Baby Names: Is a wroze by any other name still as sweet?

I find the stats that the Social Security Administration (SSA) releases on baby name trends to be fascinating. I love looking at the names that were popular in the 1980's (the decade God decided I should grace the world with my presence) compared to the present day. I vividly remember having a lot of little girl friends who were named "Crystal" in elementary school. We lived in Grand Forks, North Dakota at the time so maybe a lot of the mothers having little girls were fans of the TV soap Dynasty but whatever it was I have never known so many Crystal's as I did when we lived there. Curious about this insignificant detail I decided to look at the top names the SSA has recorded for 1980 - 1989. Crystal is listed as number 20 which is based on the number of Social Security cards that were registered with that name; in case you were wondering 140, 989 little girls were named Crystal during the 80's. Now let's look again at Crystal but this time look at the spelling - you have Crystal, Crystel, Krystle, Krystal, etc. There are so many different ways to spell a baby's name. When we decided to name our daughter, "Kendall," my husband and I had a long discussion on how we would spell her name. I, always wanting to be different (I mean really, I do go by the name "Bert" even though my given name is Elizabeth), wanted to spell her name "Kendyl" while my husband liked the traditional spelling "Kendall." He said that my spelling of the name reminded him of a pickle. No one's going to argue with the imagery of a pickle now are they? I think not thank you very much. We also named our oldest boy, Brennan; that could have been spelled "Brennen." So my question, does the spelling of the name change the "personality" that's associated with the person who has the name? No, a rose, if by another name would still be as sweet; Shakespeare was right about that one. My given name, "Elizabeth," has such a formal, classy persona attached to it; people see my given name and place me into a category. I don't consider myself to be formal or classy which is why "Bert" seems to fit better than my given name. My mom hates this; she calls me "Beth" and had always wanted a little girl named "Beth." Thinking about this always makes me feel a little guilty. I mean how would I feel if my daughter chose to go by another name? I've had her name picked out since I was 13 years old. Would a rose still smell as sweet? Whether we choose to use an obscure spelling of a traditional name (ahem, like Khloe) or a popular name (anyone know a ton of Jessica's like I do?), our children will have the final say in what they are called. We can choose a name but the name doesn't make the person after all, a rose if called by any other name would still smell as sweet, don't you think? NameRose
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23 comments

  • I was born in ‘81 & was named Crystal! I think it’s a simple spelling but people in my family still mispell it, LOL!

    Crystal Dean on
  • I love my name, Bethany. It drives me crazy to see other spellings! Its not a hard name to spell, but because so many people try to use weird spellings of names, I get, Bethanie, Bethanne, and many others. Its not hard, its very traditional. But that’s what happens when people start spelling names all weird.

    Bethany on
  • I always wished my name was Crystal when I was younger, but I never tried to change it. I got called various things throughout the years, though. Chrissy, Christy, Chrissy-Ann, Chris…. none of them by MY choosing, either. It’s whatever people wanted to call me. You can tell how long someone has known me by what they call me. Still, I find it annoying, as none of the nicknames (save “chris”, maybe) suit me. I always introduce myself as “christine”, and try to get people to call me “christine”. I gladly will go by “chris” before any other nickname listed above, though I frequently was known as “kit” (short for ‘kitsune’ which means ‘fox’ in japanese…. totally my favorite animal and I was going through a big anime phase at the time!) in my mid-teens.

    That all being said, I prefer unique names that aren’t weird or spelled funky (does that make sense?). This has become frustrating for my husband as we have had children since I want nothing popular, but nothing weird, either. I like things that are not in the top 500 on the U.S. social security name database. I also watch the trends of names to make sure the name I like (if it isn’t in the top 500) isn’t rapidly climbing (for example: Adele/Adelle was not in the top thousand a few years back, 2 years ago it was in the 800s, then it was nearly 500 last year). I like “classically popular” names. Names that were once really popular but nowhere to really be seen in the last few decades… like Felicity/Felicia (which my hubby hated), Edith, Arlene, etc. :)

    christine k. on
  • Common Nicknames can be hard enough for teachers to keep up with, but then there are always kids with family names who go by a middle (or completely random variation) name!

    Jacquelyn K on
  • I have to spell my name for everyone, even though it is not terribly unusual…. I don’t ever plan on naming my child something that they will have to spell for everyone for the rest of their life!

    Lana on

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