Question about name popularity (girl’s name)

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] all,

I’ve posted here a few times lately as I’m in the process of trying to come up with a name for my first child due in [name_u]July[/name_u].

[name_f]Every[/name_f] time I’ve posted our front runners one name tends to be a clear winner - [name_f]Matilda[/name_f].

Appreciation for the name here on NameBerry is reflected in the statistics in Australia, where it is #21 for 2018 and in the top 10 at a hospital near me for babies born last year. It was also in the top 10 for one state in Australia. I suspect that its popularity will continue, and perhaps even rise quite extremely.

Basically, I worry that using [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] will become the equivalent of using [name_f]Charlotte[/name_f] or [name_f]Sophie[/name_f] or [name_f]Lucy[/name_f], all lovely names but a little too popular for my liking.

I’m really curious to see how much popularity of a name affects other mothers/expectant mothers and whether your minds would be changed as to which of our front runners is the best option in light of your knowledge of the extreme popularity of [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] where I live.

The other names we love are [name_f]Edie[/name_f] and [name_f]Olive[/name_f], although my partner’s favourite is [name_f]Matilda[/name_f].

I’ve just read an article about how popular names aren’t necessarily seen all over the playground these days as there is such a greater variety of names used than in past generations.

[name_f]Do[/name_f] you think this means that it’s entirely possible she wouldn’t be one of five Matildas in her year? What would you do if you were in my position?

Sorry for the long post but it’s a question that I’m battling with at the moment. We still have a while to decide but I’d love to have some clarity so I can stop thinking about it!

Thanks :slight_smile:

I think you never know! My son is named [name_m]Ezra[/name_m]. I had never met another [name_m]Ezra[/name_m] in my life and now he has 2 friends with the same name. He is 5 and the year we had him his name was barely in the top 150 for boy names in the US.

I tend to stray away from names in the top 10, but if it was a name that I LOVED then I say why not?

I love the name [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]! Not as popular where I live so I hadn’t thought of it in that light before. In the past I have stayed away from names like [name_f]Sophia[/name_f], [name_f]Emma[/name_f] and [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] due to their popularity. But I agree with the idea that with more names in use, you don’t run into a ton everywhere. So perhaps it will be a non issue. If you love it, I’d say go for it! And with so many nn pissibilities, negotiating classmates maybe be easier than other names.

I don’t think it will be an issue! With the huge variety of names used today, it is statistically improbable that a [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] will know many, if any, Matildas, even if it is popular in your area. For some perspective, here’s a little exercise involving the top ten in the US: I have met two Olivias, two Emmas, and two Isabellas, and none of them were ever classmates. I have met one [name_f]Emma[/name_f], one [name_f]Ava[/name_f], one [name_f]Mia[/name_f], one [name_f]Sophia[/name_f], and an [name_u]Evelyn[/name_u] who is 50 years old. I have never met an [name_f]Amelia[/name_f], [name_u]Harper[/name_u], or [name_f]Charlotte[/name_f]. However, in one 15-person middle school Mandarin class, I knew two girls named [name_f]Princess[/name_f]. So if you love [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], go right ahead and use it! It is a wonderful name, and I don’t think you’ll encounter too much of an issue with popularity.

Oooh, that’s a tough one… My first reaction was to say that if you really love the name you should go with it regardless of its popularity. That what will make your daughter unique is who she is as an individual not how many girls share her name.

My second thought, however, was well that’s all fine and good except if she ends up disliking her name because she’s one of 5 [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]'s in her class.

I think what you need to do is put yourself in your 10 year old daughter’s shoes… Would you like having a fairly common name or would you prefer something more unique? What about when she’s 18 or 25 starting a career?

I think kids prefer not to stand out too much, and I think adults like names that hold up with age. I think in your case, [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] checks both of those boxes so if you love it, I would go for it!!

Never underestimate the power of getting your partner on board too… In my experience that’s no easy feat so if they love it, I think that adds extra bonus points too. Good luck and congratulations!!!

Honestly yes. Australia and New Zealand are fairly small so popularity is heightened then it would be in say America or England. I mean it takes 40 babies to make the bottom of the top 100 girls list in New Zealand. If popularity bothers you I would definitely avoid at least the AUS top 50

How about -

Maddalena (My cousin has a baby with this name!)

I’m in the UK, rather than Australia/NZ - but [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] was 27 nationally here last year and I suspect higher in the specific area I live in, which is full of girls named [name_f]Florence[/name_f], [name_f]Rosa[/name_f], [name_f]Iris[/name_f], [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] etc.

I’ve seen exactly three pegs with the name [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] at my three-year-old’s nursery, which covers around 100 kids. So I’d say the chances of your baby growing up to have at least one other [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] in their class/year group would be high-ish, but I very much doubt there would ever be five of them. It’s going to be a name that is familiar to kids of her generation, but not ubiquitous.

Personally I think [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] is beautiful - if you love and it and so does your OH popularity can only be part of that equation. But if you’re looking for something similar, how about [name_f]Mattea[/name_f]? We’ve seriously considered it for ourselves but it’s too close to another family member to work for us.

[name_m]How[/name_m] about [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] with a less common nickname? The Matildas I hear of are always [name_u]Mattie[/name_u] or [name_f]Tilly[/name_f]… how about [name_f]Mae[/name_f]/[name_f]May[/name_f] or [name_f]Tilda[/name_f]?

