What's in a name
I love finding out why parents have chosen certain names for their children – this interest started when I was young and use to read the birth notices in the newspaper with my mum and comment (and chuckle) on the unusual names that parents call their children.
Looking at the most popular names in Australia for 2009, we have gone back to the classic names of William, Jack, Lachlan, Cooper, Joshua, Thomas, Oliver, Noah, Isabella, Charlotte, Olivia, Mia, Emily, Sophie, Ella and Amelia. However we aren’t using other traditional names such as Dorothy, Betty, Mildred, Marjorie, Harold, George, Donald, Kenneth. I wonder why these are no longer popular whilst William and Thomas have moved through the ages. What makes a name popular – I would suggest that films, actors and novels influence parents (this isn’t new, Shirley became popular thanks to Shirley Temple), whilst others select family names or names that are perceived as being strong and powerful. Some parents choose names as they are unusual, but once they become popular, parents stop using them, Brittany is probably a good example or Maddox (thanks to Angelina Jolie).
There appears to be a trend towards traditional names spelt “differently” (or with creative flair)— I have lived with a middle name that is not spelt the standard English way and have disagreements when told that it was “spelt wrong”, no it isn’t, just the German spelling. Here are some examples that would be considered incorrect spelling:
- Brittney, Brittny, Brittneigh, Brit’nee, Brittani and Bryttney or Brittany
- Madisyn, Maddisyn, Madisenne or Madison
- Ayden, Aydan, Aaden, Aadan, Aden or Aiden
- Jennyfer, Jennipher, Jennafer or Jennifer
- Aeva, Avah, Aevaeh, Ayva, Aiva or Ava
When we chose names for our sons, we selected historical Welsh names (my dh is Welsh) – Tristan and Caius. If we had girls we would have selected Sian, Rhiannon, Stephanie—as I love the traditional names, I would also consider Charlotte, Emily, Grace, Isabelle or Ruby (my cat got this name) for boys I like Hamish or Reuben. It didn't take us long to decide on a name and there were no disagreements, however my dh did want Gareth and I had to say no! Both boys like their names and generally are not shortened.
How did you decide on a name?