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What's In a (Baby) Name?

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Culture & Entertainment

What's In a (Baby) Name?

  Apparently, the most popular baby names of 2012 are Aiden and Sophia--for the third year in a row in fact. Hmm...that surprises me given I only know one Aidan and no Sophias. But I guess maybe my circle isn't very representative of the moms who sign up for BabyCenter. My little one's name, Annabel, ranked 51st on their Top 100 list, but with the alternate spelling of Annabelle. While my name was nowhere to be found, my husband, Jason, will be annoyed to learn that his name is still making the list, 35 years later! He always complains that his parents gave him and his sister, Jennifer, the most boring and common names ever. Every year, he had to contend with at least three other Jasons in his class. But to be fair to his parents, they were dealing with an 11-letter Ukrainian mouthful for a last name. It would have been cruel to also saddle them with a multiple-syllable first name. Although Jason has since come up with a few interesting alternatives--Arkinon anyone? When it came to naming our daughter, we wanted something simple but not common. Jason didn't want her to have the same experience as him going through life as Annabel P. I wanted it to have a nice ring to it, but it also had to be something my Chinese parents could easily pronounce. I didn't want her grandparents perpetually saying her name wrong. Annabel means loving and loveable, which are both totally true, but to be honest, I wasn't so concerned about the meaning so long as it wasn't anything terrible. I also didn't want a name that I associated with another person or some pop culture reference. There were people we wanted to honour, but I wanted variations on their names, not their exact names. I also tried to make sure it wasn't a name that was easy to mock. Let's face it, kids can be mean. I'm sure I'll be proven wrong at some point when some clever kid comes up with a ridiculous moniker for Annabel that I hadn't entertained. By the time I was about eight months pregnant, we had come up with a list of three names we both liked. A week before she was born, we both reneged. I was sticking with Annabel, but I wanted to meet her to be sure. After several hours of labour and delivery, Jason, who looked more pale faced and tired than me, said, "You can choose." Smart man. Annabel it was. So what are your kids' names? How did you choose? (By the way, Blue Ivy is still up for grabs in case you were considering it. Yes, I am being facetious. It didn't make the top 100, but apparently Blue and Ivy individually shot up the ranks. Good grief.)      
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What's In a (Baby) Name?

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