It may be difficult for some readers to believe I am happy to praise Nameberry’s latest list of names—announced in the Kansas City Star, but it’s true. All the boys’ and girls’ names come from the middle of the SSA top-1000 list ranking from about 400 to 700.
Gone (and not missed) are recommended lists of names that are too unusual, too weird, too hard to spell, and too hard to pronounce that were staples in many of their recent articles. Also gone (and not missed) are recommended lists of names that were too dependent on here-today and gone-tomorrow, media glitz.
I think you’ll be surprised to find out there are plenty of names in their latest article with energy, spirit and charm, found in the middle of the SSA top-1,000 list, that are worth considering for boys and girls, like these:
Girls’ Names to Consider: Carolina**, Camilla**, Colette, Dana***, Dylan****, Francesca*, Lana, Marina, Meredith, Serena*, Sloane*, Sasha*
(*names on my list of “Cool Names for Girls”; **names on my list of “Interesting and Unusual Sochi Olympic Names”; *** my daughter’s name; **** my son’s middle name.)
Boys’ Names to Consider: Alec, Archer, Cullen, Davis, Flynn*, Kieran, Mitchell, Nico*, Raphael, Rhett*, Russell, Tobias**, Wilson, Winston
(*names on my list of “Cool Names for Boys”; **names on my list of “Interesting and Unusual Sochi Olympic Names.”)
Of course a list of names selected from the middle of the top-1000 names runs the risk of being a little too safe and boring. So it’s not surprising that Nameberry has included some boring, odd, or old-fashioned names, on their latest list, which I’ll call to your attention below:
Boring, Odd, or Old-fashioned Names for Girls I Found on Nameberry’s List: Ada, Cynthia, Claudia, Helena, June, Matilda, Rosemarie and Samara
Boring, Odd, or Old-fashioned Names for Boys I Found on Nameberry’s List: Albert, Asa, Cyrus, Enzo, Justice, Moses and Nash
P.S. My regular readers know that in the last six months I’ve often criticized Nameberry posts which contained names I thought would be a burden to children, because so many of the names they recommended were “unusual” to the point of being a likely source of embarrassment, teasing and bullying to children whose parents had made the mistake of using names they found recommended in Nameberry articles. However, I’ve also tried to find Nameberry posts I could praise, like this one. It obvious to me that thinking about how names might work for children was not a major consideration in their writing/recommending process.
Although several Nameberry staffers and colleagues sent me comments to complain that my posts were “snarky” and to claim I wrote about Nameberry too often, I continued my campaign to make Nameberry writers more aware that they were creating needless problems for children of their readers.
Regular readers also know I often criticize names selected by ego-tripping celebrities. But I also praise clever, trendsetting celebs whose names strike me as “cool” or “inspired.” In other words, “I call ’em as I see ’em.”
Even though I’m praising Nameberry’s latest article, I think it could have been improved by limiting it to fifteen or twenty strong names. (You might re-direct that criticism back to me for including about 60+ names in my Sochi Olympic medal-winners article. And I’d agree. I’ve already deleted several names I’d hate to get stuck with–like Zan, which means “clown,” and Candy, which is bad for your weight, your teeth and your complexion.)
Perhaps Nameberry had no idea there were lovely names near the middle of the SSA top-1,000 list, so they picked 101 names. More likely they have a “100 names” (or 101 names”) formula to which they felt a need to stick. I hope Nameberry will move away from all the “formulae” that have too-often produced recommendations replete with embarrassingly bad choices in the recent past.