I’m going to be blunt, I’m super territorial over my first daughter’s name. I love that I’ve never met another Oakley in my life besides the one I birthed. I also relish in the look on other people’s faces when they meet my daughter and hear her name. You can literally see the surprise on their face, eyebrows raise and lips purse, there is a moment of mental digestion while they chew on a name they’ve not ever heard or considered before. Then people want to quickly relate, its human nature to want to familiarize an oddity so almost always older folks jump to point out they’re knowledge of Annie Oakley, an American sharpshooter and performer in the original Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Younger generations almost always immediately brighten, nodding “like the glasses!” It’s a guilty pleasure feeling original and yet it’s not like we discovered the name. C literally came up with the idea for it after shopping at the Arundel Mills Outlet Mall, we had visited the Oakley store that day among others and would often mull over road names, tree and flowers names, and other random things we would pass while driving for name consideration. We had agreed to not pick a popular name and we wanted something that had meaning and significance to us.
We decided then and there Oakley was our name of choice for our boy. At 15 weeks when we discovered the gender we ultimately decided the name was so important to us it would be our daughter’s name. I researched popularity extensively and found that in Australia it was often used as a girl’s name but in the states there was hardly any use of the name at all, which pleased me.
The point of all this? Last night I received my weekly TODAY Parents newsletter, I usually delete these but for some reason the title caught my attention Unisex baby names are on the rise and these are the 25 most popular. Oakley is unisex I thought to myself – but seriously. No way. I checked anyway.
These are the 25 most popular names in that gender neutral group according to figures compiled from Social Security data.
What the ever loving F. Why does this bug me so much? I guess I worry that the name Oakley is about to become crazy popular. I guess I feel like all my hard work and hours hashing out the absolute perfect name will be tarnished and devalued. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, maybe everyone is just naming their girls Oakley because of my Oakley. I’ll just keep telling myself that. Maybe if it becomes super popular they will start actually making cups and cheap keychains with the name Oakley on them and we can stop buying the super expensive name brand Oakley gear from the Oakley outlet for her. She doesn’t care that her cup will float in the ocean for 67 weeks without corrosion and the embedded compass on her insulated lunch tote will always point true north, she just wants a lunch box with her name on it like all the other kids in school.