When I was growing up, for whatever reason, my first name was incredibly popular with Korean-American girls. That, coupled with the finite number of Korean last names, meant I knew several girls with the same first and last name as me, and sometimes even our Korean middle names were the same. To say that it annoyed me was an understatement (I wanted to be unique!) and it is absolutely the reason why I became slightly obsessed with names from a young age.
While I longed for my name to be something totally 80s fabulous like Jessica or Michelle, I also loved coming up with names for my future children. The earliest gems I remember were names for twin girls: Summer and Autumn (what can I say, I was 9!). As I got older, I was drawn to names from my favorite children’s books. I’ve always loved reading and children’s books have always had a special place in my heart. My favorite literary names were Lilly (from Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse), Ella (from Ella Enchanted) and Charlotte (from Charlotte’s Web). I also fell in love with jazz in college and came up with a list of names from jazz artists: Ella, Billie, Miles, Charlie, and Coltrane.
Sadly, most of my then-unique names began quickly rising in popularity and by the time I was ready to have kids, many of them were in the Top 10 for popularity on the SSA list! One of my main criteria when choosing a name for my child was that it not be too popular — at least out of the Top 50 on the SSA list, and preferably closer to being out of the Top 100 names. The other big criteria was that the name be fairly unique but not too unique or unheard of so as not to cause unnecessary confusion with spelling or pronunciation.
When we received our referral for Lil’ CB, Mr. Cowboy and I went back and forth a lot (read: lots of disagreements!) about his potential name. Mr. Cowboy pressed hard for a biblical name, like Joshua or Nathan, and while I really did love those names, they were too popular for my taste and I knew at least one child that would have the same first and last name as Lil’ CB had we gone with one of those names.