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I get that names like Ashley, Courtney, Jessica, Sean and Justin would have lost half their popularity by now. They're correctly spelled, trendy names from the 80s and 90s that leaked into the next decade or so. But to be fair, the majority of these names are either creative spellings of names either trendy or traditional, or flash-in-the-pan fad names (like Miley). Of course their popularity is halved. I don't think it's necessarily accurate to say that these sort of names constitute that entire generation of baby names. Correctly spelled, a lot of these names are much higher on the list than what this data reflects. For example, Brendan is much higher up than either Brendon or Brenden, and carries a much more respectable/older image.
I like your choices. Isabella for Lisa is much better. I hadn't thought of that. :)
Thank you for the very insightful information, HungarianNameGeek. I'm not as steeped in name history as some, but I like to learn.
What I'm more concerned with are the trends and attitudes of American naming in over the past century or so, and it's from that "place" that I really make my observations and voice my opinions.
I have never heard of surnames being particularly gendered. This is a foreign idea to me, and I stand corrected. I don't think of people's surnames as being either gender. It's just their family name, which comes from their father, mother, or both. I think it's fair to say that, just because one's surname is gendered masculine, no one will think of you as masculine if your given name is something like Jane and you're a woman. I guess my point is, your surname name can be Baxter or Weaver and you can be of either gender without being associated with the gender of your surname? I think that our first name and middle names (if we have them) are the names that are perceived one gender or the other. Or "unisex."
EVie, you may have misunderstood me. I didn't mean to say that all surnames are masculine. What I was trying to say was that there really are no "unisex" given names, just male given names that have been transferred to female use, AND surnames, which do note denote gender, but instead family community. Two different things. Names like Anderson, Dawson, Taylor, they're surnames sometimes used as given names (to both genders), but are not traditionally given names in their own right and therefore cannot be construed as gendered. As far as Kimberly, Kelly, et al. Well, I'm just arguing that while I acknowledge that they are used and widely perceieved as girls' names, that's not what they are historically or originally. Some are traditionally - albeit culturally obsolete - male names and others are surnames. It isn't fair to write in stone, so to speak, that they are definitively female, because that's only been the case for a small length of time. I'm arguing that there is no name that a person can truly see as purely and completely "unisex," because "unisex" is not a gender unto itself. In the world of names, either the perception is that they are female while they were once male and fell out of fashion for that gender, or they're surnames. And we all have our perceptions of these names by association. If "unisex" were a gender unto itself, there would be no need to define each name as either male or female. And if surnames were gendered, then men and women would all have acceptably male or female surnames. Which is not compatible with the way Western civilations function as family units, either patriarchal or not.
Thank you for your feedback. It's so interesting to find someone else who sees this in the same way, even if our colors aren't the same. Mine would be (of varying shades):
A - red
B - yellow
C - yellow
D - red
E - red
F - brown
G - orange
H - yellow
I - white
J - blue
K - green
L - yellow
M - brown
N - green
O - white
P - green
Q - purple
R - brown
S - blue
T - grey
U - no distinct color
V - green
W - purple
X - green
Z - green
I see my mother and my in-laws on this list. Generational name trends are fun and fascinating.
I've never known a real-life Simon personally, but I like the name. My first thoughts are Simon Camden from the TV series 7th Heaven. He was a preacher's kid. Very handsome, wholesome-looking blond. I also think of Simon Cowell from American Idol, but very peripherally, since I don't watch that and never have. Also, the dumb Mike Myers character from Saturday Night Live in the 90s... The little British boy who hung out in the bubble bath. Funny, but dumb. I don't have much of an association one way or another, because it truly is uncommonly used.
Great post! Nothing like the classics.
Great responses everyone. I've enjoyed reading your replies. :)
Great choices, everybody!
TheOtherHungarian, what is the Hungarian equivalent to Michael?
A lot of these are really great names, I agree. But I know a lot of people try to avoid them because they're popular.
I didn't know this. Thanks for the info, Miriam. I think it's a nice name.
Naomi and Miriam! Very true.
I have known a Mel for Melinda myself. Good observation. :) Also a good observation is the fact that women seem to take their full names when they become adults, which is the opposite of what seems to happen with men. Great thoughts.
I definitely get the ease of shortening thing, but there are clearly some three-syllable names that people have no problem using informally, so it can be a mystery to me.
I think you may be on to something with your second point. I think the more feminine or juvenille the full masculine name is considered to sound, the more likely it may be to be shortened to a nickname form. And nicknames which end in an "ee" phonetic sound are being given to males much more seldom considering this sound is now widely considered to ring as overly feminine. For example, Wills probably outnumber Billys these days. People seem to be using diminutive nicknames less for boys and handing those same diminutives over to girls. For example, Charlie for Charlotte. (Which I think is too bad, personally.)
Grace is my favorite of these and also a favorite in general. I love the nickname Gracie. Also, you made a great choice with Connor. Although popular and "on trend," it is strong and masculine with a Celtic twist.
I agree with the above posters. Not every family or set of siblings must have names that "go" together. If you like it, then use it. There is nothing wrong with Mavi, so if you have to defend it to small minded people, that is their problem, not yours.
I do this, not only because I am a bit of a name nerd myself but because my husband-to-be and I have talked about having more than one child and a maximum of three. (We're both only children, so we'd like for our family to have siblings.) Honestly, I find a lot of different styles/genres of names attractive and a lot of elements sound nice to me, but when I think about names which we would legitimately consider giving our child(ren), I tend to move toward names which sound "warm" (if that makes any sense to anyone else) or names which are traditional. I also think about names which would not only match each other, but our - the parents' names - as I believe our names go together as well (Addie & David).
I like a few of your choices individually, but to be honest, few of the combinations sit well to my mind. I like Rose, Sylvie, William, and James a lot, but if I were to put these together I would do Sylvie Rose or James William, nn Jamie. Since you ask, the best combinations are Rose Madelief and Christian Eric. I like when combinations go against the wide trend of putting the societally considered "interesting" name first and "boring" name in the middle, and swap places. There's nothing wrong with that which is "regular." People give character to their names, not the other way around.
My dream sibsets often change, depending on what style of name I'm thinking of. Lately, I've pretty much come to the realization that I could never give my child a name that I just liked or thought was a nice, safe name. I'd have to love the name to consider it. Here are two names each that I'd seriously consider at this moment. They all have some sort of personal or family meaning.
Haytham David, Caleb Donald
Bryony Kathleen, Caroline Rose
This is why I feel that "timeless" names, like those listed in Laura's book are probably the best choices, even if they're aren't the most creative or "special." The idea that my child to sould be "dated" sociallt, either too young or old, by his or her name is unpleasant. There are a lot of social consquences that come with the "generational switcheroo" like not being taken seriously, or being deemed pretentious just by your name. But I see nothing wrong with using names that stray away from generational trends, in fact I often find it refreshing to hear of children with "older" names, whether contemporary or traditional, and adults with "newer" names. There are always going to be social problems regardless of the parents' choice of name, and if this is your only one, you're golden. And isn't it a statement in and of itself - that a name is, at the end of the day, just a name and YOU give your name character - when parents choose to do this? I like this message.
These are some very eclectic names; I like aspects of all of them. I have to say that Madison has too much of a female association to my mind and that Cealach seems a little too difficult, however. My favorite of these would be David Walter. As a sibset, I like them. Names that are too... matchy-matchy are cute, but at times, too cute. I like that these are eclectic.
My top five boys' names right now:
Caleb Donald, Dawson James, Samuel William, Zack Anderson, and Haytham David