Naming The Baby: Finding The Balance Between Out Of The Box And Out Of Your Mind

I could talk about baby names and naming babies for days. That’s why I was thrilled to be a part of a recent Huffington Post Live piece entitled “What Happened To Mary?”  The segment debated whether the movement away from common or traditional names is a positive trend.  I said “go for it!”

I grew up with an uncommon name. Unlike one of the other panelists, I loved that. Assuming the person knew my name wasn’t Karen, I felt my rare moniker set me apart from the pack. Although let’s be honest, most people, on paper, assumed my name was Karen. This common mix-up gave me the opportunity to correct every one of my teachers from grade school through law school. Such a good student and a natural born rule follower, this secret rebellion gave me great joy and I looked forward to it at the beginning of each school year.

Of course the segment highlighted the more extreme examples of the “unique” trend, like the 8lb baby girl named Hashtag or the upward movement of Katniss and Siri, borrowed right from our favorite disposable pieces of popular culture and technology.  Trendy might be the worst trend in baby names ever.  The name you give your baby stays with them for a lifetime (unless you are Carmen Eleckra who was born Tara Leigh Patrick and OMFG is she really dating Simon Cowell?  WTH?  Please provide your theories on that dynamic below).  Plus, you are making it really hard for your child to ever lie about their age since their birth year will be baked into the trend of the moment.

If you stick with a name that has meaning to you, I don’t think you can go wrong.  Whether it is common, rare, or completely weird – everyone loves to hear a great story on how you decided on that precious baby name.  I know I could listen to every last detail on the back and forth process and never get sick of the tales.

What Happened To Mary? (video here)


10 thoughts on “Naming The Baby: Finding The Balance Between Out Of The Box And Out Of Your Mind

  1. Smiling because this is so timely (my post today is about my name (to a degree. It’s also about irritating people.)) My oldest is named Chobe (Cho-bee) after a river in Africa. My middle girl is Zoe just because we liked the name. And the boy is Zaid (Za-eed). It means something in Arabic. I’ve forgotten which I guess is embarrassing except I usually don’t admit that. I just make up something when people ask: Oh, it means growth. Oh, it means strength. I should get more creative (Oh, it means purple in Swahili.)

    • Right? In some ways those two make sense but I can’t help crinkle my forehead (something neither of them can do because botox) and say “huh?” You named your babies awesome names and your other contenders were equally awesome. I commend your taste.

  2. As a Mary lifer, I’m all for unusual, exotic names. You’re lucky to have such a great one and a built in rebellion tool! I also love hearing the back and forth details of baby naming! Remind me to tell you ours around our 4 year old daughter, Rhys’ name! Happy holidays, darlin!

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