I’ve always had a “thing” about the name Claudia. It was rare and, when I was growing up, a tad odd. Seeing that the most popular names the year I was born were Linda, Patricia, Mary, and Deborah, it took a while to feel comfortable with an unusual, yet pretty, name.
The other day I was importing thousands of names into an e-mail data base, and couldn’t help but notice the variety of names that are popular these days. There is a much wider rainbow of names that paint the sky than ever before. Yet in this realm of creative namesakes, I often find myself more than just gender challenged. I find I am way out of my league in name recognition and pronunciation.
I took an informal/unprofessional/spur-of-the-moment survey of data that crossed my desk. The lists came from people interested in the following subjects: Arts & Crafts, Science, Farm & Ranch, and Early Learning. Out of approximately 16,000 names, here is what I found:
The most popular over-all name (i.e., most frequent), was John, followed by Mary, Michael, David, and Jennifer.
The most popular Arts & Craft name was Susan, followed by Mary then Jennifer; the most popular name in Science was Mary, followed by John then Jennifer. Farm interest was strongest by those named John, followed by David (not Dave) and Michael (not Mike); and those interested in teaching younger students topped off the name chart with Amy, followed by Mary then Jessica. Other top 10 names included Nancy, Andrew, Brian, James, Barbara, and Jeff. Simple, easy-to-remember names.
There were normal amounts of Barbara, Rachel, Matthew, Kevin, Vicki, William, Gail, Carol, Tara, Paul, Leslie, and Sharon. There were lots of Lindas and Julies in Science, lots of Charles and Bens in Farm, lots of Nancys in Arts & Crafts, and lots of Lauras in Early Learning.
But I found a bunch of other fun stuff, too. (here comes the disclaimer bubble..I like ALL these names…that’s why they’re here).
I came across a lot of names that I consider “cute”: Gipsy, Deva, Roark, Stormy, Faughn, Sunny, Dash, Harmony, Mystica, Vanilla, Autumn, and Misty.
Then there are the “unique” names: Aletheia, Barbarita, Charlesetta, Anjanette, Candelaria, Dainko, Jasbeth, Merywynn, Vetrice, Tenancia, Descea, Elicinia, Dazanne, Torianne, Brack, Mireya, Lorendana, Nanise, Narshara, Garnetta, and Bernel.
Then there were the names that are sure to be misspelled: Khara, Alizabeth, Jacqui, Steav, Kasi, Kristopher, Rebekah, Tracee, Raechel, Symantha, Jackelyn, Rhoni, Tobye, Wendee, and Niqui.
I don’t know about you, but there’s no doubt I’d flunk the name game these days. I have a hard time figuring out if it’s male or female, and I’d hate to get yelled at for misspelling someone’s name. The most popular male names for the year I was born were James, Robert, and John. It was hard enough remembering if it was James or Jim or Jimmy, or Robert, Rob, Bob or Bobby. Maybe Deborah dropped an “h” now and then, and I was shocked when in 8th grade my best friend Linda changed her name to Lynda. I couldn’t do that with Claudia — unless it was Claude, Claudette, or Claudine. Ick to all.
Tell me about the unique names you’ve come across in your life. The beauty of the written word is that new words can be created out of old ones. And, anyway, it’s what’s inside that counts.
And, just as a reference, the most popular names for girls a hundred years ago were Mary, Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, and Ruth. Popular men’s names included John, William, James, Robert, Joseph, and George. To be fair, there also was Edna, Ethel, Ralph, Gladys, and Mildred.
So revel in the uniqueness of your name. If your name can’t be unique, make YOURSELF unique. And be glad you weren’t named after a piece of furniture or a digestive part.
6 thoughts on “A Rose by Any Other Name…Could be Rosetta, Roze, Roase…”
Thanks for the follow on Twitter. I’m following you now, too, so don’t let me down. 😀
Oh, Kerbey was my now-deceased dog. RIP. Mine is actually Sasha. So now you fully understand. And I’m not Russian; my folks were in the hippie era…
Thanks for the link! http://www.funnynamesblog.com is a funny, informative blog. Everyone check it out! And you are right — make lemonade out of lemons. How sweet a name can be!
I love the way you think…although this Claudia has worked as a sales clerk for hosiery, pots and pans, and towels. But I have a feeling it was easier getting used to a semi-different name than something totally out of the ballpark. And, btw, I LIKE the name Kerbey..
Those “cute” and “unique” names were awful. People don’t realize their sad attempts at creativity make childhood awful when you constantly have to both repeat and spell your name. When I give my name, folks always tell me they have a German Shepherd with that name. At my son’s school, there are (multiple) Bradens, Jaydens, and Aidens. And Madisons, McKennas, and McKaylas. Enough time has passed that names a year ago are vogue: Ruby, Pearl, Imogene. But I think we still have a while yet before Meg, Peg, Pat, and Pam return. Neat post. And BTW, Claudia has always sounded refined to me; like a Claudia can’t work in a brothel or a convenience store.
Never, ever feel ashamed about your name! We’ve written an entire blog devoted to people with awesome unusual names… funnynamesblog.com
My favorite is Outerbridge Horsey, but there are several hundred on there… all from funny named people who have accomplished awesome things!