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Traditional baby names making comeback

UPI News Service, 04/20/2011 

Parents in San Antonio say they are opting for more traditional names for reasons such as the child's future employment prospects.

Renee Villarreal, a University of Texas Health Center student, said she named her baby Sophia in the age of babies named Apple and Bronx because she did not want the child's name to cause concern for future potential employers, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday.

"Once we found out we were pregnant, I looked up the name and saw that it meant wisdom. I thought, what a strong name to give your daughter," she said.

However, Villarreal said she considered changing it upon learning Sophia was the fourth most popular name for a baby girl in 2009 on the Social Security Administration's annual list. She said her husband talked her out of it.

"You've wanted this name for so long, before it was even popular," she quoted him as saying. "Just do it."

Jemimah Noonoo, a University of Houston journalism professor, said she named her son Nathaniel "because it means 'God's gift' in Hebrew."

Jennifer Griffin, author of "Bring Back Beatrice! 1,108 Baby Names With Meaning, Character, and a Little Bit of Attitude," said baby names should be unique without being too unusual. She said names wax and wane in popularity with time.

"These things happen in waves," she said. "Jennifer, Heather, Amy, we're all the same."

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