Try Sophia or Isabella as baby’s name
NEW YORK ― Don’t be surprised to come across moms in Korea who run after their kids, calling out ``David’’ or ``Amy.’’
``Let’s just say it’s an introduction and an easy first step into English,’’ says a 36-year-old mom surnamed Yoon with a preschool girl named both Elisa and Eun-jung, two names given to her at birth. Eun-jung primarily goes by Elisa at her English-only daycare center in Banpo, southern Seoul.
Jang Bo-ra, a kindergarten teacher, says, “Parents now come with children who already prefer being called by an English name. It’s easier for us because we can skip the entire getting-used-to period.’’
The only “small” problem is that many students come with the same popular names, resulting in three Kevins in a class of 12 students.
``Korean parents usually know the same pool of English names so kids end up with identical first and last names,’’ says one teacher’s assistant at an early child development center in Apgujeong, southern Seoul.
It is often observed that, in Korea, Daniel, Kevin and Brian are popular English names among boys, while many girls go by Hannah, Jessica and Emily.
But here’s news for moms and dads: These names have been out of style in the United States for years, based on an annual government report.
Hannah was bumped from the top five female names back in 2003, as did Daniel for boys’ names in 2008, according to U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), which releases its annual list of the most popular baby names every year.
So then, what are today’s top baby names?
For girls, it’s all about femininity.
Sophia is the newest most popular girls’ name for 2011, followed by Isabella, Emma, Olivia and Ava.
It’s evident from the top five that American parents prefer romantic-sounding names for their daughters, a change from the once popular neutral names like Madison and Taylor.
For boys, Jacob remains most popular for the 13th year in a row, followed by Mason, William, Jayden and Noah.
Traditionally popular names like Anthony, Michael, Angela and Sarah are dropping in the rankings, while new ones like Harper and Chloe are rising fast.
This might be a good pointer for parents who like to be ahead.
Think of it this way: It’s like today’s parents no longer naming their kids ``Young-hee’’ and ``Chul-soo,’’ both iconically popular Korean names in the past.
It doesn’t hurt to get your child ready to be international with an English name, but not with one that’s stuck in time.