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June 25, 2013 11:52 AM

Totally agreed with Laura and pp#2.
These are GREAT names that you aren't hearing on the playground! You cannot go wrong with James, Mark, Luke and their friends from the Bible, Just so happens those are the names we used for our sons, all born since 2006. They are timeless, classic English and Biblical names that speak well of the owner.
Also, they are familiar names -easy to spell and pronounce, and yet they are no longer that common. My children have yet to have a problem with another child in their class or group having the same name.
However, the new and trendily named kids certainly do have that problem. My oldest son had two Riley (boys), two Hailey (girls), and two Jada/something else but so very similar they still had to use last names (girls) in his Kindergarten class. Crazy. 
I've even heard TWO Nico (boys) in the same preschool class (10 kids!) around here!
I live in the South, btw. As Laura has reported before, the more conservative Christians are more likely to be out there with the names! It's certainly true around here.
My suggested standards for naming our children were as follows: (Bear with me, I'm cutting this from an old email)

  • *You can't go wrong with a classic, English, and Biblical name.
  • *It should be familiar enough that there will be no problems for most people to pronounce and spell it properly. Absolutely no "kre8tiv" spellings.
  • *it should be NOT currently common enough that there will be multiple children with the same name in the same group.
  • *It cannot start with a "P" or an "F" because of our last name being "U". (haha!! NOT)
  • *It shouldn't be too exotic because they will already have to deal with our odd (for America) last name (rhymes with Susan).
  • *It shouldn't give the wrong ethnic idea- i.e. Ari, Jesus, Shanequ'a.
  • *It shouldn't be trendy or time/date stamped. By this I mean, imagine you are to meet someone named John. He could be any age, 9 months to 99 years. Now imagine it's Jayden. You know he's going to be under 12 years old.
  • *Family connections are desirable, if the family member they are named for is nice. Or else so long gone that no one remembers or knows if they were nice. ;)
  • *Family surnames, are very cool if they work as a first name. It's a Southern tradition. Bonus points for historical figures. But only if it follows all the other rules. 
  • *Girl names should be feminine, and boy names masculine. I don't like androgynous names. In general this includes  those you can't tell by the pronunciation. Remember names will be hollered across a playground, used in reference in conversation, introductions, etc. For instance Lee cannot be distinguished from Leigh in that situation. 
  • *It should be cross-cultural to honor our American-European family. At the very least be pronounceable for them. Best would be names that are used in both English and Slavic languages, such as Anna and Mark/Marko.
  • *I am not a fan of nicknames in general but can deal with them, especially for girls.
  • *The name should be a good fit for any occupation or life path. Low/high socio-economic and education levels, blue or white collar. Try it out on a mom/dad, jet setter, teacher, plumber, businessperson, or musician....Julia could be any of those. Tiffany? er, probably not so much.
  • *Even if you want to use a nickname on a daily basis, give the full classic name. This gives more authority and options. Ex: Robert is your lawyer, Bobby watches football with you. KWIM??
  • *Coordinate but not over-match with the existing names in the family. 

May 8, 2012 12:19 PM

Might I suggest that you might want to go revisit the names you mentioned as trendy, because my boys are all named classic/ cross-cultural / Bibilical names that never go wrong. And, they are not common. It may SEEM that the apostles' names are common but in the current children's generation, they aren't. Even as high up the list as #15 in popularily, remember that with the choices of names constantly expanding and everyone trying SO HARD to be "unique", these oldies and goodies stand up very well and you WON'T actually find them being shouted across the playground. We know several children each with truly trendy names like Hayden and Jayden and Garrett  and Tristan and Jade but only twice have I even heard our children's names on other children in 6 years!
We have an odd ethnic (Croatian) last name, thankfully short, and wanted first names that are familiar, easy to spell and pronounce, but not common, and would translate into my husband's culture. 
James, Mark, and Luke. Like I said, they are familiar, but you don't hear them much anymore. I get so many wonderful comments esp. from older people on our boys' names.
Everyone is trying so hard for exciting and exotic and "Uneek" that the true classics will be fresh on another generations' ears. I am certain that for our children the names John and Mary will be the most exotic and exciting, LOL!