January 28, 2009

Baby Names

One thing about being a parish priest is that you get a sense of what people are naming their babies. I have honestly been surprised by the lack of diversity:

A quarter of all the baby boys I have baptized have been named Matthew or Andrew.

Of all of the girls, an impressive 23% have been named Madison.


Matt G. said...

Well, Matthew isn't that bad of a name... lol. Actually, Matthew has apparently been a popular name since at least 1989 because I've gone to school with many other Matthew's. In most circles, I've stopped answering to "Matthew" because there are just too many and wait for the "Giles" or "G" or some other nickname of mine instead.

4narnia said...

interesting post on what people are naming their children, Fr. C! it's funny that you mention "andrew" and "matthew." one of my nephew's is andrew and one of the children i care for is matthew! (no madison's, though.) but,the girl's name is alison and her twin brother is will(short for william.)
~tara t~

Roger Bryant said...

I all my relations, there are no Matthews, Madisons, or Andrews... In fact I don't know any Madisons or Andrews, and I only know one Matthew (and that really doesn't count, since I only know him online).

fr. Matt, OFM Conv. said...

and you are saying that as if it was a bad thing...

Pia said...

It's better to have a common name...mine was too different and caused me some pain: Maria Pia. I preferred Maria among friends while growing up in the States, because Pia was apparently hilarious to some...Here in Italy I go by Pia...short and to the point, but a lot of people call me by my full name, which is preferable to me. And nobody laughs, that's the best thing!

ben in denver said...

This is a very timely post.

My wife and I have been going rounds on names for our new baby who will likely be born at the end of March.

We are more or less settled on the first name of Christina.

It is the middle name that we are having trouble with.

I'm partial to naming her after St. Flora, a 15th century French mystic and stigmatist. My wife likes Philomena.

Our other 3 girls are:
Maria Therese
Isabel Chiara Hilaire
Veronica Fernanda.

I don't have a Matthew or an Andrew, but I do have a Joseph, which also seems to be a very common name.

the Boys are:

Joseph Cruz
Raymond Emmanuel
Elijah Anselm
Gregory Toivo (Toivo is an ethniclly Finnish name meaning Hope)
John Francis

Fr. Charles, I wonder with the name Madison, or other such highly secular names, do you ever have to have a conversation with parents about Canon 855? I ask because we had seriously been consideing the name Portia (mostly because of the character in Merchant of Venice), but could not find a saint.

Brother Charles said...

Ben, I like Flora, too.

Nor do I know of a saint to connect with Portia; the closest person I can think of is Porcius Festus from the Acts of the Apostles, whom I often used to paraphrase on course evaluations:

"Professor N. had certain arguments with us about his own religion, and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Professor N. claimed to be alive."

Cf. Acts 25:19

Brother Charles said...

Oh yes, and I try to mention Canon 855 in cases where there is no semblance of Christianity in any of a child's names, but I don't get very far.

Barb, sfo said...

At least in the case of the boys, they picked names of saints....

We have been accused by many Catholic friends and relatives of naming one of our children for a Star Wars hero. We have to keep reminding them that this name ALSO belongs to an Evangelist!

Brother Charles said...

Yes, Barb, in the seminary we studied the Gospel of Master Yoda. :)"Luminous beings are we."