Is popularity level more important...

… with one gender than the other?

Sorry, I hate “leading” thread titles but it was too long to fit!

I find that it’s a LOT more important to me to have a relatively obscure name for a girl than for a boy. I’m fine with anything past the 50 line for a boy (though I’d prefer under 100), but for a girl I start to feel iffy about a name I like if it’s past 500. The names that don’t even show up in the top 1000 are my preference for a girl.

It might be less to do with popularity and more to do with the names themselves, that I have different styles for different genders. OR it even may be that an obscure name for a girl is “beautiful and unique,” but for a boy it’s “trying too hard, weird” in my mind. Not sure all the things that come in to play with that.

What about you? [name]Do[/name] your male and female faves fall into similar brackets, or are both sets all over the place, or is one “side” more popular than the other? Or do you not pay attention at all? :wink:

[name]Just[/name] for interest’s sake, I looked my list up on the SSA database. Here are the rankings of my top names, in order of favoritism:

BOYS
64 (but falling! I love telling myself that, haha)
545
98
165

GIRLS
not in the top 1000
not in the top 1000
not in the top 1000
not in the top 1000
869
not in the top 1000
not in the top 1000

Generally I pay no attention at all. I like a name to be uncommon but heard of, but if it isn’t I’d still use it. I’m an “if you love it, use it” kind of person- I think it’s silly to not use a name you’re absolutely in love with because it’s too common or too obscure (unless, of course, it invites teasing, but that’s a different story). I love and would use names like [name]Ava[/name] and [name]Anthony[/name], which are top 10, but I also love [name]Juno[/name] and [name]Amedeo[/name]. So personally, I don’t care at all, though I do notice that there are more girls names that I like that are uncommon (but that’s not on purpose).
I do agree with you, however, that it’s usually more acceptable for a boy to have a very common name and a girl to have a less common or even “weird” name. A higher percentage of boys get top 10, 100, and 1000 names than girls. There are probably a lot of reasons why, but I’m guessing one is that there’s so many more girls names in the first place.

by daisy451 ” Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:08 pm

Generally I pay no attention at all. I like a name to be uncommon but heard of, but if it isn’t I’d still use it. I’m an “if you love it, use it” kind of person- I think it’s silly to not use a name you’re absolutely in love with because it’s too common or too obscure (unless, of course, it invites teasing, but that’s a different story). I love and would use names like [name]Ava[/name] and [name]Anthony[/name], which are top 10, but I also love [name]Juno[/name] and [name]Amedeo[/name]. So personally, I don’t care at all, though I do notice that there are more girls names that I like that are uncommon (but that’s not on purpose).

Generally it seems coincidental that the girl names I latch onto are very obscure, and because of that I seek out more obscure names to see what’s out there. It’s rare that I hear one and like it, then find out it’s popular… but when I do, I nix it. There are enough obscure names on my list that I love even more, that I suppose I just don’t bother with the ones I come to find are heavily used.

For others I’m definitely of the “if you love it, use it - popularity doesn’t matter” mind, but for myself… I’d prefer my daughter to either have lots of other people with her name (popularity along the lines of [name]Emma[/name], [name]Olivia[/name], [name]Sophie[/name]), or virtually no one. I was in the in-between “uncommon but not obscure” area growing up, and I didn’t like it. I had that name that was a little too out-there for a lot of people to use on their kid, but PERFECT for the dog or cat in the house :roll:

Not much correlation with my favorites. I do know of a case where a common name might work out better for a girl than for a boy (opposite of the majority opinion): when the last name is also very common. This is for a couple of reasons: One being that popular girl’s names generally make up a smaller percentage of people with said name in the overall population (not just the child’s age group) due to lower “saturation” and cycling in and out of popularity more frequently. Another being that it’s more likely to change upon marriage than with boys. This opinion is mostly from a pragmatic perspective (e.g. a [name]Michael[/name] [name]Smith[/name] is probably more bound to mix-ups on records, wrongly put on a no-fly list, etc. than an [name]Emma[/name] [name]Smith[/name]). On the other hand, the mix-up likelihood would be reversed for example between an [name]Elizabeth[/name] [name]Jones[/name] ([name]Elizabeth[/name] being a consistently popular name, rarer among girls) vs. an [name]Aiden[/name] [name]Jones[/name] ([name]Aiden[/name] being a recently skyrocketed-in-popularity name, rarer among boys) with the former being more prone.

