Instead, this afternoon, I've brewed a cup of coffee and decided to jump over to the social security website and look up the top 100 baby names for both boys and girls... and give some thought to them.
Names are funny things. What one person will love, another person would be aghast at naming a child such. I know of a couple times I've not liked the names a friend or family member picked... but I certainly kept my thoughts to myself. Not my baby, not my choice! However, if there was something glaringly obvious about the name I would point it out. There are people who have named their child monikers that are actually just words... and the definition of the word is such that I'm certain they probably barely passed elementary school, have never cracked open a dictionary and forgot to 'google' the meaning of the word before putting it down as their child's legal name.
But on the other hand, I've commented on names in conversations with friends and family, and it ends up that we've not seen eye-to-eye on some of them. One conversation, I must have seriously offended an online friend (this was about 15 years ago) when I commented how I hate the name 'Stella' and that it's just awful of a parent to name their daughter as such. That Stella, to me, brought a image of a pink uniform wearing, beehive hairdo'd waitress from 1950. That online friend pointed out it was the name of her daughter's best friend (then 15 years old) and that the girl was just a delight. And her name just "fit her perfectly". She said that as a positive, but I quietly was thinking how telling me it "fit her perfectly" was a GOOD thing when I just offered my brains image of someone with that name every time I hear it.
But... some day I might love that name.
30 years ago I couldn't imagine EVER naming a little baby girl something awful like "Ellen, Molly or Anne" (I found an old diary where I had wrote this). Isn't it funny that about 20 years later, I fell in love with more traditional names and Eleanor, Ellen, Molly, Anne, Margaret, Claire, Evelyn, etc. are all names I think are just lovely. I would even use some of them if I was currently pregnant with a little girl. Which I'm most certainly not!
So... here is the list of the top 100 names from the US Social Security site.
And some of my thoughts.
|Rank||Male name||Female name|
Emma - surprised this is still so popular! Remember 20 years ago when it got so popular after Ross and Rachel chose it for their daughter on the tv show Friends? I also have a great great Aunt who just passed away at age 100 named Emma. It's a name that stands the test of time for sure.
Noah - I loved this name back when I was a teenager... and even into my very early 20's. After that, it started to fade. I'm not sure how I feel about it now. I keep wavering!
William - Oddly, I had never really thought about this name or whether I liked it or not... odd because it's a family name! My grandfather's name, one of my siblings middle name... it wasn't until a friends nephew was born and they named him William that I never actually stopped to think about this name! I didn't care for it at the time (I think that was about 18 or 19 years ago). However, it grew on me. I do like it. Not enough to use it myself, but I do like it.
Ava - I used to like this one about 15 years ago... but it's been so over used that it means little to me now when I hear it. I guess I still 'like' it but I gloss over it when I hear or see it. It's become invisible to me since it's been used and used and used.
James - really surprised this one is back to top popularity again. I never thought I'd see this in the top 10.
Sophia - another name so overused that it lost all meaning or attention. I gloss over it.
Benjamin - Again, surprised it's a top name. I do know someone who named their baby this 2 years ago. When she did, I started to think about it again (I had forgotten about it, mostly). I don't care for it personally but it's not a terrible name.
Charlotte - as a teen I did not like this "old lady" name. I had a semi-friend with this name too! I couldn't imagine why her mother did that to her. Now of course, there is a Charlotte in every classroom I think.
Elijah - about 18 years ago I went through a short phase where I liked this name. Meh.
Mia - My daughter named her hamster this when she was little. After that Mia was always 'a hamster'.
Amelia - I know it's traditional and a lot of people think it's pretty. I think Amelia Bedelia.
Mason - Yuck.
Harper - Really thought it was cute a few years ago but it's just being used SOOOO MUCH that I'm sad. I'm starting to not like it anymore and I don't want that to happen.
Logan - seems very 1972 to me. And Logan's Run-ish.
Evelyn - I love this one... which is interesting. I've had this name my whole life as it was an 'old lady' name. But about 7 or 8 years ago I started to love it. And still do.
