The Un-Popularity Contest

“Thomas, be careful!” calls a mother and another mother asks, “Oh, is your toddler named Thomas?” After an affirmative response, she may continue, “My 11 year old is named Thomas.” And her eyes mist over as she recalls her own son as a toddler.
“I guess it’s getting popular,” replies the first mother. 

An odd response, in an awkward situation. “I guess it’s getting popular?” Yes, an odd response to be sure, but one overheard by this author more than a few times. With the internet, of course, the popularity of a name can be easily assessed and undoubtedly, many parents did check the lists of popular baby names upon naming their child. So why, then, do so many of them appear uncomfortable with the idea that they may have chosen a “popular” name for their bundle of joy? Has the naming of a child become a contest whereby parents vie to select the most un-popular name

Our well mannered readers doubtless avoid all parental contests of one-upmanship, yet we do recognize that the mention of another child with an identical name can sometimes be an awkward bump in conversation. How, exactly, does one respond to an idle comment like, "Oh, my cousin's baby is named Abigail, too!" It helps to recognize that an acquaintance may mention a child of the same name out of fondness or lack of anything else to say. A friendly nod and something a simple as, “Well, we certainly like the name!” or, “That’s nice.” should suffice. Remember, you chose a name you love, and now you love the child even more, popular name, or not.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What about if someone sends you an anonymous email criticizing your choice of name?

This website really exists:

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