What’s in a name?

Naming a baby is not an easy thing, and Raelene and I went back and forth on a number of names before we finally settled on Corinne. The name initially came up as part of a joke; Raelene asked me for a favor, and I replied that it was fine as long as we named our first daughter Corinne. She agreed, although I don’t think either of us took the agreement that seriously.

Over time, though, we both came to love the name Corinne. It is common enough that people know it, and yet at the same time it is an uncommon name. According to the Social Security Administration, Corinne has consistently been one of the top 1000 baby girl names since 1880. The peak of it’s popularity in the US was in 1890, where Corinne ranked #243 (The name ranked #1 that year was Mary). In recent years, the popularity of Corinne as a baby name peaked in 1978 (#272, and the #1 name that year was Jennifer). In the past 20 years, however, the name Corinne has only risen as high as #340, and has been consistently becoming less popular over the last 10. In 2007, the last year data was available, the name Corinne was ranked #679. The common yet uncommon nature of the name Corinne really drew Raelene and I towards it. Which isn’t surprising, I guess. We both have names that are similarly recognizable and yet not common.

There are several spellings of the name Corinne, and Raelene and I chose the most common one. Others include Corrinne and Corrine, neither of which have the “commonness” of Corinne that I mentioned above. Still, the multiple spellings is something she is going to have to face all her life. At her first Doctor’s appointment we saw all three common spellings, as well as Connie and I think one other, in various places on her paperwork. People are also sometimes unsure of how to pronounce the name. When Raelene and I say it, it rhymes with tin, while others assume it rhymes with sheen. Either is fine, of course, and Corinne may decide she likes the “sheen” version or maybe even Connie better later in life anyway.

So, that is what is in a name. Or what is in Corinne’s name, at least. 🙂

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