hung up on the popularity of a name.

First I’d like to say I am fairly new to nameberry and love this website. It is very inspirational place to find advice and thoughts on baby names. I have been scouring it for a couple months now and will share my list for baby #2 to get some feedback once we know the gender.

[name]One[/name] thing that I find interesting is how hung up so many of the users get about the the “popularity” of their favorite baby name, to the point that they discard the name all together and won’t even consider using it, even if it’s a beautiful name. People refuse to use names in the top 1000, which seems crazy to me. Consider this, [name]Sophia[/name], ranked at #1 is only 1.13% of all the girls named in 2011 in the US, meaning theoretically you’ll have to meet almost 100 little girls born that year to meet 1 [name]Sophia[/name]. If you pick a name like [name]Hadley[/name] (one of my favorites) ranked at #178, you’ll have to meet 1000 little girls born that year to meat a [name]Hadley[/name].

Now I know this is all in theory, and different pockets of the country/ among your own friends there are names that can be way too popular and need to be passed by, but why look at a name that’s ranked on a magical list and rule it out just because you MIGHT meet another kid by the same name.
I personally, don’t know a single [name]Sophia[/name], or [name]Isabella[/name]!

All that being said, I also trend away from the top 100 mostly myself, because I don’t love a lot of them, and I have a VERY common last name. Pairing a very popular name with a very common last name is a little boring [name]IMO[/name], but if your last name is unique, a popular name may be just what you need to save your child some heartache growing up.

Maybe this turned into a rant, but I just hate seeing people pass on their favorite name because of popularity. We don’t live in the 20’s anymore where every other little girl was [name]Mary[/name].

Does anyone out there share my feelings?

Can’t say that I do. :smiley: Sorry.
I won’t disregard a name if it’s in, say, the top 100, but if it’s #1 or #2…no way. I know two [name]Sophia[/name]'s and three [name]Isabella[/name]'s! Now, if one of them were a name with incredibly special meaning to me, or one that I’d dreamed about naming my kids since childhood (I actually never dreamed up the names of my kids in childhood…I wasn’t sure I even wanted any!), then I’d probably do it anyway.
There are plenty of names out there, and I’d rather not run the risk of my child spending school having to tack their last initial onto their name so they don’t get roped in with the four other Bellas in their class, but that’s just me. I honestly couldn’t care less what other people name their kids!

I absolutely agree! It bothers me when people say, “it’s too popular.” I love the name [name]Ava[/name] and have yet to meet an actual [name]Ava[/name] yet everyone immediately discards it. The name could be gorgeous but people are afraid of its rising popularity. My daughter’s name is [name]Scarlett[/name] which is getting very popular but she’s never had another [name]Scarlett[/name] in her class before and even if she did, so what? It’s not like you’re never going to meet another person with your name. I think people are too hung up on being the most unique namer ever. If I like the name, I use it. Simple as that.

I completely understand what you are saying but I am one of these people who has the problem of trying to avoid popular name. However, I am trying to retrain my brain but it’s difficult as a teacher because I meet and hear of so many children. To be honest, there have only been a few names that I have been put off of because of children I’ve known and one of those was [name]Luca[/name] (I met like 4 in a few months) and I’ve never actually met many, if any, children with the names I love so not sure why I have the issue with popularity.

At the moment there are only 2 girls of my 12 favourites that make it into the top 100 UK girls names and they are [name]Matilda[/name] (48) and [name]Harriet[/name] (71) but I only know of 1 [name]Matilda[/name] (under 1 year old) and 2 [name]Harriet[/name]'s (16 year old / 6 months old). However, 5 of my top 9 boy’s names are in the top 100 and that disappoints me but I can’t find other names I love as much so they stay for me. I’m trying to come to the view point that if I love the names then I should use them regardless. I know one baby [name]Caleb[/name], 3 young [name]Jude[/name]'s (under 3 years old), one [name]Gabriel[/name] (7 years old), one [name]Elijah[/name] (4 years old) and one [name]Isaac[/name] (5 years old) so realistically that isn’t many and none of them I’m in contact with or see.

I am also trying to think back to all the classes that I have had or been in and to be honest it is very rare these days to find children with the ‘popular names’. There might be one or two but the chances of repeating names aren’t that likely. Although, one school I went into had three reception classes (4 year olds) and there was 8 [name]Isabelle[/name]'s/[name]Isabella[/name]'s/[name]Isobel[/name]'s across those classes, which is pretty crazy so it can happen!!! I think the repeating names will be more obvious as children go to Senior/High School where there are more children.

I see your point. I do like the name [name]Sophia[/name] but I just feel like it would be the equivalent of naming your child [name]Ashley[/name] or [name]Jessica[/name] the year I was born. I can honestly say there were six Ashleys in my English class last year and that was no fun for them or the teacher. I really do love many popular names (like [name]Sophia[/name], [name]Charlotte[/name], [name]Mia[/name]…) but taking attendance is brutal when theirs like five people who share your name in the room. But I do think people take this whole popularity thing out of control when they choose boys names for girls and, misspell names, and make them up just so their kid will be “different”. I’d rather have my child be one of four [name]Sophia[/name] Roses, a beautiful classy name, versus being the only McK’inleigh [name]Skye[/name] in her class.

But I do agree with you that a common name can work wonders on a difficult last name. I’d much rather see a [name]Sophia[/name] LongDifficultLastName than a [name]Sophronia[/name] LongDifficultLastName.