I definitely worry about popularity more with girls. I tend to like classic names, and for girls I favor underused names under the 200-300 range, but for boys I prefer the standards that provide lots of strong role models-[name]George[/name], [name]Edward[/name], [name]Peter[/name], etc. My first boy will be [name]Thomas[/name], obviously not uncommon. I would however, avoid classic names that are riding a trendy wave-[name]Henry[/name] and [name]William[/name] are entirely too common in my area for me to use.

I always advise people to use the “If you love it, use it” tactic as well. To me, popularity doesn’t matter as much with either gender. I try not to care. I love the name [name]Olivia[/name], which is high on the list, but I love the name [name]Madigan[/name], which is closer to the bottom of the list, just as much. For me, popularity doesn’t matter. One of the few things I don’t like about Nameberry posters is the fact that none of them like or would use popular names.
My question is this: [name]How[/name] do you think a name like [name]Ava[/name] or [name]Olivia[/name] became popular?
The answer is simple: People loved it so people used it. It’s not going to be wildly popular forever. And while there may be 3 [name]Ava[/name]'s in her class, she’ll be the only [name]Ava[/name] in your heart. :wink:

by maggiedances14 ” Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:14 pm

I always advise people to use the “If you love it, use it” tactic as well. To me, popularity doesn’t matter as much with either gender. I try not to care. I love the name [name]Olivia[/name], which is high on the list, but I love the name [name]Madigan[/name], which is closer to the bottom of the list, just as much. For me, popularity doesn’t matter.

So if you were pregnant with a girl right now, and you and your partner came down to [name]Olivia[/name] and [name]Madigan[/name]… which one would you lean toward? Are you saying that the idea of your [name]Olivia[/name] being one of four in her class doesn’t make you lean toward [name]Madigan[/name] instead, since you love them equally?

For me, if I equally loved two names, one ultra-popular and one obscure, I would choose the obscure one - popularity would be the deciding factor if everything else is equal.

One of the few things I don’t like about Nameberry posters is the fact that none of them like or would use popular names.

I don’t think that’s true at all, actually. I see people suggesting popular names all the time. If you look at the “Most popular names for Nameberryite’s kids” list, the top tiers for each gender are filled with the likes of [name]Isabella[/name] (currently #1), [name]Alexander[/name] (#4), [name]Caleb[/name] (#31), [name]Joseph[/name] (#16), and [name]Zachary[/name] (53). Whenever I’ve posted a few names for opinions myself, people have always strongly gravitated toward the most popular ones.

I don’t see a trend on this site, actually (not that I’ve spent a TON of time reading through threads). There seems to be a big mix, and even though people make mention of Nameberry posters being into the more “unique/obscure” names, I don’t see much of that at all. I think you’re mistaking the general sentiment that “a unique name is doing your kid a favor” with peoples’ actual tastes and choices.

My question is this: How do you think a name like Ava or Olivia became popular?
The answer is simple: People loved it so people used it. It’s not going to be wildly popular forever. And while there may be 3 Ava’s in her class, she’ll be the only Ava in your heart.

Neither of those points are in question in the least, and I’ve made mention of them myself from time to time.

Though since you brought it up, in my opinion and to the kid, being “the only [name]Ava[/name] in her mom’s heart” will seem like little solace if that kid is just sick of being [name]Ava[/name] W. amongst six other little Avas in her class. If I were that [name]Ava[/name], I’d go by my middle or even last name… but that’s me, I like to stick out in a crowd.

The question was only supposed to be whether you, as a prospective parent, prefer a name to be more or less uncommon depending on the gender of the child - whether consciously or not, purposely or not. Not whether people should care about popularity level, that’s a dead horse that’s just not worth beating around these parts. There is a lot of discussion on these boards about popularity level, but since I noticed a funny trend in my own preferences I was curious to see if others have noticed anything like it.

When I’m looking at names I’m coming from the perspective of someone who grew up with an uncommon name, and I really appreciated being the only ______ in my class. I think it’s interesting that that seems to influence my preferences for girls, but not for boys, and it makes me really think about my motivations when it comes to choosing a name.