Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Stop That Trend!

The Matron is alarmed! Horrified. Unable to contain herself -- or sleep, even. This is a serious situation, friends.

When the Matron was a Wee Miss and even a Young Lass, she considered Orphanage Director to be the perfect occupation! The Orphanage Director would have no actual contact with small children, mind you, but would get to name those children -- hundreds of them!

Wee Miss could never imagine settling on a single name, because so many were so beautiful! The Matronly memory mangles much, but Felicity, Hope, Charity, Elizabeth, Stephanie, Victoria and Virginia stand out as being popular among the orphans. Boys were Benjamin, Frederick, Oscar, Bobby, Edward or Lance. Yes, Lance.

Throughout her life, the Matron has always felt that her name belies: she is far more singular than, say, Mary. Indeed, when the unmarried and unfettered Young Miss changed her last name at age 19 for complex reasons, she considered changing her first! To Madison. But she didn't (thank you, God-Oprah for not letting her pick a name soon to be as popular as the old shoe she already had and if your daughter bears that name, know the Matron still likes it, very much!).

So when the Matron became pregnant, she determined that the child's name should sparkle and shine -- stand out as the singular creatures he would be. Yet she didn't want anything obviously made up, like shoving together John & Mary for Jomary or concocting Lilliannaloubella or Frehenry.

If your children bear either of the three names above and you are offended, the Matron is very sorry (for the offspring).

Naming Stryker after the street on which he was conceived not only made perfect sense (at least to his parents) but also met the Singularity Criteria. To be safe, the Matron entered "Stryker" on the Social Security list of top baby names. Never once in 100 years has that name been in the top 1000. The Matron felt safe!

But look what is happening to her daughter!!!

Popularity of the female name Scarlett
Year of birth Rank
2007 219
2006 297
2005 423
2004 527
2003 762
2002 806
2001 939
2000 941
1999 877
1998 834
1997 884
1996 816
1995 751
1994 850
1993 807
1992 949

When the Matron selected the name 'Scarlett' in 1998, she was not pleased that the name was in the top thousand at all - but at 834, the Matron felt the selection was safe. She checked out all other names in the 800's and was pleased to realize that she rarely, if ever, met any of their actual acquaintance: Valentina, Kinsey, Darlene, Emerald or Jill.

Merrick does not enter the top 1000 names, not once in the past 100 years. The Matron knows this for sure, because she just double-checked! History might rewrite itself if she's not watching. She must be on top of all situations, at all times.

The Matron blames Scarlett Johanson for this current issue. Scarlett!! Stop being so damn cute, with those lips and that impossible body and those incredible acting skills. Get Thee away from the cultural psyche! Can't you develop a drug problem like all of your famous twentysomething female acting peers? Maybe a career switch to something less visible, like Walgreen's cashier?

As long as she is wagging her finger-- Ellen! Why did you have to go pick a Stryker to put on national TV? The Matron would like to remind the planet that this man's first name is actually Ted. But, as of 1 pm Central Standard Time on a Tuesday afternoon in Minnesota, Stryker still has not appeared in the list of the top thousand most popular names in 100 years.

The Matron must be in control of all situations at all times (not that she has issues) so she cannot bear that she appears to have absolutely no control over the slow slide of Scarlett up that list.

Mrs. G? If Oprah calls you, please tell her to head over here next. She must ban the use of Scarlett, real quick.


Unknown said...

We are of one mind on this name business. Immediately after my child was named and delivered, a spate of celebrities began stealing her name. Violet Affleck, Violet Grohl and the most exquisite Violet White (offspring of Jack White of the White stripes). However, I can rest easy on her middle name. Only two people bear the name Picabo, my kid and that charming Olympian Picabo Street.

P.S. Had I decided to bear a second child and that child came out with a vagina, she would have been called Scarlet. When the weight of the world is on my shoulders, the only cure is four hours alone with my DVD of Gone With The Wind.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My daughter's name is on your list of 800's--it's the really great name. I sure hope it's not moving up.

I was furious when an acquaintance said, "Oh, my friend in Texas was looking for a girl's name and I told her about ______. She's going to name her daughter that."


Suburban Correspondent said...

My given name is an unusual one; and as a child, it was the bane of my existence. Oh, to have a name that everyone knew how to pronounce and spell correctly! Oh, to have the fun of sharing a name with 2 or 3 other people in my class! Lucky Pamelas! Lucky Stephanies! Poor me!

My longing for normality drove my poor mother crazy, who felt I should revel in the singularity that was me and my name. But being an introverted, not-wanting-to-stand-out type, being unique didn't suit me.

Now, of course, I love my name and I love that no one shares it.

Jennifer S said...

I am one of ninety bazillion girls who were named Jennifer Lyn between 1965 and 1975. There wasn't a classroom around in which there wasn't a Jennifer S. and a Jennifer P., or whatever last initial was required to keep them all straight.

So I understand. Still, I think Scarlett is a beautiful, timeless name. At #219, you're still well away from the top 100.

On the other hand, tomorrow is another day. :-)

Mrs. G. said...

The phone hasn't rung.

stephanie said...

I've gone through a love/hate relationship with my name (one of those lucky orphans!), but I only had to be Stephanie G. for a couple of years in school.

