Are today's Ellas and Lilys tomorrow's Madisons & Brittanys?

I think the answer is yes. What do you think?

I am highly suspect of any name that bursts onto the scene from nowhere as many of today’s most popular (and seemingly stylish) names have. All it will take is one of the legions of these little Ellas, Lilys, [name]Lilas[/name], Stellas etc to become a teen star, and that will ruin the name for all to come!

I recognize that the current popular names are actual names that have more history than [name]Madison[/name] or [name]Brittany[/name], etc, but I am still suspect. Or, perhaps I am a bit defensive by the puzzled look I sometimes get when I introduce my non-trendily-named baby daughter [name]Laura[/name] :slight_smile:

I kind of think of it this way. In ten or fifteen years, their names will be pass”. Well, they’ll still be popular names, but the people who write this blog and the books and the people who read them will be steering people of any taste away from those names. Mostly when it hits a certain demographic who just like a name flat out and don’t ponder whether it’s hip or modern. I still think this way and wouldn’t hesitate to choose something just because it was over-saturated a decade or two or three ago and the rest of the world has moved on. If it’s a good name, it should sound so to the ear and not so much the vivid imagery of a middle-aged woman.

I have been somewhat shocked myself that my name is really a “mom” name or well, if you look at it this way - it peaked at 3rd five years before I was born, had been oh, quite popular and “new” for about 20 years already, and sort of had a dramatic drop by a decade after. It’s still in the top 200, however. To some people, that’s still too common. But it’s out of style.

I still know little Jennifers. When I got out of college, I worked in a daycare briefly, and some of the baby girls were (who by my estimation will be graduating high school this year or next year): [name]Adrienne[/name], [name]Bethany[/name], [name]Alexandra[/name], [name]Alix[/name], [name]Maggie[/name] (not [name]Margaret[/name]), [name]Delanie[/name], [name]Stephanie[/name], and-and-and [name]Joann[/name]. [name]JOANN[/name]. I guess I kind of know what that’s like now - even though I like my name and it has a pretty sound, and I like it a lot better than some of the newer names suggested, but a child with that name is going to feel like a [name]JOANN[/name]. I really liked [name]Joann[/name], though, fun baby, and her mom was nice too. Most name nerd types are not currently choosing any of those names except [name]Alexandra[/name] and [name]Delanie[/name], which I feel [name]Alexandra[/name] to become like [name]Elizabeth[/name], a standard straightforward type of name with a variety of nicknames, and [name]Delanie[/name], fashion forward, which will eventually be outdated like [name]Taylor[/name] is now.

I never really liked the name [name]Jennifer[/name] (the most popular name in my age group), and I’m kind of glad it didn’t appeal to my parents. To me, [name]Jennifer[/name] is like the [name]Barbara[/name] of the next generation - that is imagery, a [name]Karen[/name] is more like a [name]Carol[/name]. I knew one girl named [name]Emily[/name] who is my age now. I also knew one girl named [name]Gladys[/name], and maybe two [name]Joannes[/name], several Barbaras and one [name]Carol[/name]. These really stick out to me as indicators of someone’s parents taste at the time, whether ahead of everyone else or behind a little or a lot. I don’t think of [name]Laura[/name] as ever getting a lot of spotlight to be too popular ever - it’s so mild and genuine, I’d compare it to [name]Elizabeth[/name] as a timeless name. [name]Even[/name] though my name was #12 when I was born, I didn’t think I knew too many other Karens to cope in school. And everyone named [name]Katherine[/name] or [name]Catherine[/name] was called [name]Cathy[/name], all of them.

