I wonder who determines the most popular names. I know they come and go in waves, but where does it all start and how does the shift happen to a new set of names? According to the website Parent Dish, the top three fastest rising boy names are Castiel, Bentley, Eoin. For girls it’s Tenley, Harper, and Everleigh. There’s also a secret favorite list you can check out for suggestions if you think there will be too many Tenleys in first grade with your daughter. Just hope not too many other parents-to-be check out the secret list too.

The year Jim Brawner and I were born Debbie and Jim were the most popular names. Jim still turns around when he hears someone yell, Jim. Mom and Dad made sure I wouldn’t get lost in a crowd. I’m always the only Suzette. In fact, I’ve only met a dozen or so Suzettes my whole life. I think I’ve met more Suzette French poodles than people. In eighth grade Mrs. Hen called me Bridgette all year because she couldn’t remember Suzette. I gave up trying to correct her so I answered to my pseudo name.

Sitting at Jackson’s baseball game reading the backs of the jerseys, I realized a lot of boys first names are also last names. My grandsons are Jackson, Jameson, Owen, and Smith, all last names. Our friends Steve and Alana Smith named their first son, Brawner. So now there is a Brawner Smith and a Smith Brawner.

The spelling of names is more complicated now. There was a time the biggest question was if Ann was Ann or Anne. Now it can be Ayn. I suppose it’s an attempt for uniqueness. Naming a person is a huge responsibility and just like everything else these days there are so many choices. Since everything runs in cycles, just wait a few years, Jim and Debbie will be back.

“A good name is more desirable than great riches…”
Proverbs 22:1

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