For years I watched as Michael – which incidentally happens to be the name my parents gave me, mysteriously (more about that in a minute) – survived the ebb and flow of popular opinion to remain one of the more popular boys names. This made me inordinately proud until I remembered that all these little Michaels weren’t being named after me. Which, come to think of it, is probably a good thing.
Anyway, on to the list of popular names.
Most popular girl names:
All in all, not a bad list. Oh, I prefer to spell Sophia with an “f,” like Sofia Vergara spells her name, but that may have more to do with the fact that I am a red-blooded American male and Vergara is what we shall call a woman of abundant good qualities. As for the others … well, I know of a lot of little Emmas, a sprinkling of Zoes, and several Lilys as well. They’re all good names except that Lily always makes me think of Lily Munster. Try explaining that to the parents of a five-year-old who wonder why you snickered when they introduced you to their little darling.
OK, now to the boys.
Most popular boy names:
Well, well parents. We seem to be making improvement in the category of “rhymes with Aiden.” I see only one other entry, Caden. Used to be the top 10 was stacked with soundalikes – Jaden, Haden, Braden, Grayden. I may even once have heard of a boy bearing the unfortunate name of Mayden, but that could just as easily have been a joke. I hope.
I know a handful of Jacksons and a couple of Noahs, but there are some names on the list I haven’t run across yet. Don’t worry, though. I’m sure the next family reunion will see one of my cousins’ kids (or grandkids – we’re getting older) running around with a Lucas or a Mason in a baby carrier.
OK, so now to my mistaken moniker.
My name is Michael James Redmond. My father was Patrick Hilton Redmond, and for a while there was talk of naming me after him. I don’t know who put the kibosh on that, Mom or Dad, but the thinking was that one Pat in the family was enough. I notice they had changed their minds by the time my brother came along. That would Patrick Dennis.
Dad wanted me to have an Irish name to go with our Irish surname and wanted me to have a name that meant something, too. And so it was decided that I would be named after the man who had given him his start in the newspaper business. That is why Mom went into the hospital expecting to come out with a baby named after Tommy Walsh.
Instead, she came out with a Michael instead, and I’ve never gotten a satisfactory explanation as to why. Not that I mind. It’s a good name. I just sort of wonder why it’s mine.
It was probably on some list.
Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at email@example.com. For information on speaking fees and availability, visit www.spotlightwww.com.