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Will Your Siblings Use Up the Good Names?

baby-name-bibleby Jonathan B. Perry

As I’m the last of the brothers to mate, I’ll be the last brother to mate with results (offspring), if I do.  This alone isn’t that big of a deal.  The big worry is that by the time I do have kids, the good names will all be taken.  This is my real concern.  Unfortunately, this makes me a bad sounding board, an untrustworthy critic, because when the siblings discuss possible names for their monsters, I may boo a good one that I want (like Matthew, which I can’t use because it would be redundant to have another Matthew Perry), while supporting the use of the name Birch (this one was real.  Good dodge, Jay.).  It’s too bad because I’d really enjoy discussing child names with family for hours, possibly minutes, on end (For some reason, I’ve had child name books for years, which seems a bit feminine and weird, now that I think about it.  Hmm.).

The name scarcity problem didn’t present itself until about the end of college when it occurred to me that I was lagging behind in the mating race.  It’s worse because I’m the oldest and scarlet-letter2should have done my part to help repopulate the empty planet nearly a decade ago.  I have friends who started having kids right out of high school and now those kids are already in high school and this makes me feel old (and it also reminds me that the friends might be a little rednecky).  If I ever do have children, which brings up another problem, I may be stuck with the names Rocky and Dennis, which alone are two good reasons for not reproducing.  Apparently, I need to get with the program and post my classified ad.  Fortunately, I only have 2 siblings and not 12.  Also, if my younger brothers ever hurry up and get those vasectomies, then we can have this child name discussion without any problems, though I suspect the interest level will be lower by then.

Each year, the Department of Social Security lists the most popular baby names for that year.  According to the Social Security records for 2004 (not sure why I picked 2004, but whatever), the most popular baby names were:

Rank    Male Name    Female Name
1               Jacob                 Emily
2              Michael              Emma
3              Joshua               Madison
4              Matthew            Olivia
5              Ethan                  Hannah
6              Andrew             Abigail
7              Daniel                Isabella
8              William              Ashley
9              Joseph               Samantha
10           Christopher     Elizabeth

Some of these name favorites surprise me, like Hannah and Abigail which bring to mind scarlet letters or Salem witch trials.  It turns out most of the names I like aren’t overly used and are in the clear, which is fantastic (actually, I have a nice Google spreadsheet with all the names, in case I forget).  One problem I have is picking a good name for a boy.  I can think of 4 or 5 girl names right off the bat that I like, but if I can’t use Matthew, then I really only have 2.5 boy names that I like, but would want to use one as a middle name for another, so it would work out okay if I had one son, but I really want my options.

Rex & Rex come when called

Rex & Rex come when called

Of course, there would be a spouse involved and I suppose she would want to have some say.  Maybe.

What might be a smart idea is to get a few pets and start naming them the desired child names.  This way my siblings can’t use the names while I have pets with these names, then by the time I have kids these pets will be dead or I can at least change the animal names or maybe both child and animal will come simultaneously when one name is called.  I think this is swell plan, except I’d be stuck with more pets and, if you’re going to have pets, you might as well have children.  They learn much better tricks.

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10 Responses to “Will Your Siblings Use Up the Good Names?”

  • Jay:

    We had that baby name book. But the title is kind of misleading. They say there are 50,000 names, but it turns out about 43,000 are different ways to spell Dashawn (Dasean, Dashan, Dashaun, Dashane, Dashante, Deshawan, Deshawon, D’Shawn, Dusean, etc., etc., etc., etc…). So… I think an older book with only 14,000 names would probably do me just as well.

  • admin:

    I’ll have to start using that counting technique for various things. Can’t think of anything at the moment.

  • Jay:

    Yeah, we had trouble finding a good male name, too. I had too many negative associations with a lot of names (I’m sure it was out of that desperation that Kendra was proposing Birch and Joshua Tree). But we have several girl names. Pity we won’t be able to use any of them.

  • admin:

    Oh, Birch is a male name, huh? I did not know. Joshua is a good name. I wonder if cousin Chris ever got teased about his middle name. I wonder if girls’ names are inherently easier to like. Maybe you don’t have to be so caught up in whether it sounds unisex. Maybe not as much as for boys’ names.

  • Melanie:

    Okay… this is definitely my favorite post on your bachelor site… I love the idea of the pets thing… that is sooo saavy!! And yes… the mother will definitely want a lot of say so in the baby naming process.. so don’t bother getting your heart set… but my question is: What do you need a spreadsheet for… to keep track of 4 or 5 female names… and 2.5 male names…? it seems a little overkill to me… weird. Wouldn’t a simple miniture notebook work fine? It would probably be a whole lot more portable and practical, too… in case you need to access those names while picking out that puppy at the pound.

  • admin:

    Melanie brings the reality. You’re choleric, aren’t you? Actually, there are 20-30 names for each sex, but the top names are sort of ranked, highlighted. Not really a spreadsheet, so much as a list with a few rows & columns. Yeah, I guess it’s a mini-spreadsheet.
    Ode to Pound Puppy-Pound Puppy, you’re my one & only puppy love.

  • Melanie:

    No, I’m not really that choleric… I was just trying to fool you. I’m more sanguine with a touch of melancholy… but come to think of it… I am really into organizing stuff and being nit picky about details… so maybe that does make me a little bit choleric… I don’t know. I’m me and that’s what I know for sure. So… what are you going to name your new pup??

  • admin:

    Organization is great. I wish I were more organized. I’m super-left-handed & largely dysfunctional.
    People keep suggesting I need a beast. Cat or dog. No python offers. I think I’ll be ok without pets for a bit. Think I’m allergic anyway.

  • Heather:

    After my brother-in-law and his wife named their daughter Rockett I didn’t worry about losing a name I liked anymore. I actually wish that they had stolen one of them…

  • admin:

    Haha!! Way to luck out. My youngest brother picked names off my radar, so far. Love that.

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