Ask the Name Lady

Ask Now

Will Vampires Doom My Future Babies?

I would like to name my future children Esme Violet and Jasper Kyle. I'm concerned that people would make a Twilight connection. I don't like Twilight, but I love both of those names. I am hoping that by the time I get around to having kids (at least 7 years), the Twilight craze will have calmed down. Should I still use those names?
- Not a Twi-hard

The paranormal romance saga Twilight has set new records for media-induced baby name anxiety. Author Stephenie Meyer managed to inject a dose of vampire venom into a lot of stylish choices. Your favorites, Esme and Jasper, were cutting-edge cool before they joined the undead. Is that edge forever blunted? Are siblings with those names doomed to a lifetime of vampire jokes?

You're not the first mom-to-be to worry about this, but you are one of the luckiest. You have the ability to see into the future. Here's how: wait until you're actually pregnant, and you'll know exactly how the names come across to people seven years from now!

I don't mean to make light of your concerns. I know as well as anybody how a baby name can grab hold of your heart and take center stage in your life's dreams. I'm just pointing out that time is on your side.

Seven years is an eon in the pop-culture attention cycle, and a pretty significant chunk of time for modern baby name trends, too. You could wrench your affections away from Esme and Jasper today and attach them to, say, Juniper and Leif, only to find yourself smack in the middle of a new hot film series by the time your babies are born.

What's more, you will change in the next seven years, in ways you can't even imagine today. In fact, the length of time makes me wonder whether you yet know the partner you'll be having these children with. (Partners do get a say, I'm afraid. Occasionally they even have good ideas.)

For now, feel free to love your first-choice names unreservedly. Give the Twilight craze a chance to blow over, and your life a chance to catch up with your dreams. Seven years from now the Esme-Jasper landscape will probably be much clearer -- and if not, get back to me and we'll find another perfect pair of names to speak to your heart.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

February 5, 2013 1:05 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know that 7 years ago I had my heart firmly set on Elizabeth (shortened to Buffy) Lauran and Martin David. Two years ago I started going out with the guy I will marry in 8 and a half weeks. We're still planning on Elizabeth, but shortened to Beth and possibly with Katy Lauran as middle names. Martin however has been swapped with James. It may now be James David Martin. It was difficult to think that I might bend and compromise at first because the names are family names and mean a lot to me but compromise is a bigger part of love than most of us realise.

February 5, 2013 2:04 PM
By Allison (not verified)

The original question didn't say the names were chosen without the help of a partner! My husband and I chose our son's name 4 years before he was born. Thankfully, no pop culture phenomenon arose in the mean time! (We also, however, picked Asher for a second son at the same time, and are watching with dismay as Asher's popularity skyrockets.)

February 5, 2013 2:58 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Pop culture or not, give the names that you love or that are meaningful to you, whatever point in time that is...

February 5, 2013 8:27 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

It is stupid that you would give your children (not even just one but two!!) those names at the same time if you don't want people to make the connection. It doesn't matter if you like Twilight or not, it is a big enough phenomenon especially in the current young generation that people will assume you are or were such a big fan you even gave the characters' names to your kids. It's like naming your kids Hermione and Hedwig and not wanting people to think Harry Potter- and it's been a while since that saga's been concluded, right? There are millions and billions of names in the world and you have seven years to think about it. Find something else.

February 6, 2013 12:19 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I named my son Emmett (in 2011), and was afraid of the connection. People never seemed to notice it until I pointed it out. I think most people don't really care, and I worried about it way more than they did, but maybe he'll have trouble in school - who knows. But I do think Alice is out should I ever have another girl. I think one name could be coincidence, but two is too much. But I would honestly be shocked if you picked those same two names 7 years from now! My husband swayed my name choices quite a bit both times so far. We are having one more little boy due this summer and need another name. If you like her style names you may want to look on the 1910 census record top 1000 list for similar names, I think all her names are on there. :)

February 6, 2013 9:39 AM
By Chrispy (not verified)

There was a time when I was convinced that when I had children they would be named Benjamin and Emma. Fast forward to when I was pregnant with my first and Emma was incredibly popular, which lessened my ardor for the name and one of my cousins had a young Benjamin so we stayed away from that one too. You never know. Ironically, the girl's name we chose for my first, who was a boy, did not end up gracing either of my girls.

February 6, 2013 7:05 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Anonymous@ 8:27 PM: It's certainly not stupid to give your children names you love just because they are connected to a book/movie series. In fact, I'd argue it's silly not to use names you love, as long as you can handle the fact that some people will make a connection. If they do, a simple "who just love the names" or "they are named after my friends/relatives" is plenty.

Not everyone will though. Using your example, I have no idea who Hedwig is in Harry Potter. I'd assume "Hedwig and the Angry Itch" fans, but that's not a big deal either.

Seven years is a long time anyway. Your tastes may change, your partner's tastes may change, you may have 2 boys or 2 girls, etc.

February 20, 2013 2:06 PM
By kathryn (not verified)

My 10 year old son is named Emmett. He was born before the Twilight craze. People on babyname boards seem to see the connection to the name because the books target the same demographics but I think it's far too obscure connection for those not obsessed with the books.

My son's classmates aren't Twihards, none of them care that there's a character in the book that shares the same name. Naming your kids Edward and Bella might be a different story but I don't think all names in all pop culture books can be off limits. In 7 years, very few but the obsessed Twilight fans will care that two minor characters in a book were called Esme and Jasper.

March 14, 2013 12:41 PM
By Bess (not verified)

Luckily the characters who bear the names you love most are not the primary characters in the series. While vividly rendered, it's not like you're trying to name your future children by the names of the three main characters, so the pop-cultural memory will fade quicker.

I still think of Jasper Johns the artist first when I hear the name Jasper, and I enjoyed the Twilight books. Associations with side characters from popular books, even with uncommon names, fade quickly in the pop-culture stream.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.