I really like the name [name]Olivia[/name] and [name]Chloe[/name], and I think [name]Daniel[/name] and [name]Ethan[/name] are also top ten, top 5 even. I would not hesitate to choose a name that’s been in my heart a long time to use, unless I was really tired of it or it didn’t go with the last name. I don’t love [name]Olivia[/name] or [name]Chloe[/name] above any other names for girls though. [name]Sarah[/name] at #20 (although I prefer [name]Sara[/name]) has been one of my favorite names for a long time, and is not really as popular as it looks. I go with percentages particularly. Names that are the most popular now are not nearly as popular as names were when I was growing up - that is, the year I was born, nearly 1% of girls were named [name]Karen[/name]. That is the same as [name]Emma[/name] is now, but my name was 12th most popular, not 1st. I often did have to use my last initial, but I didn’t feel worried about it. There were more than twice as many Jennifers, twice as many Lisas, besides 9 other names more popular than mine. I didn’t feel my name was epidemic at school. Other girls shared the name, but we were rarely confused with one another and plenty of times, I was the only [name]Karen[/name] in my class. More people are choosing other names on purpose, so that fewer people overall have the most popular names.
That is how I feel about popularity of names. If you look at the percentages, and you are able to compare with something like your own name in the year you were born, in the area where you grew up, and how did it feel for you to have the same name or a different name than others? I don’t like “different” names, I don’t like “the same” names. I like the names I like, and as an adult, one’s child will have a good name if you pick a name you like, not just because you get stressed out about eleven other Isabellas in her class. That’s not exactly likely, if you get the idea that the trendiest trend is to be different now.
I would, however, except [name]Emma[/name] and all the [name]Em[/name] names. There are girl [name]Em[/name] and boy [name]Em[/name] names. They may each have a unique variation in one classroom, but that’s too much. [name]Amelia[/name] is probably the closest name to those that I would use, but anything like [name]Em[/name]- might just be too many. Other trends like girls names that end in -la, short names like [name]Kayla[/name] or [name]Isla[/name] or [name]Lila[/name] or [name]Leila[/name] or [name]Stella[/name]… not exactly as big a deal since it falls at the end. I think that will be more dated in the future as an epidemic trend overall, as names of every era seem to have one common theme of trend sounds (names that end with -elle like [name]Danielle[/name] and [name]Michelle[/name], -een like [name]Doreen[/name] or [name]Maureen[/name], -is like [name]Phyllis[/name] and [name]Doris[/name], etc.)
Longer names that end in -bella or -belle or -ella or -elle might be more confusing, as well as names that end with the syllable -leigh or -ley, the latter more for some boys have those names too, also -line (lyn) or -lan.
I would overall avoid very few names based on how popular they are, and by the same token, quite a few I would avoid based on how popular they aren’t. Some of these are considered “dated” instead of not actually pleasant or appealing to hear about or meet. I admire people with interesting names or who find interesting names for their children, but I probably wouldn’t get too far away from the top 300 or 400 just to be different. The percentage of people who do, though, account for a name like [name]Olivia[/name] being a lot less popular now than [name]Karen[/name] was when I was in school.
In the workplace, people will come from all over, and be different ages, so a name on a grown-up will have a lot different effect. They won’t all be the same age, so either things will balance out or if a lot of people are nearly the same age, the popularity of a name will compound over the decade or two that a name has been popular.
I still think a different name doesn’t make anyone special or more interesting, any more than a common name naturally diminishes what may be unique about them. It tells more about the parents than anything.