A reader named Tracy recently wrote to me with an interesting question:
I am debating between naming my daughter Merrick Jane or Katherine (Kate) Jane. I love Merrick because it is different and strong, plus I’ve always had a thing for boy names for girls. Kate is very classic and I know it won’t be a topic of conversation for her whole life. Do you have any advice?
|“Kate” Jane||Merrick Jane|
If it were up to me, I’d play it safe and go with Katherine.
I don’t dislike Merrick Jane. It’s punchy, memorable, and has a nice rhythm. But it would make me worry about two things:
Gender Mix-ups: A female named Merrick would be addressed as “Mr.” in millions of mailings and by countless telemarketers. Her name might also cause confusion among teachers, coaches, camp counselors, college administrators, hiring managers, etc.
Unwanted Distinction: Some people love having an unusual name, but others hate it. Unique names tend to elicit strong reactions (…especially from their bearers). There’s no way to know how a newborn will feel about her name 10, 20 or 50 years from now.
What about you — which name would you prefer?