Playing the Name Game


Naming your baby can be one of the most fun and challenging aspects of being an expectant and/or new parent. Choosing THE name that will follow your child for their entire life is a big decision. Baby name books abound and one of the most comprehensive is 100,000+ Baby Names by Bruce Lansky (

Some of the trends for 2009 include naming your baby after a celebrity (or celebrity child); Biblical names, British names and “creative” spelling of names.

miley1Celebrities are definitely the trendsetters in the baby name category. There were no girls named Apple (Gwyneth Paltrow), Honor (Jessica Alba) or Harlow (Nicole Richie) in my kindergarten class; nor were there any boys named Bronx (Ashlee Simpson), Brooklyn (Victoria Beckham) or Zuma (Gwen Stefani). But there surely will be soon. Growing in popularity as well are character names from the Twilight movies (Bella and Edward), Gossip Girl (Leighton and Serena), and Miley Cyrus (above) from Hannah Montana.

Another notable trend (which has been around for a while) is Biblical names, although they are more popular for boys than girls this year. On the list are names such as Noah, Jacob and Matthew for boys. It is a strange but true fact that many of the top ten boys names end with the letter “N” while the girls often end in “A” (I have a Benjamin and Rebecca so I fit right in).

The British influence in names can be seen with some near the top of the list including Isabella, Ava and Abigail for girls and Aiden and Jackson for boys.

Parents looking to distinguish on Caitlyn from another often create their own spelling. There are Caitlyns, Caitlins, and Catelyns; Christinas, Cristinas, and Kristinas, Chloes, Khloes and Cloes. It may mean that your child will go through life having to spell out his or her name. Some parents feel that is a small price to pay for individuality. You decide.

Top ten boy names for 2009 are: Ethan, Noah, Jacob, Aiden, Jackson, Logan, Jack, Ryan, Matthew and Jayden. For girls the names are: Isabella, Emma, Olivia, Ava, Sophia, Madison, Chloe, Abigail, Addison and Emily.

Pamela Weinberg is co-author of City Baby, the best-selling NYC parenting guidebook, and runs seminars for new and expectant moms. Her website is

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