Live weather: Storms moving through Oklahomadeveloping: Tornado warning in Kingfisher County Sunday, overnight storms cause outages, damage in Oklahoma

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

How popular is your baby's name in Oklahoma? The latest list is out

Advertisement
The Social Security Administration has released its list of most popular baby names. [AP photo]
The Social Security Administration has released its list of most popular baby names. [AP photo]

When your rambunctious toddler’s name reminds you of a favorite Bible verse, calling after him may remind you to count your blessings.

After struggling for years to have children, Clancey Stewart, an Oklahoma City Realtor and mom, remembers the little miracle she was given each time she says her oldest boy's name.

Her firstborn son is named Shepherd, after Psalm 23.

“I came to terms with everything that was happening, and relied on my faith to get me back to life,” Stewart said. “It was just realizing that God was all I needed. That's why we decided to name him Shepherd. And it’s a constant reminder, every time I’m yelling ‘Shepherd!’ across the hall.”

When he reaches school age, Shepherd likely won’t have to worry about whether the teacher is calling on him or another student, unlike Oklahoma’s new batch of Liams, Noahs and Williams.

Those names topped the 2018 most popular baby boy names list for the Sooner State, according to figures released Thursday by the Social Security Administration. On the girl side of the nursery, Emma, Olivia and Ava led the way in name popularity.

The names were also tops across the country.

In Oklahoma, Judah cracked the Top 100 list for boys. Kimber inched into the Top 100 for girls.

Many mothers feel overwhelmed when it comes to baby naming. Traditional or trendy. To junior or not to junior. Unique but not weird. North West. Apple Martin. Dweezil Zappa.

“It’s just the pressure,” Stewart said. “My husband had 15 other Chrises when he graduated high school.”

A survey by the British parenting website Channel Mum found that 28% of people told their child they regretted the name they chose; 14% considered legally changing their child’s name on the birth certificate; 10% were upset that a celebrity picked the same name for their own kid.

There’s another trend that indicates how stressful baby-name picking can be. Parents are starting to use baby “decoy” names while pregnant.

Rather than telling friends and family what their baby’s real name will be and dealing with the criticism and potential jokes, expecting parents are using a fake name for their baby while pregnant, then announcing the actual name at birth, said Ashlee Neuman, senior editor at The Bump, a baby and parenting website.

“Picking a baby name can be really fun,” Neuman said. “There are so many options. That said, there's a lot of stress on couples to pick a name they’re comfortable with and their child is going to love. There is a lot of pressure to find a name that is meaningful and stands out, and yet is not too original.”

Punchy names are becoming more popular, Neuman said. Think of Jude, Lex and Zen.

As for tips, Neuman said parents should consider how their baby will grow into their name. If you are feeling the alliteration vibe, go for it.

“I think in terms of flow and sound, it truly is up to the parents’ preference,” she said. “It's really personal. You have to think about how it looks written, and sounds in your mouth.”

In Norman, a big sister and her little brother had their names picked out long before they were born.

Brittni Brown, mother of Marci Ann, 2, and Forrest Lee, who was born last year, said she and her husband have been together for about seven years, and agreed early on to name their kids after relatives.

“It was pretty easy,” Brown said. “We pretty much had our names picked out for a while. We even have our future children’s names picked out.”

That means a new Mari Lynn or Otto might be arriving in Oklahoma.

When she really likes a name but thinks it’s too trendy, a mom might spell it in a unique way. But sometimes a mother just can’t win. In 2018, the name Jackson landed at No. 8 for boy names in Oklahoma. Jaxon was No. 16. Jaxson was No. 55.

Brown can relate.

“I had three Brittnies graduate with me,” she said. “All three of us had the exact same spelling. It must have been a '90s thing.”

BOX

2018 Top 5 Baby Boy Names in Oklahoma

Liam

Noah

William

Oliver

Elijah

2018 Top 5 Baby Girl Names in Oklahoma

Emma

Olivia

Ava

Isabella

Harper

Source: U.S. Social Security Administration

Josh Dulaney

Josh Dulaney joined The Oklahoman in November 2016. Dulaney is a California Newspaper Publishers Association award winner for his writing. In both 2018 and 2019 he earned newspaper writer of the year honors from the Great Plains Journalism Awards. Read more ›

Comments