Unique Baby Names Can Be Meaningful, Too
A recent survey suggests parents prefer classic, meaningful names for babies. I think it's possible to blend unique names with family-inspired ones.
Baby names are fascinating to me: first and middle name combinations, sibling sets, nicknames and other trends. Growing up I kept a list of names I liked for future children. (You did that too, right?) It’s interesting to see how my preferences have changed over the years. At one time I liked names such as MacKenzie, Ianna and Delilah for girls and Trenton and Cayleb for boys.
I’ve always preferred more unique baby names. Names that aren’t overly popular or common yet not completely “out there.” I’m not a fan of drastically changing spellings, but I appreciate new twists on the classics.
Maybe I prefer less common names because my own name, Darcy, is not very common. Throughout my life I’ve met only a handful of other Darcys. My husband, on the other hand, has a very common name. When it comes to name preferences, apparently I’m in the minority according to a new survey conducted by BabyCenter.
As reported by USA Today, there has been a shift from celebrity-inspired names to more classic names in 2013, often inspired by family members:
Among survey findings:
• 81 percent like classic names; 43 percent like very unusual, unique names.
• 80 percent finalized their name decision before the birth.
• 63 percent dislike the baby-naming trend of celebrity-inspired names.
• 54 percent say people they know are the inspiration for names: “My grandparents or my partner’s grandparents” led the list at 39 percent.
I was surprised how many people dislike celebrity-inspired names since I know many parents who considered (and chose) names inspired by books, television or movies for their children. Those names can still hold meaning to the parents, just a different kind.
In my opinion, a classic name is not the only meaningful way to name your children. We prefer unique names, but they are still meaningful to us. My daughter’s first name was inspired by a video game and my son’s name was inspired by a movie character. (I’ve been asked several times if Xander is named after the Buffy character, but my original inspiration was from Vin Diesel’s character, Xander Cage, in the movie Triple X.)
For their middle names, we turned to family inspiration. We wanted to pass down a name from each side of the family. So my daughter shares her middle name with my mother-in-law and my son’s middle name is the same as my dad’s. While we like unique first names, we prefer pairing them with simple, classic middle names. And if we have a third? Well, I already have a short list of unique and fandom-inspired names to choose from and family middle names to pair them with.
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