It’s that time of the year again! The Social Security Administration recently released its comprehensive list of baby names for 2013, and the consensus is that yoonique names have continued — and will continue — their rise to baby name domination. Sure, the Emmas, Avas, Liams, and Jacobs aren’t going anywhere, but more parents seem to be looking around and saying to themselves, “You know what this world needs? More human children named after fantasy/sci-fi/animated characters. Or obscure towns or cities, but spelled with different letters. Or just a sacred word like “Angel” spelled backwards. This world needs yooniquely named babies!”
While news and gossip blogs traditionally reported the most popular names of 2013 (Sophia and Jacob), most outlets honed in on other details, too. NPR wrote, “You might also be running into more kids named Jayceon and Daleyza, two names the SSA says had the biggest gains in popularity among the top 1,000.” io9 titled its post, ‘Popular New Baby Names Of 2013: Vanellope, Kaptain, Tuf, And Kyndle.’ Today noted the “kree8tiv spellings of more conventional names: Finlea and Massyn, Elynne and Karsan,” and CNN helpfully pointed out that “the names tend to reflect pop culture’s influence on trends. The fastest riser for girls in 2012 was Arya, the name of a beloved character in the “Game of Thrones” series on HBO.” In other words, yoonique names with kree8tive spellings have actually gone pretty mainstream.
Soon, these STFU, Parents columns about baby name trends won’t seem remotely absurd, because everyone will already have or know a child with a similar (but not TOO similar!) moniker. It’s all fun and games until you have a niece named Nevaeh and a nephew named Anson. Or, perhaps you’ve always wanted to name your own child something like ‘Saylor’ or ‘Kamdyn,’ and you no longer find the mockery of such names to be funny. Once enough people adopt the yoonique name sensibility, the ones left standing out in the cold are those who didn’t initially embrace the trend. Much like the habit some parents have of creating Facebook pages for their babies, “wacky” baby name trends are becoming rather commonplace and therefore far less wacky. I’m anticipating future pushback from readers who, over time, have come to accept and welcome names like ‘Brayden’ and ‘Kaidence’ into their lives. But until that fateful day arrives, I’m sticking to my belief that yoonique names are usually more effective at confusing teachers and government workers than they are at ensuring greatness and instilling confidence in kids. Let’s check out a few (more) examples of these current naming trends — and don’t forget to check out the SSA’s list of names that have increased in popularity from 2012 to 2013. You may as well get comfortable with the names of our future leaders, doctors, and celebrities now. President Lloyal, anyone? Oh, and speaking of presidents, if you’re going to give your kids “themed” names, don’t do it like this:
My message to parents: JUST SAY NO.