Thursday, August 8, 2013

Naming Conventions

I was speaking with a coworker yesterday about the name of Kim and Kanye's baby.  If you haven't heard, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their baby North.  As in North West. 

Someone should slap both of them.  I'm guessing there would likely be a line.

It was always important for me to choose "good" names for my children.  Names that I thought were going to flag them as confident and successful and, what the hell, rich too.  What did I know?  I was probably twelve when I started thinking about shit like this.

In all that time, I assure you, North never once popped in my head.  Hard to believe...I know.

My name has it's own story.  Back in the late 50's and early 60's there was a TV show that featured a tugboat that had been christened the "Cheryl Ann".  My parents decided that would be my name.  I're green with jealously that I was named after a tugboat.  But not a REAL tugboat mind you, only one that played one on TV.  Still green?  Okay, maybe it's something you ate.

But, as it turns out, my mom was so doped up on anesthesia after I was born, she couldn't spell "Cheryl" so she just said the hell with it and wrote down "Sherry".  Yep, that's how I became Sherry Ann.  Sad but true.

When I got pregnant and began thinking up names for my kids, I had many, many girls names on tap, all with intricate stories like how my girl would be named Katharine Elizabeth after Katharine Hepburn and Bill's deceased mom, Elizabeth.  If I had two girls the second would be named Audrey Marie after Audrey Hepburn and...well I just liked the name Marie.  I also managed to come up with some pretty unusual names for boys as well but Bill, being the wise man that he is, intervened and insisted on plain boys names...not one's that would gotten my kid's a good ass whuppin' on a regular basis in middle school. 

Eventually, after much discussion, we settled on William Christopher.  We saw the name one night as the credits rolled on M*A*S*H and we liked the way it sounded.  After all, Bill's name was William and the middle name of Christopher would mean he would be named for someone who wasn't really a priest, but played one on TV.  Hey!  Family traditions are important yo!

The twins didn't get anything as fancy or as entertaining as the name of a fictional priest.  Brian Patrick was named for my Irish heritage and Matthew James was named...well because I wanted David Jacob and when Bill didn't like that we were out of options (on which we could both agree) and that's what was left.  Sorry to be the youngest.  Please don't look at your baby book either okay?

So, as I thought about poor baby North, I wondered...what were normal people naming their kids when mine were born.  According to the Social Security Administration in the U.S., the top ten most popular boys names during the 1990's were:

1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Matthew
4. Joshua
5. Jacob
6. Nicholas
7. Andrew
8. Daniel
9. Tyler
10.  Joseph

And now?  Well, according to, the most popular boys names in 2013 are:

1. Liam
2. Noah
3. Jackson
4. Lucas
5. Benjamin
6. James
7. Oliver
8. Elijah
9. Henry
10. Daniel

And lest you think it's just because I've only listed boy's names and poor baby North is a girl (isn't she?), here are the top 10 girl's names in 2013.

1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Emily
4. Charlotte
5. Abigail
6. Amelia
7. Lily
8. Avery
9. Harper
10. Sofia

And while Jackson and Harper may be unique (for now), either way, they beat the hell out of North, or Rainbow Aurora, or Blue Ivy.  Or Rob Morrow's daughter Tu.  Yep...Tu Morrow.  Good thing those kids have body guards.



  1. Holy shit I was named after that tug boat too!

    1. Shut. Up! I've only ever net one other person who was named after that tugboat. It was in a training class many, many years ago in Charlotte, NC. If that was you I might have a stroke.


    2. Lol, no not me but my mom did name me after that boat. I've never known anyone else who had the same story!

  2. I was named after Graham Hill he'd just won his first world championship and was in the news. Funny maybe that is why I'm a big motorsports fan!! Oh surname is Hunt so my sons middle name had to be James.

  3. Both of my girls were "Baby Girl [my last name]" on their hospital bracelets because I couldn't make up my mind until the day we went home. One of those girls is an Audrey. I think I got my name Kristen because I was born close to Christmas. Once a friend asked her dad "Can I spend the night at Kristen's?" and he misunderstood and snapped "how the hell am I supposed to know what we're doing for Christmas?"

    North by Northwest is a cool Hitchcock movie, at least.


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