Thursday, February 19, 2015

The baby names I didn't overlook

My blog friend Jessie pointed out to me recently that the Baby Name Wizard posted a list of "The Timeless Baby Names You've Overlooked"...and all three of my children's names are on the list. All of them. WEIRD. Also SO INTERESTING.

It's not entirely chance, of course - the BNW had a specific criteria for including the names that she did [(SQRT(maximum normalized frequency)/SQRT(minimum normalized frequency) ≤ 3)], and this criteria apparently lines up well with my own tastes. I just hadn't thought to write it down as such.

I think her description of names that have been given to at least five American babies every year since 1900, with no sharp peaks in popularity that would date them to a specific era, articulates what Jeremy and I were basically going for with our kids' names. A name that you might not have heard in a while, or only heard because it's your great-aunt's name, but it's not totally out there and will (hopefully) be just as nice in 20, 30, 40 years.

According to the BNW's calculations, we succeeded!

Now why is the boys' list so much more eccentric than the girls' list?


karina said...

We're actually looking for another boy name (yes, we're having another little boy!). Too bad that list of boys names isn't quite what I'm looking for - with a few exceptions that we can't use based on personal preference with first/last name combos and letters we'd rather not use (S and W). The girls list fits right in, though! Boys names are tough! Any advice for where to find a good one?

Ariana said...

Both my boys' names are on the list! I have funny baby name criteria.
1) Must not sound weird with our last name. So nothing that rhymes with it, nothing that ends in a hard sound because our last name starts with D and I like the sound to flow.
2) Must not be in the top 200 according to the social security baby name website. (both their names have gone up in popularity and now break that rule for current years. Dangit.)
3) Must not rhyme with Aiden (hayden, cayden, jayden, etc) because those were all the rage when my first was born. I swear every other kid his age has a name like that.
4) The initials must not spell anything, or make funny abbreviations. (my bro-in-law's initials are STD, for example)
5) Must not end in the letter S because I just don't like the sound.
6) Must be a real name, as in you could go back 50+ years and still find the name used as a name. No made-up names. (remember the combine-a-syllable name thing somebody posted a couple years ago? lol)
7) Must not be super easy to make fun of. No offense to anyone with a "Cooper", but all I can think of when I see that name is "pooper sCooper." lol

breanne said...

Congratulations Karina! (Sorry to congratulate you on someone else's blog--but really, congrats!)

Liz Johnson said...

I think it's interesting that some of your other names were on there, too (Petra, for example). IT'S LIKE SHE MADE YOUR BABY NAME LIST.

So I'll be waiting on pins and needles for Baby Alfonzo Thaddeus Palmer in a few years. :) Hahahaha.

Jenn Ridgeway said...

I have two daughters, and they're both on the list: Greta and Clare!

We're not having any more, but I do like a lot of those boy names. Maybe we need a goldfish named Thaddeus?

Bridget said...

Congratulations, Karina! Boy names are so hard. Start a Google Doc now and write down every name you even kind of like. Have Spencer do the same. Then when it's time, go through and rank 10 favorites. Have Spencer do the same. The name with the lowest (or highest) ranking wins. HT to Liz for this method. It worked for us when nothing else did because it got us talking seriously about which names we were honestly willing to give a little boy.

Bridget said...

Ariana, your criterion #2 is hard because you can't predict the future. You just have to hold your breath and hope you picked a name that sounds nice, but not TOO nice so everyone else doesn't steal it.

Liz, yes, Petra has been a seriously considered name and so was Veronica, also on the list!

Crys said...

Bridget has twice now tried to get me to name a daughter Petra....I'm just saying ;). I hate picking names. Even when I do I'm not satisfied. I really want to change Cheetahs name to alina so I can just call her Lena. I like nicknames, what can I say. It would be so much easier is Jason would just stop having an opinion ;)


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