Observed: Unique Baby Names Now Common

After a New York Times article this weekend reporting that Hispanic parents have opted to name all their boys Angel, The New York Observer reports that affluent New Yorkers are competing to label their children with the most unusual names possible. What do you do when the trendy thing to do is try to be totally unique? Do you go for more totally unique or buck the trend and go traditional? If you are planning to follow the trend here are some guidelines to follow:
  1. Make sure that your name has never in recorded history been popular by searching for it on iVillage's Baby Name Wizard which graphs the popularity of names over the decades.
  2. Foreign names are good, but only if no one in the extended family comes from the nation of origin.
  3. Beowolf is the new baby naming book.
  4. Picking names purely for abstract aesthetic value that no one else can grasp is recommended.
  5. Taking an obscure name and using inventive spelling to make it more unique gets extra credit points.
  6. Under no circumstances should you take a traditional name and just spell it unusually unless you want to brand your child as a total gated-community, McMansion loser wannabee.
  7. Prepare yourself for how to deal with the trouble less cool people may have pronouncing your child's name by watching this video.
One word of caution: while Aoife may seem a cute name for a baby, remember all babies are only little for a while and then they grow up to be big Aoifes. So give your kid a jump start in life. A name like Aenaes might flunk them out of pre-K for not being able to spell it, and it might stunt their emotional growth a little bit, but it will definitely let everyone know that you are cool and affluent enough to be able to afford such an unusual name, which will probably earn them extra points on their Dalton application and, after all, we all know that if they get into Dalton everything else will just fall into place.

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