Wow. You get to name a human being. You get to give someone a label they will live with for the rest of their lives. So how do you choose? If you name her Stacie, will she be a cheerleader? If you name him Albert, will he be a math genius? You want to consider how the name will fit with the last name. That is, if your last name is Butts, don’t name your kid Harry. But I guess if you didn’t know that, then you’ve probably got bigger problems than just needing to pick a name.
You can go to the bookstore and buy Six Hundred Thousand (and one) Baby Names, or download an app on your iPhone for $3.99. You can watch the credits of all the movies you see, check out your family tree, or think up all the kids from your first grade homeroom. However you find names, it doesn’t help answer the question of which one to choose.
Here are some important things to remember:
And if all else fails, and you can’t decide on anything. Pick one of these:
For 2008, the top name for girls — after 12 years of Emily supremacy — is Emma. Emma also happens to be my dog’s name. It’s very confusing on the playground!
Number one for boys, for the tenth year in a row………..(drumroll, please)…..
Here are the top names of 2008, according to the SSA…
Some unusual names made their debut on the SSA hot 1,000 this year…
These names include Isla (623), Mareli (718), Dayami (750), Nylah (821) and Jazlene (831) to name a few for the girls. For the boys: Aaden (No. 343), Chace (655), Marley (764), Kash (779), Kymani (836), Ishaan (851), Jadiel (874) and Urijah (889). Social Security officials expressed hope that parents were not naming their sons Marley after the badly behaved dog who starred in the movie “Marley and Me.” Beckham also made the list for the first time, coming in at number 893—undoubtedly influenced by the arrival in the United States of British soccer star David Beckham.
…and a shout out to the President!
The name everybody is wondering about, Barack, did not make this year’s top 1,000 boy’s list, but it did set what is believed to be a record by skyrocketing more than 10,000 spots in rising from number 12,535 in 2007 to 2,409 in 2008. Social Security’s sophisticated predictive models are forecasting an increase well into the top 1,000 for Barack for 2009.
The Social Security Administration doesn’t account for alternative spellings when it compiles its list, but our baby naming expert does. Jennifer Moss wrote the book on baby names, and here is Moss’s list of the big baby names for 2008. Aidan has been the number one boys’ name there for a long, long, long time.
I spoke with Jennifer in our Pea in the Podcast: What’s in a Name? about what you can do if you have your heart set on a name that is overwhelmingly popular these days, like Aidan (meaning: little fire) or Emma or Emily or Jacob. In fact, naming your baby is such a momumental responsibility, it might be a good idea to give this podcast a listen no matter what you’re thinking about naming your baby! Jennifer is a great resource for all things having to do with naming your baby.
Good luck with this intimidating decision!
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We begin 2009 today, so I thought we’d start off with a little fun. After all, mommying is not all about mercury and lead and melamine! Sometimes it’s about tsk tsk tsking celebrities, many of whom are clearly eating too much tuna sushi when they pick their children’s names.
Would someone please tell the rich and the beautiful that human babies should not be given dog names? It’s not natural! Kthxbai.
So Jennifer Moss — founder and CEO of BabyNames.com — is Pea in the Podcast’s resident expert on baby naming. She polled 5,000 members of her website, and came up with the most God Awful celebrity baby names of 2008.
Let’s start with the girls….
Oh, Punky Brewster, What Were You Thinking?
Soleil Moon Frye and Jason Goldberg this year named their daughter Jagger Joseph Blue Goldberg. BabyNames.com members hated this name. A lot. At the risk of destroying my credibility as a mommy blogger, I will admit I think this name is not completely God Awful. I think it’s kinda cute. Just me. Oh, and Soleil and Jason.
The second and third most awful girls’ names of 2008 — according to BabyNames.com members — were Luisa Danbi Grier-Kim (David Alan Grier, Christine Kim) and Atalanta Baez (Carolina Herrera, Miguel Baez).
On to the boys!…
It’s A Jungle Out There!
At least if you’re Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz’s kid. His name is Bronx Mowgli Wentz. Yes, Mowgli. Yes, the boy from The Jungle Book. I can deal with “Bronx”. Maybe they’re big Yankees fans. But Mowgli? That’s God Awful.
The folks at BabyNames.com say that is the worst celebrity boy’s name of the year, followed by Sophocles Iraia Clement (Jermaine Clement, Miranda Manasiadis), and Barnaby Borstein Douglas (Alex Borstein, Jackson Douglas). Both God Awful.
However, Moss says, all in all, celebrities did pretty well this year in baby naming. Members picked Harlow Winter Kate (Nicole Richie, Joel Madden) as their favorite girls’ name, and Caleb James (Bo Bice, Caroline Bice) as their favorite among the boys’.
Moss says “Harlow Winter Kate is a glamorous name, without being too unusual. Caleb James is a solid, old-fashioned name—Biblical, but not overused.”
Are you having trouble coming up with a “just perfect” name for your baby? Jennifer Moss has some great advice for you in our Pea in the Podcast Baby Names: What’s In A Name. Check it out!