Let’s play the name game

Shirley, Shirley bo Birley Bonana fanna fo Firley
Fee fy mo Mirley, Shirley!

Lincoln, Lincoln bo Bincoln Bonana fanna fo Fincoln
Fee fy mo Mincoln, Lincoln!

Come on everybody!
I say now let’s play a game
From the song, The Name Game sung by Shirley Ellis. (1964)

Flickr  Name  jack dorseyNames is the topic today–first names.  This topic is on my mind because my wife and I are about to become grandparents for the second time in August.  As with granddaughter #1 (Grace), we know this one is female too.  Also, as with #1, we will not know her name until she is born.

Naming of kids is a tricky thing to do.  It is a balancing act. First, both the husband and wife need to agree on the name. Some go with an old family name or close relative.  Others (as we did with our son) pick a name with no past family ties.  In our case that is a good thing, since we have way too many males named Robert. On the feminine side, I had female relatives named Hazel, Florence and Gertrude, and my wife has Bertha.  Not cool today. 

Parents who are, or were, teachers seem to have a difficult time.  When a name is suggested, it conjures up images of some evil kid they had in class some years past.   They can’t bear to use it.

As an aside, did you ever notice that childless couples seem to give their pets “people” names instead of Spot, Fluffy, Brownie, etc? 

With all that said, we have no idea what the name of our new granddaughter will be and we are refraining from offering suggestions.  I did research the top male and female names of 2008.

Here they are:

Male:  Jacob, Michael, Ethan, Joshua, Daniel, Alexander, Anthony, William, Christopher and Matthew. 

Female:  Emma, Isabella, Emily, Madison, Ava, Olivia, Sophia, Abigail, Elizabeth and Chloe.

I cringe at some parents who give their children mainstream names but spell them “creatively.” Ones that come to mind are Eythan or Linzi.   The poor kid will never get one of those mini-license plates to put on their bicycle.

My next post may be about androgynous or neutral names.


8 responses to “Let’s play the name game

  1. Bob,

    I always enjoy your writing. Such a light and fun style. Nice topic.

    When we picked our youngest daughter’s name, Kaitlyn, we had never heard of it. When she was in the 6th grade, there were 6 Kaitlyn’s in her Spanish class alone!!! ARG! She want by KiKi that year.

  2. Names seem to run in cycles don’t they. I am glad she could set herself apart from the others.

  3. Woody Woodward

    Call me a bragger, but Cheri and I just celebrated our 10 blessed grand baby. Our son and his wife named the little joy, Finely Tate Woodward. They are going to call him “Huckleberry!” Ain’t Life good! Everyone needs a little Huckleberry!

  4. Congrats! Grandkids are so cool. I know Tate is a family name, where did Finely come from? Are you serious about Huckleberry?

  5. Woody Woodward

    My mother was a Tate. I have no clue where Finely came from, but everybody needs a little huckelberry.

  6. Scott Holder

    We almost named our younger son Cody. We were glad we didn’t. He had about 6 boys named Cody playing baseball in his age group, and we live in a small, rural community. My daughter and her husband named our grandson Logan. Why? My son-in-law is a fan of the X-Men character Wolverine.

  7. My daughter has the androgenous name of Payton. Thankfully, there haven’t been a whole lot. Except for that Manning guy.

  8. Thanks. Payton is one I did not cover. Yes, in Colo., Payton is going to be the name for many.