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Hurricane-Inspired Baby Names (and Ones to Avoid)

By paulabernstein |

hurricane namesAs Hurricane Earl prepares to hit the East Coast of the United States, my thoughts are with the people who have had to evacuate their homes. To a much less degree, I’m also concerned that the storm could put a damper on Labor Day weekend plans.

But I’m also wondering if the storm is going to put a damper on Earl as a baby name. Would you really want to name your child after a hurricane?

Surprisingly, some hurricanes have been shown to increase the popularity of a name, such as Hurricane Camille in 1969. But that trend changed with Hurricane Katrina. Before the devastating hurricane, Katrina ranked as the 281st girl name in 2004, but by 2009, it had dropped to the 815th spot, according to the Social Security Administration.

Michele Zipp at  The Stir said that when it came time to name her baby girl, she nixed Katrina and Rita because of their associations with devastating hurricanes of the same names.

Zipp points out that The Atlantic Hurricane list for 2010 features “some really great names,” including: Julia, Matthew, Otto, Alex, Danielle, Colin, Nicole, and even my name, Paula.

Some of my favorites names have at one time been used for hurricanes or tropical storms: Isabel, Lili, Flora, Eloise, David, and Andrew.

I could see how you might want to avoid naming your child after an especially destructive hurricane like Katrina, but what about the ones that barely made the news? Plus, I figure that names always bring with them various associations (people always mention “Max and Ruby” when they learn that my younger daughter is named Ruby).

Madeline Holler, one of my fellow Strollerderby bloggers, named her son Earl years before the Hurricane threatened and the name seems to suit him. She said, “He’s a total category 4.”

What about you? Would you name your child after a hurricane?

More posts from this author:

Girls Are Smarter Than Boys (Or at Least They Think They Are)

Do You Need Divorce Insurance?

Is Your Child a Winner?

Are Twinkies “All-Natural?” Sort Of.

Would You Spend $5,000 on Your Kid’s 1st Birthday Party?

Are School Lunches Making Kids Fat?

Should Parents Get Money for Helping Their Kids Learn?

Should Dads Take Paternity Leave?

Do You Need a Dinner Doula?

Five Worst Fast Food Kids Meals

Do Working Moms Take Advantage of Work-at-Home-Moms?

Should Bars Refuse to Serve Pregnant Women?

Photo: NASA Images

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About paulabernstein



Paula Bernstein is a freelance writer and social media manager with a background in entertainment journalism. She is also the co-author of Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.

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8 thoughts on “Hurricane-Inspired Baby Names (and Ones to Avoid)

  1. Um... says:

    I would be more concerned about naming my kid Earl than the hurricane part.

  2. bob says:

    Shame on Um.

  3. Megg says:

    Um… has a good point.

  4. TC says:

    I wouldn’t purposely name my child after a disaster, but I wouldn’t let that sway me if I was set on a name.

  5. Samantha says:

    It would be more interesting to plot name popularity after a hurricane, I think.

  6. And then you meet him, Megg and Um, and you think, “ah! That’s Earl!” I promise you’d change your mind.

  7. Rebecca says:

    I’m with TC. I wouldn’t let a hurricane name sway me from a name. Heck, as a Floridian, if I dropped from consideration every hurricane name I remember that would be a depressing list of banned names.

  8. [...] Stroller Derby’s Paula Bernstein asked if this most recent storm would persuade parents to con… for their babies-on-the-way.  Wrong question, Paula!  Earl has been out of the US Top 1000 since 2006, and despite the popularity of King- names, few seem ready to revive the other aristocratic titles; [...]

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