Thursday, January 03, 2008

Namer's remorse

Katie Allison Granju points to an article highlighting the phenomenon of baby namer's remorse. Too many people on the baby forums I frequent were "I don't care what other people say, I'm going to name him Laffable McStoopidname or Ridiculously Over-popular if it's a girl."

Maybe, just maybe, you should care what other people say. Now, I'm not saying you should necessarily bend to other people's whims. There are lots of names that might be perfectly acceptable but that I would never use because it's the name of an ex-boyfriend or that boogery girl in 3rd grade. But maybe a little market testing isn't such a bad idea. And then you wouldn't have to re-name your child. Not that I would do that, I've tried it with pets and unless you do it straight outta the pet rescue it doesn't work. (Our own Fancy was aka Missy at Battersea.)

I knew the first name we had chosen would be popular - maybe even the number one choice in Tennessee (it has been for several years) and it makes the Top 10 in England and Wales, where it's probably been since the decade or so after 1066. Although it's not the US national choice, not even in the top 10. But it's a name with a little bit of choice for nickname and it's a family name. His middle name is in current vogue - not sure where it figures exactly - but again it's a family name. And given that it's a family and coincidentally reflects the Vol-in-Law's Ulster heritage, too, it's gone down well with both sides.

For a girl's name, our choices were less solid. My favorite shortly before the gender was revealed to us rendering the discussion moot was Edith. No one much liked it, but I didn't care - I was thinking of using Edie as a nickname. But recently I read that Edith might be on the comeback - and while for a boy's name I like the traditional yet popular, for girls I like the traditional yet unusual. (Not unlike what my parents and the ViL's parents did.)


In the UK, I think it's a bit easier and a lot cheaper to change your or a kid's name.

1 comment:

Bluegrass Mama said...

Before the hubby and I were even married, we had names picked out. Then our friends starting spitting out kids and giving them all OUR names. So we ended up choosing a completely different name for our son. One that was not terribly common, but also not exceptionally odd. And it went well with our somewhat unwieldly last name. When our daughter came along 9.5 years later, we'd had plenty of time to consider girls' names. And had changed our minds innumerable times. We ended up giving her the name we decided back in those prenup times. It is often #1 on the name lists, but we decided that it was a family name, and it was the only girls' name that we really liked. We figured that if there were six of them in her kindergarten class, we'd just add her middle name. As it turns out, I don't think she had a classmate with the same name till about 4th grade. While SHE has name remorse (especially about that rarely-used middle name), wishing for something more exotic, we are still happy with both of our choices. Then again, I'm one of four girls, and mine was the only family name I ever liked!