Does popularity matter?

I was talking to my friend about names, and she suggested the name [name]Isabella[/name]. I told her that it was cute, but because of it’s popularity right now I didn’t want to add it to my list. She then asked me “Does that matter?”, which got me thinking, does it really matter? I mean, if you really love a name should its popularity stop you from using it?

Some of the names that I love are becoming popular, and are popular, such as [name]Ethan[/name] and [name]Aden[/name] for boys, and [name]Ava[/name] and [name]Lily[/name] for girls. I really love these names, but I’m not sure I’d want my kid to be in a class with a billion other Adens and Avas, especially as I have a popular name, and was known by my last initial for a good portion of my schooling.

So, what is your opinion on this? Does popularity matter??

To me, it does matter - to an extent. Generally, I try to avoid the Top 100, because of the same concern as you - I don’t want my child to have to be in a class with three other kids with his or her name - and probably because it’s just my personality to want to be distinctive and stand out from the crowd. That said, if you REALLY [name]LOVE[/name] a name, popularity should be a consideration, but not necessarily kill the name for you. [name]Julia[/name] (#55), [name]Katherine[/name] (#70) and [name]Zoe[/name] (#31) are still on my list for that very reason - I love them too much to give them up! [name]Gabrielle[/name] (#95) would be on there too if a close friend hadn’t used it.

My suggestion is to find similar, but less common names to the popular ones you love - try them out and see if you find yourself loving them as much. :slight_smile:

On our list of names for our second child, we had the name [name]Isabella[/name]. However, we ended up having a boy. Now because of its popularity, I’ve dismissed it for naming our third child. While I still like the name, I do prefer names that isn’t as popular. In my son’s class alone he has three [name]Ellie[/name]'s. Two even have the same last initial, so they are called by their first and last names.

While my name isn’t popular, it is very similar to names that were popular while I was in school. I’ve enjoyed having a name that isn’t the same as everyone else but easy to pronounce. However, if you do love the name that much sometimes that is the direction to go. With both of my other kids I went to the hospital with a short list of names in hand. Once the baby was born, that was when I finally chose the name. That’s just what worked for my husband and me. Good luck with your decision!

To me popularity matters, to an extent. If it is a classic name like [name]Caroline[/name] or [name]Katherine[/name] then I might still consider it, but if it is a trendy “of the moment” name, ([name]Harper[/name] comes to mind) then I would not consider it. I would also consider how it will age. In twenty years will your child be instantly identified as someone born in the 2010’s like the [name]Jennifer[/name]'s and [name]Jessica[/name]'s of the 80’s. I happen to have a very trendy name from the 80’s so I know that I would not want that for my child.

Yes, popularity is a real big issue to me. I’ve lost lots of names from my list because of their rapid rise in popularity, including [name]Ruby[/name], [name]Scarlett[/name], [name]Sienna[/name], [name]Isla[/name], [name]Sebastian[/name], [name]Theo/name, [name]Gabriel[/name] etc. I now have 24 names on my list, 12 boys and 12 girls, and of those names only [name]Isaac[/name], [name]Jude[/name], [name]Matilda[/name] and [name]Harriet[/name] are within the top 100. The potential popularity of [name]Isaac[/name] and [name]Jude[/name] is bothering me but I’m hoping that they haven’t risen too much in 2011 but we’ll find out soon with the rankings pretty in the next couple of months for the UK.

My biggest worry is a child sharing their name with lots of other children in their class and school. [name]One[/name] time in a class of 6 year olds there 4 [name]Luke[/name]'s, who were all known by [name]Luke[/name] and their last name initial, and more recently across 3 classes of 4 year olds there were 8 [name]Isabella[/name]'s and to be honest it’s so popular over here right now I bet it will easily be top 5 material.

Most people in my family have very regular names and I think that’s why my siblings and I are much more open to different names and names that are considered a little “out there.”

Having said that it should still come down to how much you love a name, I simply don’t love names that become popular and if I do I know that name is a keeper if I can see past its popularity ([name]Isaac[/name] & [name]Matilda[/name]).

