What's in a name?

Sunday, January 14, 2007
The name of 4-month-old Kiarra Promise Peet of Jackson was inspried by Kierra Knightly. (Diane L. Wilson)

Unusual names, new spellings of common names becoming increasingly popular

When Ashley Hobeck was pregnant with her second child, she looked to the stars to name her daughter.

It was Hollywood movie star Keira Knightley's name that inspired Hobeck to name her baby Kiarra, who was born in August.

According to iVillage.com, a parenting information Web site, many parents are choosing to name their children after celebrities.

The popularity of the hit television show "Grey's Anatomy" inspired parents to name their daughters Addison, after a character on the show. And Brittany Spears' second son, Jayden, sparked the use of "ayden" in baby names like Hayden, Cayden and Brayden during the past year.

"I don't really feel one way or another about the movie star Keira Knightley -- I just chose the name because it sounded really pretty," said Hobeck, of Jackson.

Joni Adams Bliss, webmaster at Southeast Missouri Hospital, has kept a database of names of babies who were delivered at the hospital since 2001.

"You do see people naming their children after famous people," she said.

Among babies born at the hospital last year -- Angelina, Jolie, Jude, Reese and Owen were a few of the celebrity-inspired baby names.

Lorrie Pleugs, manager of Saint Francis Medical Center's Family Birthplace, said another trend in naming babies is using common names, but spelling them in a different way.

"There's more creativity in how names are spelled to make them more unique," she said.

Eleven baby girls born last year at Southeast Missouri Hospital were named Hailey, Haley, Halie, Hayleigh or Haylie -- each name pronounced the same way.

Angela Rash of Oran and her husband, Joe, chose to spell their second daughter's name in a unique way to make her name sound more feminine. Their daughter, Jordynn Emma Rash was born Aug. 25.

"With Jordynn, my husband and I each knew a male named Jordan. We wanted to separate her name from a manly version," Rash said. "My mother says I will pay for that later since there will be nothing with her name printed on it."

The couple also has a 3-year-old daughter named Aubrie.

"It throws everyone for a loop when their names are spelled differently, but we wanted to make our children individuals," she said.

Rash said the only downside of her daughters' unique names is that she constantly corrects other people who misspell them. "It took forever to get Aubrie's name spelled right at the doctor's office," she said. "It throws everyone for a loop when it's spelled different."

Heather Horton of Chaffee describes herself as an "unordinary person."

So it was no surprise to her family and friends when she and her husband, Melvin, choose unique names for each of her five children. Meet the Horton children: Tyreon, Sethanual, Ivieaeh and the most recent additions, twins Zyrin and Kyrin.

"I wanted them each to be different," Horton said. "I wanted them to be remembered because of their unique name."

Bliss said parents are also naming their children after locations. Last year, Brooklyn, Houston, London, Orlando, Holland and Kenya were born at Southeast Missouri Hospital.

"With all these different names, I would say it's going to be a real challenge for teachers in the future," Bliss said.

jfreeze@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 246


Most popular baby names in 2006

Girls

Emma

Madison

Ava

Emily

Isabella

Kaitlyn

Sophia

Olivia

Abigail

Hailey

Boys

Aiden

Jacob

Ethan

Ryan

Matthew

Jack

Noah

Nicholas

Joshua

Logan

Source: www.babycenter.com


Most unique names in Southeast Missouri

Taj

Tel

Cam

Loften

Yazmonique

Kennor

Kenlea

Berlkey

Akilleez

Delkin

Cameo

Ulysses

Sage

Unique

Roman

Harmony

Julius

Proper

Ransom

Kelton

Ezekiel

Mercedes

Compiled by Southeast Missouri Hospital and Saint Francis Medical Center

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