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What's In A Name?

May 26, 2014, 6:25 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

What's In A Name?

From Amy to Zoey, you've likely heard all sorts of baby names.

Each year, a Social Security Administration website lists the top 100 baby names, state by state. But is it better to choose a trendy, traditional or an unusual name for your child?

Sarah Becking-Tucker is excited to welcome her fourth child into the world, but finding a name for baby Aaliyah wasn't so easy.

"We had used all the names we wanted to use, so we were at a loss," Becking-Tucker said.

Sarah and her husband headed online to check out names.

"We bounced around all kinds of names, and they just didn't seem to stick out," Becking-Tucker said.

Finally, the family agreed to use a Hebrew name that starts with an A. That's when they came up with Aaliyah.

"The only difference was how to spell it," Becking-Tucker said.

"It's the first time that parents get together and have an impact towards the baby's self-esteem, so names are really pretty important," Sanford Behavioral Health Triage Therapist Karla Harmon said.

Therapist Karla Harmon says you should avoid names that have negative nicknames associated with them.

"That could send the message that somebody is not a good learner or is not an adequate human being. It's all about how they can be reinterpreted," Harmon said.

According to the Social Security Administration, the top names in South Dakota last year were Emma and Liam.

"Fad names can date you. Now somebody named Doris is maybe toward the Doris Day period," Harmon said.

But studies have also shown that people given names that are trendy are thought to be more intelligent and popular. As far as extremely unique names?

"I look to see what a teacher can spell. If it's a name they can spell and pronounce, it's going to be good because kids want to be just like everybody else. Kids don't want to standout," Harmon said.

In the end, Harmon says your name is just one factor in your self-esteem level.

"Their self-esteem is going to be based on a nice, firm foundation, along with their own temperament that they bring into the game," Harmon said.

A temperament which Sarah says she's already starting to see in her baby girl...and one that's fitting for an Aaliyah.

"It suits her--definitely," Becking-Tucker said.

If you want to see if your name was popular the year you were born check it out for yourself.
The social security administration's data base goes back state-by-state to 1960.

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