In the last ten years, only one couple I know has named their son something a little off the beaten track of first names. They named their first born Holden. Refreshing, to hear something other than Michael, Matthew, Zachary, Jeremy, or Sean. Apparently, though, Holden is on the upswing in popularity.
I'm tired of the same old names.
In memory, it seems as if every girl in my elementary school years had one of five names: Karen, Barbara, Debbie, Patricia or Linda. Those seem to have gone mildly out of fashion, but they're old standards. I challenge you to find any group of fifteen females under the age of twenty-five containing fewer than four Jennifers, three Kaylas, and five Amandas. (It seems, may all the saints be praised, that Heather, at long last, has passed from popularity.)
I'm not so much in favor of completely off-the-wall names, either.
I know a woman who was named after a character on a soap opera. Spicy name, American as apple pie, or French toast, or bread pudding, but odd. Husband thinks it sounds like a stripper's stage name. It is my belief that a person ought not to be named after a fictional television character.
I worked with a young man who named his child a made up sound that he and his significant other liked. To me, the name sounded like a conglomeration of the name of a racetrack in Florida, Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald's given name, and a primitive percussion instrument. I wondered how the child would ever get through school without correcting, a hundred times a day, the pronunciation, never mind the spelling, of her appellation. Or maybe it wouldn't matter to her. Maybe she'd continue her parents' laissez-faire attitude and let people pronounce and spell her name however they could. How would she know to what sound she should respond?
I haven't recently looked at those little "100 Names for Your Baby" books displayed for sale next to the supermarket checkout, and I wonder what they're suggesting now. I daresay that whatever's in those books, we'll be seeing a lot of in the next few years.
If I were in a position to influence the naming of any infants, I'd suggest a return to some of the really old names.
Make his or her name mean something!
Provide the child with something up to which to live!
Make the kid stand out when his teacher calls his name: "Aloysius!"
Have you met recently, for example, any infants with these names?
I know you would expect to look into the baby carriage and see a tiny girl with tightly permed hair and plastic-framed glasses, or a baby boy with a comb-over and prominent neck tendons, but you'd get over that, wouldn't you?