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What's In A Name (07 January 2007 - 9:19 a.m.)

I was going through some of the old diary-x entries I was able to retrieve after that site went belly up, and felt the urge to re-post some of them here (with minor modifications to bring them up-to-date). This one was originally dated 9/16/03.

Back (WAY back) when I was in elementary school, I was the only Stephanie to walk those hallowed halls. This indicated that my name was not that common, which suited me just fine. However, when I got to high school, there was another Stephanie, and, to add insult to injury, she also had the same last name, although with a variation in spelling. To top things off, my brother Frank married a Stephanie, and she has adopted my entire maiden name as her own. Humph.

A couple of years ago, I went to the hospital to visit the aforementioned sister-in-law and my new baby niece. The woman at the front desk was someone with whom I had gone through elementary and high school. After we caught up a bit, I told her I was there to see Stephanie [insert my maiden name here]. My old classmate looked at me as if I had lost my mind, and said, "But, that's YOU!" Not any more. That torch has been passed.

The following names are among those I rank coolest: Thelonious Monk, Toulouse Lautrec, Haile Selassie, Tallulah Bankhead, SpongeBob SquarePants and Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and/or Gummo Marx. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention Thor.

According to this website, the top 10 most popular names for girls in the 1950s (I was born in 1954) were Linda, Mary, Patricia, Barbara, Susan, Maria, Sandra, Nancy, Deborah, and Kathleen. The top 10 boys' names were John, James, Robert, William, Michael, David, Richard, Thomas, Charles, and Gary. Now let's take a look at the current trend. The top 10 girl's names of 2004 were Emma, Madison, Emily, Kaitlyn, Hailey, Olivia, Isabella, Hannah, Sarah, and Abigail. The top 10 most popular names for boys were Jacob, Aidan, Ethan, Ryan, Matthew, Michael, Tyler, Joshua, Nicholas, and Connor.

The above lists are not at all representative of the students in attendance at the high school where I am employed. Over the years, I have made note of the more unusual names I've encountered. They include Princess and Queen (sisters,) Royal, Precious, Unique, Omnipotent, Heavenly, Sincere, Jazz'man, Cinderella, and my personal favorite, LaVodka. (As author and Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry would say, I swear I'm not making that up.) Word has it that there is a "Your Majesty" in one of our elementary schools, and I dread the day when he will enter the high school. My mouth will rebel against having to form those words in order to address a student. The things I have to do for a paycheck...

Song of the Day: The Name Game by Shirley Shirley Bo Birley Banana Fanna Fo Firley Fee Fie Mo Mirley Shirley Ellis

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