How popular is too popular?

And how do you judge popularity? As in, do you go by the SSA list, or people you know, or names you hear yelled at the grocery store? Lol. Because the other day just for fun, I looked up the popularity of all the names on my list according to the 2009 SSA list, and this is what I came up with.

Boys -
Top 50: 3% (5 names)
51-100: 3% (5 names)
101-500: 28% (44 names)
501-1000: 18% (28 names)
Not in top 1000: 45% (70 names)

Girls -
Top 50: 4% (5 names)
51-100: 2% (3 names)
101-500: 20% (28 names)
501-1000: 15% (21 names)
Not in top 1000: 58% (83 names)

Obviously I have huge lists. But anyway. [name]How[/name] do you add up? :slight_smile: And do you think it’s wrong of me to want to eliminate the names in the top 100 right off the bat? [name]How[/name] about the top 200 (because even those make me nervous)?


Hmmm… That’s a really good question. I think that, since I’m not around small children very much, I judge popularity based off of the SSA list.

Quite franky, I wouldn’t just eliminate the names you like that are in the top 100. If you really love them, I wouldn’t delete them quite yet. If they’re just names you’re kind of considering, you could give them the boot. But, I also look at the popularity this way… The top 10 names constitute about 7.5% of all names given to babies last year. And that’s only the top 10, and the percentages only go down from there. So, if your names are from top 50 down, I wouldn’t really worry about it. Now, [name]Chloe[/name] or [name]Aiden[/name], on the other hand, those are much too popular.

My names seem to be scattered all over the charts. I don’t have tons of favorites (really only about 12 each), but I’ll list my stats.

Top 50: 8% (1 name)
51-100: 17% (2 names)
101-500: 42% (5 names)
501-1000: 17% (2 names)
Not in top 1000: 17% (2 names)

Top 50: 0%
51-100: 25% (3 names)
101-500: 42% (5 names)
501-1000: 8% (1 name)
Not in top 1000: 25% (3 names)

I have two daughters whose names aren’t in the top 100, but you know I think if you really like a name - that is what is important. It is silly just to name your child something because you think you are being unique. What is the inherent value in uniqueness anyway? In some ways I think it is nice that a name reflects a time and place in history.

I love the names I love, and if they are popular than so be it. (I am naming my new baby [name]William[/name] fully knowing it is in the top 50) but I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to name them a popular name if I didn’t love them.

Top 50: 10% (3)
51-100: 3% (1)
101-500: 30% (9)
501-1000: 13% (4)
Not In Top 1000: 43% (13)

Top 50: 10% (4)
51-100: 15% (6)
101-500: 30% (12)
501-1000: 2% (1)
Not In Top 1000: 41% (16)

I like way more popularish guys names than I like girls names.

Top 50: 0% (0 names)
51-100: 14% (7 names)
101-500: 48% (24 names)
501-1000: 16% (8 names)
Not in top 1000: 22% (11 names)

I feel like that’s a pretty good spread, and I’m also not surprised. I like uncommon, but not unusual names, so the 101-500 bracket makes sense for the majority of my names to fall. As far as how popular is too popular… I think it goes in stages. For me, top ten if off limits, no exceptions. I love [name]Noah[/name], but there’s no way I would use it now. I would also stay away from anything in the top 25, and I would probably also be hesitant about things in the top 50.

50-100 is where I’m more lenient. Something in that area you won’t see a lot, but the problem is if it keeps rising. For example of my list I had [name]Henry[/name] and [name]Caroline[/name], who both landed in that bracket. I love love love both of those names, so I would probably use them. But I had [name]Wyatt[/name] on my list as well, and it’s place at 60 will probably discourage it from growing on me since I only like it, not love it.

Anything below the top 100 is golden in my book.

I didn’t even look at top 100 names when naming my daughters. But, that is because we chose [name]Justin[/name] and [name]Jacob[/name] for our sons. I feel so bad for [name]Jacob[/name]. We hear it everywhere we go, it is ridiculous. We’ve tried using nn’s for him - but [name]Jake[/name] and JJ are also popular nn’s! So he is just [name]Jacob[/name] or [name]Jacob[/name] G in school. :frowning: Poor kid. So when we named our daughters we made sure not to make that mistake again! We went with names that weren’t in the top 100 at all, and when we made our lists, I wouldn’t even consider one that was in the top 100.