Yes, your child’s name will probably tell other people how old they are if you stick to what’s fashionable, and even if you try to break the rules - appealing names have a way of varying from [name]Kayla[/name] to [name]Isla[/name] until everyone is tired of -la. I have an aunt named [name]Lily[/name] with a twin [name]Lyla[/name], more than 20 years older than I am. I kind of think now that they were Joanns too in their youth. I never had anyone in my grade named [name]Ella[/name] or with an ella at either end of their name. That is because it was dorky at the time. [name]Danielle[/name] or [name]Michelle[/name] but nothing with a -la. I think names come and go in sort of clumps. Some will have more long-lasting appeal because they sound nice and morph into more modern variations (or very old sounds newer), and some will by kind of hip for a minute. That’s why names like [name]Genevieve[/name] sound good - people are only a little tired of too many Jennifers but still lean toward the sounds and dig up something that seems substantial, and that’s why people still name their daughters [name]Katherine[/name] and call them [name]Kate[/name].

(I know this was a long post, but the sociological points of naming are really most interesting to me than just a lot of lists and combos).

I think thats a yes and no. Sure [name]Ella[/name] and [name]Lily[/name] are becoming increasingly popular at a fairly swift rate, but they at least existed before. [name]Madison[/name] and [name]Brittany[/name] weren’t on the top 1000 over a hundred years ago, where [name]Ella[/name] and [name]Lily[/name] were. I think [name]Ella[/name] and [name]Lily[/name] are like the Emilys and Hannahs of the recent past. And the new Madisons and Brittanys are more like the Addisons and Averys that are working their way up today. Names that arent making a comeback from a past era but never existed on the list in the first place.

[name]Karen[/name] - glad to know that i am not the only one who spends time thinking about these things!

[name]Bluebelle[/name] - good distinction. I think [name]Hannah[/name] is probably the best anology to [name]Lily[/name] and [name]Ella[/name]. A perfectively nice ‘real’ name that will now unfortunately be linked with the [name]Mylie[/name] [name]Cyrus[/name] character.

I’m inclined to say yes. Great points, all of you. I hope that they will end up more like the Emilys of the world than the Brittanys because I hate to see names tied so obviously to one era and become limited in usage. Existing historically should help, perhaps, but [name]Deborah[/name] and [name]Linda[/name] are historical, too, and they still haven’t recovered from overexposure. It seems to take everyone tiring of a particular sound to resurrect names with other sounds.

I listed these names as most popular in my graduating class:

[name]Jennifer[/name], [name]Christine[/name] or [name]Christina[/name] (sometimes [name]Chris[/name], occasionally [name]Tina[/name]), [name]Lisa[/name], [name]Amanda[/name], [name]Andrea[/name], [name]Jessica[/name], [name]Patricia[/name] (most always [name]Patty[/name], one [name]Tricia[/name]), [name]Melissa[/name], and [name]Amy[/name]. Also (always) [name]Cathy[/name] for [name]Catherine[/name].

I really don’t know where [name]Jennifer[/name] came from. I know it is derived from [name]Guinevere[/name] - I remember looking it up in the “Name your [name]Baby[/name]” book my mom took out when she was pregnant with my sister, [name]Jennifer[/name] was not listed in it as a proper name with its own heading. However, it was the same book she had from me, the list was still in it. My name was almost [name]Linda[/name] [name]Kay[/name]. I tend to think [name]Jennifer[/name] was very popular on account of [name]Christopher[/name] actually (which also accounts for Christines and Christinas), except for the fact that all were known as [name]Chris[/name]. Jennifers were Jennifers, no Jennys, some were [name]Jen[/name] if you were friends with them. There really didn’t seem to be a cultural precedent to it otherwise, it seemed totally new when it arrived.

Things that sound nice “in a style” are often tweaked and altered, so you get sort of a tone of what’s fresh in each era. [name]Melissa[/name], [name]Alicia[/name], [name]Marisa[/name], [name]Serena[/name] - it kind of evolves. [name]Amanda[/name], [name]Melanie[/name], [name]Amelia[/name]. People are still making names from these names because the names are nice but we need something newer. [name]Christine[/name], [name]Kristen[/name]… and that one kind of went away and names with more [name]Anna[/name] and [name]Ella[/name] were revived evolving from a change from -issa/-icia and -elle to a newer sound. [name]Madison[/name] and [name]Brittany[/name] kind of came from nowhere.

