Playing more of the name game

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 2004

My grandfather’s name was Clarence.

I tell you that simply because I loved my grandfather and because the name &uot;Clarence&uot; was not included in the top 1,000 names given to babies in America last year.

I was shocked.

According to the Social Security Administration, the most popular names for last year were Jacob and Emily, two names that have held the top spots for several years.

Coming in under the wire for the top 1,000 were lesser-known names such as Benita (no. 991), Zaid (no. 981) and Amaris (no. 987).

There are certain themes in the names people are giving their children.

It no longer seems acceptable to go with a &uot;William&uot; or a &uot;Mary.&uot;

Today’s parents tend to want an unusual name, something that will make their little one stand out in the crowd.

Naming your child after a particular city or location seems to be a popular choice.

There were 6,073 Savannahs born in America last year but only 809 Georgias.

There were 896 Dakotas, 309 Londons and 235 Montanas.

There were 197 babies named Zaire and 207 named Houston.

The name &uot;Texas&uot; didn’t make the list, however, and there wasn’t an &uot;Alabama&uot; to be found.

Five hundred and fifty five infants were named &uot;America.&uot;

Biblical names remained popular, too.

There were 9,707 Angels, 481 Solomans, 675 Zacahriahs and 350 Nehemiahs.

There were 7,953 Adams, but only 494 Eves.

Maybe they are all friends with the 1,777 Genesises, the 903 Edens or the 864 Zions.

In the political arena, 1,645 babies were named Reagan last year, outpolling Lincoln with 410 and Clinton with 246.

There were only 169 Fidels. I guess naming your child after the communist Cuban dictator isn’t too popular an idea.

There were 256 boys born last year whose parents decided to name them &uot;Sincere.&uot;

There were 1,301 Serenities, 260 Destinys, 580 Miracles, 655 Justices and 536 Preciouses.

There were 325 Scarletts to the 277 Rhetts. There were 635 Romeos, but only 376 Juliettes.

Six hundred and seventy-nine babies were named Elvis and another 665 were named Presley.

Nine hundred thirty-six sets of parents last year opted for the name &uot;Mercedes&uot; and 1,361 for &uot;Diamond.&uot;

Another 601 named their babies Harley.

Honda, Acura or Chevrolet didn’t make the list of the top 1,000.

There were 1,736 babies born last year – pretty much equally split between girls and boys – whose name is simply &uot;Baby.&uot;

But Clarence? There’s not a Clarence in the house and that’s a shame.

Certainly, that’s a much better name than Giant (no. 993).

Leada DeVaney Gore is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer and the Madison County Record. She is the former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter