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Local lifestyle columnists

Oh, baby – I can’t believe popular names

By From page A2 | May 18, 2014

Breaking news: Noah and Liam were the top two choices for a boy’s name in 2013, Sophia and Emma were the top girl names.

For the love of Mike (which is now ranked seventh, after decades of being in the top three by the Social Security Administration), Liam is No. 2?


I have no problem with the name Liam, but when I think of it, I think of an Irish guy in a wool sweater speaking with a heavy brogue. Not an American baby! (Although I have to admit, a baby might cry with a brogue and I couldn’t tell.)

Are the British coming again? It seems like it if you check out some of the other top-10 names: Mason, William, Ethan, Alexander, Emily, Abigail and Elizabeth. Did I fall asleep and wake up in the middle of a Jane Austen novel?

No offense if those are your names, I just thought America was heading in a different direction.

As recently as 1973, Liam wasn’t among the top 1,000 names in the country! (In fact, “Derrell” and “Timmothy” – both of which appear to be misspellings – were in the top 1,000 that year.) Ten years ago, Liam wasn’t in the top 100! Now it’s No. 2.

Noah? Twenty years ago, it wasn’t in the top 200. Now there’s a flood of Noahs! (Yes, that’s one reason for this column – so I could write “a flood of Noahs.”)

Both Ava and Mia are top-10 girls names, something I would have expected when Frank Sinatra was alive, since he was married to Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow. (Not at the same time. Mr. Sinatra had standards, after all.)

But here’s the point: It’s never too soon to start thinking about what to name your next child or grandchild. If you’re a parent-to-be, you might not want to have a son who is one of four Masons in his club (unless it’s a Masonic temple, I guess) and you don’t want your daughter to be one of eight Sophias to answer when the kindergarten teacher calls her name.

You want a cool name.

So allow me to make some suggestions. These will be better than any “baby name” book you find that simply regurgitates the Social Security Administration’s list and tells you the meaning of every name (here’s the secret: Every name means something great, like “proud warrior” or “beautiful sunrise.” According to those books, no one’s name means “flatulent tiger” or “passive-aggressive waiter.” It should.).

Here is the Brad Stanhope list of the best nine names for your baby, 2014:

Bradleigh. I’ve been pushing this for years, but how about naming a girl this? Bradleigh. She would have a cool name that’s still feminine. She could go by “Brad” if she wanted, with the full assurance that anyone who made fun of her would be exposed as a know-nothing. Bradleigh. It should be on the list next year.

Sinatra. He could eventually marry both Ava and Mia – and there will be plenty of them, based on this year’s list. Give your son an advantage with the largest number of girls in his age bracket.

Jude. Just so you can say “Hey, Jude” and laugh. Over and over. For the child’s entire life. It will never get old.

Milli. It’s reliable that hot celebrities inspire names. I suggest the other way – pick a celebrity who was hot a few decades ago and is primed for a recovery.

Vanilli. See above.

Barack. How is this not one among the top 1,000 names? We name our children after celebrities, but not presidents? My imaginary little brother, Richard Milhous Stanhope, is outraged.

Puddintane. Your kid will get laughs every time a teacher or cop asks their name. Hilarious!

Bieber. Trust me, none of his (or her) classmates will have any idea what the name means.

Hashtag. Seriously. Is there anything cooler in America? The symbol that we always called “tic-tac-toe” is really a hashtag and it’s everywhere. Just think if you named your child Hashtag – they could simply sign things with a #. Everyone would know who it was! This is better than when Prince changed his name, because this is a symbol that we all know. Hashtag could also be a boy’s name or a girl’s name. #greatname.

Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope is a former Daily Republic editor. He began his career at the DR in the last millennium. He spent 24 years as a sports editor, associate editor and news editor before leaving the Daily Republic in 2014. Brad lives in Suisun City with his wife, Mrs. Brad, and two sons. He enjoys cheese.

Discussion | 6 comments

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  • omydarlimg91May 18, 2014 - 3:54 am

    Hashtag? Really? That's a "cool" name?! What about how everyone has a son names Jayden or a daugter with some variation of Lia, Aalyiah, and Mya?! Like i know absolutley NOBODY who named their child Noah or Emma or Sophia or any of those other weak ass namesI just know all the younger people having kids are going the Jayden, Aden, Demonte route. Write a story about these ghetto names and if anyone regrets the ghetto ass names they gave their children 20+years ago.

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  • MustBeJokingMay 18, 2014 - 8:53 am

    I'm not so sure you should even read articles like this. It seems you were/are not able to grasp the intent. #comprehension #daugter #absolutley #probablymissedsome #idbehonored

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  • Tony WadeMay 18, 2014 - 8:58 am

    Flatulent Tiger coincidentally is the name of my Rodney Dangerfield/Survivor tribute band.

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  • Crottin de Chavignol ( Hint... I'm French )May 18, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    How about ... Stilton Fromage Stanhop? I think it sounds elegant... but translates to Stinky English Cheese Stanhop... ( Pardon... I have been off my game lately, the muse seems to have departed this aspect... ) But most Rednecks would find it ever so elegant...

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  • Bearstronaut - Moniker [Official]May 18, 2014 - 7:27 pm


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  • CLIFF BUTLER - YOU NAME IT - FAVORITEMay 18, 2014 - 7:58 pm


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