There comes a point in every fiction writer’s life when he finds himself on a baby naming website, or at least I hope it happens to every writer, or else, this just became awkward.
Trolling for names is sometimes a necessary task when writing stories, trying to name the sales clerk behind the counter. In my perusing, I’ve found out two things; the best names never make it on the top ten and the names we curse our children with keep getting stupider and stupider.
According to these fine folks, the most popular boys names in 2007 were: Aidan, Braden, Kaden, Ethan, Caleb, Noah, Jaden, Connor, Landon, and Jacob. For girls: Ava, Abigail, Cailyn, Madeline, Isabella, Emma, Caitlyn, Olivia, Chloe, and Brianna.
Where the hell to start? Let’s go with the boys first, what ever happened to Brian? John? Luke? You wanna dig through the Bible for a name like Noah or Caleb and you didn’t see Matthew or Adam anywhere? Why not just name your kid Nehemiah, or Habbakkuk, and end his sex life before it even starts. And Jaden? Kaden? Aidan? Braden? Really? Your son better grow up to be big with a name like Braden, because he sounds like a type of wheat, or a process that beef has to undergo. And for God’s sake, why would you name your kid Landon? Are you going to name his brother Leaveto?
The only names on that list I like are Jacob and Ethan; Conner has potential, but it reeks too much of Highlander. The girl names are a completely different story, there are a few gems in there. Emma is a really nice name, as is Chloe, and Caitlyn. The list of famous Brianna’s is kind of short, and the first one that comes to mind isn’t really role-model material, but you can give that to your daughter if you want. Abigail, however, is just cruel. It’d not 1830, and no one is wearing a wig. Your daughter is going to have to live with that name for 18 years, most of which are at school, and afterwhich she is likely going change her name and curse you out.
Madeline, Olivia and Isabella are ok, a bit obscure, but they sound nice. It works. That said, I return to my main point; the really good names never make the cut, so here’s my top ten:
Boys: Alex, Jack, Kyle, Benjamin, Michael, Isaac, Daniel, Kevin, Christopher, Ryan
Girls: Emily, Allie, Sarah, Beth (or Elizabeth), Hannah, Cynthia, Julie, Kelly, Zoe, Leah
And to the detractors who would say those names aren’t creative enough, here is another list. If you want to ignore the conventions and start getting original, you really can’t beat these:
Boys: Dragonstar, Fenrock, Pangea, Leviticus, Cataclysmo, Nazariyeth, Galactor, Nitros, Mandrake
Girls: Cocoglitter, Jujupepper, Hi, Algae, Coolata, Ishtara, Sparklebug, Tidallily, Gaea
– Fernando Arrue