So I was planning to write a blog post about the waxing and waning of popular baby names, but I’ve been a little derailed…
Sara and I are still 3 months away from the arrival of Baby 2.0, but we’re obviously now spending a bit of time thinking about baby names.
I personally quite impressed that we already have a “Top 5” list, but I should point out that Robert only officially got his name (it was one of our top choices, but hadn’t been finalised) when Sara was going in to the caesarian surgery room, and Robbie Williams’ “Angels” was playing on the stereo. So the fact that we have a list this time may also mean nothing.
Either way, our search has lead us to a few different sites, one of which I had planned to write a whole post about. The “Baby Name Voyager” tool gives you a 100+ year view of when names have been popular (or not), giving some really interesting insights in to trends in naming. ‘Henry’ for instance, seems to have peaked in popularity in 1880, and has mainly been on the decline ever since. Whereas ‘Sara’ on the other hand peaked (in a BIG way) in the 1980s.
But my interest in this site has quickly fallen from my mind, knocked out by another AMAZING topic: Namely, the remarkable spellings that some people choose for their children. I’m not talking the PR-friendly stories of parent’s calling their kids “Superman”, or “Darth Vader”. I’m talking about the fact that the normal (albeit “old”) names like ‘Morris’ are now less popular than – for instance – ‘Joao’.
I should give a warning here: I have no idea if the names I’m going to highlight here are actually traditional spellings, or continental names, or just a result of mis-spellings at the registry office. I’m not trying to make any sort of contentious argument, or complain about the loss of “tradition”. Quite frankly, I’m just amazed at how some of these names get picked. It’s baffling. Here’s a few examples, taken from the Bounty Website “top baby names” section…
- The name ‘Jett’ is more popular than ‘Gordon’
- The brand-name ‘Diesel’ is more popular than ‘Derek’
- The typo ‘Brandan’ is more popular than ‘Morris’
- The ACRONYM ‘LJ’ is more popular than ‘Desmond’
- The slogan ‘Blaze’ is more popular than ‘Ronald’
- The mis-spell ‘Mattew’ is more popular than ‘Arnold’
- The rapper-name ‘Denniz’ is more popular than ‘Bernard’
- The colour ‘Blue’ is more popular than ‘Nigel’
- The style ‘Soul’ is more popular than ‘Dermot’
- The sex ‘Boy’ (yes, BOY!!!) is more popular than ‘Bill’
I could go on for pages and pages, but I think you get my point.
Now, I’m not saying we should all be calling our children ‘Nigel’ or ‘Arnold’, but have we REALLY run out of suitable names to such an extent that we want to call our children ‘Boy’ or ‘Denniz’?! I should re-iterate that I don’t have anything against people naming their children unusual or unique names. But too many X’s and Z’s seem to be creeping in here, and it shocked me a little bit! :)
Looking at the volumes on some of these, I’m SURE there are going to be lots of you that’ll disagree. I’d LOVE to get comments from somebody with a child called ‘Boy’ though… : )
2 thoughts on “Fatherhood²: The Madnezz of baybee naming in 2011”
Joao (well, Jou00e3o) is the Portuguese form of John. It’s the most popular name for baby boys in Portugal. The fact that it’s now more popular than Morris probably reflects growth in UK ethnic diversity, rather than any kind of fashion statement, IMO.
PS: My comment is meant to be informative and helpful, not critical :)