Sunday, June 06, 2004

More Trendy Names

My earlier comments about how certain trendy names were infuriating provoked much conversation, so I think I need to expand on my comments.

Using the government's social security website:, I was able to sort through the most popular baby names, by gender, year and decade. In 2003, these boy names were in the top 100:

15. Tyler
19. Dylan
34. Caleb
44. Connor
56. Mason
70. Cole
79. Cody
75. Jayden
83. Jaden
85. Hayden

If you chart the dreaded Tyler, it seems to be on the decline. Throughout the 90s it hovered in the top 10. The hellish "Dakota" has also thankfully fallen out of the top 100, though like Jaden, it's also common for a girl's name. (there's a warning sign for you)

Does anyone here know anyone named Mason? Hayden? Jayden? Well prepare to, my friends. That doctor prescribing your hearing aid in 40 years is going to be one of those. Now let's check the girls.

3. Madison
16. Kayla
26. Hailey
34. Haley
37. Destiny
50. Kylie
54. Kaylee
57. Trinity
72. Riley
91. Aaliyah

I'm not going to mount some kind of impassioned defense on why I think these names blow. You either agree with me or you don't. And I left out plenty by the way. These were just the worst.

One interesting thing about this list is the number of spelling variations on simple names. Names 300-500 aren't just obscure names like Otto and Percy, they're common names with ridiculous spelling changes: Kody, Elliot, oh my God - Zackery, Jonathon, Jaydon...

This is madness. Did these people think they were giving the baby the normal version of the name, or did they deliberately change the spelling? I'm guessing: THEY ARE STUPID.

"These are our kids, Kaylee and little Jayden." Do you think you could ever be friends with a person who made that statement? Oh, I'm sure you could be civil and friendly and pass a nice afternoon together; but are you really ever going to be *friends* with these people? They named their kid Jayden for Gods sakes. This is the point I'm trying to make.

So let me chart out a few guidelines for name selection. This isn't an exhaustive list of considerations, only the few that are most commonly overlooked.

1. You aren't naming the baby or the child. You're naming the adult. Choose a name that won't look embarassing on a business card. Complete this sentence: "That was a strong presentation, _____. I think you'll be a top candidate for that research grant." Kody doesn't go in there.

Adult males, who among you would want to be named Timothy, Timmy or Tim? Answer: NO ONE. This is an example of name that works fine for a little boy in overalls running around with a pail and shovel, but is very difficult to work with for an adult. "This is my boss, Timmy."

2. Make sure it pairs well with the last name.

3. Give some thought to the obvious playground taunts. Hugh is a nice name in other respects, but fails this simple test.

4. If the kid wants to be president someday, don't give him or her a name that is an instant disqualification.

5. No names that are likely to require constant spelling and pronunciation corrections from people hearing it the first time.

6. No naming people after yourself.

And finally, as stated before, don't invent names.

That's a good start I think. Now get ready to meet amazing amounts of Kaitlyns and Kaylas amd Catelins and Katelynns for the rest of your sad lives.

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