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Are Calendar Names Cool or Cheesy?

How do you feel about calendar names and whether or not they coincide with the time of year when a baby is born? I know an April born in September and an Autumn born in midwinter, but also a Natalie born on Christmas Day. I feel that names like this should fit somewhat with the season of birth (if June is born a few weeks early, the parents shouldn't have to change her name to May, for example). A friend, however, thinks this is cheesy and names that fit too well with the season or month of birth should be avoided. Can you settle our debate?

--'Tis the Season

This has been a cultural change over time, which means that while your view was once the prevailing one, opinion has now shifted toward your friend's position. It used to be that seasonal names were selected based on the season. But today, style trumps meaning, and April and June are farther apart in style than they are on the calendar. June is enjoying the 100-year resurgence that we often see in baby-name style trends (the name peaked in 1910 and has been on its way up again since 2008). But April is still firmly associated with the 1970s.

So contemporary parents are selecting names based on their sound and feeling, not their connection to date of birth. But in my opinion, that doesn't make that connection "cheesy." If you look at it from the style point of view, why limit your choices based on birthdate? If you love the name Winter, you shouldn't have to cross it off your list simply because your baby is born in December. That attitude sounds like an anti-conformism as rigid as any conformism.

Plus, if you're interested in name meanings, seasonal names give you a firmer grip than many other names do. The roots and derivations of many, many given names are difficult to tease out with any accuracy. But the name of a month or a season is clear. If you want a Christmas name for a Christmas baby (or even a Solstice name for a child born on the longest night of the year!), you can feel confident that the meaning really will match your intention.

You could also look at this from the opposite side. Say you'd like to honor a family member, but don't care for the relative's name. You could instead give your baby a name representing the namesake's month or season of birth. It makes for a subtle tribute, but potentially a meaningful one—no matter where on the calendar your baby's birthdate falls.

Comments

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April 14, 2015 12:41 PM
By Stephanie (not verified)

My daughter Winter was born in September technically in the summer. I love that she has a "cool" name in the summer season.

April 14, 2015 8:28 PM
By MMT (not verified)

If someone has a seasonal name it never crosses my mind to ask when they were born, I assume it's done for style reasons. But if I do happen to find out that say, a Noel, was born on Christmas, I think that's cool too, what a nice way to honor your birthday. I've met a Sarah whose family was athiest and a Sarah whose family was Christian with Jewish ancestry. Even though I am Christian found the hard-core athiest family's choice of Sarah a little more uncomfortable--like the parents were saying we don't care about this name's meanings and associations, we just care about how it sounds. So in my opinion meaning-names are substantial, not cheesy. Who cares if people are snickering about names like Hope and yes even Nevaeh--a name needs to be beautiful inside-out not just a collection of cool syllables. No offense to anyone out there but I think people who really consider all aspects of a name and not just trends are the ones in the right, not the ones who think meanings are tacky.

April 14, 2015 9:36 PM
By MMT (not verified)

Sorry, that sounded bad, I didn't mean to make it sound like someone who simply picked a interesting decent-sounding name is in the wrong or didn't think through as clearly as compared to a person who goes heavy on the meaning, really June could be a good choice and it really is fine if she's not quite born in June, I agree. I guess I was just voicing my frustration that people like your friend dismiss meaningful names as low-class. What grounds do they have to say a meaningless name is superior? It's not fashionable? They may have too many values or aspirations? Really, that's the best they can come up?

April 14, 2015 10:37 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My baby is due the end of September, I am planning on scheduling my c-section for September 23. We have decided on the name Autumn Jade for her. If she decides to come early she will probably still be Autumn since we have been calling her that since we found out 2 weeks ago it's a girl. My supervisor's name is Holly and I thought her birthday is in December with the name but she is a March baby. Whatever name parents like is fine. I love seasonal names as well as month names but I don't feel it is necessary for them to be the month they were born.

April 15, 2015 3:47 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

It is not necessary for names to match the season or month.

MMT: Did you ask the family why they chose Sarah? They could have chosen it because it means "princess", because it is the name of a family member or friend, or yes, because they love the sound of it, which is a meaningful reason.

April 15, 2015 10:05 PM
By MMT (not verified)

April 15: 3:07 pm, it was strictly on sound, I know that for sure. And I'm fine with people focusing purely on sound, but when they turn around and bash people picking Grandpa's (insert frumpy old name here) name to honor him or a value name like Grace--then I feel a little defensive that's all. It's not just a matter of mutual respect, it's a little frustration with the strong cultural movement--why is picking a pretty name that has an association you don't want becoming more acceptable than picking unfashionable name filled with meaning? Don't we want children to think things through and do the right thing even if it's not popular? Don't we want to model that?

April 16, 2015 8:08 AM
By V (not verified)

Our son August was born in February. I love the sound of the name, the possible nicknames, the month and the meaning of the word, plus there are some great Augusts in history and an Agostino in our family.

April 17, 2015 4:42 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

MMT - so atheists aren't supposed to use any name that's in the bible? Really? That's awfully intolerant of you.

No Adam? No John? No Mark? No Matthew? No Luke?

So, basically, no common boy names.

And no Mary?

April 19, 2015 11:41 PM
By Kim (not verified)

At this point, Sarah is a common name in the English lexicon. History and literature is riddled with it. It's way past being purely a Biblical name, except perhaps for those who are heavily invested in Christianity or names themselves. Neveah is a "new" name, and yeah, I would look askance at a fellow atheist who used it. But Sarah, a name that has been in constant popular usage for the last millennium? Sorry, it's lost its religious overtones.

April 20, 2015 1:08 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I agree, people shouldn't bash people for picking Grandpa's "frumpy" old name and more than someone should bash people for choosing a name because they like the sound.

Plenty of Biblical names have other associations. So an atheist choosing Sarah is not choosing a name that has an association they don't want.

April 20, 2015 11:43 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

MMT: It's more trendy these days to pick an "unfashionable" family name than a name because it is "pretty."

April 21, 2015 4:01 PM
By Christi with an i (not verified)

Sarah I can see as being used by anyone. The one I had trouble with was a non christian friend was contemplating naming her daughter Trinity without knowing what the word meant. It definately has religious undertones.

May 5, 2015 5:26 PM
By Koia S. (not verified)

I believe that a girl named June born in June is just weird. Parents shouldn't not be able to name their child December just because the child isn't born in that month

May 5, 2015 6:03 PM
By Charmaine (not verified)

I, personally, LOVE month names! Jan is great nickname for January, February is beautiful, March is cute if you like Little Women, April, May, and June are adorable and classic, July is good if Julie seems to boring, August is cute for boys, and all -ber ending names are cool and trendy. I believe that you can name the baby February even if it's not born in that month. But it's cute if you do birthstones, like Emerald for May, Aqua for March and so on.
Sorry if that was a little crazy or you don't agree. I'm in that stage where I'm going crazy trying to come up with a name!

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