Thursday, June 24, 2010


While I was in the country last week I picked up a local newspaper. Normally I would have glanced through it, shuddered, concluded that I'd made the right decision in choosing to live in the city, and then set the thing on fire. However this time I came upon a Baby of the Year competition halfway through, and I was instantly struck by the sociological implications of the entrants' names.

The two primary trends in rural baby nomenclature, or at least in the baby nomenclature of the sort of people who enter their offspring in Baby of the Year contests, can be summed up as a) "The Celebrity Influence" and b) "Phonetics for Dummies".

The most popular name for the next generation is Jack, with four instances (five if you include Jackson). Equal on three is Madison (or its phonetic equivalents) and Charles (or its dimunitives). On two each come Matilda, Layla, Summer, Joshua, Ruby, Charlize (gaaah!) and Storm. It's worth noting that both of the Storms are girls.

Regarding the celebrity influence, we can't know how many of the Jacks were named after Jack Bauer, Jack Johnson, or, heaven help them, Jack Daniels. But it's a fair bet that the mothers of the Summers were big Sarah Connor Chronicles fans, and that the Charlizes were named after an actress whose current career highlight is playing a lesbian serial killer.

The most troubling of these is a little one named Syarra, given that the only other Syarra that the internet mentions is a porn star.

However the larger trend in baby names is the triumph of phonemes over tradition, or as I like to call it, "You can't tell ME how to spell MY baby's name!"

So overwhelming is this trend that it can be broken down into three consistent internal streams. They are:

1. Needs more 'Y's

Chayse, Madilyn, Katelyn, Jayde, Alexys, Mikayla/Makayla and, proving that there is no phonetic barrier impervious to a determined bogan, Daemyn.

2. Needs fewer 'Y's

Kodi, Rilee, Bailee, Hailee and Shelbie. I hoped for a Banshee, but was disappointed.

3. Can't be twisted to either include or disclude a 'Y', but we're gonna torture the hell out of it anyway

Hana, Kertis, Jorgia/Jorja and Isibella/Izabellah. If any woman ever names her daughter Izzahbelluh Jorjah, she will be as a queen to these people.

Somewhere in this hurricane of novelty and dyslexia* there are a few children who somehow ended up with names like James, Nathaniel, Paige or Chloe. I like to imagine that these infants had firm grandparents who put the kibosh on any plans for little Quades or Dylylahs.

*or this storm of noveltee and dislexyah, if you prefer


Blogger Laziest Girl said...

I wish I'd gone with something like Neo and Trinity now. Or maybe Arwen, Aragorn or Boromir.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Laziest Girl said...

Better still, Kevin and Malcolm. Hang on, I mean Julia and Tony.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Personally I've always liked Jebediah van der Monkeyfart for a boy. Or Jessica for a girl.

12:10 PM  

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