“Top baby name” lists invariably annoy me because both my daughters’ names always feature.
Yesterday, Kidspot released Australia’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2014 and yep, they both made the Top 10. Damn it.
I swear, when I chose a name for my eldest … a decade before she was born … no one called their kid that. No one. It was my great-grandmother’s name and not at all fashionable. Kinda like calling your kid Mavis or Gladys.
When the youngest came along I was leaning towards calling her Audrey (although even Audrey came in at No. 47 in the Kidspot story, go figure) and I kinda wish I had, because somehow I’d failed to notice every second kid already had the name I chose. Neighbours, friends, movie star offspring …
Alana, on the other hand, is never likely to climb to the top of any baby name lists. And that’s both a blessing and a curse.
Having an unusual name can be exhausting sometimes. For example, I’ve resorted to saying “Anna” to the person behind the counter when I order hot beverages or burgers. It makes life sooooo much easier than having to repeat myself three times, then spell it. No one ever screws Anna up.
“Alana” gives them all sorts of trouble, despite it just being Anna with an L. Yep, folks, that’s how you pronounce it, just in case you’d been saying it wrong all this time …
Not Alarna, not Alan-uh, not Alaina.
I used to be really pernickety about people getting my name wrong, but I’ve mellowed over the years. I can remember it being a badge of honour among my friends to know the right way to pronounce it, kinda like a secret password into the Alana Club.
Nowadays, I rarely bother to correct people.
And then there’s the whole “A House” thing. That’s always been a bit of a bore.
As I noted in a blog called My Name Is Moo (and I’m an ugly cow):
Being called A. House has its challenges. At school, being redheaded, I was nicknamed “House on fire” (not exactly an A. House reference, but distressing nonetheless). There were also lots of jolly japes along the lines of “If you’re A. House, where are your doors and windows?”
I distinctly remember a year 8 teacher giggling as she read out my “A. House” entry on her roll call. You’d think you could count on your teacher to keep a lid on the bullying, not inspire it.
When Husband first met me, he called directory assistance seeking my phone number. They hung up on him when he requested the number for “A. House in Paddington”.
My grandmother had a letter returned to her once that she’d addressed to A. House in Petersham.
Oh, wait, there was supposed to be a “blessing” bit … I’ve grown quite fond of my name’s uniqueness, after hating it in my teens and dreaming of marrying some nice bloke with the surname “Green” (my favourite colour at the time).
When I finally married in my 30s, I decided to stay Alana House. It’s my career name, it’s memorable, and I find it a bit odd that you’re expected to take your husband’s name like you’re property.
I can’t believe I just said that.
The decision has turned out to be quite fortuitous post-separation. It’s cut down on soooooo much paperwork.
And, going around in circles, I was a little surprised by some of the names that made the Aussie Top 50 for 2014 for girls: No. 27 was Willow; No. 32 was Evelyn; No. 39 was Aria; and No. 49 was Summer … just to name a few. Maybe Alana will make it onto the the list one day …
Have you ever wished you had a different name?
Song of the day: Elton John “Your Song”