For some reason, I am very interested in names. Especially baby names. A few years ago, I found a blog written by a lady who is even more interested in them than I am: Laura Wattenberg. She writes the fantastic Baby Name Wizard Blog.
But even more amazing than her blog is the NameVoyager, an entertaining time-occupier (I refuse to use the word "waster") that is also informative of national baby-naming trends over the last century.
For example, here is the NameVoyager chart for my name:
Bridget has never been a very popular name, hitting its peak in the 1980s at #166. And that's just fine with me. I never had to go through what poor Jen did. Come to think of it, I have never met another person with my name who is even close to my age, although two of my direct neighbors (moms with kids) while I was growing up were named Bridget. One of them was German.
Of course, I say I like my name now, but there were periods during the 80s that if you had asked, I would have told you I wanted to be named Diamond (I think I had watched one too many episodes of American Gladiators).
Like any parents, Jeremy and I thought long and hard about what to name our daughter. And I'll be perfectly honest and admit that NameVoyager had a part in the process (the last thing I wanted was to name my child "the next big trend" without realizing it).
Eventually, we narrowed it down to two names: Miriam:
(whose peak levels of popularity are strikingly similar to my own name's, albeit in different decades) (also, you can see why everyone who hears her name says they have a grandma, great-aunt, or other elderly friend named Miriam);
NameVoyager couldn't have warned me at the time, but in retrospect, I am very glad we did not name her Veronica. I had never heard of it (we were living in Syria at the time), but shortly after Miriam was born, I found out there was a popular new TV show named "Veronica Mars." A close call, to be sure.
I'll leave you with a peek at what my next choice was to name a girl: Cora.
You have to admit, it is a very appealing candidate for a classy, beautiful, yet not at all overused name. I've loved it since my little sister and I spent our Saturday afternoons re-enacting the cliff scene from Last of the Mohicans (though admittedly, we used to argue over who got to be Alice, not Cora).
Why am I sharing this, when I never share my personal baby name favorites ahead of time? And why do I say "was"? Because, dear readers, it has been used, and by none other than Miriam's new cousin. It's hard to believe, but the 384th-most-popular girl's name in America was secretly (at least on my part) shared as a favorite by two sisters-in-law, and the secret was not revealed until shortly before the baby's birth. So now I'm living in some kind of alternate reality where there is a baby girl named Cora Palmer, but she's not mine!
So where do you fall on NameVoyager? Is your name a reflection of that decade's trend, or do you come a few decades too early or too late? What about your children's names?