My dear friend gave birth to a little boy on the first day of this year. Once she found out what she was having, she told us all what his name would be, Atticus. When she told me his name, I knew the name rang familiar in my head but couldn’t place from where. To Kill a Mockingbird, of course! I should have known from my librarian, book loving friend a strong character would share her son’s name. Other friends and family of hers thought Atticus was a bit different of a name. As someone who grown up with a not so common of a name, I think Atticus is a great name. Even though to this day, I have to spell or pronounce my name for people. Growing up I really liked having a name no one else had. It made me feel unique. Even special. Sure there was the down fall of never being able to buy a pencil or tiny license plate with my name on it at gift stores. Not to worry, I grew up with mouse ears from Disneyland that bore my name on them and my extend family made sure I had things with my name on it, which I still have to this day. When my friend was picking out Atticus’ name she checked to see if was out there in the name world on babynamewizard.com . Upon learning this I promptly entered my name to find out about how truly uncommon it was. Needless to say, my name has never been in the top 100 in any decade. During the 80’s, when I was born, my name was 226 out of 1,000,000 babies. It peaked at 324 in the 70’s which adds up since any other Alisa I have meet has been older than me. As I was reading stats about my name, I saw that someone else with my name noted where her parents heard the name. They had gotten her name from the movie, “Paint Your Wagon”, where Clint Eastwood sings about an imaginary girl named Alisa Suzanne, she said. I had never heard of this movie so I googled it and found that sadly, it was not actually Alisa that was being sung but rather Elisa. Still, I really liked the lyrics and listening to the song it does sound like Alisa rather than Elisa (so this other Alisa’s parents must of only heard the lyrics rather than had the sound track liner notes). My favorite line from the song is “Her heart was made of holidays.” (You can listen to my favorite part here ) I think Id like to change the meaning of my name from “noble one” to “heart made of holidays”. My parents got my name from my aunt’s (my mom’s sister) middle name, to which my Grandma who named her said she thought she had made up the name. I love both the fact I share a name with my aunt and that my Grandma thought she made it up. I want to give my kids uncommon names as well someday. I really love hearing a name that is uncommon when I meet someone. And I hope Atticus loves having an uncommon name as much as I have loved having mine.

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Cool baby name website!!! My name apparently peaked in the 70’s as well, though I grew up knowing at least 7 Dana’s around my age and it was quite confusing.
I also looked up Leeland’s name and as always, they don’t have it spelled the way we spell it… most spell it with one “e”, which to me looks like it should be pronounced “lay-land”. Oh Well, apparently his name peaked in the 1920’s which is fun and it means “clearing or meadow”.

February 5, 2011 3:58 pm

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