February 8, 2011

What's in a Name? (Part I)

What's in a name? Everything! Well ok, not everything, but still. . . . I think most parents take their time when picking out a suitable name for their child. We are no different. I'm very big on unique names too. I don't want my kids to have to go by 'So-and-So H'. in school because there's also a 'So-and-So B'. and 'So-and-So K'. I want them to have a name that stands out . . . without being weird. This can be quite the problem when picking names because sometimes I do like names that are fairly common. But then if they are too common, I like the name less. I'm sure there would be lots of people that would say it's stupid to care how popular a name is, and that if you like it, just go with it. And they probably have a point. And don't get me wrong, there are lots of common or popular names that I think are great names, but I guess I want my kids to feel unique (and I fully recognize that it's not entirely up to their name to make them feel that way).

I like to search how popular names are on the Social Security Index as I figure it's a pretty accurate portrayal of just how popular names are since every person has a social security number. But their lists are usually pretty close with most google searches for baby names. My general rule of thumb - if it's in the 1-50 range, it's an automatic disqualifier. Ideally, I want to find a name that's over 100 in terms of popularity ranking.  And on that neat little website you can type in the name to see where it falls in recent years (they haven't released the 2010 info yet), or you can pick a year and see what the popular names were in that particular year.

I was always the only Caroline in my grade. I think in high school there may have been another Caroline, but in a different grade. And there were a handful of Carolyn's. But never many Caroline's. And I loved that. In 1984 'Caroline' was the 169th most popular name for a girl. Well done, Mom. Thanks for making me feel special. Although I suppose I can't give her all the credit. Neil Diamond has made me feel pretty special my whole life as well. So thanks Mom and thanks Neil. Maybe I just need to find a great song with my kids names in them . . .

Anyway, back to the uniqueness aspect, that's definitely another reason why I love the name Cale. It isn't popular. Miles suggested it (he actually suggested the name we've picked out for Cale's brother as well), and I just thought it was great! And where is it on the charts? 668. Awesome.

Where does this baby's name fall on the charts? In the 700's! That's right, no 'So-and-So H.' needed for this little guy :)

(oh, and if you happen to be one of the lucky few who does know the name we've picked . . . hush!)


  1. You crack me up!!! :) I LOVE LOVE his name though!!

  2. I like unique and unusual names as well! We have one boys and one girls picked out! Ben never liked my names but two he suggested I actually loved!
    Cannot wait to hear your name for your lil man...you can always email it to me! :)

  3. First of all...I'm now singing "Sweet Caroline," ha. :) Second, I've always loved the name, Cale, too. I knew a boy growing up with that name and even mentioned it to James as a possible name or short version for Caleb, etc. several years back. Such a beautiful name for your first son! It will be fun to see what his little brother will be named when you announce it!

  4. Oh the suspense! I can't wait to hear what you've picked! I agree - as much as I like some of the common names those never made my list of possibles for your same reasons :)

  5. I love unique names, too. Mine is pretty unique, I think! ;) I went to the SS website to check out Harper's rank and her name has definitely gotten more popular in the last 5 years but still above 170 in 2009! I am excited for you to announce baby brother's name...I love it and Chris loved it, too!! :)

  6. Are you serious right now!! You put me through all that deep thought and analysis and I still don't get to know? :)
    When I first "met" you I had to double check Cale's name cause I thought I had left off the B. I love his name and I don't think I had ever heard it before. Which means I'm almost guaranteed to not have heard his little brother's name either. Glad y'all had fun coming up with it!