Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Here it is by popular demand...

a pic (or a couple) of Anna' new do! I did the best I could...she would NOT sit still!

I picked up this cute little onesie today for Josie. It's not totally my style, but it was so sweet baby girl that I couldn't resist--

Speaking of sweet baby girls, I found out today that the next little one to arrive that we know will be 'Eliza'. I love it!...and am borderline obsessed with this name, a great variation for Elizabeth...which happens to be a strong family name on my mom's side...and you all know D.J. & I are very into regenerating family names. The first thing that went through my busy mind was how would this name fit into our sibset?...Anna, Josephine & Eliza...perfectly. But where did my girlfriend come up with this name for her soon to be little bundle of joy? I just checked it out on the official social security administration website and it was ranked 334 in 2007, so I think it's safe to say that it's not by any means a popular name and look back over the past, it never has been...perfect.
I don't have the answers to how baby names are chosen, but I'm fascinated by the cultural phenomenon that is baby naming. While preggers and contemplating names for our girls, I spent countless hours studying and reading up on naming trends. To name a human being...oh what a task!! I know there were times when my poor husband thought I was absolutely crazy when I would read to him excerpts from some name trending guru's naming theories...or when each night I would throw out several names to see his reaction...many times I would just get a crinkled up nose! Even now on long car rides, I want him to play the sibset game with me...it doesn't last long to say the least! Anyway, if anyone else is remotely interested in baby name trends, I highly recommend reading Chapter 6 of the book Freaknomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner...2 "rogue" economists. They basically believe that names are cyclical and in the book they attempt to uncover how naming patterns are driven. Their main theory is that names correlate directly to socioeconomic class...that the upper class drive the name game. So according to them, names trickle down through the classes. Here is an interesting excerpt from their book:
"But as a high-end name is adopted en masse, high-end parents begin to abandon it. Eventually, it is considered so common that even lower-end parents may not want it, whereby it falls out of rotation entirely. The lower-end parents, meanwhile, go looking for the next name that the upper-end parents have broken in."--pg 186
Hmmm, don't know if I'm completely buying it, but it's interesting. Let's take the number one name for the year 1900 for example. According to the ss administration the most popular name for girls that year was Mary, but Mary accounted for 5% of all female births. When you think of the thousands of names in existence, that is a lot of Marys!!! When you compare that to the number one girls name in 2007, Emily....Emily only made up 0.9% of all girls names last year. So because of the sheer number of babies born and probably additional naming options, it's not nearly as popular and little Emily has a much lower chance of running into another little Emily. What I do know is that there's no doubt that names seem to be cyclical...as those who own the names pass on, the name takes on a new life and become more prevelant. Take for example names like Linda or Peggy...names of the 40s & 50s. You never hear anyone calling out these names at the playground today. But, most likely, one day our future generations will be beaming with pride at their little Linda.
So I guess it would be ideal to name your child a name that transcends generations or transcends time...a name that over the last century has always been popular or one that has never been popular. But, honestly, who can really predict that...we do the best we can. In the end, just pick a name you love...because it's your child and it's one you'll say over and over again for the rest of your life! But Eliza gets a huge thumbs up from me!


Kimmy said...

Totally cute new hairdo!!

Love you....

Marcy B. said...

Funny how you blogged about this....I'm doing that whole sibset game matched with similar responses from my husband as DJ had! We have middle names set since they are family names, but first names....it's such a responsibility but what fun too! Any other good names you can recommend, we're open!

Middle names chosen so far:
boy = Kirk
girl = Jane

Gina said...

I loved reading this ... reminds me of when I told you if Ethan was a girl he would have been Josephine ... great minds think alike! ;)