Simplicity in Naming Children?

May 5, 2011 | By | Comments (0)

My name is a fairly common name for someone of my generation. Usually, the only time someone gets my name wrong is if I don’t enunciate very well and the person I’m speaking with thinks I’ve said my name is Karen or Ellen. Every once in awhile I might get mail addressed to Aaron, but I understand that confusion since Aaron was an even more popular boy name when I was born. With a common name like Erin, though, people usually get it right when communicating with me.

My friend Krystal has the exact opposite experience. She gets mail addressed to Crystal almost every day. Additionally, she has a last name of Polish decent, which is riddled with Ks, Vs, and Is. When she and her husband decided to have children, they joked about changing their last name to Smith, simply to make it easier on the kids (they didn’t).

A current trend in naming children is to make the name as unique as possible or to spell a common name in a creative way. For example, my friend’s son is in a preschool class with Caitlyn, Kaitlyn, Katelyn, and Katelynn.

Obviously, there isn’t anything wrong with choosing a unique name or an uncommon spelling for your child’s name. And, if your child truly dislikes his or her name, it can be legally changed. But, is giving your child an uncommon name a waste of your child’s time and energy over the years? Would choosing a more simple or common name keep frustrations, corrections, and time explaining the name at a bare minimum? Is there any value in keeping a name simple? Does it matter?

I chose to give my son an uncommon name that has a very common word for a nickname (my husband’s family is all about nicknames). He will be able to choose how he wants to be addressed, with an uncommon or common name.

What do you think? Should simplicity be considered when picking out a name for a child? Or, does it not matter at all? I’m interested in reading your thoughts on this interesting subject.