June 3, 2005

Baby Names For, By Architects

Who knew? Archinect is one of the leading sites for architecture news, schools, resources, interviews, critical blah blah blah, you name it. So when they're not bitching about the low salaries, long hours, spotlight-hogging starchitect bosses and Daniel Libeskind's glasses, what are the over-educated, under-paid message board denizens buzzing about? Baby names.

For a window into baby name suggestions and trends among the designing classes, check out the threads below, started by one dad-to-be expecting a girl, and two dads-to-be expecting boys [one of whom got a girl, sending weeks of naming work down the drain]. Here's a favorite comment, prompted by recurring discussion of Naomi and Charlotte:

...Should gals NOT get strong names based on strong women? Joan. Monica. Charlote (stabbed Marat in a tub)[Marat? Dude, for the next five years, it's gonna be the chick from Lost in Translation. -ed.] - notoriety is one thing, I'm not recommending Squeaky for crap's sake...

Do we agree the first name can assist and define the personality? Or we just lookin for some aesthetic frison with the belles lettres of the first middle last and or hyphen fascination?

And Courtney got her kid back dammit. And why mess with her with THAT f-upped hubby/father figure. Apropos avoid Sylvia. All these girl names should inspire us all to relisten to Kim Grrrodon singing that Sonic Youth dittie about Naaaaoooomi....

Very few actual architecture-related names make the list, Zaha, Frank, or Maya (the software program they're chained to 18-hrs/day).

But there's a Rem joke and a Renzo joke and Mies, of course: "Miles would have been cool. Or even Mies (no reference to the architect - just liked the name)."

Let me go out on a limb here and say that if you are an architect and you name your kid Mies, even if his middle name is "Notthearchitect," it is a reference to the architect.

Boy names [archinect]
Cool Baby Boys Names
Girl Names

1 Comment

How about the regional variation--or lack thereof? SSA's state by state listing http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/namesbystate.html shows that people really are choosing from the same baby name books.

My daughter's name--Sophie--is 136 on the national SSA list, but she's the only Sophie in her daycare, her swim class, among our general aquaintance (one Sophia, who's about 13) and, I think, in the local region of the southern state where we live.

While Sophie may be a passe name in NYC (noticed an attitude in some previous threads), down here in the bible belt it's certainly an uncommon name that always elicits a positive response when we introduce her. Even on recent visits to the midwest, Sophie was considered an unusual and pretty name.

Now, given that her name is moving up in the national SSA rankings, I'll admit that I sometimes wish we'd gone with the more obscure Norwegian family name that was our first choice. The birth team's reaction helped us to decide that maybe it was a bit too exotic for the deep south. But we did give her an Irish middle name that should satisfy any future yearnings she may have to be unusual, unless she's in Ireland...

So, do we parents search for unique baby names as a hedge against our own obscurity or what?

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