Well, it’s happened again. No respect.
A few days ago, the annual list of top 100 Arizona baby names for girls came out. Was Bonnie anywhere on that list? Nope. Nada. No way.
This is a slight I’ve long gotten used to — as I’m sure all the other Bonnies have, too. So much so that when on that rare occasion we actually meet another Bonnie, we react as if we’re long-lost friends. “Well, hello, BONNIE,” we say, instantly bonding as we emphasize each other’s names.
Some of the other Bonnies have told me their given names are Bonita. Not me. It was always Bonnie – or rather Bonny. Not sure why my mother put a “y” on my name. Maybe she was going for the adjective. Unfortunately, many of my classmates chose to amend it to “Bony Moronie,” a late ’50s ditty with such memorable lyrics as, “I’ve got a girl named Bony Moronie. She’s as skinny as a stick of macaroni.”
Little wonder that I started writing my name out as “Bonnie” sometime during my teenage years, though even that couldn’t thwart some folks from belting out “My Bonnie lies over the ocean” whenever we met for the first time.
Still, I prefer my name to, say, Gertrude or Ethel, which are also nowhere to be found on today’s list. But amazingly, the rather old-fashioned Hazel is there, at Number 54. So is Eleanor, at Number 89. While the Eleanors of Arizona might celebrate the name recognition, they need to know that they come in 13 digits below “Not named,” which gets a N. 76 ranking.
Jeez, who doesn’t name their baby?
“Not named” also comes in at Number 74 in the Arizona top 100 names for boy babies, eight digits ahead of Robert. Remember when every other little boy in the classroom was named Bobby, short for Robert, and then Bob when they grew up? That’s my husband’s name, a name so common among our generation that he used to golf with a foursome named “Three Bobs and a Bill.” William, by the way, comes in at a respectable 23.
Skip ahead a generation or two, and we might be seeing “Three Liams and a Noah” out on the tee box, representing today’s No 1 and No. 2 names for boys. As for the ladies, try “Three Emmas and a Sophia.”
I also see that “Brooklyn” comes in at No. 27 for girls’ names this year. Somehow, that takes me back to the 1970s, when the bands “Chicago” and “Boston” dominated the music scene.
A few years ago, Dakota was also a popular name for both girls and boys. But you gotta be careful with geography. Remember, Flatbush is a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Do you really want to be introducing your kids to the neighbors as, “Hi, this is our daughter, Brooklyn, and her little brother, Flatbush”?
Another name long missing from the top 100 is Lois — an omission that might have stirred two women in Minnesota named Lois to start up a club in 1979 for other women with the same name. Since then, Lois chapters have sprung up across the country, including here in Tucson.
A few years ago, I wrote a column about these women, all fun-loving, all welcoming — up to a point. For you see, being a Bonnie, I could never join their club.
Never mind. I see that Facebook has a Bonnie club. And judging by some of their photos, not all of them appear to be baby boomers. Some, in fact, look to be millennials.
Say, maybe there’s hope we can someday crack that top 100 list of girls’ names again – even if we’re never as popular as “Not named.”