Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name...

So this morning I found myself killing time on the Social Security Administration website.  I finally got my hands on our marriage certificate (for some reason, the state of Virginia does not automatically send out one's marriage certificate, unlike most other states I've heard about) and it's time to start the whole name change process.  I'm dropping my middle name (I was given the same middle name as my godmother and while I appreciate and understand the significance, I've always hated it in combination with my first name), shoving my maiden name over to be my new middle name and taking the Mister's last name.

And did you know that the SSA keeps track of popular baby names?  The Mister & I are nowhere near close to having a little one, but I've always been fascinated by names.  I always thought my own name, Sarah, has been popular since the beginning of time.  But looking at the statistics over the last 100 years, while it mainly stayed in the top 100, it didn't really soar in popularity until the 80s when it jumped into the top 5 and stayed in the top 10 through the 90s.  But I guess my name is on the outs.

An interesting anecdote from the plane a few weeks ago:  A young mom was walking her infant up & down the aisle during the flight and I said hello to the baby because I have Baby Rabies and this is what I do.  The mom says, "This is Sarah!"  And I got confused, thinking maybe she read my name tag and was introducing me to her baby but then I said, "Oh, is HER name Sarah?  MY name is also Sarah!"  And she immediately says, "Do you love your name?"  And I was kind of taken aback and she continued, "Because we wanted to give our babies traditional names.  I'm a Rachel and my husband is Benjamin and we liked having traditional names but I worry she might hate it."

And I wasn't sure how to answer that question.  Because I like my name okay.  But as I was growing up, I always wished I had a more unique name.  My sister's name is much less common than my name and, in fact, has never reached the top 100.  There wasn't another kid at our school with her name.  Whereas for me, there was always at least one other Sarah in my class and one year on my softball team we had Sarah A., Sarah B., two Sarah Cs and a Sarah D.  It was ridiculous!  And I hated always having to be Sarah B. on all of my homework.  So while I didn't exactly hate my name, I always wished I had a name that was a little less popular.

Of course, I didn't say this to the new mom because, really, what is she going to do?  Change the kid's name?  I just said, "I like traditional names too because I could always find personalized pencils and whatnot and I didn't really have to tell anyone how to pronounce it or how to spell it."  Besides, with Sarah on the outs, it's always possible that this little girl, unlike say, a Sophia, will be the only one in her class.

As for the weirdest trend...I just do not understand how this is a thing.

Nevaeh is "heaven" spelled backwards.  And it beat out my name for the LAST THREE YEARS.  Seriously?

If you are also fascinated by the trends in baby names, you can access the database here:  SSA Popular Baby Names.  Also, does anyone else out there find boy names to be kind of difficult & also boring?  Because I find myself waaaaay more interested in girl names.

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