Parents start the process of choosing a baby name sometimes even before the baby is conceived. What you name the baby is important for child development. A name will be with your child for a lifetime so you want to make a meaningful choice that you child can live with.
Parents are not the only ones interested in the naming decision. Grandparents often want to see the family legacy continued. For example, some grandparents would like to see the first girl grandchild named after the grandmother. The same is true for the first boy. Fathers who are juniors would often like to continue the line with the second, third, etc. for sake of tradition. Some new parents compromise by giving the middle name of the grandparents to the child.
Names go through trends just like fashions. For example, fifty years ago, the most popular name for a girl was Mary. For boys it was Michael, followed by James, Robert and John. During the 60s and 70s the world saw an era of enlightenment, free expression, free love, drugs and the peace movement. Names associated with nature came into prominence with names like Sky, River, Sunshine, Summer and Dawn being popular.
Ethnicity and Religion
Many African Americans broke ranks with traditional English names during the age of Black Power and a popular conversion to Islam. Many European names were changed legally, like Cassius Clay to Mohammed Ali, and other simply named new babies either African or Muslim inspired names. Examples are Aaliyah, Ebony, Nadia and Jamila. For boys it was Akeem, Jamal, Malik and Ali.
Names from the Bible have always been popular and in the top ten in any decade. Daniel, Mark, Samuel and James are examples. For girls Ruth, Sarah and Naomi are names with biblical origins. Oprah Winfrey attributes her name to a misspelling of Orpah from the bible.
Celebrities have taken the lead in choosing the most unusual baby names. They choose names that have a particular meaning or bring about a particular memory. For example, the baby name chosen by Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon refers to the place they met (Morrocan Scott). Others are just weird like Bear Blu, Kroy Jagger, Diesel or even Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen!! The good news is that most celebrities are choosing traditional names like Amy, Melissa and Megan for girls and Jaden, Michael and Christopher for boys. Hope springs eternal (not a bad name either)!
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