Beyond the Norm-Mel

What's in a name?

My fiancé has a theory about naming children. He gets to name the boys and I get to name the girls. I might get a little input into a middle name...if I'm lucky.

There has been a insurgence in unusual names and spellings that has become almost the norm in today's society.

Once there were hundreds of Michaels and Bobbys, now there are Tuckers and Tanners that have streamed into everyday naming.

Lindas and Susans have been replaced with Cieras and Mercedes.

Which brings up a whole other realm of names. People have gone from naming their kids after famous people (I have a friend who swore if she had a boy his name would have been Elvis) to naming them after cars.

In my family alone I have a Dakota and a Lexis. The children's mother is pregnant again and I wonder what the next kid will be named. Perhaps Grand Cherokee?

Then it comes to the names you know were just made up. There are plenty of names out there that fall under that category. It's almost like the parents weren't quite settled on a name yet and in a drug induced stupor the mother called out a jumble of consonants and vowel sounds that the nurse tried her best to spell.

Spelling is another way parents look to give their kids unique names.

The other day I saw the name Michelle, but it wasn't spelled the standard M-i-c-h-e-l-l-e, it was spelled Machelle.

I have recently also seen my name spelled M-i-l-i-s-s-a.

What difference does spelling it differently make? It's not like every time you meet someone you spell your name for them. By hearing the name "Melissa" they would anticipate that it is spelled the traditional way.

In the future as I start to think about starting a family, I might take some of the hip new trends to heart as I think of spelling my children's names.

I think I will name them something unusual, such as Traho (its the name of an engineering firm), but we will spell it B-o-b.

. Melissa Browning can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail


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