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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Nicole Kidman and the name game

Nicole The doctor delivered a Sunday on a Monday to Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban, who welcomed their baby daughter, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban. Glad to see Nic and the U-man continuing the tradition of attention-hungry celebrity parents who give their kids strange names. No word yet on a name for Matthew McConaughey's baby boy who was also born Monday. (Matthew's redneck brother Rooster named his second son Miller Lyte after his favorite beer)

I have a theory that child-naming is second Sundae only to designer purses in parading your style. Are you a trend follower (Madison, Logan)? A trend starter (Kennedy, Brooklyn)? Or just cruel (Keebler, Juana)?

It’s astonishing to look at this list of the top baby names going back to 1897 and see how names come in and out of fashion.  From the starched era of Mildred and Dorothy to the odd Reagonomics-inspired days of Tiffany and Morgan, names reflect their decade (yes I’m looking at you, Zowie Bowie).

In one of my favorite books of 2005, the Freakonomics fellas, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, proposed that  baby names “migrate” through the population from a higher socioeconomic level to a lower one. Amber, Heather, and Stephanie started out as high-end names, they say, before they caught on with the mall rats.

Penn_jillette My favorite take on the celebrity obsession with making their kids eat in the cafeteria alone is comic magician Penn Jillette, father of Moxie CrimeFighter and Zolten: "Everyone I know with an unusual name loves it," he told the New York Times. "It's only the losers named Dave that think having an unusual name is bad, and who cares what they think. They're named Dave."

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:55am]


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