Number of baby girls named Palin spikes

The next generation may be able to see Russia from their cribs.

Yes, the new popular baby name is none other than Palin. Well, popular may be an overstatement. It’s no Bear Blu and it’s not among the top 2010 baby names that the Social Security Administration has just announced.


Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The merits of the name Palin notwithstanding, the increase brings up an interesting question for parents. Is it okay to use a child’s name as a billboard for political affiliation?

The knee-jerk reaction may not be “You betcha.” But why is it so different than any other baby-naming agenda?

Many families use their baby’s names as a way to honor their parents or grandparents. Or some less traditional folks (read: celebrities) use them to make statements of their own individuality (calling all Moroccans) or beloved geography (Brooklyn.)

Other parents choose names because they just like them. Why exactly are these considerations so much more valid?

Well, it is different. First and foremost because giving a child a political name saddles them with the equivalent of a permanent elephant or donkey rhinestone pin. It’s one thing to wear one to a political convention, but quite another to try to match it with every outfit.

Then again, not all names are intentional as they seem. I have thoroughly liberal friends who chose to name their daughter Regan because they both thought it was pretty. Four months into their daughters life, they grew exhausted of having to correct the misperception that it was a misspelled tribute to the late president. They changed it.

Some parents know exactly what they’re doing. Maybe “Hillary” is not as radical a name as what was given to an infant in Egypt, “Facebook.”

Is using a child’s name to declare one’s political leaning okay? What is the craziest baby name you’ve heard of recently?

Follow @onparenting on Twitter.

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