Unique Baby Names: Moms Are Using Maiden Names As First Names For Kids

2015 might be the year of gender-neutral baby names, but this trend is quickly gaining popularity among new parents.
Caucasian mother kissing baby girl outdoors
Caucasian mother kissing baby girl outdoors

2015 might be the year of gender-neutral baby names, but a new trend is quickly gaining popularity among new parents. According to the Chicago Tribune, millennial moms are choosing to give their last names to their kids as first names.

The trend was sparked by women seeking new ways to keep their family name alive after getting married. “This is a challenge that lots of couples are approaching in different ways,” says Laura Wattenberg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard." "Whether or not the parents change their names at marriage, there's a feeling that you want both families to be represented equally in the kids' names."

According to Wattenberg, this practice has been a tradition in the southern US for quite some time. However, as times changed and as fewer women now take their husband's last name, the trend diminished.

Despite this, interest in using maiden names as first names never floundered. On a number of parenting forums, such as Nameberry or BabyCenter, expectant parents have long considered this baby name trend.

On a What To Expect forum, a user wrote: "[I] have several friends who used their maiden names (Davis, Robinson, etc) as first or middle names. I was so jealous. Love the idea, but my maiden name was very long and very Polish. Poor kid wouldn't stand a chance!"

Admittedly, Laurie Scheuble, a sociology lecturer at Pennsylvania State University, says she knows quite a few people who have gone this route, but it was mainly those whose last names have become common first names.

Scheuble notes that no research currently exists about women giving their maiden names as first names, however, countless users on parenting forums can attest that this trend is alive and well.

"My sister named her son Bailey, which is her mother-in-law's maiden name," a BabyCenter user wrote. "I think it's cool if you can do that."

Another said, "My maiden name is Clay, and we're using for our son's first name."

And it doesn't stop there! One Nameberry user noted: "Heck, I've seen this done by moms who've kept their maiden names. In both of those cases, while it was obvious that the name came from the mom's last name, the kid really grew into it as a distinct first name that they totally own."

Generally speaking, using last names as first names has become a growing trend among parents in recent years. In 2014 alone, monikers like Harrison and Jackson were in the top 100 for boys and Marley and Harper were in the top 200 for girls.


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