I am (unfortunately) not yet pregnant, but in a trivia quiz today my husband and I came across the name Grover (the question was about Grover Cleveland). We both decided that we like the name, and are considering it for our ever-growing-and-changing-shortlist. However, we are aware of the very strong association with Sesame Street. So I'm wondering what everyone thinks. I know that the association will be strong for most, but does it make it unusable? Would it be better in the middle name slot? What makes it different to Oscar, also from Sesame St, but now on so many cute wee boys?
Hope you and your fabulous readers can help us out.PS - Before you say it's no good - how cute would little Grover in a Super Grover shirt be?
PRETTY CUTE, that's how cute. I have three associations with the name Grover:
1. Loveable furry Sesame Street Grover.
2. Former U.S. president Grover Cleveland.
3. A former hippie co-worker of mine, who used to ask me in dreamy tones how many birds I'd seen today. (Bird-counting is how you show you're tuned in to nature around you.) (Apparently.)
The comparison to Oscar is a good one: without it, I'd be tempted to say I was afraid the name Grover was too tied to Sesame Street---but you're absolutely right, the name Oscar is managing to overcome that. In 2011, the Social Security Administration reports 2,359 new baby boys named Oscar---but only 9 named Grover. WHY?
Even more mystifying, Oscar isn't the recent "finally overcoming the television show" success I'd been thinking of it as: it was in the Top 100 until 1925, and it's stayed steadily in the 100s and 200s rankings ever since. I'd have thought it would have gone down in popularity after Sesame Street aired, but in fact it got MORE common.
The name Grover had a remarkable surge in popularity around the time Grover Cleveland was president in the late 1800s, and then dropped to mostly the 200s and 300s for about 50 years, then dropped even further (400s, 500s, 600s, 700s) in the next 25 years, and then disappeared from the Top 1000 altogether in 1974 and hasn't been back.
WHY? Theories welcome! And in the meantime, let's have a poll over to the right, with reasons for our voting choices in the comments section. [Poll closed; see results below.]
Poll results for "What do you think of the name Grover?" (468 votes total):
I love it! I'd want to use it! - 34 votes (7%)
I like it! I'd want to consider it! - 62 votes (13%)
I like it for someone else's baby - 161 votes (34%)
No particular opinion - 14 votes (3%)
Slight dislike - 99 votes (21%)
Strong dislike - 98 votes (21%)