I’m not in Australia, but I am in a country with less name diversity than most of the English world, and you do see repeats, if not in the school, then certainly in the park. However, it’s a funny thing: I don’t tend to tire of them if they are names I like, it’s only the names I’m lukewarm on that I end up hating for overexposure. I think [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] is beautiful.

I actually love [name_f]Mattea[/name_f] but unfortunately my partner doesn’t :frowning: The truth is that with [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], he isn’t overly concerned about its popularity at all - I’m the one whose stressing about it and letting the name be tainted by it.

In the end we’ll either just go with it, or with [name_f]Edie[/name_f] or [name_f]Freya[/name_f] (I said [name_f]Olive[/name_f] in my original post but my partner isn’t actually too keen on that anymore). We sort of face the same problem with [name_f]Freya[/name_f] though, but on a slightly lesser scale (in terms of it growing in popularity).

[name_f]Edie[/name_f] is the only one that isn’t in the top 100 here! Although I imagine you’d see some in your area? It sounds quite similar to mine in terms of people’s naming taste (classic, old-fashioned names).

Thanks for the suggestions, I especially like [name_f]Malia[/name_f] and [name_f]Maddalena[/name_f]!

But I think in the end it’ll be either [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] (if I decide I don’t mind it being popular), [name_f]Edie[/name_f] (which I just adore), or [name_f]Freya[/name_f] (I said [name_f]Olive[/name_f] in my original post but I should have written [name_f]Freya[/name_f], that’s the one that’s been in contention with the other two).

It’ll all come down to what we decide in terms of popularity I suppose because I pretty much love them all equally. But you’re right, being a smaller population probably affects the whole ‘wider variety of names these days, fewer kids with the top names’ idea.

Well I definitely love [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] so maybe seeing it around wouldn’t ever make me tire of it!

You’re right, you certainly can’t assume ubiquity of a name based on statistics!

Thanks for your response, it definitely eased my concerns a little.

That’s true! Although he does like [name_f]Edie[/name_f] and [name_f]Freya[/name_f] too… but probably not as much as [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], so that’s something to consider.

Also, I agree that kids generally don’t want to stand out too much. I’ve actually heard a boy with an unusual name complain that he wanted a name like [name_m]Jack[/name_m] or [name_m]Henry[/name_m].

Anyway, thank you for the well-wishes!

Its such a hard choice! Our first child has a very popular name but we loved it too much to pick another. We have ran into a few other children by the same name, but we figured its popular for a reason! We could not imagine our daughter being called anything else and the name is still absolutely beautiful to us.
I think the benefit of [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] is it has been around for many years. It grows well with a person from childhood to adulthood and has so many lovely nicknames as well.

I think if you really do love a name, then go with it!

[name_m]How[/name_m] about [name_f]Maudie[/name_f]/[name_f]Maude[/name_f] as a nickname? I have never ever heard that being used on a little [name_f]Matilda[/name_f].

I really don’t think it’s a big deal. There’s so many nickname options (unlike for a [name_f]Grace[/name_f] or an [name_f]Ella[/name_f]) that she’ll have room to be unique. Whenever I see people worrying about popularity and their child sharing a name at school I offer up this anecdote: my graduating class in high school had a female [name_u]Sandy[/name_u], a name that was #620 in the US in 1997, and a male [name_u]Sandy[/name_u], a name which was last in the US top 1000 in 1981! But not a single [name_m]Austin[/name_m] or [name_u]Alexis[/name_u], both top 10 names. You just don’t know.

Something that could be why you see so much positive reaction to [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] on nameberry is that a lot of users are in the US, where the name is familiar but not nearly as popular. If you don’t mind popularity it isn’t a problem, but it sounds like that is definitely a concern for you. (I grew up as a Brittany with 40 other Brittanys/Britneys/Brytnis in her graduating class, so it isn’t an unfair concern.)

Maybe a little compromise with moving [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] to the middle and having another name you really like but isn’t quite as saturated for your area in the first name spot.

[name_f]Olive[/name_f] [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] would be very sweet.

@brittanyanitarose That makes a lot of sense and I only wish it wasn’t popular here like it isn’t in the US!

I wish we could go with [name_f]Olive[/name_f] [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], it’s so perfect (!), but my partner has now vetoed [name_f]Olive[/name_f].

Realistically it’s down to [name_f]Edie[/name_f] and [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], and I suppose I just need to decide if popularity really bothers me or not and whether, realistically, she is likely to encounter lots of Matildas or whether, at number 21 for 2018, she may go without being surrounded by them.

I adore both names so whatever the outcome I’ll be happy :slight_smile:

What about [name_f]Ottilie[/name_f], it has the same [name_m]Til[/name_m] sound and also a classic feel without being as popular

Or something like [name_u]Meredith[/name_u]? With [name_f]Edie[/name_f] for a nick name


If you go with [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], at least you know where you stand with it. You know it’s popular, so there will be no surprises.

You could use [name_f]Edie[/name_f], but there’s no guarantee someone else won’t have had the same idea, and your daughter could end up in a class with another [name_f]Edie[/name_f]. [name_f]Imagine[/name_f] if this did happen, and yet there were wasn’t a single [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] in the class!

Go with your heart.

I have never met anyone old or young named [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]. But I guess you really never know as it would be dependent on your circles.

Personally, in naming my children, I wanted something slightly off the beaten path, yet not unheard of. I love many of the super popular names, but in the end chose not to use them because of their extreme popularity. I don’t think choosing a popular name is bad though! At least everyone will know how to pronounce and spell it!

Ultimately, go with what you love and feel fits the baby. Good luck! I am due in [name_u]July[/name_u] with my 4th!