Is Matilda getting too popular for me to use?

I have a lot of anxiety about time-stamping my kids with trendy names. But [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f], nn “[name_f]Hildie[/name_f]” is topping my list right now. I prefer the [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] variant to [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] for the deeper germanic vibe, and “[name_f]Hildie[/name_f]” would honor my 2nd great grandmother [name_f]Hildred[/name_f], whom I feel very close to even though she died two decades before I was born.

My worry is that [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] seems to be skyrocketing in popularity. In the last 60 years (I figure that’s my kids’ maximum cognizant age-range in terms of meeting other people with their name), [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] has been used in the US 6000 times, and [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] has been used 600 times. Most of the [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] usage (3000 of those) has been within the last ten years, though, and it’s still going up!! [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] is actually really constant and steady, rising and falling only by a dozen or so names over the course of the years, which gives me a little more faith that it’s not super trendy, even if [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] is. In 2014, [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] was #583 in the US, with 517 girls born, while [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] was WAYYYY out of the top 1000, at #4128, with only 36 girls born. [name_f]Hildie[/name_f] doesn’t even register, meaning fewer than 5 births.

My fear is still that my [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f], likely to be born between 2018 and 2021, would grow up hearing [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] all around her.

I’m wondering if my own name is a fair comparison, though. I have the less common variant of my name. In the year I was born (1992), [name_f]Lillian[/name_f] was up to #348, with 749 born that year, while [name_f]Lilian[/name_f] (my name) was out of the top 1000 at 1307, with only 129 born. Only once have I met a [name_f]Lillian[/name_f] within 10 years of my age. My name always felt unique, even though there is a LOT of [name_f]Lillian[/name_f] going on in the world. I HAVE met four young girls recently named [name_f]Lillian[/name_f], and I hear it on the playground more and more when I babysit. But that’s because it’s up to #25!

Is it fair to think that even if [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]/[name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] continues to rise in popularity over the next few years, it won’t really affect my children that much? Is my fear unfounded that my [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] will be hearing “[name_f]Matilda[/name_f]!” on every jungle gym apparatus? [name_f]Do[/name_f] you see [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] spiking soon and falling drastically, so that my baby [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] is forever time-stamped to her era like [name_u]Courtney[/name_u] and [name_f]Britney[/name_f] of my day?

Lastly, how do you evaluate name popularity? Is there a magic number line you won’t cross when considering a name? [name_m]How[/name_m] much is too much?

Thanks in advance for the input!!

just a bump since I posted at a low traffic time.

In the end, only you can know if the name is too popular for you to want to use. Personally, I would prefer to steer clear of names in the top 10-20. But even so, a name that isn’t particularly high on the national list might be popular in your region.

As you have time, I suggest keeping an eye on [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] over the next few years and see how it trends. If it jumps 60 places next year alone (something which [name_f]Elsie[/name_f] has done in the UK) then you may want to think that the stats are reaching peak [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]. If it only goes up by a few places each year, then saturation is less likely. As for [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f], that seems very unlikely to be charting too high.

I don’t know how many babies are born in the US each year, but 500 people out of a population of 300 million… you’re not likely to encounter a [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] round every corner!

I’m having a hard time taking this post seriously. 6000 kids in the last 60 years? That’s what you said, and that’s 100 per year. [name_m]Even[/name_m] though you’ve stated that it has “spiked” in more recent years, it’s still not very common. I’ve never had a [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] in my 10 years of teaching and I’ve never run into one around my 1 or 5 year old. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill. Any recent spike is probably because child bearing aged women remember the movie fondly. [name_m]Don[/name_m]'t over think it.

@rainpoppy, thanks so much for bringing up the total population. Yeah, there are about 4 million babies born each year in the US, so the 500 [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] newborns from last year, and the three dozen [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] newborns really is really a tiny fraction that brings it into perspective. That said, the region notion does affect it. I’m a 7th gen Californian and plan to move and settle there this year. CA had nearly 100 of those 500 in 2014. Yes, it’s a big state with a big population, but it also speaks to the trendiness.

@stephykneejo, By contrast, MD has only had about 30 Matildas in the past 15 years. It clearly isn’t very highly concentrated there. I guess I worry because where I live now, in the greater [name_m]Boston[/name_m] area, I have heard [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] a couple of times with friends of friends’ friends newborns recently. I’ll try not to overthink it, but the feelings are still feelings, even if they don’t make much sense. Thanks for the feedback, though. It is helping me realize that maybe I could get over the rising popularity.

Overall, I guess my concern is mostly over the idea that someone would date my child based on the name, less than the actual number of Matildas in the world. For instance, I really think people will look back at the [name_f]Olive[/name_f] craze as totally 2000s/2010s in a potentially negative way, the way we feel about other trends of the past, even though [name_f]Olive[/name_f] is so cute now.

