Thursday, August 16, 2012

You Must Chill

The Nameberry site asked readers to write in about cherished baby names that are getting too popular to use.
It’s the scourge of every self-respecting berry: A name you love, a name you’ve treasured forever and maybe hoped to keep as your own special gem, hits the Top 100….the Top 10….or even, nooooooooooo!, Number 1. 
What name does it most pain you to see leaping up the popularity list right now?

The result of Nameberry's request was a glorious outpouring of people FREAKING OUT. Apparently the pain of watching a name become popular ranks somewhere between a root canal and that South American fish that swims up your urethra.

A sampling of the comments [with my thoughts in brackets]:
I’m devastated at how popular Lily is. [Devastated!
My heart was CRUSHED when Angelina Jolie used Knox for her twin son’s name. [And not because you felt bad for the boy?
Clara. I was set on using that name for a future daughter as a nod to my favorite literary character, Clare, of The Time Traveler’s Wife. I’m devastated because of its recent rise in popularity. [You probably need to read more.
There are so many names I’m worried about becoming popular. I’m still a few years away from children, so there’s plenty of time for my beloved names to shoot up the popularity charts and make me sad! [Find hobbies.
After eight years of parenthood and being very very concerned about this in the beginning, I now find I don't care at all. I don’t like names like James, Lily or Sophia anyway, so the most popular of the ones I like fall outside the top 100. . . . I like solid names that aren’t in super-common usage but aren’t weird. Like Quentin, Gideon, Otto, Vincent, Leonora, Wilhelmina and Aurelia. [Translation: Why are people so concerned about using popular names? Not that I ever would.
Kairi! Why must everyone love Kairi! It’s getting popular (along with other names in video games/graphic novels/anime) around where I live. Everyone you ask has a different video game name for their future kid around here. [Lady, WHERE do you live?]

I appreciate people not wanting to pick an overly common name. But there are benefits to seeing the name of your child shoot up in popularity.

I wouldn't mind if "Elliot" cracked the top 100, just because it would be less pigeonholed as being a bit nebbish.

And if your non-unpopular choice later climbs the charts, your child will benefit from having a younger person's name.

Take my example. The great wave of boys named Nicholas was born in the 1990s. So most people probably assume I'm a 20-year-old. It's a wonder I don't get carded more.