The most popular baby names in the province were released recently, and for the most part the list was fine. Liam took the top spot for boys and Emma for girls. Thankfully, the name Neveah has dropped off the girls’ list entirely, not to offend the many people who appear to have given that name to their daughters in 2010 but I’ve always been less than fond of it. Overall, the province’s name choices have been quite reasonable.
Of course, for many people the list of the most popular names is a guide of names to avoid. They want their kids to stand out, be special, and have a unique handle that will serve them well through their life. In some ways, this is admirable, a class filled with Liams will be slightly annoying when you’re trying to get the attention of a specific Liam. In other ways, this can be very annoying. So how can one pick a unique name?
First off, and I speak from experience, names that are easy to spell are the best names. That’s why popular names are great, everyone knows how to spell it and you don’t have to correct anyone, but it needs to be considered if you’re going a less popular route. I’ve got two standard spellings on my name, and this has lead to a life of correcting people, even people who should know better. This is from the perspective of someone who has a simple name, and one that sometimes people actually get right on the first try. That’s why non-standard spellings of popular names get on my nerves. Someone switching up the spelling of a name everyone knows might look cute at first, but that kid will soon become extremely tired of spelling out his name for everyone. Devin is bad enough, I can’t imagine the pain for the man who spells it Devyynn, an actual nametag I saw in a business a few years ago.
Another tip for those looking for a unique name, try not to name your kids after pop culture references. It’s not because pop culture is bad, but because other people are going to have the same idea, and what seems unique and interesting at the time will not work. I use the example of my mother, and a few friends of hers who were discussing where their names came from. These women were all named Barbara, which is a common enough women’s name. Interestingly, they all had the middle name Ann, which is also common but would be a strange coincidence. Turns out they were all named after a single woman, figure skater Barbara Ann Scott. It’s a fine name, but going with that inspiring woman ensured that nobody had a unique name after all. Years later, the army of Barbara Anns all had a song written about them.
In all honesty though, there’s no reason to be that concerned about giving your kid a unique name. You can try all you want, but if the name is good your kid is going to share it with someone, and having a typical title doesn’t really hurt you in any way. Nobody has seen their life, career and future prospects diminished because they were called Dave or Mary, and while it might be a little annoying in their classroom, it’s going to be a blessing when they need to order business cards. What I’m saying is don’t think too hard about a kid’s name, go with your instincts, or if that fails, just call them Liam or Emma like everyone else in the province.