A Mighty Big Job

Saturday we ventured to the local Barnes & Noble because The Princess’s school was having a book fair (a percentage of profits to benefit her school). On top of that, The Princess’s art had been selected as one of the pictures they would be displaying at B&N during the fair. Good deal, right?

What I realized is this: my daughter’s name? It’s crazy common.

I kind of knew this – but hadn’t realized that out of thirty pictures hanging, four of them would be by other first graders sharing the same first name. When Hubby and I were picking names for our children, the one step we were sure to take was to check the Social Security Administration’s Database and to avoid names in their Top Ten. Though her name isn’t on this list, my GOODNESS, it’s popular. Also not on her list, but rampant in The Princess’s classroom are Noah’s (there are three) and Colton’s (there are two).

I feel bad that my daughter is doomed to have to use her last initial for everything for the next several years (a misery I shared being one of eleventy-billion Sarah’s in my elementary school and everywhere I’ve ever gone).

Naming a kid isn’t an easy task and it’s probably one of the first big decisions we make as parents. My cousin and his wife just gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy and spent weeks narrowing down the baby name field from three to that final name. They said, “We want something that will sound cool but not sound insane if he becomes a laywer or president.” And they picked an awesome name that seems to suit the little guy.

Pumpkin’s name took weeks of intense debate between Hubby and myself, including a process of whittling down a list of twenty names to one and then changing the name weeks later. If I’m being PERFECTLY honest? I don’t love her name. I love the nickname that I use 95% of the time, but when I hear her name I think – Hmmm, maybe that wasn’t the right choice.

Having a Hubby who loved the more traditional names, I was outvoted on a lot of my choices and compromise wasn’t easy. If it was up to me, my kids would have quirky names that they wouldn’t have to share with a dozen of their classmates.

What’s your name style? Do your kids have traditional or unique names? If it was up to you and YOU ALONE would you have named your child something different or would you stick to the name you selected?

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Joe Schmitt says

    I thought your girls were named Three and Six. Are you telling me those are common names nowadays?

  2. As the mother of Cali, Jason, Tad, Sean and Skye – I’d guess I’ve taken a slightly off-beat of the middle of the road approach. I like names that you’ve heard of but aren’t common. Cali, Tad and Skye were all mine. And I ADORE their names. Jason and Sean were compromises and while I think they suit them perfectly fine, I don’t just revel in the perfection of them like I do with the other three. I think it gives them some uniqueness. None of my kids has ever had to use their last initial. Even Jason and Sean. That was my goal – being in the first wave of Tiffanys. I was the only one and I loved the uniqueness of it without it being too cutting-edge. Still do!

  3. Tiffany: I’d have had an “Emerson” if I’d have been allowed to get away with it. No go…

    Joe: Well, duh… Didn’t you watch “Blossom” (Oh wait, that was probably after your time 😉 ). There was probably a whole wave of Sixes after that.

  4. Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect says

    My husband and I were talking about this just last night! I’m trying to decide what to call my daughter on my blog – I don’t want to use her real name, but what I’ve been calling her isn’t working for me. My initial thought was to use her middle name, but after talking about it last night, I realized…I don’t really like her middle name!

  5. Sean would have been Declan, if I’d have had my choice. Jason WAS a compromise… until he was born on Friday, October 13th. Then I thought it was perfect. But I’m pretty twisted that way!

    Oh, and I’ve nominated you for an award on my blog. Yes, the same one you’ve already been repeatedly nominated for. Try to contain that excitement there, will ya!

  6. WHOOOO! The ass-pocket award?! I love it! Thank you from the back of my jeans 🙂

  7. Marianne says

    We wanted a name common enough that she could find items personalized, but not so common that there would be two or more other girls in her class by the same name.

    We agreed on the name and at the last minute, I changed the spelling from ending in a Y, to ending with IE.

    Now we can NEVER find anything personalized. And in 8 years of public schools, she has only had one other girl in her class with her name, and that girl’s name ended in Y.

    We did splendedly, in my opinion.

  8. Isaiah and Elijah for me. And no I’m not a bible banger. Just adore the names. The first time around I chose Isaiah and wouldn’t budge. Hubby chose the middle name. Second time around I felt under the gun to give hubby his choice, but he couldn’t come up with anything sensible. (Maximus, Solomon, Innocent?) He mentioned Elijah I jumped on it – a name I can pronounce, not too common, something I won’t be embarassed to put on the family Christmas card. Isaiah and Solomon. No. Isaiah and Elijah – a mouthful, but it works for me.
    You know I agree with you on Three’s name. Not crazy about her given name but I love LOVE LOVE her nickname. It suits her. It’s classic but not common. It works for an adorable little girl, and also for a President, LOL.

  9. FarmWife says

    My kids all have fairly common, biblical first names. Well, the girls are common anyway. There are no other "BabyGirl's" in second grade & #1 Son is the only one in his class too. Each of them have a Bitsy in their class so I'm hoping she'll luck out & be the only one in her class. It's a small school, so there aren't a lot of repeat names in each grade.

    If I'd have had my way I'd have Keturah, Matthias, Ethan or Caleb, and Tirzah….but alas I had to share the kids with Husband. But I must say I suggested BabyGirl's name at least 4 times before he decided he liked it…and Bitsy's name with every pregnancy before he went for it.

    Now, if they had been the opposite gender of what they are I'd have a Samuel Levi, Isabelle Delany, Leah Fawn, and Jeremiah Levi (of course if we had a Samuel Levi, Jeremiah would have a different middle name). Now I'm really glad B.B. was a boy because I'm not crazy about Leah Fawn.

  10. Keep It Classy, Jen says

    Ok not to toot my own horn but “Toot, Toot”. I LOVE my son’s name…haven’t found anothers Boston around yet!

    Love your blog and thanks for stopping by mine!

    Keep It Classy Jen

  11. I went the ethnic route. with family tradition thrown in as well. Hubs and I both really liked ‘Drake’ though Declan was a close 2nd. The first boy HAD to have Hubs middle name since his first name is one of the most common names EVA!

    The second time around it was all my family traditions which also falls into the ethnic realm.

    Kind of a wordy response but, well… that’s how I roll!

  12. My hubby and I compromised (ok I threw him for a loop at the last second and he could argue cause I was the one filling out the birth cert).
    I took a somewhat common name and cut out the T and changed the spelling on the end…oh yea and put my first and middle name in there but my middle is part of her first and my first is her middle.
    Poor child will never have an easy time finding personalized stuff, but it is all good, She goes by Nee Nee (or NiNi if hubby spells it) and on her pesky days she calls herself “Bob”.

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