I recently downloaded the top 1000 names given to babies in 2006 from the Social Security website. Of course I'm not just content to look at the list as given because they don't recognize different spellings so the rankings can be misleading. Isabella for instance only comes in around number 8, but when you add all the Isabelles, Isabels, Isabelas, Isabells, Izabellas, and Izabelles, it suddenly jumps to number 1. And sorry if you don't agree (no, I'm not really), but those are not different names.
Yes, combing through the lists and combining all the different spellings is quite tedious and time consuming so I'm probably admitting to being a little crazy here. But the exercise appeals to the part of me that craves structure and order, and I needed something to do while I was on strict orders from my husband to sit on my ass all day Monday.
Anyway, I'm done. Unfortunately not many names jumped out at me nor have I had my faith in humanity restored. Nine different spellings for Aiden? Really? And we're only talking the spellings that were popular enough to make the list. The best (worst?) is coming across a name you think is truly awful and then realizing that not only did it make the list, but a number of its alternative spellings have made the list. How is it that almost 1000 babies a year can be given a name I don't even know how to pronounce? And it has multiple spellings. At least I think it does.
For truly funny, acerbic comments about baby naming madness please see Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing. A dear friend pointed me to this website when I was pregnant with Q, and it's still as hilarious 4 years later.
And feel free to forward any baby name ideas you have that you wouldn't mind me stealing. I promise I won't even tell you if I don't like it!