They did a segment on The Today Show a few weeks ago about baby names: the most popular in 2010, and up & coming names for the new year. I don't know if you guys saw it or not. If you didn't, let me fill you in.
I think the 2010 ones are alright - they aren't that uncommon - they maybe just show a general shift toward newish names (your Addison, Madison, Aiden, Jayden crowd) and/or names that have been around for awhile that haven't been all that popular of late (the Sophias, Olivias, Jacobs, and Noahs).
But seriously? The 2011 ones? What?
There are a couple I've never even heard before (Maci? Kinley? Aarav? Ryker?); and there are a couple that are cool enough - but maybe a little too much like Pottery Barn chandeliers (Kensley, Bentley, Beckett). And then there are some that sound like they originated when someone used a last name from their family as their child's first name (Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, Kingston) and then, unlucky for that family, the name became super popular and the family gesture was lost to popular culture.
And speaking of popular culture, a couple of these feel a little familiar right? Isabella and Jacob? What about poor Edward - I guess we know which "team" new parents are on. (Also, I wouldn't be surprised to see a little Harry/Hermione/Ron action in there - I bet they're on the list in England.)
I just think name trends are funny, mostly. Especially living in the South, where sort of off-the-wall names are almost more common than classics. There's the phenomenon that is the double name, too. (My sorority in college was notorious for interesting double names: Sarah Margaret, Laura Caroline, Nancy Elizabeth, Ann Donnelly, etc.) You also see the whole last-name-as-a-first-name a lot. This actually causes a little bitterness in our house because Jonathan's middle name - Walker - is one of those (maybe his great grandmother's maiden name?) that would make a great first name. Except - it became too popular. Now, if we were to name a son Walker, it would seem like we just chose a cool, trendy name - not that we're representing his family.
It's funny to look at these lists for 2010 and 2011 and think that in 10 years, a fifth grade teacher somewhere is going to read her class roster and there will be a noticeable lack of Katies, Jessicas, Mikes, and Matts. Those names might even feel a little dated in the way that Linda, Ronald, Sharon, and Terry do to us now. (How many babies in the past decade do you think were named Linda?)
Do you guys think about naming your yet-to-be-conceived children? Do you think you'd go with family names or names you like?