Before I get back to posting on individual names, as I do, I'd like to revel in the happiness that is the Social Security Administration's extended list, which means beyond the top 1000 most popular names. If you've read any of my previous posts you know how much I love rare (legitimate) names that are sorely underused, and that I believe there are so, so many great names out there that it's not exactly necessary to use one in the top 10, 100 or 1000. Not bad, but not necessary, not unique. I have an old friend right now expecting a baby girl she intends to name Isabella, despite the fact that she'll live her life as one of several (if not myriad) other Isabella's. It's a perfectly fine name, just not as attractive once you know there were over 21,000 babies born with that name just last year, and a few thousand more than that in 2010. I have my top 1000 favorites (Claudia, Raina, Luciana, Elena and Sophie) but I don't think I could bring myself to ever use them, as there are so many other options that are, as I said, sorely underused. I've always imagined how great it would be to go pretty much anywhere, say your name, and people know you're the only one. Example: If I said Oprah, Aretha, or Madonna, you'd immediately know who I was talking about, and in part just due to their names being so rare. And while I'm partly ranting, I might as well say, you can reach a level of "unique" or individualize a name by choosing something rare and beautiful instead of picking something common and changing something about it, like its spelling or pronunciation. There's no need to spell Sophie as Sofee, or Emily as Emmaleigh. No need, and you are certainly not the first person to do so.
Anywho... Until I summon the energy to do individual names again and can tear myself away from the new list, I will try to pick a few names which were given to under, say, 200 babies in 2011 to talk about here. The people have the right to know these rare beauties!
On to some girl names...
I thought it might be worth mentioning some from a previous post. I came across quite a few M- names: Milania, which was very surprising, Milana, Mina, Mira, Mara, Millie, Maritza, Meadow. Maybe there's something to this? Feminine M names in vogue?
Another one that intrigued me was #1000, Damaris. What brought this on? It's a Greek/Latin/Graeco-Celtic, Biblical/historical name, a few namesakes and companies/charities, but it also happens to be similar to Daenerys, a character from Game of Thrones, whose nickname is Dany, which makes me wonder what nickname Damaris could have. There were 250 baby girls named Damaris in 2011, so anything under 250 births means it did not rank, although it won out against Reina and India, which also had 250 births. Somehow I think Reina should have been #1000.
It just so happens that Jacquelyn got bumped off the chart for the first time ever, since its first appearance in 1919.
Here's what I found noteworthy: Charlize with 243 births, Monserrate with 242 births and Montserrate with 171, Lyra with 240, Aurelia with 239 (I think both Lyra and Aurelia have the potential to break into the top 1000), Colette and Winter with 237, Belinda with 236 (fun fact: Belinda was a Babylonian goddess), Estella with 233, Antonia and Astrid with 231, Milena and Noa with 230, Aubriana with 227, Emmaline with 225, Coraline with 224, Frida with 222, Vienna with 220, Theresa with 211, Magdalena with 210, Calista with 207, Wren with 206, Freya with 204, Rhea with 202, Veda with 201, Fallon with 200. (I think Winter, Wren, Estella, Emmaline, Freya, Aubriana and possibly Noa could all break into the top 1000 as well, so watch out.)
I'll do more tomorrow on names with 100 to 199 births in 2011.