Do You Have a Supreme Court Justice Test?
What is the first treacherous obstacle of parenting? Choosing a baby name of course. Every couple has a strategy or at least someone who feels they made a compromise. And If you ever hit a lull in the schoolyard conversation, a good topic to bring up? Baby names. Everyone loves to talk about why they named their children what they did and even better is commenting on the weird names chosen by celebrities as well as your neighbours.
When arguing over a name for a prospective baby the underlying questions are: What are we trying to signal when we choose a name for our child? Our hopes and dreams for the future? A nod to our past? Our favourite day of the week or most loved fruit?
Now I know that with Aaron, Sam and Jenna we fell into a category of pretty mainstream names and to be honest if I was a single parent the kids would more likely be called Milo, Owen and Ruby so I guess that makes me the compromiser. Names that convey intelligence and the possibility of a future outside of rock n’ roll was pre-requisite in our family. In fact, we always applied what we called the “Supreme Court Justice Test” to our possible names. Supreme Court Justice Posie or Supreme Court Justice Jenna? It’s not that we want our kids to sit on the Judicial Bench it’s just that we wouldn’t want them their names to get in the way of taking them seriously.
Some people are taking that a step further and even checking out the Google-ability of names. Because of course, you would want your child to have good search results!
I thought one of the most interesting part of Freakenomics is the section on how baby names move up and down the economic ladder; “high-end” parents drive a naming trend but then abandon it, while the “lower-end” parents then pick it up. Their predictions for the most popular names for 2015 differ greatly from the guesses of baby name gurus Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, authors of Beyond Ava and Aiden.
I always try to figure out the thought process behind people’s choices. Why would a family choose the top three names for their three kids (as our friends did)? Were they trying to tell the world how boring they are?
Of course I come across lots of interesting names in my funky, downtown neighbourhood. There are boys named Breeze, Story and Case, there are girls called Betty and Oona and lots of girls with last names as first. I can't wait to see what my kids choose for their future offspring -- I just hope they use the correct spelling.