Guides help parents track trends and narrow choices - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Guides help parents track trends and narrow choices

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Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2007 5:34 am | Updated: 6:31 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Choosing a baby’s name is one of the first important decisions a parent has to make. It’s a good thing there are nine months to decide.

The wrong choice, experts say, can have longlasting effects on Junior’s life, from being made fun of on the playground to how he or she may be perceived in the job world.

“Image is one of the most important aspects of picking a name,” says Bruce Lansky, who’s authored a handful of

baby-naming books, including “The Baby Name Survey Book: What People Think About Your Baby’s Name.”

A name is more than just a name, he says: “It creates an expectation.”

Lansky says respondents to his survey associated certain names with certain personality traits.

For example, the name Marilyn was often associated with someone sexy and attractive, as in Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. “People don’t expect a Marilyn to be a go-getter,” he says. Respondents to Lansky’s survey also thought of “Janes as plain,” “Fifis as scatterbrained” and “Stus as worldly but boring.” Longtime favorite Michael was perceived as someone who is “friendly, nice and intelligent,” says Lansky, ranking it as a “four-star name” along with Daniel, David and Stephen.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Sometimes, in their quest to be original, parents can take their choice too far. “The child should be taken into consideration. Ingenuity can sometimes backfire,” says Linda Rosenkrantz, co-author of the newly released “The Baby Name Bible,” which dissects the meanings and histories behind more than 50,000 names.

While some parents look to Hollywood for inspiration, Rosenkrantz says she doesn’t see names like Apple (which actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, named their daughter) or Pilot Inspektor (the name actor Jason Lee chose for his son) to take off any time soon.

“Few are going to follow the really bizarre names,” says Rosenkrantz. “People will pick up on the unusual,” she adds, predicting Angelina Jolie’s choices of Maddox and Shiloh could grow in popularity the way Kate Hudson accelerated the name Ryder and Reese Witherspoon and Heather Locklear popularized the name Ava.

Need help getting started?

The following are some suggestions found in “The Baby Name Bible.”

Names headed for Harvard: Honor, Constance, Portia. Cool biblical names: Obadiah, Gideon, Asher

Names that mean powerful: Everett, Griffith, Vargas Names that mean happy: Bliss, Felicity, Felix

State capital names: Austin, Olympia, Trenton

Popular Arizona names

When it comes to hot names in 2007, Linda Rosenkrantz predicts the popularity of names such as Emily, Emma, Madison, Abigail and Olivia to continue taking top honors for girls and expects Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Matthew and Ethan to continue holding strong for boys.

Parents in Arizona don’t seem to be paying too much attention to the forecasted trends, at least when it comes to boys’ names. The following were the top 10 boys and girls names in Arizona as of December, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

BOYS

1. Angel 2. Daniel 3. Anthony 4. Jacob 5. Jose 6. Michael 7. Jesus 8. Luis 9. Joshua 10. Gabriel

GIRLS

1. Mia 2. Emily 3. Isabella 4. Emma 5. Ashley 6. Madison 7. Ava 8. Sophia 9. Samantha 10. Alyssa

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