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Prime Time/Alice Collins: Fashions in names can go full cycle

From left are Liam Collins, Josh Collins holding Miles Collins, Alice Collins, Stella Collins, Anna Collins, Wag Collins and Judah Collins. Josh, Anna and Judah are Alice and Wag's grandchildren; Liam, Miles and Stella are great-grandchildren. Submitted Photo

Do you know someone named April? Or perhaps May or June? The names of these spring months have been used a lot over the years. There are probably a number of reasons for that. They are short, and they bring to mind pleasant connotations. I don't know anyone named November or December or even January or February.

Choosing names for children is a serious project for new parents, or should be. A name can be a benefit or a burden to a kid in school. I recall two boys who came from Germany when we were in grade school. One was Walter, which is a common name here. The other was Helmut, not uncommon in Deutschland, but among his classmates here, it led to all sorts of teasing and comments about wearing him on someone's head.

Women may seek to perpetuate their maiden names by giving them to sons for a first name. This was the case with my husband whose first name is Wagner. His mother called him Waggie, but kids quickly shortened it to Wag, and that is how friends know him now. I have noted that if someone calls and asks for Wagner, I can tell that it is not someone who really knows him well.

Family names are passed through the generations, but some common in one era become less so in later years. Mabel was used a lot in my mother's lifetime but not so much now. My Mother was Stella and that became old fashioned but has made a comeback now. Our grandson and his wife were looking for a family name for their firstborn and chose Stella, which would have pleased my mother greatly.

We also have a great-granddaughter named Emma, another name used a lot in the past. Everyone had an Aunt Emma when I was a kid, and it is back with us now after being viewed as old-fashioned for some time.