Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Name Game

While reading the Baby Name Wizard blog, I came across this post on namer's remorse & the paradox of choice in relation to naming children. I can relate to this, having given our son a fairly unusual name. I agonized over the choice & we didn't settle on his name until he was a week old. It feels like such a huge responsibility to give someone a name that they'll probably use for the rest of their life. How will people react to their name? What will the initials spell? (This one in particular was an important consideration for us, as Sprout's last two initials are CK. Oli's affinity for names starting with F would have resulted in a potentially profane-sounding set of initials.)

I've had second thoughts about Linnaeus & wondered sometimes if he's going to hate it when he gets older & constantly has to spell it out or explain how it's pronounced. It doesn't easily shorten to a common nickname either, other than Linni, which sounds a bit feminine. His little cousins call him Nae-nae & his grandpa thought we should just use the last bit, making it into Ace. I think Sprout might like that one eventually. We gave him a slightly more 'normal' middle name--Bastien--so that he could just use that one if he gets tired of Linnaeus.

If you've ever wondered about the popularity of your name or are looking for ideas for a sprog of your own, I highly recommend checking out the Baby Name Wizard. Laura has created some incredible tools for research on names that you can use for free. The Namipedia, which has information on practically every name out there, including user-submitted ratings on each name's friendliness, as well as sibling names that go with each one. Name Voyager is an incredible tool to see the popularity of names over time. Using American population data, she's created a visual graph to show you the ranking of names from the 1880s to the present.

If you're looking for information on the popularity of names here in BC, take a look at the BC Vital Statistics Agency's site. While a lot less pretty than the Baby Name Wizard's pages, you can get a sense of the popularity of names in BC, with lists of the top 20, as well as the frequency of most others, from 1997 to 2010. (Not sure why 2011 isn't there yet--perhaps it's been a victim of Liberal funding cuts?)


  1. I don't have any naming remorse about my kids. Maybe because we spent months deciding on the names? And I liked Natalie's so much I held onto it for 3 years until she was born. Kira's name makes me laugh, just because Paul won the argument about having a Star Trek name. But I really like her name, and all of the nicknames we can give her. Jonah's is unusual enough, but still a very old, fairly simple name.
    I like middle names that are family names, so they all fit.
    If you could change Linnaeus's name at this point, what would you change it to?

  2. I can't really imagine what we'd have named him instead. I think he's growing into Linnaeus. Maybe we'll eventually call him that. LOL


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