Editor's Note: What's in a name? Well...plenty

I know one person who’s mad it isn’t Spencer.

She thinks Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge should have named their firstborn in honor of William’s mother, the late Lady Diana, whose maiden name was Spencer.

I was going to ask this particular Anglophile why she cared what the name of Britain’s future monarch is, but then I thought better of it. People who care about the royal family can be kind of touchy about it.

For the record, the little prince’s name is George, a perfectly respectable British royal name. It beats the last famous baby name that made headlines: Kim Kardashian’s baby boy, North. Honestly, I kind of like the name North; it’s different but not too weird, it’s kind of cool – unless your last name is another direction. North’s last name is West. Yeah.

Every six months, the office of DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo releases a list of the most popular baby names in the county. It seems the majority of our residents lean more toward the “George” end of the spectrum than the “North” end (forgive the pun). The most popular boys’ name in the county from January to June was Isaac; the most popular girls’ name, Olivia.

Rounding out the top five for boys were Andrew, Jaxon, Matthew and Michael; for girls it was Alexa, Emma, Grace and Abigail.

The Social Security Administration releases its list of the most popular baby names in the country once a year. What’s really fun is, if you visit the administration’s website, you can see the top 100 names going back 100 years. It’s fun to see names come and go, moving up and down the list.

There can be a lot of pressure when it comes to naming a baby. There’s a lot to consider: how does it sound with your last name, how will it age (a really adorable name is great on a 4-year-old, not so much on a 54-year-old), what are the kids on the playground likely to turn it into, etc. Some parents are traditionalists; others want the name to be more unique. Many try to toe that line between different and weird.

Some choose unconventional spellings for common names. As someone who works in newspapers and takes down names a lot, I have to advise against that. It may be unique, but little Khrystyna or Dayvidd will not thank you as they see their name misspelled or mispronounced over and over and over throughout their life.

I’m also not a fan, personally, of names that imply character traits, like Justice or Serenity. They’re lovely names, but it seems they may come with a certain amount of pressure attached.

With all of that said, my parting words are that you ignore everything I just said if you want to. Names are a very personal thing, for both their bearer and their parents, and you don’t have to answer to anyone about your choice.

Except your kid.

Enjoy your MidWeek.


In the story, “Sweet corn hits local produce stands” in the July 24 edition of The  MidWeek, Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce was inadvertently omitted from the list of local sweet corn sellers. Bountiful Blessings is located at 15565 McGirr Road in Hinckley and is open 24 hours a day. Also, the location of Wessels Family Farm Stand was not given. The farm stand is at the intersection of Routes 23 and 30 in Waterman. The MidWeek regrets the omissions.

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