What’s in a name?

I’ve always been interested in names and their meanings. This could have been because my sister had her first child when I was 13 and I remember being fascinated by the baby names books. It could be just because I like naming things. So imagine my delight when, online a couple years ago while working on a project for journalism school, visit I discovered the Alberta Baby Names Registry.

Reading through it is both intriguing and appaling. I often wonder what is going to happen when Cadan, Caden, Caeden, Caiden, Caidyn, Cayden, Caydin, Kaden, Kadin, Kadyn, Kaeden, Kaedyn, Kaidan, Kaiden, Kaidin, Kaidon Kaidyn, Kaydan, Kayden, Kaydin, Kaydon and poor (hopefully not too white) Kayd’n all end up in the same class. And that was just from the boy’s list – there are C/K_d_ns a plenty among the girls too.

Obviously last year had extra meaning for me since I was choosing a baby name of my own to bestow on our little Wrackspurt. I wanted something with meaning, something not popular and something spelled properly. According to the registries from 2006 and 2007 there was one Moira born in each year. This morning I checked the newly released statistics to see if the same pattern was holding and if we were the proud parents of 2008’s Moira. Well, there were four Moira’s born in Alberta last year which doesn’t bother me one bit because it is a beautiful name and those people obviously have great taste. Thankfully I didn’t see any Moyrahs or Moi’Ras either.

Scrolling around to laugh at all the other idiots who think that changing a letter here and there is going to make their Brookelyn more special than the Brooklyn or Brook-Lynne in her class, I noticed something rather disturbing: there were 23 Mileys registered last year. TWENTY THREE? It isn’t even a real name! (There was also one Mileigh and one Miley-Dawn in case you were wondering). Using my awesome powers of deduction I think it is safe to guess that 23 13-year olds gave birth in my province last year. Given the demographics at our low-income prenatal class last year is, sadly, not surprising.

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