A little bald kid by any other name would be as whiny!

Another name for this post could be, “More of Heather’s Random Thoughts.”

Far be it from me to tell someone else what they should name their own children. I’m all for naming your kids names that are important to you, or making sure that your child is not going to be one of six Heathers in the fifth grade. (Although it does kind of bug me when I look at a name spelled “Yvinsten” and learn that it’s pronounced “Stevenson.”) This post is not about that. Dan and I find the art and science of names pretty interesting.

There are several things that brought on this little rant, one of which is the fact that Uncle Mike and Aunt Sara have announced the name of Madeline’s cousin-to-be. And, let me just say that I LOVE IT!! But, it got me thinking about names that we’ve encountered, names we would consider for our next child, etc.

For instance, did you know that I teach Steven Tyler? Yep. I have also had the privilege of teaching Garth Brooks and RayCharles. Personally, I think this shows a lack of imagination on the part of the parents…or, maybe they’re just superfans. Who knows? The sad part is that when I commented that it’s awesome that Steven Tyler’s name is Steven Tyler, HE DIDN’T GET IT!

I’ve also been thinking about how names cycle through generations. When I was a kid, all the moms had names like Cindy (my mom), Mary (Dan’s mom, and Monica’s mom), Linda, Kathy, Pam, Judy, Nancy. You see where I’m going with this. Dad names haven’t changed quite so dramatically. Dan, Phil, Ken, John, James. Classic names. So, when I call moms for my students, I expect to be calling someone with a mom name. Sometimes, I do get the occasional Barbara or Susan. But, it’s a little disconcerting to look at a 17-year-old’s parental contact information and see “Chad and Kelli,” or “Jason and Brandie.” These are names that were most common among people my age, and it freaks me out that people my age could have teenaged offspring. (Yes, I realize that means I believe myself to have a non-mom name. I’m OK with that.)

Speaking of name trends, when exactly did it become so popular to give traditionally boys’ names to girls? I’m not necessarily talking about surnames as first names – that’s been going on in movies for decades and some of them are adorable. I’m talking about when Dan and I are sitting in church and see the name “Robert William —-” on the list of confirmands and a little girl wearing a pink dress comes forward. (Hyperbole, people!)  Maybe not that extreme, but names are definitely becoming more androgynous.

OK, two final points and I’ll shut up.

Caillou, dear, you’re on a show for very young American kids. You’re screwing up their phonics instruction. Tell your mama.

There is a teacher in a not-to-be-named-just-about-an-hour-west-of-here-town, whose first name is Barometer. We also once had a server named Seminar. I jest not.  Perhaps sometimes, people can take it just a little too far.

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