Emily - people still use Emily????
Jacob - I considered this one for one of my children but that was almost 23 years ago. And we were going to use "Jake" as his actual day-to-day name. My nephew got the name instead and it's all turned out just fine!
Elizabeth - never liked this name nor any of the awful nicknames that go with it. Libby, Liz, Betty? Barf.
Henry - I always think "Oh, Henry is such a cute name" but then I think "Henry. Henry." and I realize no, actually I don't think I like it. But I do this every time I hear it! Ha ha.
Avery - like the label making company.
Jackson - over done. Over done. OVER done.
Sebastian - funny, I loved this name 28 years ago - enough to have used it. Not so much at all in the past 15.
Camila - love the flowers hate the name.
Aiden - Love this name.
Aria - Heard my first girls name Aria back when I was a teen in 1988. Thought it was different and pretty... but now that I'm older? No. Not at all.
Scarlett - Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. Sorry... I hear the name, I think of the movie.
Victoria - a name I LOVED when I was about 12 or 13. Yuck. What was I thinking? LOL.
David - I feel bad for babies named David. Or Daniel.
Luna - I know a cat named Luna. To me it's a cute cat name!
Penelope - Penelope Pig. Instantaneous thought.
Layla - Oh how I hate this name... let me count the ways. This and Lola. WTF?
Jack - Such a cute name, but so over done.
Riley - it's a girls name on this list and oh how I love it. Getting some heavy use right now which makes me sad because I really love it... and don't want to start hating it.
Jayden - I know a boy (man?) born 30 years ago with this name. I knew his Mom, which is why I think of him as a boy even now. LOL. At the time it was new, different and interesting. Now, just so overdone in the past 15 or so years. Not a fan.
Nora - another old name I grew up hating as an old lady name but oh how it's so pretty now.
Eleanor - I swore to my first born daughter in a pregnancy diary, I would never name her anything awful like this. Now, I think it's pretty although a bit too fancy for everyday use.
Gabriel - I've loved this one for years although I don't know anyone who has used it for their son. I couldn't because it didn't go with our last name very well. We have a family friend named Gabe and I've always loved his name.
Addison - you know how you love a name until one person ruins it for you? That.
Aubrey - Hate this name so bad.
Mateo - cute name but you really need to have some Spanish heritage in your to pull it off I think.
Ellie - Like it but have some connotations to people with the name that kind of ruin it for me.
Stella - we've already talked about this one. Barf.
Jaxon - thankfully a lot of people are using this for their dogs now, which is good because it's been FAR too over used for human babies.
Natalie - I hate this name. Even if I like someone that HAS this name. I don't like her name.
Hazel - I'm sorry little girls that were given this name... I'm sure you are sweet but I'm still sorry about the name you were given.
Violet - see my comment to Hazel above. Ditto.
Theodore - I just love the name Theo but hate the name Teddy.
Aurora - Yuck.
Caleb - when I was a child I remember looking up the name Caleb in a name dictionary around 4th grade. I found it meant "dog" and I've never liked it since. First impressions die hard.
Savannah - Smiles?
Audrey - Just as awful as Aubrey.
Asher - Have always quietly liked this one for a boy.
Brooklyn - I can't believe I had this on the 'long list' for my first born. It was there, although I like to forget that.
Bella - dying out quickly over the past couple years... thankfully.
Claire - I wanted this for our 3rd child. No one else in my entire extended family did. LOL.
Skylar - I always picture it with a K on the end and say "Skylark" (the bird).
OK - I've commented on the first 50 (hit or miss) and my time is up... it was up about 8 minutes ago so I've been typing really, really fast.
Related to this post:
The Big Book of 60,000 Baby Names
The Complete Book of Baby Names: The Most Names (100,001+), Most Unique Names, Most Idea-Generating Lists (600+) and the Most Help to Find the Perfect Name
The Name Book: Over 10,000 Names - Their Meanings, Origins, and Spiritual Significance