Being named something really trendy and made-up (like McShaelynn) or being named something historical but to many modern ears ugly (like Aethelthryth)? (Let’s please keep this thread civil. I’m just looking for opinions.)
Actually, with those two I feel its about the same. The trendy name does have the advantage of pronunciation. The historical name I have no clue where to start when trying to say it.
Generally, I would prefer the historical name (although that one is impossible to pronounce). I would rather have a name with some meaning, depth and a past rather than one that is made up. The way I see it, if you have a weird name, you’re going to be asked a lot of questions about it and it would be nice to have a good answer. It would be better to say “I was named after (insert historical figure here)” than to have to say “I don’t know, my mom just made it up.”
I think when you’re a teenager, the trendy option is definitely better of the two. But if you can hold out to adulthood, the historical option is better - either you will have come to love its meaning, or it won’t seem so obscure. It seems okay to call kids [name]Homer[/name] and [name]Horatio[/name] now, but when I was a teenager that would have been SO weird. So I’d go for the historical option, if I had to choose!
I think the historical name is better, but beware the child will probably hate it when they are growing up if it’s too obscure, too long, or too hard to pronounce. They will be frustrated that they can’t find preprinted souvenirs with their name on it like everyone else.
They will want to create a nickname out of it that sounds like all their friends’ names.
I am in eternal search of the happy medium.
My favorite list of names is the “Fitting In but Standing Out” list.
I would prefer the historical name, myself. A trendy name can be equally as ugly, and doesn’t make any statement about your parent’s naming skills, other than that they follow fashions … A very historical name, while it might causing teasing when you are very young, would after that be viewed as an indication that your parents were intellectuals (and so knew about so-and-so the fourth century queen of Cornwall etc.), if a little bit eccentric.
And personally, I’d rather feel eccentric than trendy …
(Also, with historical names, you get a story to tell.)