or go with Vietnamese names. How did the names Bao, Thuy, Thanh, Ngoc, Quyen or Truong rank?
I always thought my parent's only had enough love and names for 6 children. 'Crap we have to give it a name,' they probably said. 'Can't we just sort of change a name we've already used, like 'Bryan?''

Miriam Lovell Dyer said...

All of my names were unusual as a kid- Miriam (Minna as a nickname) Lovell Beard- and I got made fun of for all of them. Miriam was biblical and old fashioned and kids just couldn't handle it. Minna- what? Lovell and Beard- enough said.
Sometimes, I wish my parents would have saved me the grief and given me a name like Jennifer. I really like all my names now (well, I'm OK with losing Beard- sorry dad!) so my point is...
Well, I'm not sure what my point is?

Just for the record, you have all rights to Georgia. Take it!

Jeanna said...

Turns out Sav is currently at 30, in the 90s it was 78. It spiked it a major in the 90s. It was nonexistant from 1930 to 1979. When I named her that, no one else had that name. None. Now it's everywhere and in fact she has had others by the same name in her classes at church and school.

Mack on the other hand (his full name) is NOWHERE! Yeeha! We scored. The shortened Mack was 784 in the 80s and big time in the 1890s to 1910s. Sweet.

good luck baby-naming people, it is difficult to NOT be in the top 100. Especially with boy names, you don't want him to have a fruitcake name. Girls can be tweaked in all manner of ways w/o fear or repraisal.

Tysha & Jacob said...

Having an unusual name myself - I also want our kids to have "different" or at least somewhat uncommon names. I didn't mind growing up with a different name - although it was pretty funny when people heard my name before meeting me and pictured me as either Russian or Black - my biggest concern was when people mispronounced my name. We're naming our first boy Sawyer James - and the girl names we like are Aspen & Eden, which I don't think are super popular. I pay attention at the playground (I'm a nanny) and as much as I think some names are cute - they are way overused. I think family names are great and give you a perfect excuse to use a name that might be more popular. I've only met 1 Georgia on the playground and she was the sweetest thing! Someone warned me to watch out for what the initials will be...ie PMS? LSD? We also really liked the name Kennedy, but paired with our last name - Carter - it's a bit too presidential! Sorry for the random ramblings...sometimes it's really hard to pick a name! Good luck and have fun choosing - by the time you have kids you'll have the perfect name picked out!

ps-your cousin sat behind me in church on sunday. now I know who you were talking about (there are 3 emily smiths in the ward!)

Anonymous said...

Okay, I am going to put my 2 cents worth in. I just checked out the SS site you posted about name ranking. This is interesting. In 1945 (the year I was born)it ranked at 116 on the list. Only in 1944--the year before I was born--was it lower at 114. I can tell you that in all the places I have lived/been I never even met anyone else with the name of Georgia until I was at BYU. One girl from Alaska. Since then I have met a few, there is one young woman who is a flight attendant based in Chicago that I run into about once every four years. So, the odds that there will be multiple Georgia's in YOUR kid's classes are probably pretty nil. After all 116 ranking as opposed to 273 now. That's quite a big difference. Incidentally Georgia ranked 723, at it's very highest, in 1986.

When I was a kid I wished my name was Mary, Jane, or Susan--popular at the time. But it didn't take long to appreciate the fact my name was not as common as some of the others. A nice distinction. And most everyone remembers a distinctive name/person. THAT'S ME!

So, make me happy! Name your kid after your wonderful 'Momma'. And tell your girl she has an outstanding heritage in her name. Not just a name off a list.

The real distinction would have been Savannah Georgia Nichols. But that never happened.

Love, Momma

Anonymous said...

Just thought you might like to hear these names. I just sent a baby congrats card to a family in our ward. The father's name is SHANE KAPITAN and the mother is CAMEO CHERIE. Their three little boys are Brigham William, Bronco Joseph, and the new baby Brody something I don't know yet.

Kind of cool, huh. Remember Brody Albers that was Schuyler's friend in the neighborhood when he was little. That's a name we didn't hear much of at that time.


mom/Janet said...

I like unique names but I have to tell you, when I sub in primary, I have a hard time with some of the names. I would struggle to remember them if I had to. With a name like Smith I thought we should be original but that didn't happen. Emalei, Abbie, Dale and Dane. I love them all because of the story behind why we named them what we did. BTW your friend mentioned 3 Emily Smiths in her ward-- is mine one of them. Now our Emalei is a unique spelling that came soley from the common last name Smith. She loves the uniqueness of the spelling. It was going to be Emma Leigh but soon realized it would soon be cut short to Emma Smith (wasn't crazy about that although Emma seems to be a more common name no days) So, with that I'm going to check our new little granddaughters name "Ella" and see where that ranks. Check out Abbie's blog. Good news.

mom/Janet said...

okay, I should have looked at the chart before I wrote my initial comment. Although, I don't use the usual Emily spelling, it is top. William is #10 and I married one and Dale's first name is William. On the other hand - -Janet- - was never above 290. I always felt I had a strange name and any other Janet I met seemed to be "not cool" I've moved beyond that and Bill convinces me he loves being married to a Janet and that's all I need. enough from me.

hyker said...

I'm #180...........and I don't really know if that's good or bad.

Abbie said...

I decided I wanted to name one of my girls Ella back when I lived in Belgium/Dubai and was a nanny to my little cousin of the same name. It was the ONLY girl name on which Scott and I agreed and so Ella it is. I have to agree though, now that I mention it to people they all say, "Oh I know someone who named their little girl Ella". I'm going to go check out how popular it is. I'm worried it's on the rise. But we gave her two middle names so maybe that will set her apart...

hyker said...

There's a flight attendant here in Seattle named Georgia. She rocks!