Are You Feeling Baby Name Regret?
posted by: Heather Ruch
Would you regret giving your baby a common name? So much so that you would change it? Regret for common names and names that don’t suit are, reportedly, on the rise. Too common a name can be just, well, common. On the other hand will an unusual, unique name create some big shoes to fill? Sure anyone can be named Jennifer or Michael or Mary or Robert and so many babies have received those names that they rank at the top of the baby names list for the last 100 years, according to the Social Security Administration’s list of top baby names.
For those parents who later find their child is one among a sea of children with the same name in the same class at school, would you regret the name enough to change it to something more unique?
On a morning TV show, I overheard just a snippet saying baby name regret is on the rise. My first thought was that there are certainly some names out in the world that get a raised eye brow from me and I wondered if it was the non-traditional names that were making parents think twice about their choice.
To my surprise, it isn’t those names that seem off the wall names that are being changed, so says my Google search, it’s the names that make the top ten list of baby names that are getting the boot and some parents are feeling the name they chose for the babe at birth doesn’t fit their child with age.
I used to work with a woman who changed her name to Taylor because she felt, as an adult, that Jennifer didn’t suit her. How did she choose her name? She was inspired by the brand name of the pens that were ordered for the office. She simply liked the sound the her new name.
Naming a baby can be agonizing and there’s no shortage of people who want to chime in on your intensely personal choice. My kids are named Jason and Kaitlyn. I like the names and I like the people in my life with those names, they were fun people to be around and had great personalities. Kaitlyn, thought, would have been named Samantha if my friend hadn’t taken the name for her daughter.
Is name regret all that common? Maybe. My mother, my brother and I all went through a phase at some point in our lives when we didn’t like our names. My mom tells me she loved the name Samantha and wished her mother would have thought to use it however my mom never thought to change her name. She said she did introduce herself as Samantha a few times at parties as a teen just for the fun of it.
My brother one day said he wanted to go by the name Indian, instead of his first name Neil. That was a short-lived phase. For about a week, I thought my name was so boring and wanted to go by my middle name.
When I named my kids, I was confident that I loved those names and I was confident the names would suit them although, honestly, I’m not entirely sure what a person named Jason or Kaitlyn is supposed to be like. Do you become your name or does your name become you?
Those names that raise my eye brows, mostly celebrity baby names in the news, I wonder what picture their names paint for themselves and their parents. Bob Geldof and Paula Yates named their three daughters Fifi-Trixibelle, Little Pixie, and Peaches Honeyblossom. They sound more like nicknames to me or names that the girls would use playing dress up. Perhaps the inspiration was to create playful names?
Moxie Crimefighter is the son of Penn Gillette. That’s high aspirations for anyone to live up to. Along that same line (of work, maybe), Christy Brinkley named her daughter Sailor and Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf named their son Pilot Inspektor.
Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix named their son Indiana. I can’t help but think of the line from an Indiana Jones movie, “we named the dog Indiana!”
State and city names are popular these days both in celebrity and non-celebrity circles. Are they favorite places for the parents? Alabama, Georgia, Dakota are popular girl’s names. I met a woman whose name was Cheyenne and whose two sisters were both also named after cities in Wyoming. Cheyenne did say her mom really, really liked the state. Phoenix has become a popular name and it’s become unisex too along with Brooklyn and Madison.
According to TheBump website, social media influenced names are popping up around the world. European soccer star Gabriel Zakuani named his son Trendy after Twitter’s “trending topics”. A couple in Egypt named their daughter Facebook after the social media site and it’s prominent role in the protests that led to a dramatic shift in the country’s government. Israeli couple named their daughter Like, as in the button on Facebook. Does that mean these kids will be getting a smartphone before they graduate from kindergarten?
What’s in a name? A whole lot in some cases. Have you felt regret about your baby’s name? How about your name? Have you ever thought of changing your name or your baby’s name?