Besides MacKenzie or Makenna or Jaden (which seem to be the trendy names at my kids's schools - I've no objection, just not my thing), my children will also not be named Bathsheva, Hezekiah, Mehitabelle or Menasshe. And you can blame my husband for that.
Ok, I'm pretty sure everyone reading this is thinking, "Good job, Eric, preventing that kind of child abuse." But hear me out. I think there's an excellent case to be made for using some of those names.
1. They are not popular and are not likely to become so. We already know two Elis and two Isaiahs, just in our little rural community. At the time I named them, we'd never heard of any other. But name your child Boaz, and you've got at least a momentary hope that he'll never have to spend his school years as Boaz W. because of the three others in his class.
2. Basha, Zeke, Bella and Nash are cute nicknames. Admit it.
3. Once you've given your three children names like Elias, Simon and Isaiah, you have selected a category of name, and no longer have the option of naming your fourth child "Steve." Your category of name is OT Biblical/Amish/19th Century Prophet, and that's where you have to look, come hell or whatever.
4. Hepzibah Woods and Zebedee Woods are suitable names for actual grownups, and would look nice on the cover of a book jacket. I'm just saying.
5. And most importantly of all, despite my general distaste for patristic nomenclature, I spared my children the hideous final name, "Astyk," with all its potential schoolyard permutations. They get the bland and perfectly nice, assimilationist "Woods" - and since I spared them "Astyk" I feel I can give them any name that I like, and they still have to be grateful.
6. Besides, unusual names are pretty normal, anyhow. I have friends who have named their children Imogene, Inanna, Leopold, Manion, Charys, Dorrit, Hadrian, Byron, Locke and Thelonious. Add in the range of ethnic variation, and your child is bound not to be the strangest named kid in their class.
I've nearly managed to convince Eric on "Yael" and "Hepzibah" for girls, but I haven't made any headway on Jedidiah or Theophilus. I'm sure, however if the thousands of readers of this blog (can you tell I have an active fantasy life) were to write in about how cute they think some of the names listed above were, Eric would be persuaded.