I do think [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]/[name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] is heading into the top 100, I’m sorry to say. It already is here in the UK (no. 36 in 2014), and this looks like it’s going to be a typical case of a British favourite crossing the pond and becoming a favourite in the US too (I’ve also got my eye on [name_f]Imogen[/name_f], [name_f]Isla[/name_f], [name_f]Freya[/name_f] and [name_f]Poppy[/name_f]), a la [name_f]Emma[/name_f].

Your preferred spelling of [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f] is likely to remain the much more uncommon variant, but I don’t think spelling alone would set it apart in a school or kindergarten full of Matildas. It’s a shame because it’s a beautiful name, but I guess that’s why it’s on the up.

We chose to use [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] for our daughter’s middle name partly due to popularity, and I think that could be a reasonable option for you - I think you could still call her [name_f]Hildie[/name_f] as a nn. If that idea doesn’t appeal, how about a more unusual “hilda” name:

[name_f]Brunhilda[/name_f]
[name_f]Clothilda[/name_f]/[name_f]Clothilde[/name_f] (love this one)
[name_f]Otthilda[/name_f]
[name_f]Thilda[/name_f]/[name_f]Tilda[/name_f] (another lovely option)
[name_f]Hilda[/name_f]/[name_f]Hilde[/name_f]/[name_f]Hildur[/name_f] (I think [name_f]Hilde[/name_f] is really pretty)
[name_f]Reinhilda[/name_f]
[name_f]Hildegarde[/name_f]

I have never met a [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], young or old. I dont think it’s ever going to be the next [name_f]Ava[/name_f], [name_f]Isabella[/name_f], or [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] in the US.

I think it’s important to remember that [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] is a classic with a solid historical use. Therefore, it will never be so 2010s imo such as a newer name like [name_u]Madison[/name_u], [name_f]Makayla[/name_f], [name_f]Zoe[/name_f], [name_u]Harper[/name_u]. And further, I think he ss list does a great diservice by not grouping names with different spellings together so we don’t know the real popularity.
Anyhow, you have tons of great nicknames to choose from, but I doubt you will meet another little [name_f]Hildie[/name_f]

My daughter was born two weeks ago and we named her [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] :). Clearly, I think it’s a beautiful name. I absolutely love it!

It doesn’t seem to be overly popular, especially as it’s very classic. It is not a new or made up name. I do agree with previous posters that by doing all that maths, you are overthinking it a bit. The ladies at the hospital said that they hadn’t had one in ages, and we know dozens of baby girls under 1, with just 1 other [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]. I know one who is my age and one who is 14. It’s not an overly popular name, and in fact I would barely class it as popular.

There are lots of nicknames ([name_u]Mattie[/name_u], [name_f]Tilly[/name_f], Tils, [name_f]Tilda[/name_f] etc) that can diffrentiate her from others. Plus you are choosing a very unusual spelling in [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f].

It’s a very traditional name, so I can’t picture it dating. Unlike [name_f]Ava[/name_f] etc, it has been in constant use for years so it will not become a generational name. Apart from anything else it is just not popular enough to date.

It’s a stunning name by the way, the feedback we’ve had on it has been great :slight_smile:

Good luck.

I have to disagree with @ew314. I don’t think [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] is going to be in the top 100 anytime soon. It’s one of my favorites but doesn’t get great reception when I mention it. Most kids my age think it’s too clunky and reminds them too much of the book. [name_f]Kinda[/name_f] like [name_f]Hermione[/name_f] which, while the character is an admirable one, is too attached to her for most people. My best friend gave me a weird look when I asked her and then a disgusted “No”. Oh well.

I’ve only ever met one [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] in my life. She goes by [name_u]Mattie[/name_u] and is probably 14 or 15 by now.

I do think you’re overreacting a bit. If the name was already in the top 100, that might be reason to worry about popularity. However, it’s not even in the top half of the 1000 list meaning it’s not that common. I’d be pleasantly surprised to meet a baby [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], especially in this area where every other girl is some spelling of [name_f]Ava[/name_f] or [name_u]Avery[/name_u].

@ew314, I do like the other “hild” names, but DH only likes [name_f]Mathilda[/name_f]/[name_f]Matilda[/name_f]. My mom almost named me [name_f]Clotilde[/name_f], so I do have a particular soft spot for it, but DH has vehemently vetoed.

@boyandgirl and @sparkleninja18, my concern is not that it’s going to be WAYYY up there in the popularity, just that it won’t sound at all unique among a crowd of others named [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]. But I guess it may not wind up being that common.

@maple10, Ahh, [name_u]Harper[/name_u], [name_f]Makayla[/name_f], and [name_f]Zoe[/name_f], I babysit more than one of each…
Also, I’m totally with you on the SS popularity with not clumping similar spellings.

@lottagrace, congrats on your newborn [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]! [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] [name_u]Seren[/name_u] is beautiful!