Published on Mommy Tracked (http://www.mommytracked.com)

The Importance of Being Earnest.

As you enter your ninth month of pregnancy, take a rough survey of names at some local preschools. You may find, as we did, that there are often several children of the same name in each class, and not necessarily the names you might imagine. There were four Prestons in our child's preschool class, three Dashiels, five Spencers and several Dylans. What are the odds of having three Dashiels in an entire school, much less in one class? Imagine the horror of the imaginative and obviously literary mama who had named her baby "Dashiel," only to discover two more of them in his first preschool class? Multiply the annoyance of having to refer to Dash P., Dash M., and Dash T. by every Jake and Emma, and then go lie down for a while.


There are many names that need to be retired, at least for a time. Just as there finally appeared to be a moratorium in place on all Nancy's, Wendy's and Cindy's by 1958, we need a little time out on the use of certain monikers, names that are so unusual, hundreds of them can now be found in every city. It has just become too difficult to keep track of all the Chloes and Zoes.


Yes, it was cute a few years ago to give all the boys Jewish grandpa names, but now there are more Maxes, Jakes, and Sams than might be found at a Shriner's Club Bingo night. The trick is to find a name that isn't even on the radar screen. Names that may seem off-putting now, will be the "hot" names of tomorrow, and as soon as you slap one of these handles on your new bundle, you will be hearing the name being called across the day-care yard and the playground by all the well-heeled types and the nannies in their employ.


Why not Norm or Chet? How about Ethel, or Betty? We haven’t had a Ralph around for quite awhile, and Doris, Wayne, Wilbur, and Stanley will certainly set your child apart from all the Tiffanys, Chloes and Emmas. How about Gertrude, or Mortimer? Surely your child’s stellar personality will overcome the unusual nature of his name.


Go for Madge! Go for Godfrey! Build character in your child. Let your bright and shining offspring peek out from under the mantle of Bruce, Hester, or Wally. I promise, they won’t get beat up too badly.

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