I want to ask your opinion of the name Kate, which is one of the few girl names both my husband and I agree upon. Specifically, because I happen to be one of the many people interested in William and Kate's engagement and the upcoming royal wedding, I'm wondering if you think that all of the interest in the couple is going to cause a rise in the popularity in the name Kate/Catherine. I don't mind names in the top 100, but I don't want a trendy name. I looked up Diana on Name Voyager, and it doesn't look like there was a spike in that name in the early 80's here in the U.S. So, perhaps my concern is for naught? (Also, something relevant to my particular situation is that if we have a son--either with this pregnancy or in the future--he will quite possibly be named William after a family member.) I'd appreciate your thoughts!
Oh, interesting question about whether Kate/Catherine will get more popular! And...I don't know! On one hand it brings the name to our attention, and on the other hand there are a lot of people who are probably saying right this minute, "Well, we can't use Kate now---everyone would think we used it because of Kate Middleton."
Okay, I will make a prediction, but then I want to hear everyone else's: my prediction is that there will be no net effect on the name---that some people will be MORE inclined to use it, and that those people will balance out those people who will be LESS inclined to use it. I also predict that it will be very difficult to tell the effect, since the name Kate is used as a standalone name AND as a nickname.
To answer the second part of that question, I don't think the name Kate/Catherine CAN get trendy. I think it's too established a name to even have that potential. Even if it got into the top ten, it would always be a traditional/classic name, not trendy. (Now, if Middleton were to take off, that would be a different story!)
And to answer the part about your particular pregnancy: In my opinion, from now on each family may have EITHER or a Kate OR a William---just as each family may currently have a Charles OR a Diana.
Name update! Ellen writes:
My husband and I had a little girl in June, and Kate remained a front-runner for her name up until the end of my pregnancy. However, we disagreed on if we'd name her Katherine and call her Kate or if we'd just name her Kate, and William is the name we're quite set on if we do have a boy someday. Those two things caused us to scrap Kate. We ended up naming our daughter Emeline Anne. We pronounce the last syllable like the last syllable of Caroline...I read your post about the pronunciation of Emmaline (http://swistlebabynames.blogspot.com/2011/07/baby-naming-issue-pronunciation-of.html) with great interest! I have a small amount of namer's remorse because I fret over Emeline needing to spell and pronounce her name for the rest of her life, but we really do love the name. Here's a picture of our Emmy:
Thanks for addressing my question, Swistle, and thank you to the commenters who weighed in, too!