I saw an ad in my local newspaper yesterday (that would be the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) that indicated I might have started a trend. The ad, called “Welcome, Little Angels”, noted the top five names for babies born to Fidelis Care families in 2014. Number 4 for girls was Leah!
That’s my daughter’s name. Granted, she wasn’t born last year. There weren’t many Leahs when she was little, although several people thought she might have been named after a Star Wars character. (She wasn’t.)
Now, having a simply spelled but uncommon name has its advantages, but it can have a downside as well. In our experience, finding cool toys and things with the name printed on them was near impossible. When we were shopping for school supplies, for example, there would be pencils for Ann, Margaret, Michelle and Jennifer–but none for Leah. If we found an interesting item at a craft fair, I could get Leah’s name printed on it, but usually it cost me a little more than the ones that were named already. Finally, when she was in high school, Walmart began including school supplies named Leah. For several years I bought her some of them, to make up for the lack when she was younger.
The Fidelis ad made me curious, so I did a little investigating on the internet to find out if Leah was a top name in other baby groups. In general it wasn’t, although it seemed more popular than before. I’m sure of that because I found this http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager#prefix=leah&sw=both&exact=false which charts the frequency of babies named Leah back into the 19th century.
So if you’re thinking of using an unusual name for an expected baby, please accept my congratulations! Just make sure it’s a name the baby and her teachers can spell.