The [name]Kayla[/name] and [name]Aidan[/name] sort of roots that bred what is most common today. I have to say that I like [name]Kayla[/name], but it’s weird how it seems derived from [name]Michaela[/name], which spelling nobody uses, probably because [name]Michael[/name] isn’t being used as much anymore, so it’s [name]McKayla[/name] (so authentically Irish, right?) but not Rakayla or DiCayla. Instead, it’s names like [name]Calla[/name], [name]Lila[/name], [name]Lilac[/name], [name]Isla[/name]. Except for [name]Lila[/name], never heard any of those names before. Yeah, so I digress.

I knew 2 Annas in school, one was a tool, and the other one went by her middle name, [name]Lisa[/name]. I knew one, literally one [name]Anne[/name], and she was not very popular but she was ok and funny if you have a weird dorky sense of humor. Later on, the nickname [name]Annie[/name] caught on, so that really brought it all back, formal names to call her [name]Annie[/name], and now there’s not so much [name]Annie[/name], but the formal names still hang around. They’ll go away too.

I also knew one [name]Britt[/name], she was of Danish or Swedish descent, and that was the second half of her hyphenated full name which was Danish or Swedish. At least on her account, I would hesitate using a name from another country if you don’t actually live there or actually did immigrate, unless it’s friends with our American names. Nothing in my contemporary world was even close to her name at that time, and she did eventually go by just [name]Britt[/name] (by late elementary school or junior high), which was neither here nor there, but it was cooler than her full name. Another strange example of the immigrant or 2nd generation contingent was that a number of students at my school were from parents who came from [name]India[/name], who all had [name]Indian[/name] names they used in school. I only remember one getting made fun of, and some of the girls, like [name]Britt[/name], managed to fix on a nickname like [name]Sunny[/name] or Preet, which I don’t know was from common practice or from trying to fit in. Kids whose parents were Chinese often seemed to pick out a nice American or English name - with a good 20-40 year lag in what was fashionable. [name]Alice[/name]. [name]Lena[/name]. [name]Vivian[/name]. [name]Winston[/name].

I think names like [name]Patricia[/name] aren’t really so hot anymore because of nicknames [name]Pat[/name] and [name]Patty[/name] or [name]Patsy[/name] are not as hip as [name]Poppy[/name] or [name]Penny[/name], and [name]Tricia[/name] is like [name]Alicia[/name], etc., out right now, but it will come back. [name]Katherine[/name] and [name]Elizabeth[/name], by comparison, have more variations and nicknames, even if sometimes they are [name]Katelyn[/name] and [name]Bethany[/name], so will always appeal, plus they are in the safe zone. People don’t use the C-[name]Catherine[/name] as much now because [name]Kate[/name] starts with a K! It doesn’t have to, but that’s a form of preference based on what’s current.

I think it’s always “safe” to stick with a classic rather than an invented variant ([name]Katelyn[/name] is from [name]Caitlin[/name], which originally hit the US as [name]Kathleen[/name], which is closer to how it’s supposed to be pronounced), but in a long time from now, [name]Brittany[/name] will be revived. It might even have a longer-lasting appeal because at that point, it will be historic, and it has so many variations and offshoots, it will probably sound like a fresh idea someday. [name]Madison[/name] itself need not be current to have started a trend that’s still very trendy, and which will be recalled at a future point in time. Since there were no Ellas or Lilys in my school, I would have to say those are technical “old lady” names that came back and will go away again, whereas names like [name]Madison[/name] and [name]Brittany[/name] will grow up and have children, those will be “mom” names, and then “old lady” names, just like anything else. Like [name]Danielle[/name] and [name]Melissa[/name].

Yeah, some more rambling. RAMBLING! I can tell you something, after reading these boards for a few weeks, I have been probably looking for an outlet to say some of these things.