Friday, February 27, 2009

Dear Fine People of the World,

Can we all just agree to let boys have boy names and girls have girl names? Up until recently, "Avery" was a male name, most notably a black male name. Unfortunately, 10 years ago, I didn't get the memo that moms were going to begin naming their little white daughters "Avery". Now my son is walking around with an ambiguous name, perhaps tilting towards becoming a popular girl name (I shutter at the thought that it would ever become the "Jennifer" of my generation).

The first time my son realized that there were also "girl Averys", I sat him down in front of the computer and did a google image search using the name "Avery". It was no surprise when tons of images of black male athletes showed up. My son swelled up with pride, clearly he carries the name of champions. This name exuded strength, sportsmanship, athleticism, masculinity, and cosmic space suits (thanks Avery Brooks).

The name "Addison" was also on my list for boys names (if we were ever to, I don't know...say, adopt a son). However I have recently learned that the name Addison is now sharing the same fate as the name Avery. Once a man's name, now the name of little white girls. I am particularly confused by this one because Addison means, "son of Adam" - so not sure why people would choose that as a girl's name? (Unless they just follow whatever Hollywood does - I've heard that there is a television show with a female Addison character). Avery had a (black male) friend named Addison in pre-school and one of his team mates has a 15 yr old (white) brother named Addison. It's a boys name, people. Go name your girl's Susan or Sally or Ann or something. Leave the boy's names alone.

I personally blame it on Hollywood, the crux of modern society. Celebrities just love to mess things up for the rest of us. A while back, Audra sent me this validating article:
“More than any celebrity since Sylvester Stallone (whose three daughters names all start with ‘S’ and have the middle name of Rose), Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn have established a definite pattern in naming their trio, Finley Faith, Avery Grace, and Emery Hope. The three first names are all formerly male names, and all end in the letter ‘y’ — giving them the ‘ee’ sound that makes them a bit more feminine. All three have virtue middle names — which also go a long way towards softening their names.

The couple’s first two choices have definitely had an influence on other baby namers — Finley, an Irish surname, had rarely been used as a girl’s name before, and it’s now an accepted option, while Avery is making a rapid climb up the popularity lists, already in the Top 50 last year, and definitely moving higher. The same thing could happen to Emery, which is a slightly more serious sounding name with German roots, but parents might well start to see it as a fresher alternative to the overly popular Emily and Emma.”

I just have one remaining question, who are Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn?


Lo said...

bwahahaha. actually angie harmon is GEEOOORGEOUS. drop dead . seriously. but still don't know what exactly she's been in. also? don't beat me, but i like emery. it sounds like a strong, independent name. and i honestly didn't know avery was traditionally a black male name- but i am terribly white, so blame it on that. i don't think avery has anything to worry about. his name is different and unique and i like it! there's a celebrity who's naming her daughter Aniston.

yeah. can't figure that one out either.

The Crime Fighting Ninja said...

Angie Harmon/Seahorn (nowadays) was one of the lawyers on Law and Order...that's where I remeber her from, Jason is a football player or now retired (Dirt should know).

I think that people are way too trendy now a days and if it sounds good they go with it, though they can research what they are naming their children they go for what it sounds like. Soon we'll see girl Braxton's!
Unfortunately even names like Charlie and James have made it to the girls, could this all be to the over population of women?

I remember being a teenager and hearing the statistics of how girls were outnumbering boys food for thought!

ChurchPunkMom said...

DUDE!! I SO agree with you!!!

and I also totally cracked up.. because, you see, my brother and sister in law have 3 kids - Addisyn Elise, Tucker James, and Avarie.. something or other.

Sure, they changed the spellings and call them Addy and Ava, but still. BOY names.

Mine are all traditional Gaelic BOY names (the girls have Hebrew names though). Aidan (which is ridiculously popular, lame), Kieran (which is also climbing the girl charts, UGH), and Torrin (still waiting for people to jump on that one..).

Still.. we do call Joella 'Baby Jo' or 'Joey' quite a bit.. *giggle*

~Seth and Nancy~ said...

i know quite a few people that went with addison for a girl...addy as the nickname. as seth and i look into names that one thing that we're really hoping to steer clear of...any names that might be switched. i have to watch out though. i was going through a list of names in one of the books and laughed at the name "wolfgang"...i believe seth's response was "nice...that's bad-ass!" :-)

TheKeyRing said...

I also very much agree with you. I do not understand the unisex names. Rene(e), were Lesly were also formerly male names, and now I know men with Rene in their name and they skip over it using only the initial R. My kids all have very sexually defined names. No ambiguity there (at least I hope not -- it would be a shame for some boy to be named Mary or some girl to be named Jason -- Mallorie and Hannah are also pretty much traditional girl names).
I guess in 20 years all children will just be named Ed.

The Gawel's said...

It is funny, beccause sticking with my A end in N names. If we were to have a girl she would be named Addison. I just don't like any other girl A end in N names. Let us see Ann, Adrianna--nope, no thanks. But, I guess it does not matter since we are DONE!!! BTW my middle name is Renee--my Mom got it off of a person on a game show-go figure.(Addison is from Private Practice, formally Grey's Anatomy)Tell Avery his name is great, and to be honest I have not met another Avery yet. Do you find a lot of Avery's in Maine--just wondering.

The Graham Fam said...

Ahh, names are so funny. You should see the reactions I get from old ladies when I tell them Alice's name. One woman was like "Oh thank GOODNESS, I really hope people are going back to naming their kids normal names." I guess the Apples and the Cocos of the world don't go over so well in the retirement communities.

MaineMom said...

Angie Harmon is drop dead gorgeous. Just a striking woman. Personally, I have no problems with ambiguous names. However, I do tend to fancy older names (although we went off the charts with Beckett).

I just think it's a current trend. It'll pass.

P.S. Will had a Wolfgang in his preschool class.

P.P.S. Here are some names in Will's class now that I find odd:


The Gawel's said...

Wendy--Are they girls or boys names?

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I've always kinda like boys names for girls. Sorry, Avery. My oldest has a name that is very common NOW as a girls name but was once a boy's name years ago.