Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Unique Baby Names - Help or Hindrance?

  Have you noticed how baby names these days are getting more and more "out there?"  It's interesting how original, unique names have become the norm. When I was in grade school, it seemed like everybody was named Amy, Jennifer, Chris, Tracy, Kim...or Michael, Robbie, Matt, Jeff or Chris (again). There were always at least two of those names in every class. I guess that's why parents of my generation tend to go for originality. It doesn't matter where the name comes from -  books, movies, family tradition, religion - as long as it sounds new and different. My five-year-old's class of 17 has names like Blu, Ridley, Felix, Jasmina and Leora, and only one name is repeated (there are two Morgans).

 When I was a kid, the kid with the name that really stood out usually had problems. (I'm pretty sure that one girl named Hazel became a drug addict - not that the name was the reason, but...) But today, when so many names are unique, few really stand out. So I guess that's good. But few of these kids today are going to be able to find their names on a plastic license plate in a souvenir shop. (Do they even still make those?) I'm just saying.

(Personal disclaimer - both of my kids have "unusual" names. Not surprising, considering my name and my husband's were both in the top 10 most common names for the entire decade of the '70s. So for our kids,we picked traditional Irish names, reflecting my husband's and my ethnic heritage. The fact that they are also the names of Jedi Kights from Star Wars novels is a complete coincidence. Really.)

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