I understand where you’re coming from- it can drive me crazy when names in the top 300 are discarded- but I do it too! I grew up in a family where none of the kids names were popular. My sister and I were the only Amris and [name]Athena[/name] in the school, my brother never met another [name]Roger[/name]. I really liked that. And I remember going to kindergarten, and being confused that there could be more than one [name]Madison[/name], [name]Tyler[/name], [name]Taylor[/name], [name]Ryan[/name], ect. I know that no matter what their name my child would be unique, but part of me doesn’t want my son or daughter to be one of ten with the same in their class. I feel like it’s sort of silly, but oh well.

To make myself sound even sillier, I nearly had a panic attack when I saw [name]Alice[/name] had gotten into the top 140’s.

  • [name]Athena[/name]

I’m an [name]Amy[/name], which was #2 the year I was born and it hovered in the top 10 for several years. So not only did I have 3 Amys in my class, there were at least 6 Amys in my (very small) school. So it’s not just a consideration of whether or not a name was near the top last year, but for several years. That’s a lot of Shophias! That said, I think it’s silly to disregard a name because it’s ranked 550 (for example), especially if you love it!

I’m glad I’m not the only one. I see the points of those that don’t agree too. I guess all I meant by all this was as long as you put thought and effort into the name, which obviously we all do if we bother to be on this site, the if the name you love happens to be in the top 100 don’t be heart broken. If you searched through 1000, 10000 names, and you find it’s a top name that is what’s right, that’s ok, have more of a reason than the top 300 is too popular as your only reason for not using it. People that search the top 100, pick a name, and are done…now maybe they should put some more thought into their popular name.

now I do understand trying to avoid a common first/last name combo. My DH has a very common first name to go with his very common last name. He and I both worked with other men by the same name in our office buildings, and I had friend with a brother with the same name, and a coworker married to a man with the same name! And we don’t even live in a metropolitan area. I do want to avoid that situation for our children! My maiden name was uncommon and I always had to pronounce and spell it for everyone, so I don’t miss that, but I do miss having a slightly more unique name.

I am a [name]Jennifer[/name] born in 1979, so my experience has obviously painted my thoughts on what names I have chosen for my children. I guess my big issue outside of popularity is how it ages and remaining ageless. Seeing the name “[name]Linus[/name]” on paper and not knowing if the person is 1, 5, 17, 45 or 89. Granted there are trends that come and go with names that have been used for hundreds of years, however I would bet that a [name]Jennifer[/name] is between the ages of 27-40 where as a [name]Brayden[/name] is newborn-10 and [name]Sophia[/name] while popular now could be newborn to 100. Make sense? So many parents my age grew up with their name having a last initial tagged on the end by teachers so perhaps we in general have gone overboard with trying to be unique.

I understand what you’re saying. [name]One[/name] of my favorite names is [name]Scarlett[/name], which is… Number… 86 or somewhere around there. I try to avoid names in the top 200 if I can, but [name]Scarlett[/name] is so ingrained in my mind that I can’t say no to it, lol. Plus my boyfriend is dead-set on having a little [name]Scarlett[/name] :slight_smile: I think if you love a name, go for it. Your kid will understand, even if it takes a little bit. Plus having a unique name isn’t always the greatest. My name is [name]Kylee[/name] (not even that unique anymore) and I’ve ALWAYS been called [name]Kaylee[/name]. I hate it.

I totally understand your point and I agree that if you really love a name or it has personal meaning to you, you should use it regardless of popularity. That said, every time I meet an [name]Isabella[/name], [name]Emma[/name], [name]Olivia[/name], [name]Ava[/name], [name]Riley[/name], [name]Aiden[/name]/[name]Brayden[/name]/[name]Jaden[/name]/[name]Caden[/name] I want to bang my head against a wall. The top ten names are actually ridiculously overused in my area as well as a few top 100-200 names that probably aren’t as popular elsewhere. Granted I work retail in a children’s store and meet dozens of kids every week (some of whose names I learn and some I don’t) so maybe I meet more kids than other people and that’s why I notice the top ten more. Still it seems like every other girl IS named [name]Isabella[/name]/[name]Emma[/name]/[name]Olivia[/name] in my area.

I was one of 5 [name]Kaitlyn[/name]/[name]Kaitlin[/name]/[name]Caitlin[/name]/[name]Caitlyn[/name]'s in my graduating class of 160, but yet [name]Kaitlin[/name] (my spelling) was 101 the year I was born. I usually try and avoid top 50-100 names just because I hated the confusion of having SO many other girls in my class named the same thing with different spellings, but I wouldn’t be devastated if there was one other girl named [name]Stella[/name], for example, in my daughter’s class.

I have a coworker who refuses to name her children anything in the top 1000, and while most berries would say “Yay!” she chose [name]Dacey[/name] for her first daughter, which [name]IMO[/name] is so on trend she probably shouldn’t have even bothered trying so hard to be unique.

As one of four [name]Ashley[/name]'s in my 6th grade class, I’m inclined to disagree. If you choose a name near the top of the pop charts, your child [name]WILL[/name] meet and go to school with other children of the same name. I also work with kids, and see this on a daily basis. If this doesn’t bother you, then go for it! Personally, I have a chip on my shoulder about having a popular name, and I won’t do that to my kids. However, I could care less what other people choose to do!

The rank of popularity does not matter to me as much as knowing or meeting someone with a name on my list. I try to keep myself in check about it…for instance, meeting one little one with a specific name should not make me fear that its too common. But sometimes it does.

I totally agree, but I will say that my interest in a name tends to drop if I get overexposed to it. So, it’s not that I dislike it when names are popular, but I do get sick of hearing certain names.

I have loved the name [name]Ava[/name] since I was 16, and at 26 I really wanted to use the name somehow, despite it being the number one name at the time. I ended up deciding on Avarie (pronounced [name]Ava[/name]-ree) and call her [name]Ava[/name] as a nick name.