Top Ten Baby Names For 2018 From Parents Magazine and the Power of Some Old People Names

multiethnic-babiesThis Grandma loves all of the top ten lists for baby names each year and Parents Magazine recently released theirs.  I love reading the new trends for names, with babies named after trendy new rock stars, movie stars, and such.  I always hope that new parents understand the power in a name and choose their baby’s name wisely.

While reading the article, I noticed that it discussed a new trend for what was called “old person names” coming around again.  Then, I saw my brother’s name, and, of course, emailed him the sentence about it and the link: “Would you believe that old-man name XXXXXX moved up more than 120 spots to now sit in the top 500?”  Sometimes you just have to dig your sibling.  However, since he is my younger brother, the fact that they called his name an old man name just hurts.  He wrote back, “Looks like I was named right at the peak.”  Hmmm.

I took a closer look at the name and the link.  The links tell you everything about the name, its origin, and includes a popularity chart showing when a name has been popular since the 1880’s. The peak of popularity for his ‘old man name” was mid to end of the 1940’s.   It occurred to me that the unnamed author of the piece was probably very young and did not realize why there is a new trend of what he or she referred to as “old person names” being popular again.  This Grandma believes it is probably the grandchildren who are now parents naming their new offspring after their beloved grandparents and great grandparents. We grandparents are so important and are so part of the hearts of our grandchildren that our names, however considered “old” in today’s world, rise again.  Old is new again!

On the Parents Magazine link you can read their top 50 baby names for 2018.  For those of us who are lazy, I have listed just the top ten listed for each sex.

Here’s the 2018 Parents Magazine top 10 baby names for boys (in order):

Liam

Noah

William

James

Logan

Benjamin

Mason

Elijah

Oliver

Jacob

 

Here’s the 2018 Parents Magazine top 10 baby names for girls (in order):

Emma

Olivia

Ava

Isabella

Sophia

Mia

Charlotte

Amelia

Evelyn

Abigail

Noah has lost its first place boy name slot after four years to a name that is probably influenced by movie and television stars.  Three of our six grandchildren’s names are still in the top ten. Our grandchildren are named for their parents’ grandparents or great grandparents, and other relatives murdered by the Nazis, some with the exact name that might be considered, by this article, an “old person’s name.” It is a tradition for Jews to name new babies in the family after beloved family members who are deceased to honor them and keep their memory alive.  With our newest baby, all of close family members who were murdered in the Holocaust have their names given to someone in our family.  We have completed our honoring of our family’s dead who the Nazis took from us, thanks to our youngest daughter having a third child.

Looking at the list of top ten popular girl names, notice that the name Evelyn, number nine in popularity for 2018, after hearing my brother’s name being called an “old man” name, is of the same vintage as an “old woman” name, 1930’s peak to 1940″s. This confirms my thesis!

I am looking forward to seeing the other new baby name lists that will be coming for 2018.  Let’s see if the thesis holds.  In the meantime, if you are interested in searching the origin and popularity of a name, here is the link to Parents Magazine search.  Just put in any name at the top where it says, “find names.”

It finally occurred to me to search when my name was popular.  There was no popularity chart for my name.  That is probably because it was never popular, nor popular with me. My birth name, Rena, given to me in 1946 in Germany, named after both of my grandmothers who were murdered by the Nazis, was changed to this name by our American relatives after my Holocaust survivor parents and I, a baby, arrived in America in May 1947.  They changed all of our names to make them American.   I doubt my parents knew the meaning of the name my American relatives chose for me in 1947.

The meaning of the name I have carried for over seventy years hit me hard though.  Its meaning has meaning in my life.  It means: “Born again.”

My mother would always compliment my school work by saying, “your story is so wonderful.  Uncle Pesach would have written his book if he had not been murdered by the Nazis.  One day you will write a book.”  I wrote a book that was published and is available on Amazon.  As another example, if I drew a picture she liked, she would remind me that Aunt Raizel was an artist, and I would become an artist for Aunt Raizel whose life was cut short.  Yes, at one point in my life, I become an artist, probably not to the standard I would have liked to honor Aunt Raizel.

I have had several careers and avocations meaningful to honor the memory of our murdered relatives.  To my Holocaust survivor mother, it was always that the Nazis did then not succeed in destroying all of the Jews in the world which was their mission, and, always looking to the light rather than the horror, as Jewish survivors, our mission is that we must practice “Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World,” acts of social responsibility to make the world a better place.

Living for at least five relatives who were murdered, and trying to give their lives meaning by succeeding in this life for their lives has been a path of making them all “Born again” through me.  I have spent my adult life trying to help others grow and flourish, resolving differences, working ultimately for the improvement of human beings and society.  It has taken me to this point in my life to appreciate how my life has been enriched in doing so.  I continue to try to fulfill my ultimate responsibility as a child of Holocaust survivors. I hope to do this also through my blog posts, while preserving our family history for our grandchildren.

I will too soon pass this mantle to our children, as second generation Holocaust survivors, and our grandchildren, as third generation Holocaust survivors.

I have thought often of changing my name back to Rena.  No more.

A name is a powerful thing.

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

 

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