Wednesday, February 24, 2010
As a teacher I noticed that names often come in batches. Sometimes parents tend to name their babies after someone famous so it's not surprising that hundreds of children born near the same time were given the same name. But in other cases there doesn't seem to be any reason for an epidemic of certain names in kids of similar ages.
Of course, some names never seem to go out of style and are often handed down in families for generations. Other common ones are given in honor of saints or other important religious people.
In recent years many parents have tried to give their babies unique and uncommon names but it's not unusual for those kids to later discover other children with identical or similar ones in their school or neighborhood. In the meantime, names that were popular in generations past have become unusual now.
Perhaps modern parents who want to give their children uncommon names should consider some of the old ones. Let's see.... How about naming girls Mabel, Bertha, Edith, Ramona, Viola, or Doris? All those names once belonged to people in my own family. And boys might be called Percival, Augustus, Gilbert, Lucidus, or Oliver. There are a few children with some of those names, but they're far less usual than most.