What’s in a name?

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

When it came to naming children in 2012, local parents bucked the national trend and named their children a variety of names.

According to Baby Center, a top group that reports naming results each year based on the names of babies born to some 450,000 mothers registered through the site, Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Lily, Zoe, Chloe, Mia and Madison were the top 10 girls’ names.

Aiden, Jackson, Ethan, Liam, Mason, Noah, Lucas, Jacob, Jayden and Jack were the top boys’ names.

Locally, the names Gracelynn, Madalyn, Paisley, Savannah and Kynlee were among the top used, according to birth announcements submitted from Andalusia Regional Hospital.

On the male front, Bryson, Mason, Carter, Declan and Joseph were also used multiple times.

So, what influences parents to name their children?

Nationally, Isabella and Jacob were popular because of the Twilight saga. Additionally, Olivia maintained its popularity with many opting to name their daughter after Law & Order SVU character Olivia Benson.

Baby Center also reported a 20 percent increase in the name Grey and a 10 percent increase in the name Anastasia, thanks to the popular book Fifty Shades of Grey.

ABC News also reported that Siri, Apple and Mac rose over 2011.

Locally, residents have an array of reasons for which to name their children.

Star-News’ Facebook friends weighed in.

“Bentley Patrick Rhett,” said Sheri Lynn Owens. “Bentley because my husband loved it. Patrick is my father’s name and Rhett is my husband’s father’s name. Long name for an amazing baby boy.”

Following established tradition, Lori Foreman said they named their son Kimbro Gray.

“My mother-in-law’s maiden name and my mother’s middle name,” she said. “Our first son is named after his grandfathers, so this son was named after grandmothers.”

Amanda Little said they named their son Colton Anderson because “we wanted something different, and he has my husband’s middle name.”

In maybe a unique take on keeping it in the family, Sabrina Mills said she named her daughter Amre Danielle.

“Amre is my grandmother’s name spelled backward,” she said. “Her name was Erma.”

Some families made naming a family affair.

“We had twin boys on Aug. 8,” Dawn Smith said. “Our 4-year-old son picked the name Ayden and my husband picked Colton. I got to pick the middle names.”

Megan Boatwright said she and her husband named their daughter Alyssa Harper.

“Me and my husband both agreed to Alyssa and then I wrote down all of my favorite names and let my husband pick from that list,” she said.

For some couples, the naming process includes making sure that all their children’s names are similar or hold a certain theme.

Julie Hardy said their choice of Cooper Abram was because “it goes with Parker and Sawyer – our older two boys. We chose Abram so all of our boys would have a name from the Bible as part of their full name.”

And for others like Kayla Duffell, the story is sentimental.

“Gracelynn Sophia,” she said. “My mom passed away on Nov. 22, 2010. The hardest thing for me and her father was coming up with a name. Then one night when I was around eight months pregnant, I had a dream. My mom came to me in my dream, and she was holding my daughter, and looked at her and said, ‘I just love and adore my Gracelynn Sophia.’ So that’s where my angel got her name, from her grandma who is now an angel of heaven.”

And the most unusual names from 2012, thanks to a list complied by The Huffington Post include: Ball, Burger, Excel, Couture, Espn, Four, Hippo, Drifter and Legacy.

Locally, names ranged from simple to unique, including names such as Rowan, Hansi, Rollin, Vernon, Jaxen, Pascual, Pitt, Easton, Christian, Auron, Atryem and Walker for boys.

Courtney, Aribella, Jaylani, Autumn, Leighton, Riley, Lillian, Shamyia, Nyla, Ced’Mya, Ced’Nya, Tia and Breanna were among girls’ names.