|Occupational names don't have to mean a child has big shoes to fill.
Photo courtesy of GreatInspire.com
A good friend of mine gave birth to her second son last week! Baby Mason joins big brother Cooper, and Cooper looks just as proud as mum and dad - it's so sweet :)
As far as sibsets go, I love Cooper and Mason together. They are very well matched for a few reasons. Both are currently popular in Australia. Cooper is more popular here than in the US, while Mason is a less popular than the US, but here they are both top 20 names. Then of course they are both occupational names. And when so many occupational names end with "er", it's great to see two that match so well for style and popularity, but sound so individual.
Cooper means 'barrel maker' and as mentioned, Cooper is quite popular here in Australia. In 2011 it was positioned #6, which is fairly stable compared to the #7 position it held when this particular Cooper was born a few years ago. It enjoys a similar popularity in our close neighbour New Zealand (#12 in 2012), but is slightly less popular in the US, where it was #82 in 2011. It's also highly popular in Canada and Scotland.
I had a theory for a while that Cooper was getting popular as a name in the southern hemisphere because it is also the name of a popular brewery based in Adelaide South Australia, and it felt that as their beer started selling in the other states it started rising as a baby name. But I now think that is more like a coincidence - it's most likely it just gave it some extra exposure just as occupational names were on the rise (although it possibly helped to get approvals from fathers!). Cooper has also gotten a lot of exposure from other sources such as the Mario Brothers video games (remember the Koopas?), TV and movie characters (both as a last name and a first), singers, NFL players and actors (with Bradley Cooper being my favourite).
I think another aspect that has helped Cooper's popularity is the cool nickname Coop. Coop fits well with the current rising trend of one syllable, strong sounding boys names. And then there's the super cute "super Cooper". These can more than make up for any "pooper scooper" references you may come across.
Mason has been a little less popular in Australia than Cooper has. He was #27 in 2011, and based on reports from their members, website babycenter.com is predicting that Mason rose in 2012. This was the case for New Zealand, where Mason rose from #15 in 2011 to #5 in 2012. In America, Mason entered the top 100 in 1997 and was already steadily rising when Kourtney Kardashian gave the name Mason to her first born in 2009. This gave the name an extra boost, sending it to #2 in America in 2011. It's also a top 100 name in Canada, England and Scotland.
Like Cooper, it has a great, strong sounding one syllable nickname in Mace. And also like Cooper, we are seeing it crop up in plenty of pop culture references. In particular, there are werewolf characters named Mason on both 'Wizards of Waverly Place' and 'The Vampire Diaries'.
Mason means 'worker in stone' and while it has a fairly unique sound for an occupational name, it has a very similar sound to past favourite Jason. People tend to love the meaning as they equate it with great strength and being a hard worker. It's thought by many to be a caring, smart, strong name for a handsome but modest guy.
It's a little hard to imagine at this point what name you could choose for subsequent children if you wanted to keep an occupational names with different sounds theme. Possible options could include Shepherd, Abbott, Bishop, Page/Paige, Reeve, Smith, Pilot, Poet, or even Wainwright. But then again, I'm not sure any of them have quite the same "current" feel as Cooper and Mason, so a third child might be the time to go down a "currently cool" path rather than surnames.
But that may be getting ahead of things a little bit. Cooper and Mason - a great sibset for any family :)
UPDATE - 15th Feb 2015
It seems we have an answer to the question of what would you name further siblings for Cooper and Mason. The friend that inspired this post gave birth to her third son this week, welcoming Archer into the world!
It's kind of nice to see them sticking with the theme, aptly labelled "medieval job names" by one of their other friends on Facebook. I remember Archer was actually one of the names being considered when she was pregnant with Cooper, so her and her husband have a very consistent taste and style. And they'll definitely have their hands full with three boys!