I originally wrote you back in December (Baby Boy or Girl Drizzle) for help with the names Ruth or Penelope if our baby was a girl. Well, baby is a boy and we named him Henry Isaac. While we understood Henry is by no means an unusual name and has certainly had a resurgence, we had NO idea how many Henry's there would actually be. We have met quite a few other Henry's and many of your readers have mentioned Henry as a potential baby name. Even the nurse at our peds clinic who sees an awful lot of babies, said that Henry is the new name around town. Since yourself and your readers were so helpful with our girl's name, I feel compelled to write again for help with our boy's name. I need some nickname help for our Henry. I just don't want him to get to kindergarten and be one of 5. We like both Hank and Hal equally, but neither really sparkle for us or seem to fit our little guy. What are your thoughts and your reader's thoughts on Hank or Hal? What are people's impressions of men with those names? Any other suggestions? His initials as an acronym won't work.
Ah! Paul and I had something similar happen with the name of one of our children. We KNEW the name was common, and in fact we LIKE common names, but we hadn't realized that it was SIGNIFICANTLY MORE COMMON in our state than in the nation at large---like, almost Top 10 in our state, as opposed to Top 50 in the nation. So although we'd signed on for a Popular Name, it was a bit of a worrying surprise to have (1) another baby with the same name in the maternity ward, and (2) another baby with the same name in the pediatrician's waiting room, and (3) another baby with the same name in the waiting room at the portrait studio, and (4) etc.
In his preschool class of about 25, there were two other children with the same name. We started looking into nicknames/variations of his name, but he didn't really want to change to anything else, so we just left it and he went by his first name and last initial---as did the other two boys.
When I registered him for school, the registrar said, "Heh! We've seen a lot of THOSE today!"---and then heard herself and added, "....Er, it's a lovely name."
But! Time for the good news! He hasn't had another child with the same name in his class since preschool. I looked up how many boys were born with his name in his birth year, and compared it to the number of Henrys born in 2008 (the 2009 info isn't yet available), and Henry is only about 1/4th as common.
So I think you can wait and see. If your Henry seems like a Henry and not a Hank or a Hal, I don't see any reason to force yourself into a change. If he IS one of a group of Henrys in his class, perhaps the others will already be going by Hank and Hal.
What does everyone else think? What do you think of the nicknames Hank and Hal, and can you think of other nickname possibilities? Do you have experience with this issue you can share?