From Akealyes to Zayden, GF area parents mix it up via baby namesWhen people hear the name that Alysa and Tim Tulibaski of Argyle, Minn., chose for their baby boy, they assume she must be a fan of the TV show, “Revenge,” which has a character named Declan.
By: Pamela Knudson, Grand Forks Herald
When people hear the name that Alysa and Tim Tulibaski of Argyle, Minn., chose for their baby boy, they assume she must be a fan of the TV show, “Revenge,” which has a character named Declan.
“I’ve never even seen the show,” said Alysa.
It was another show, DIY’s “Bathroom Crashers,” that triggered the name. While awaiting the birth of her son, Alysa spotted “Declan” on the wall of a nursery the crew was crashing through to enlarge a bathroom.
Some parents want to give their children names that are unusual but not too strange.
“‘Declan’ is out there, but it’s not ‘Apple,’” she said. “Some go off-the-wall.”
Declan means “man of prayer” in Irish, which is part of her and Tim’s family heritage.
“I prayed for this child,” she said. She and her husband underwent two years of fertility treatment, choosing to stop the process when it became too emotionally exhausting and then, surprisingly, they conceived.
The Bible verse, 1 Samuel: 127 — “For this child I prayed,” has special meaning to her family, she said. The phrase is imprinted on the wall of her son’s nursery.
Declan, who turns six months old on Monday, lives up to his Irish name with an abundance of red hair, said Alysa.
At the moment of his birth, she remembers hearing, “He has a lot of hair, and it’s red,” she said.
“It’s the first thing we knew about our little one.”
Television definitely influences the popularity of baby names. For example, Mason, as in Kourtney Kardashian’s son, jumped 10 spots to become the second most popular name for newborn boys in 2011.
It’s also the most popular boy’s name in North Dakota for 2011, followed by Carter, Jacob, Liam and Ethan.
The more traditional Sophia is the new top name for girls, while Jacob is No. 1 for boys for the 13th straight year, according to the list released recently by the Social Security Administration.
In North Dakota, Sophia was third most popular, behind Emma and Ava and followed by Olivia and Harper, in 2011.
Kardashian, the reality TV star, gave birth to Mason in December 2009 after a heavily publicized pregnancy. In 2010, Mason jumped from No. 34 to No. 12. Last year, 19,393 baby boys were named Mason, an increase of nearly 4,600, by far the biggest jump for any name.
“It shows what we’re paying attention to (and) what we’re thinking about,” said Laura Wattenberg, creator of the website babynamewizard.com. “Today, you can’t walk through a supermarket without learning more than you hoped to know about the Kardashian family. That’s just reality.”
Rounding out the top five for boys on the national list was William, Jayden and Noah. Michael came in sixth, the lowest ranking since 1948.
Isabella, which had been the top girl’s name for two years, dropped to second place in 2011. Top girl names tend to be more volatile — changing from year to year — while the top boy names are more stable, said Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue. William, for example, has been a popular boy’s name for more than 100 years, never falling out of the top 20. Mason is the exception, entering the top 100 for the first time in 1997.
On the girls’ side, Sophia first cracked the top 100 in 1997. Isabella dropped off the list altogether from 1949 to 1990.
In Grand Forks, the most popular names compiled by Altru’s Family Birthing Center in a 2010 report, the most recent year this data is available, shows some similarities to national trends.
The most popular boys’ names are: Logan, James, Noah, Alexander, Jacob, Christian, Hunter, Matthew, Tucker and Aidan, listed in order of popularity.
For girls’ the most popular names are: Addison, Emma, Isabelle, Madison, Olivia, Chloe, Ella, Hannah, Kinley and Lillian.
Americans are still inclined to choose names from family members.
Christina Ramstad honored relatives from two sides of her family when she named her daughter, Emmagail Frantz, for her grandmother, Emma Ramstad, and grandfather, Gale Regan.
Emmagail, 16 months, is the daughter of Ramstad and Brandon Frantz of Crookston.
Some put a modern spin on family names.
Kyllen Mjelde, 2, is often called “kill-en” even though it’s “KY-len,” said her mother, Jessica Mjelde whose mother-in-law is Sue Kyllander Olerud. Both women live in West Fargo.
“I do like the fact that it kind of fits with that family connection,” said Jessica, but she admits she actually got the name from a persistent car salesman with that first name.
The desire for something different in a child’s name is common to several parents in the area.
Six-month-old Camber Shaw Foss, daughter of Jared and Christine Foss of Greenbush, Minn., is named for the brand of front spindle adjustment on the go-cart and the chassis on the car her father has been racing for years.
“Yup, she’s named for race cars,” her father said. “Maybe someday she’ll race a car of her own.”
Kai Pendleton is unlikely to run into too many others with his name.
It’s not as common as Christopher or Michael, said his mother Angee Newark of Grand Forks. “But I am seeing it more often among kids his age, not so much in this area, but in Facebook entries by people in other parts of the country.”
Kai, 2, is of mixed nationality. His father, Sal Pendleton, was pushing for “Ishmael,” which Newark nixed in favor of a name that people didn’t automatically associate with a particular ethnic background.
“I wanted to really like the name,” she said, “and not get sick of it. It fits him perfect.”
It’s also a safe bet the Demaray children will not run into others with the same names.
Twyla Baker-Demaray and Allan Demaray of Grand Forks have named their children, ranging in age from 1 to 12: Red Earth (usually called Red), Brings Rain (Brings, Rain or Rainy), Stands Holy Woman (Nahish, which means “stands” in the Hidatsa language), White Star Horse (Pony), Good Medicine Woman (Mia, which means “woman” in Hidatsa), Raven Tail (Raven) and She Comes from the River (River).
It was “a hassle and a half” getting their names on birth certificates, Demaray said in an email to The Herald. “Still, I think it’s worth it... These (names) are what my people consider ‘traditional.’”
In choosing to follow the American Indian custom, she said, “We are trying to establish those traditions.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article. Reach Knudson at (701) 780-1107; (800) 477-6572, ext. 107; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.