Trends in naming babies

These interesting trends popped up among the 11,000 respondents to a recent survey at the website BabyCenter.com:

* Half of all parents say they keep a list of their favorite baby names, even before a child is conceived. (A quarter of respondents admit to keeping a list since they were children.)

* The top traits parents wanted to convey with boys' names were individuality and strength. The most desired traits for girls' names were individuality and femininity. More than 40 percent of respondents believe that the name they give a child will contribute to his or her success.

* The top reason parents chose a first name was they simply liked it, but the most-frequent reason they give for selecting a middle name is to honor a friend or relative.

* Most parents said it's easier to name a girl than a boy.

* Almost half of parents call their children by a nickname.

* Respondents said they rejected names from consideration because they were too popular or trendy, already used by a friend or family member for a child, or were too "far out."

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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