Friday, December 9, 2011
Emma tops the recently released list of the most popular baby names for 2011, which means every other kid entering kindergarten in 2016 will be fighting for the lunchbox marked with the letter E.
The most popular list of baby names is released annually by BabyCenter.com and it can be a very helpful tool for parents — when it comes to knowing what not to name their kids going forward.
Top names for 2011 for little girls kick off with Emma, and then continue through the top five with other names ending in A. Emma is followed by Olivia, Sophia, Isabella and Ava. Taking up the rear through slot number eight are Madison, Emily and Ella.
Mason tops of the list of popular little boy names, followed by Liam, Noah, Ethan and Jacob. Aiden, Jackson and Logan complete the top eight.
This is not to say that any of these names are not beautiful or cool. One of my childhood cat’s three names was Mason and Jimi Hendrix really belts it out when he’s screaming for “Izabella” (although the name has an alternate spelling).
But this is to say that new parents should steer clear from these particular names unless they want their children to grow up with a potential identity crisis.
A classroom full of Emmas, for instance, means numbers may have to come into play. Emma 1 might think she is automatically better than Emma 4 or Emma 22 and turn into a real bully. A classroom full of Aidens, on the other hand, might simply mean 22 kids are going to get beat up by fellow classmates who don’t understand the beauty of a boy named Aiden.
On the flipside of the name game, sticking a kid with a weirdo name is not good for their self-image, either. Just ask a Gargulinski. Or you could also ask Gwyneth Paltrow’s kid named Apple, Julia Roberts’ twin named Phinnaeus or Michael Jackson’s kids named Blanket.
At least Blanket may be a bit better than being named Diaper or Pacifier.
A name can help make or break a childhood — as well as mess up an adulthood, according to an article in Time magazine. The article mentions a 2009 study that concluded guys with less common names are more likely to get into trouble or become criminals. Hello, Blanket.
The article mentioned another study that added those with unconventional spellings are more likely to be seen as amoral, cold or unsuccessful. Poor Izabella. At least she got a Hendrix mention.
The article went on to say the reason behind the criminal tendencies and negative perceptions was because boys with less common names are more likely to be from poorer and single-parent households.
Interesting, but the article did not mention how the tables may now be turned. Thanks to the flatlined economy and cultural shifts, poor and single-parent households may be more common than ever before. This could mean the once less-common names bestowed by such households have now become the most popular names around.
To be on the safe side, following any trend just to follow a trend can be annoying at best. Parents should instead try coming up with a baby name that their style, their child and has a significant meaning.
Or they could always give up on the thinking and name their kids after the popular dog names Max and Sassy. As long as they don’t spell it “Maks” and “Sassee” their kids may have a fighting chance.