I understand your aggravation with other people naming their kids the same - we thought we were mighty clever with Mason & Paige but no.

Oh well. Imitation is the sincerest form...

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Oprah hasn't called here either. I figure I have to go through her to get to Nate Berkus, but no call from either of them. I sit by my telephone like a teenage girl the week before the prom.

Nice post. Someplace back in March, one of those lists I posted was about how I arrived at my daughters' names, which is not as cleverly written as The Matron's post, but still. *PAUSE* I'm back. I went to find it on my blog (I share The Matron's secret love of reading my own writing, you see) and here is that post.

Unknown said...

Hate to warn you but Scarlett/Scarlet will most likely become a lot more popular.
Although the actress Scarlett may have fueled the fire, I think it probably would have gotten a lot more popular on its own steam. Color and flower names are becoming very popular these days- think Ruby, Dahlia, Iris, Ivy, Lily.

It is interesting to see how popular culture can influence names. You can see that Miley appeared for the first time in the top 1000 girls list last year at number 278 (which is a huge jump-- most names debut in the 900s-800s).

Slight warning, I like the name Merrick (and I remember you posting the name Emery as a possibility for Merricks as well), and Emery already had started to gain popularity, and I think Merrick won't be too far behind it!

Think you're pretty safe with Stryker though!!

~Regular Lurker and name fan :)

K. said...

I shared a similar (though admittedly maybe not as RABID) feeling about singularity - or at least originality - when naming my kids. Khy was first, followed by his sister Storm. My third baby, were it a boy, was going to be Jaden. And then Will Smith went and stole the name, and by the time I was actually pregnant with my third who was indeed a boy (and still is) the Jaden's were EVERYWHERE. I knew I couldn't possibly use it. So back to the drawing board, the name books, the web sites, the endless lists.

No one (and I mean no one) was more surprised than I was when Nicholas wound up being the right name for my third child. He's original in other ways. (Plus? His middle name is Spirit Dancer. Ha!)

Manager Mom said...

You are lucky though, because I have it on good authority that Kate Hudson ALMOST named her son Stryker instead of Ryder...

I myself am a Jennifer, which is pretty unusual, especially in the blog world. Except, not.

Karen said...

This made me think of you, in one particular spot:


JCK said...

You have great children's names by the way!

Our son's name is not in that top list, although I only looked in the top 10. Obviously, I was missing the boat. For our daughter, we named her and in one year her name was within the top 10! Go figure....

Aaahh..yes, wanting control and uniqueness...

She She said...

This happened to us, too. When we named Owen and Nora, the names were unusual. Now you can't turn a corner without bumping into one or the other.

She She said...

This happened to us, too. When we named Owen and Nora, the names were unusual. Now you can't turn a corner without bumping into one or the other.

Tricia said...

There were so many names I enjoyed rolling around my tongue. Unfortunately my hysband and I couldn't agree on a boy's name, even if pigs were to fly. We finally settled on the only thing that didn't give the other a rash. I love your son's name, by the way.

Bee said...

I named my kids for their meaning which works in the uncommon name arena. Our last name is common, common, common, so it's good to have something a bit unusual.

PS. Thanks for coming by and reading! You are always welcome.

Rima said...

I feel your pain, but I think that V-meister and J-dog are safe for the time being (knock on wood).

Melinda said...

My son's middle name is Tharen. NO ONE has that name. It's not even in the top 50,000 names. My Abby however, will forever be a top ten name.

Julie said...

We named our daughter Emily for my favorite 94-year old aunt who died shortly after we were married. It makes me scowl when somebody comments on Emily being one of the most popular names ever and didn't we know that when we named her? Our son, Keith, is not on the common name list. Not even close.

Jocelyn said...

Weirdly, something like this has happened with Jocelyn, over a much longer arc, of course (and not that I've checkec the numbers...because that would be me, checking numbers, which ain't gonna happen). While I was the. only. one. to have such a "weird" name as a kid, I now am surrounded by Josselins, Joslyns, and Joycelyns.

Sigh. I feel your pain.

Jocelyn said...

Back with egg on my face. That number checking dealie is fun!

Neither of my kids' names have been in the top 1000 in the last 20years. Why does this make me feel better?

Unknown said...

My daughter is a Piper. The only one in her whole school.
In NH where she was born one of the ladies thought we named her HYPER, and when we moved south they kept thinking we were saying her name was PAPER.
what can you do?

Anonymous said...

Oh so funny! That's why I named my kids Virgil, Hank and Sylvester;)

WAY easier to find a good boy's name, I think. I'm curious nonetheless to know how my unused "Bridget" lands on the popular list now...

Memarie Lane said...

That's one reason I chose Jessamine's name, not in the top 1,000, nor is it likely to be. This one will be named Odessa, also not in the top 1,000.

If it helps at all, Scarlett is a terrible singer.

flutter said...

If Oprah called me I would probably pee my pants. THEN send her over

Anonymous said...

Oprah herself was originally supposed to be "Orpah." Go figure.

My girls were named after family and literary sources, and suddenly both were in the top 100 within 2 years. Who knew?

I think the kids should be named after famous literary figures: Ernest, Virginia and Laurence. Or not.