I think if you truly love the name you should use it. I look at it this way - do you really know 10 or 20 Jennifers? Sophias? etc…I think the panic over a child being in a sea of kids with the same name is a little over dramatic.

I also think there is a negative side to unique naming. [name]IMO[/name] It sometimes seems to insinuate that parents give a unique name because they are insecure that their children wont have character or personality that makes them standout. :frowning:

Yes, to me it does matter. I was one of 5 [name]Caitlin[/name]'s (with various spellings) in my graduating class and it was so irritating to either always have my name misspelled, or to have a teacher mistake me for another girl. Growing up I knew so many [name]Joey[/name]'s and [name]Jacob[/name]'s that we were always asking “Which one, [name]Jacob[/name] S. or [name]Jacob[/name] M.?” And there was a kid whose given name was [name]Jake[/name], so even though he was just [name]Jake[/name] he was still [name]Jake[/name] A. because [name]Jacob[/name] S. and [name]Jacob[/name] M. also went by [name]Jake[/name]. I don’t want my kid to be one of five in his or her class.

So, yes. Not saying I wouldn’t ever use a popular name if I really loved it, but I would try to stay out of the top 10 at least.

I’d repeat what people have said- to some extent, it does matter to me. I generally try to stay away from the top 100 names. But there are a few names I love- and have loved for years- and I would absolutely use them, no matter how popular they get. In the end, it doesn’t matter that much. I’d rather use a name I love over one that is uncommon.

(But if I am introduced to a name because of its popularity- like [name]Mason[/name], which I hadn’t heard much of until suddenly it was huge- I would be turned off, because of its popularity and trendiness.)

I would pick a name because I loved it and not worry about popularity. Although people quote being one of many in a class at school, they might only be at school for ten or so years which relatively speaking is a very small portion of their lives. I’ve never heard of anyone having to wear a name badge with [name]Sarah[/name] M etc at work! When I hear another little one with the same name as dd I think it’s nice that someone else loves the name as much as we do. [name]Even[/name] if you choose a name outside the top 100 how do you know that there won’t be a new character on tv next week with that name which makes every other child next year have that same name. The only way you’re ever going to ensure a unique name is if you make one up yourself.

Thanks for all the wonderful responses guys! I think that a lot of what you guys have said is great advice, and I’m planning on using my favourite names no matter what, as more trendy and popular names aren’t really my style, with the exception of the ones I mentioned before. I also think that if me and my partner love the name and it has a special meaning to us then popularity doesn’t matter, as we didn’t name the child that just because it’s the trend at the moment.

It’d be great to hear more opinions, whatever you believe (:

No. Not really. I mean, sure, I’d like for my children to have uncommon names that everyone praises and thinks is amazing, but honestly, I usually find myself attracted to those popular names, and I grew up with a top 2 name, and it didn’t bother me in the least. I actually really liked having a popular name. It made me feel like I fit in.

I think it matters more to name nerds, like a lot of us want the names we pick to stand out amongst all the other children out there, but honestly, there’s nothing wrong with [name]Ava[/name], [name]Isabella[/name], [name]Sophia[/name], [name]Lily[/name], [name]Jacob[/name], etc. They’re lovely names. [name]Olivia[/name]‘s my third favorite girls’ name, and if I got the chance, I would definitely use it. Most of my other very favorites ([name]Isabelle[/name], [name]Arianne[/name], [name]Violet[/name], [name]Caleb[/name], [name]Jack[/name], [name]Everett[/name], [name]Asher[/name]) aren’t quite so rabidly popular, but I don’t discount [name]Olivia[/name] just because it’s the fourth-most popular girls’ name in the country.

I keep going back and forth about this with the name [name]Alexander[/name]! I absolutely love it but I’m not sure if I will use it. I was actually one of at least 5 girls named [name]Katy[/name] (though the only one with my spelling) all throughout school and it didn’t bother me at all. At the movie theater where I used to work, there were 5 of us there as well and we all loved that we shared the name. And after reading some of these posts, I’m keeping [name]Alexander[/name] on my list as a top contender! I think you should just go with your gut once you see your baby, and stick to names you love no matter what the reason is. I have also always thought the meaning of a name is more important than the popularity.