It can be difficult to decide on a style of Baby Name that’s right for you. The first step is to define what exactly Traditional, Popular, Unusual and Modern Baby Names are.
Traditional Baby Names
Andrew? Or Armani?
These names are usually good, old-fashioned names that our parent’s parents were given. Many of them are biblical and are still common choices today. A child with a traditional name is unlikely to need to explain their name to friends or acquaintances.
A Traditional name can be Popular or Unusual. Some Traditional names have been hot items forever, while others are just starting to make a come back. There are still other Traditional names that have such an old-fashioned flavor that they are unlikely to ever be back on the scene. Names like Bertha, Ethel, Mabel, Clarence, Ernest, and Elmer were very popular in the 1800’s but just seem out of touch today.
If you choose the more common Traditional names (interestingly enough, 10 out of 10 of the top boys names in the 2000’s are Traditional, and 8 out of 10 of the top girls names in the 2000’s are Traditional), you are faced with the probability that your child will be one of 4 or 5 children in his or her class with the same name.
Modern Baby Names (Trendy)
Sarah? Or Sumalee?
These are names that are in vogue at one particular time. Occasionally a trend can involve the use of Traditional names, but usually it is a bit more “out there”.
Today’s trends include unusual spellings of more common names, the use of brand names such as Lexus and Armani, and totally made-up names—these are often copied from celebrities who seem to have this trend down pat! These are names that are more likely to be in need of explanation. “I’ve never heard of that name” or “That’s not how I would spell it” are often associated with them.
It’s important to remember that trends can give us names that are pleasing for years to come, or names that just sound plain odd when the trend is over. An example of the first is the trend several years ago to “J” names. This brought many Jessicas, Jennas, Jasons, and Jonathans into the world. These names are still holding strong. However, will Armani, Infinity, Chevrolet, Canon, and Chanel fare as well? And will a child with one of these names think their name is weird or strange down the road?
If you are considering a Modern or Trendy baby name it would be wise to try and determine if the trend is one that has staying power.
Popular Baby Names
These names, by definition, are more common than other names. At this time both Trendy and Traditional names can make this list. A girl or boy whose name is Popular, is likely to have several classmates with the same name and will have no problems having their name accepted by the crowd.
Some research has shown that children with Popular names do better in school (this research, however, seems to be up for debate). They may feel more accepted by their classmates and therefore find it easier to fit in. However, if you are picking a Popular name, be prepared to have at least 3 or 4 of your child’s classmates sporting the same one.
Unusual Baby Names
Names that aren’t heard very often are obviously Unusual. They are often ethnic in origin and are picked because they have a sound or meaning that particularly appeals to the parents. Children with these names are often asked to explain or spell them. They are unlikely to have classmates with the same name and will stand out from the crowd because their name has not been heard before.
It is thought that children with Unusual Baby Names can benefit by having greater self esteem because they feel they are unique. The uniqueness of their names can make them feel special which may also increase their confidence with peers. As with Trendy names, it’s good to try and determine if the Unusual name you are picking will stand the test of time. If Dweezil or Moon Unit appeals to you, you may want to think again.
So what should you do?
Experts have suggested that parents who admire and cultivate certain characteristics will chose names that reflect these, and in this way they will help to foster them in their children. Therefore, parents who enjoy traditional values will tend to gravitate to Traditional names. Parents who appreciate creativity, imagination, and freethinking will pick Unusual or Trendy names. Finally, parents who value harmony and convention will chose Popular names.
Furthermore, because the characteristics represented by these types of names are highly valued by the parents, any disadvantages that come along with them will be easily dealt with. For example, children with Popular and/or Traditional names will be raised in such a way that they enjoy being one of a group, while children with Unusual and/or Trendy names will learn to revel in their uniqueness.
So the message seems to be that by following your heart you will be picking the perfect type of name for your baby.