Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Baby names - a poll-o-rama!

Now that I've started a new cycle, I don't have much to do but wait until O-time rolls around in a couple of weeks. So what am I doing? Playing with my phantom baby name list at babynames.com, of course! This got me wondering - what are the most popular naming styles in the Pregosaur world? It's poll time! (Note: the polls don't always show up in RSS feeds and readers, so if you can't see them, click over to the post to vote!)

Let's start with an easy one - types of names. I'm fairly traditional with my name choices (some might be slightly unusual, but they're all older names that were popular at some point in the past), but a lot of people prefer modern, trendy names. How about you?

An article I read a while back said that not only do parents tend to gravitate toward certain types of names like I listed above, but that they also often narrow the field by selecting names that reflect specific personality types - for example, Catherine might make you think of an intelligent woman, while Grace conveys a sense of beauty. I sifted through my own phantom baby names and realized it's kind of true - many of my top choices are strong sounding names.

Giving a name an alternate spelling is a super popular way to make it more unique (e.g., Madysyn vs Maddison). I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of alternate spellings. I guess I like the tradition that a "normally" spelled name implies, and I feel that alternate spellings often just look misspelled. But I also know there's a very good chance I'm in the minority with that one, since a lot of parents feel that an alternate spelling will make their child's name more uniquely their own. What do you think?

On one forum that I visit, pregnant women often ask for opinions on baby names and also list the names of the baby-on-the-way's siblings so that voters can consider how the names sound together. I'm honestly not sure I understand this - I can see not wanting names that rhyme or are too similar to a sister/brother, but since the kids aren't going to go through life joined at the hip, I'm not sure it matters too much that they sound good together. I kinda seem to be alone in this opinion though, so maybe I'm just a bit out of the loop!

Last poll - let's talk about meaning! I've seen some names that I'm not that fond of but I love the meaning, and others where I think the way the name sounds is beautiful but the meaning is just blah; so I'm wondering, do you choose names based on how they sound or what they mean?

If you're not sure where you stand, here are a few fun polls to help narrow down your naming preferences - a good one from Name Nerds!, a fun one from babycenter, and a short (but remarkably accurate, at least for me) quiz from Blogthings.

I'm still looking for inspiration, so post some of your favorite names in the comments!


  1. This was a fun post! I liked the Blogthings poll the best. It was dead on for me (classic and timeless).

    MH would love it if we conceived in Las Vegas. If the stars aligned and we did, he'd like to name the child "Sam" (either Samantha or Samuel?) after Sam Boyd. :P

    A perfect combo of our fathers' names is "Hank" so either that or "Henry" are possibilities, although "Henry" doesn't really sound like a baby name to me. Also, I like the significance of the name, but I don't like its meaning ("Ruler of the Home").

    I would like to give our children a family name as a middle name, either named after a relative or using my maiden name (for posterity).

    I have this thing about not naming my child after a real person or tv/movie character I don't like.

    Hmm, maybe I should start a phantom baby name list, too....

  2. Our top names are:

    Theodore Maxwell (nickname Theo)


    Elizabeth Joan (nickname Libby)...

    Elizabeth is my mother's middle name and Joan is his mother's middle name.

    My criteria right now...with a one syllable last name I want the first name to have three syllables with a nickname of two syllables. We also want fairly classic names that can "grow" up with our child. The final criteria is that Dr. or Professor has to sound good in front of the name.

    That said, we've gotten TONS of naming "ideas" from the 'rents. I hope they're not too disappointed when we chose NONE of them. LOL!

  3. I had a lot of "none of the aboves" to your questions, but they weren't options. ;-)

    1. I like older names, but not necessarily ones that never go out of style. A lot of names cycle in an out of popularity without exactly being trendy, plus if you pick them when they're in the downward part of the cycle, they're unusual but not whacky, kwim? e.g. Ruby was a common name in my great-grandmother's time, and it becoming popular again, but my mother is the only person around her age named Ruby that she's ever known.

    3. With alternate spellings, for me there is a line. I'm not sure how to define it, but… well, I'll use Ruby as an example. Rubi or Rubie wouldn't bother me, but Roobee would. My own name is an alternate spelling, to make it closer to my father's name, so there's some purpose to it rather than just to be unique. I've met other people with names like that, e.g. Carleigh with a relative named Leigh that she was named after. I can respect that, but Karrlieey just to be different? Not so much.