Friday, May 10, 2013

Any Way You Call Me, You Can Call Me...

Have you seen the list of top names for babies in 2012?  Here it is, according to the Social Security Administration:

Top baby names for girls in 2012
1. Sophia
2. Emma
3. Isabella
4. Olivia
5. Ava
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Mia
9. Madison
10. Elizabeth
Top baby names for boys
1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. Ethan
4. Noah
5. William
6. Liam
7. Jayden

8. Michael
9. Alexander
10. Aiden

They are all pretty normal, even old fashioned names.  Nothing wrong with that.  I quite like it actually.
The thing that alarms me is the list of fastest-rising names, particularly those for boys.

Fastest-rising baby names for girls in 2012
1. Arya
2. Perla
3. Catalina
4. Elisa
5. Raelynn
6. Rosalie
7. Haven
8. Raelyn
9. Briella
10. Marilyn
Fastest-rising names for boys
1. Major
2. Gael
3. Jase
4. Messiah
5. Brantley
6. Iker
7. King
8. Rory
9. Ari
10. Maverick

 Messiah?  Really people?  I remember learning about a very popular practice in early 19th century America of naming boys aspirational names, like Major, Duke, Baron, King, Captain etc.  Messiah kind of takes that to a whole other level, don't you think?

 And I know parents love to make up names hoping for originality.  Is that the origin of Iker, or is that a famous historical or literary figure of which I am unaware? All I can think of is that song... 

My grandma and your grandma
Sitting by the fire
My grandma says to your grandma
I'm gonna set your flag on fire

Talkin' 'bout
Hey now
Hey now
Iko iko an nay
Jockomo feena ah na nay
Jockomo feena nay 

I realize that the word is Iko, not Iker.  Still.  It's what comes to mind.

Trends in names are so fascinating to me.  Perhaps because my name is Wendy, which is a name almost exclusively belonging to women born in the mid- to- late seventies.  Very trendy...for it's time.  So while I'm not quite a Jennifer, I do know what it feels like to have a name that is of a certain moment, and that moment has passed.  By the way, can we agree that Emma is the new Jennifer?  I think we can.  And Sophia is the new Allison.  And Isabella is the new Jessica.  Okay, I'll stop myself.  For now.

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