From today’s preschool graduation

I’m in the thick of graduation season here, which for me means two graduations — my 5-year-old graduated from preschool this morning (becoming a Kindergartner is SUCH a big deal!) and my oldest is graduating from elementary school on Monday (what??).

Of course I scoured the graduation program this morning for names — our school is small overall, but our preschool program makes up nearly half of the entire school population, and I don’t know most of the kids in the other sections, so I was excited to see if there were any gems.

Among 76 graduates there were ….

Three sets of twins (I always love to see what twins are named!) (alternate characters used for privacy):

— Laur3n and Mad!son (I’m a fan of some kind of connection between twins’ names … not too matchy matchy, but like with this set — same ending sound but different ending spelling and different names overall)

— Ann@ and L!bby (love!) (I wonder if L!bby’s given name is Elizabeth? Either way, I like this set a lot)

— Dev!n and L!za (I would consider the “I” in both their names to be a subtle link … also both two syllables … but very much their own names, nice job parents!)

Other names that jumped out:

— Natal!a (I actually had the opportunity to tell her once that her name is so pretty [one of my faves, really], and she was like, “My mom said she couldn’t come up with anything else, so she might as well name me Natal!a.” Haha!)

— Hall3 (I only think of Ms. Berry with this spelling, funny to me to see it on a little one! Great name)

— Am@nda and Carr!3 (not sisters, just classmates, but a bit of a time warp, right? They feel very … 80s? But I do love them both for different reasons — Am@nda because it means “beloved,” one of the best name meanings ever and so appropriate for one’s child; Carr!3 because it reminds me of Little House on the Prairie [one of the best shows ever] and can be a nick for Caroline, which is one of my fave names)

— G!0!a (I love love her name — the sound [JOY-ah], the spelling [they’re very Italian]) (I believe it was a family surname, and I think I heard that G!0!a’s grandmother considered it when naming G!0!a’s mom — great connection between Grandma, Mom, and Daughter!)

— 3mry (like Emory? Or Emrys? But not?) (not sure of gender)

— Ka3ley (I thought I’d seen all the spellings of this name, but this one is new to me)

— R0ry (just because I love it)

— L3ighton and Ev3rlie (these are 4- and 5-year-olds [not sibs], I’m just surprised to see what I think of as very recent celeb names/celeb baby names on kids who were born that long ago … but I guess actress Leighton Meester’s been around long enough to inspire parents of babies born in 2010/2011 since Gossip Girl started in 2007 [I don’t know why she and the show feel so much more recent to me? I never watched it, maybe that’s why] … And now that I look it up, the first celeb baby Everly was 2007 so I guess it has been on parents’ radar for long enough [babies Everly born in 2007 (boy) and 2013 (girl) and Everleigh in 2009 (girl)] Huh) (must brush up on my celeb news)

— The duplicates: three Michaels, two Julias, two Brendans, two Gabriels, two Liams, a Cecelia, a Cecilia, two Colins and a Cole

— And the most amazing of all … Ursul@! Wow! I’ve heard/seen it being discussed recently (most notably by this family, as a sister to Xavier … as an aside, one of the commenters referred to the Ursuline nuns, so Ursula and Xavier seem like uber Catholic sib names to me!), but I’ve never known one in real life, of any age. The little one in the program today has a very Polish last name … I looked it up in my Polish First Names book and indeed it says:

St. Ursula was a 4th century martyr. In spite of the Ursuline Order, the name was not especially popular in earlier centuries. It was considered old-fashioned until the end of World War II, when it began to increase in popularity.

So now I’m really curious to know if the parents chose it because of their ethnic heritage or because they’re fashion forward? (Also, Ursula in use for little girls now means The Little Mermaid is old enough that it’s not a bother anymore. That makes me feel ooooold)

14 thoughts on “From today’s preschool graduation

  1. Funny about the Amanda and Carrie. I’m an Amanda (though I obviously go by Mandi) and my best friend is Caroline whose family calls her Carrie. We are both very much 80s babies.

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  2. I was just talking to my husband about how there are no Amandas, Jennifers, Heather’s or Michelle girls at any preschools but I bet they will be back in the next couple of generation when we all start dying off.

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    • I think you’re right — you’ll probably have a little granddaughter Heather after her beloved grandma. 🙂 (I hope you don’t have to die for the name to come back! I personally think Heather is gorgeous in sound and meaning)

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  3. Wow, Amanda and Carrie do seem like a time warp. Maybe they’e honoring?

    I weirdly went to HS with two Ursulas (though one spelled it Ersula). I always found that so interesting because it was such an unusual name. Though there were a lot of repeats like that in my school, there were 3 Ingrids and 4 Gretchens.

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  4. Love Natalia. It was #1 on our list for girls before we got married. But we named our son a “Nat” name (no guarantees we’d ever have that girl, and his name was #1 on our list for boys too), so now, we’ll never have our Natalia (Well, my dh would still argue for it, but no, honey, just no… I had no idea his love for repeating names even among sibs until we were expecting #2 lol). So refreshing to see it on another child!

    I used to know an Arielle! She was named about 10 years before the movie came out, and I am sure it was a burden for her when it was released.. not only did it take on a whole new meaning, but she was literally the age for being the target audience! Ursula.. so fascinating! My family is Polish-American, and yet no Ursulas there either.

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  5. I also love the name Natalia. I have an adult friend named Nalia (pronounced just like Natalia minus “at”) after the Latin phrase “magnalia dei” which means “wonders of God.” It’s just as pretty and so meaningful!

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  6. Hi! I just happened upon this entry in your blog (which I LOVE by the way! Baby names are so fun to read about!) and just had to share that my husband and I had a little girl in November we named Ursula. His family is Polish so we like our kids’ names to work for both Polish and English. (Ula is the common nickname for Ursula in Poland, which is just super cute.) I think a lot of people reeeeeeeeallllllly do not love this name, but we do! We got a lot of “oh, interesting….hmmm…how did you come up with that??” when we told people her name. Her siblings are Xander and Ramona, so everyone has basically told us we have a “weird hipster” naming style, ha!

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