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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 actually shoot for names that don’t have easy or standard nick names. Helps ensure they will be called by there name which I prefer. I also agree with your husband on trying to stay traditional on the spelling. Having to spell your name to everyone, including just putting your name in for food, gets really old. Having people with issues pronouncing your name, same thing. I prefer not to put a child through that if possible. :)

    Sierra on
  • I like traditional names for the most part. Growing up in the 80s/90s, there were a TON of other Ashleys, which was kind of a bummer. However, I don’t think you can let your name define you. If anything, your personality, friendship, ideas and everything else about you can help REDEFINE a name for others! My daughter is Emily (a popular name spelled traditionally), but I don’t think she’ll mind someday that I didn’t name her something “unique” with an alternate spelling . . . Who she is makes her special, not her name . . . the name Emily never gave me warm fuzzies until she was born and now it does!

    Ashley on
  • As a substitute teacher, giving a traditional spelling is always great. I always feel bad for the kid that already knows he needs to fix the pronunciation before I have even said their name…

    Lydia @ Not Afraid of the Snow on
  • Our dd is Amathea – I knew if I ever had a daughter that’s what her name would be (of course I changed the spelling a little because of comments people made when I was pregnant). I’ve known this since I was around 13! :-) It took me almost 20 years but I finally got my girl! LOL My MIL calls her Amy but we always call her Amathea. She says she likes it better than Amy anyway so I’m glad we didn’t take up the nickname!

    Amanda Alvarado on
  • lol, this made me smile because i always feel for those kids with funky spellings. teachers having to second guess or muck up pronounciation, and getting tons of written documents with your given name spelled wrong. doesn’t seem worth the attempt at uniqueness, but everyone gets to choose for themselves!

    Jen P on

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