Here, let me date myself once again. When I was a kid, little boys were named Jimmy, Johnny, Joey, Billy, Michael, David, Mark, Tommy and Steven. Okay, there was the occasional Timmy or Kenny, but I’m guessing these names covered about 87.3% of the boys in my school. (Did you know that 74.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?)
When my kids were in school, the boys were named Jason, Todd, Matthew, Josh, Jason, Christopher, Kevin, Jason and Brian. Actually, they were all named Jason, but some rebelled and demanded to be called by one of these other names. Still, there was not a Billy or Jimmy to be found.
Somewhere in the ‘90s it seemed that every coworker of mine was giving birth to boys named Tyler or Taylor. Seriously, it was epidemic.
Now I have a grandson in preschool. Here are the first names of his classmates, and with all due respect to Dave Barry (the patron saint of humorists) I swear I am not making this up.
So. Are we naming our children for hotels, universities, credit cards? What’s going on here?
Yes, Daniel has appeared popularly in years gone by, and is a solid, traditional name. Interestingly, this particular Daniel is Chinese-American. My grandson’s name is Zachary; never trendy, so not dated, either. It’s never been tied to any particular decade of name assignation. Whereas I am willing to bet that if you hear the name Jason or Todd, you automatically visualize someone in the 30-35 age range. Am I right?
For a while Zach was in a class that had Aidan, Jaden and Braden. Really! How did the teacher keep them straight?
So what happened to tradition? It is gone. Rarely is the newborn given his father’s or his grandfather’s name. A little girl recently went up to a volunteer (older guy, o-b-v-i-o-u-s-l-y) named Bob in her school. She said, “I’ve never met someone named Bob before,” she shared. Bob wasn’t surprised.
So what does the future hold in store for us? Who knows? It’s hard to see the trends coming, but if the current names teach us anything, I guess we’ll see Hilton, State and Capital One. What’s in your wallet?