Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's In a Name?


Okay, so by now everyone has probably seen the news. That's right, Jacob and Isabella were the top baby names in 2009. Now, as much as I love Twilight (and love mocking Twilight even MORE), I have mixed feelings about this. My first thought was "Oh, those poor, poor kids."

Actually, Jacob and Isabella were popular before the Twilight series became so popular. Jacob has been #1 for boys for the past 10 years and Isabella has been in the top ten since 2004. So I'm thinking that no one will really know if an Isabella or a Jacob is named after their respective Twilight characters. It could be a Twi-moms little secret, and probably is secret from Jake and Bella's unsuspecting Dad.

But, what about the name Cullen? It jumped 297 spots on the top names listing and I'm pretty sure that's quite obviously a Twilight-inspired name. You know who I feel sorry for? The people who have never read Twilight, but happen upon the name Cullen and choose it for their baby boy. You know their friends are whispering behind their backs and they have no idea why.

Cullen? As a NAME? Really? *rolling my eyes* What's next, a bunch of girls named Swan?

And, I don't like the name Cullen because I'm not a fan of last-names-as-first-names.

I actually do like the name Cullen! But obviously I wouldn't go there now. And that would be a little bit more difficult to keep secret from the husband.

And I think we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief at the fact that Renesmee did not even make the top 1,000.

Renesmee is proof that people shouldn't be ALLOWED to make up names. It reminds me of that movie with Natalie Portman where she names her baby Americus. I mean, really. #namingfail

No matter how much the name "Bella" may make us cringe now, I DO admit that it's a pretty name. And we can see why people like it. Besides, isn't that part of naming our children? Picking out things that we like?

Or picking out things we like second best because your husband won't allow you to name your daughter Alice? (Alice, by the way, moved up 69 spots on the name list in 2009. Just sayin.)

Exactly! And Alice is a GREAT name. Your husband is loco.

I think names like Bella and Jacob (and Alice) are okay because they're REAL names. But what about made-up names? Like, I saw a poor kid once who was named after a video game character. And I know for a FACT that the name was invented solely for that game, so there's no way the parents could argue otherwise. The poor kid was named Zidane.


That noise you hear is the echo of my head, thumping against my keyboard, from 4 years ago.

Was that a girl or boy? Either way.

I do think literature inspired names are the best though. I also wanted to name our girl Zora, after Zora Neale Hurston, but again the damn husband said No! He also denied my Zadie, after Zadie Smith. Obviously I like the Z names.

Well, you could always try Zidane. *snicker*

I always liked the name Zelda, as in Zelda Fitzgerald. Not Zelda, as in the Legend Of.

Notice that when you and I say "literary names" we pick the authors and not the characters?

I was just thinking that! I like the legacy of the writer rather than the character. If you name your child after a character, then you have to explain it someday: "Yes, Cullen dear, you're named after a family of vampires. But vegetarian vampires! I don't know, I was really into it for a while. It took over my life, really..."

*laughing* You have to be careful with writers, too, though. "Oh, Hemingway, you were named after a literary genius. A drunk, cheating, literary genius."

Oh you're right! But then that kind of rules out Zelda Fitzgerald, right?
Looney? Drunk? Yes and Yes?

You'll notice that my daughter is not, in fact, named Zelda. *grin*

*ahem* You might ALSO notice that my name is not, in fact, Meadow. That's right everyone, I've uncloseted myself. A little. I mean, I'm not giving out my address or phone number or anything. ANYWAY, my point is that my NAME is Leigh. And so from now on, that's what you'll see here. You've always gotten to hear ME through the posts, so now you'll have a real name to go with my real face. Now, I know that some of you are wondering about Rain. I'm working on her. I wouldn't be surprised if she outs herself here soon, but until then you guys will have to accept the pseudonym.

All in good time, my friend. All in good time. *wink*

Well Readers, back to the post, what about you? What literary names do you love? What do you hate? Tell us!