Names Not Just A Fantasy

I’m always surprised when I see some of the more popular names out there.

Call me old fashioned, but I sort of liked it when people were named for other people who had actually lived, as opposed to made-up words or mashed-together combo names. Yeah, probably an old fuddy duddy about that one, but that’s the way I feel about it, dudes.

So maybe I’m not the person you dudes want looking at the trending baby names for last year. Although, it does have a nice nerd-tinge to the whole thing this time around.

I am a huge fan of George R.R. Martin’s book series, A Song of Fire and Ice, which was made into the HBO television series called Game of Thrones. Apparently I’m not alone.

Game of Thrones has become one of the most-watched shows, garnering amazing reviews from all over. And, also, it turns out, the show’s having a spectacular impact on what we name our kids. (If you’re curious as to how popular a name is in your neighborhood, go here. Lovely list, broken out by state, that shows a name’s popularity. The fact that Richard isn’t in the top 100 for North Carolina continues to baffle me.)

Well, at least one of the characters is having that effect. According to the US Social Security Administration’s list of the most popular baby names for 2012, the fastest rising name for a girl was Arya. That name leapt from #711 in 2011, the first year the show aired, all the way up to #413 in 2012. The name first appeared on the top-1,000 list of names in 2010, when it clocked in at #942. Quite a big rise, really.

Although, with this name I can sort of understand the allure.

In the books and show, Arya is an exceedingly strong young lady, raised in a far wilderness as the daughter of nobility, who suffers unimaginable pain and horror, but continues struggling and kicking some major-league butt. I can only imagine how popular her name is going to be when the tv show begins covering some of the stuff she does in the later books.

I mean, you want your kids to be strong and to have good qualities. So, why not name them after someone who exhibits those very same qualities. It’s sort of the opposite of the reason why there have been no English kings named John since the last one, who signed the Magna Carta, and was generally horrible. Like why no Americans name their sons Benedict Arnold Smith, or whatever. Heck, I mean, you don’t see many Judases around, either.

It’s just I miss the good old days when you named a kid something that sounded good with your last name, that had absolutely no meaning behind it. You know, the boring times.

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