Top baby names for 2009: get the full list | News | guardian.co.uk

I thought I’d been quite original with my baby naming.  Maisie (full name Maisie Rose Guinevere) was named after my great aunt (the Maisie part at least), so it isn’t like I’m copying a celebrity or anything. I liked the name because I thought it was a bit unusual without being odd.  She wouldn’t be one of four Maisie’s in her class but she wouldn’t have to spend her whole life spelling her name out for people either.  It can only really be shortened to May (which I also like), although you’d be amazed how many people call her Maize (why?).

The same theory applies to Riley – unusual without being odd, easy to spell, not easily shortenable.

I first became suspicious when we went on holiday.  We were in a restaurant, one of four families, three of which had girls.  All three girls were named Maisie.  “Did I hear you right, my daughter’s called Maisie too, gosh!”

Then we were in a shoe shop buying her school shoes.  Four Maisies were queueing for shoes that day.  FOUR.  “Did I hear you right, my daughter’s called Maisie too, gosh!”

In Chester Zoo during the holidays Maisie was looking at the giraffes.  “Maisie, can you remember what sort of animal a giraffe is?” I asked her.  The woman next to me gave me the oddest look and pulled her daughter to her side … also called Maisie.

The plot thickens.

Now I see that both of them are in the top 50 names for this year … how did that happen?

Top baby names for 2009: get the full list | News | guardian.co.uk.

Clearly my taste is more pedestrian than I’d thought.  How irritating.

Fortunately my book characters tend to be named less for how much I like the name and more for what the name means and how it impacts on the book.  When naming I usually do a search on a baby names website for a name that means something specific.

Maybe I should have done that with the kids …

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  1. My husband and I find it hard to name our kids – the boys were named via flipping through a directory. Luckily I always swore that i would name a daughter after my younger sister, as a twisted revenge against my older sister, who used to bite me. But my older sister had the last laugh because of all my siblings, my daughter most resembles her!

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