Popular baby names display parents' creativity (w/video)

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

Jan. 16, 2014 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 16, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.

How many ways can you spell Ashley?

You have Ashlee, Ashleigh and Ashli, just to name a few.

While the 2013 names in the Crossroads dared to be unique, the two that came on top, one for a boy and one for a girl, kept it simple - Emma and Liam.

The names are from births in Victoria and Calhoun counties.

For Tara Bernal, the name Liam has always been one she was attracted to.

She and her siblings all have middle names that begin with L, she said.

Aside from the L, his full name, Liam Tyler Edward Bernal, means a lot because Tyler was the name of Bernal's husband, who died more than a year ago. Though he is not Liam's father, having Tyler's name live on meant a lot, she said.

Then months before Liam, who is 10 months old, was born, Bernal's brother, Edward, died.

But Liam, she said, was always a name she stuck by.

"I wanted something different," she said, laughing. "But instead, it's the most popular."

Bernal said she never thought much about any other names other than Levi, which made No. 10 on the list.

For some, names that seem far reaching - for instance, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's baby, North West - are not appealing.

Nicole Williams is one of those mothers.

She and Bryce Gillespie named their daughter Emma Nicole Gillespie.

Originally, Williams wanted the name Kensley. From there, she jumped around with other "K" names but ultimately settled with Emma.

"I have no idea how I came up with that name," she said.

She had settled on the name for a boy, Brayden, but when she learned she was having a girl, the naming game became a lot harder, she said.

When people look at names, they are often looking for something unique and different - at least that's how Cookie Rangel sees it.

Rangel, a saleswoman at MadiTay's, said when monogramming items in their store, the names are across the spectrum in terms of tradition.

The unique names aren't new for Rangel because her granddaughters have nontraditional names - Journey and Story, she said.

"I like them," she said about uncommon names. "I think it's interesting to see what people come up with and the different way to spell it."

Even the name of the store is a mix of the owner's daughters' names - Madison and Taylor.

When ready to monogram any name, they must make sure about spelling and accent marks, she said.

Gigi's Bowtique in Victoria sees the same trend in names, said owner Gina Pena.

While her store does not monogram, she has seen different names popping up such as Luna and Sophia, she said.

Still, Pena finds hope in the simple names that have always been popular.

She knows that some families still give their kids traditional names like Harry and Michael. She herself chose traditional names for her kids: Barbara and Trey.

"I think people want their kid to stand out more in a crowd," she said.



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