I also drew from my experience growing up… my name is [name]Raquel[/name]. I was the only one in my entire grade/middle school with that name. Also, only one person in my high school class of nearly 1000 shared my name. I loved that it was my name. :smiley:

Best of luck!

We chose a name for our first daughter that was in the SSA 300s in popularity. There are [name]SEVEN[/name] (7) that I know of in my town alone. The name is ALL OVER nameberry. My second daughter was in the 400s when we named her. I only know of one more in town but the name seems to be screaming up the charts!
At first I was really bummed out about this. I did not want them to go by “first name” “last initial”. In fact, I started to come on here to gauge “my” names popularity!!
What I have learned is that my daughters make their names special because they are special. I put a lot of thought into them and just because someone else (or 6) have the same name, it does not diminish the effort and thought and love I put into the name search.
My only advice is to remember that YOU did not create the name so do not be surprised (like I was) if you hear it on more people than you expect.

You said it SO WELL. I was not only given the #1 name of my year, but of my generation. It never once occured to me growing up that a name was supposed to be something I had all to myself and that anyone else sharing it was taking away something personal. My name was a word that could be used to get my attention, but it did not define me. In fact, I and all of the other [name]Jen[/name]/[name]Jenny[/name]/Jennifers I hung out with embraced the fact that we shared something. We had different nicknames for each other if we were in the same place at the same time but if two people answered someone’s cry of “[name]Jen[/name]!” we just laughed it off. At our prom there were 4 of us in the same social circle, and we actually posed for photos as the “4 [name]Jens[/name] and their dates” (and 2 of those dates were named [name]Chris[/name]!).

[name]Love[/name] the name you give to your child, and let them be themselves- this is what sets them apart from the other kids. Personality, accomplishments, whatever it is. No two children are exactly the same in those regards, even if they share a name!

I completely agree with the above 2 posters. My name is also very popular – growing up, there were 4 other Lauras in my class – but we never thought it odd (because there were also several Jennifers, Carries, etc). I think popularity is more important to parents than it is to children. My friend’s daughter, who is 12, is named [name]Sophia[/name]. Her best friend is also named [name]Sophia[/name]. But, I don’t think she’s ever thought it was bad to have the same name. Maybe it even encourages individuality, knowing that you need to stand out by something other than your name.

Also, I think of popularity based more on the kids around me rather than the national SSA list. What’s popular here may not be as popular elsewhere. I think the SSA state lists are probably the best indication other than just what you hear at the playground.

I completely agree with the posters above me! I grew up as [name]Sarah[/name] B, in almost any social situation (there was always 1 other [name]Sarah[/name]. No more, just 1…) It didn’t ruin my life, or make me any less individual. I actually thought it was really cool when I was little. At home I was SJ or [name]Sarah[/name] and at school I was [name]Sarah[/name] “[name]Bee[/name]”. It seemed to make my name my own, and fit me even better.
Popularity in names might only bother a kid if they are say in a public park and someone keep yelling “[name]Sarah[/name], come here!”, but they are talking to one of the other 4 Sarahs. But any name past the top 50 would probably avoid this.
Now in high school I go by a different nickname, but not even because theres another [name]Sarah[/name] (Theres only 2 Sarahs in a school of 1200, that I know of!), but because [name]Ive[/name] grown into my name and made it my own.
Popularity with my names arent an issue, because im not going to have kids for another 8 years or so. By then who knows what would have changed. But I think that if [name]Nora[/name] has shot up to #10, I would still pick it. When you love a name I think popularity is just a small issue!

I may still name a daughter [name]Anna[/name], even though it’s a Top 10 name in my state. In general I’m drawn to semi-popular names (200-300). There are plenty that I love that didn’t make the charts, but I’m not sure I would actually use them. I agree that it’s fine for a name to represent the time in which the child was born. In fact, as an older [name]Olivia[/name] I can tell you that I didn’t love my name as a small child. And as an adult I think it’s worked against me in some situations; i.e., sharing my name with my superior’s 3-year-old daughter. But overall I’ve liked my name. It was at 196 the year I was born, and I rarely met anyone else with my name. And like the above posters, when I did meet another one I thought it was really cool! It didn’t make me feel like less of an individual in the least.

My stats…

Top 50: 5% (1)
51-100: 0% (0)
101-500: 39% (7)
501-1000: 17% (3)
Not In Top 1000: 39% (7)

Top 50: (0)
51-100: (0)
101-500: 30% (4)
501-1000: 24% (3)
Not In Top 1000: 46% (6)