"unique" Names

I clicked on this expecting to see names of the Pilot Inspektor ilk.  Turns out the author's idea of a "unique" name is Ian Oliver, Dakota (like Bristol Palin's baby daddy Dakota Meyer and the madamoiselles Dakota Johnson and Dakota Fanning) Wolf (like my grandfather born circa 1875), Lola (like the little girl in my grandson's kindergarten and our adoption social worker, neither Hispanic) Moon (well, maybe that's a tad unusual), and Ever Elizabeth (Ever being the only real eyebrow elevator of the lot in my experience).  I confess Ever Elizabeth made me think they should have another girl and name her Forever Amber.

Unlike those of us who count down the days until the annual release of the SSA stats (they're almost here!), I think most people don't really have any idea of what's in vogue and what's not when it comes to names.



April 23, 2016 12:03 AM

I agree, none of those names are the least bit eyebrow-raising. Considering the rising popularity of Everly, I wouldnt even be surprised by Ever. I do know a boy named Ever, which is more unusual. 

On a side note, it always frustrates me to see people call names "unique" when really they mean uncommon. Unique means one-of-kind. So Pilot Inspektor may fit the bill, but "out of the top 500" or even top 1000 doesn't. And its even more frustrating when, like you said, they have no idea what's really on trend. I've heard moms say, "We chose Kinlee because we wanted something unique."  Ok, well I know 3 Kinlee/Kinley/Kinleighs, plus a ton kids of rhyming or sound-alike names, so I think you missed the mark on that one. 

April 23, 2016 12:56 AM


April 23, 2016 1:26 AM

I read that article this morning. The mother really needs to review what the word "unique" means: she got the idea for Ever from a celebrity (Milla Jovovich? Maybe? Can't be bothered to re-read the article, sorry). That means that this mother knows of at least two little girls running around named Ever. How is that unique, again?

But yeah, people really don't have any idea about current name trends. Even people with multiple kids, who have presumably met the classmates of said kids, still tend to have totally skewed ideas of what's fashionable and what's not. All of the names mentioned in the article are fashionable. Some are not as popular as others, but they're all 100% on-point as far as current naming trends go. We have the vintage revivals (Ian, Oliver, and to some degree Lola and Wolf); a placename-as-given-name (Dakota, with some cultural appropriation thrown in for good measure); some modern takes on word-names (Wolf, Moon, Ever); liquid consonants (Lola); and one everfresh classic (Elizabeth). Sorry, nothing ground-breaking here.

April 23, 2016 3:00 AM

I looked at the name voyager of all the names, and it looks like most of her kids were named right as the names began to take off. Basically, she was an early adopter of name trends, not a trend setter. Its interesting to me how she was trying to justify how uncommon all of the names were, even though I'm sure she knows how popular they've become.

An example of this in my daily life as a bridal consultant: I can't tell you how many girls tell me that their colors are rose gold and gray. They've never been to a wedding with that yet, but oh my the rose gold and gray tide is coming, and it's going to be huge! Nevertheless they're all so excited for how "different" it's going to be.  

The danger of chasing an uncommon name is that there's no way to control that status. If I had had a baby girl when I started my fascination with names, I would have had a Charlotte, and we all know how that turned out....

April 24, 2016 12:33 AM

(I've never understood why a wedding needs colors, let alone why it needs precisely two of them. But I'm the old maid in the family, so what do I know.)

If hypothetical-you had chosen Charlotte specifically because you believed it to be rare, you'd have been disappointed in how history turned out. If hypothetical-you had instead chosen Charlotte because you loved the name, then history would have merely proven that you have good taste. Same name, different outcomes. :)

By mk
April 25, 2016 2:31 PM

I thought the article was a good reminder that while certain names may actually be fashionable and not unusual overall, they stilll can be seen as "odd" in one's own local area and circle. For example, Lola is so common in my circle that it actually is a bit boring to me.