Unexpected name opinions

Had a couple of interactions lately where names have come up and I’ve been rather surprised by the opinions I’m hearing. If you’ve got thoughts on these names or a similar story to tell please share.
Recently a newscaster said something about her son [name_u]Oliver[/name_u] and my dad mentioned how strange of a name that was. Maybe I’m looking through a nameberry lense or something but I feel like [name_u]Oliver[/name_u] is a normal name and even relatively popular.
[name_f]My[/name_f] sister recently expressed to me how lucky our cousin was because she has the family name [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] as an option. This was not the response I had to the name, I’m not a fan, nor was it one I’d have expected her to have. I haven’t really discussed names with her much over the years but as a person she generally likes things simple and is usually up on current trends, [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] seemed older and I guess frillier than I’d expect her taste to be.


Also about the name [name_u]Oliver[/name_u], I had a couple friends who had their first baby in 2019. Their girl pick was an unfamiliar vintage name so I was trying to work out a boy pick that would be similarly underused in [name_f]England[/name_f]. They went with [name_u]Oliver[/name_u] which has been number 1 for years.

I think for people who aren’t namenerds, our overanalysis probably isn’t helpful. They went with [name_u]Oliver[/name_u] because they like [name_u]Oliver[/name_u] and they liked their girl pick too. Nothing to do with popularity lists or name meanings or whatever criteria gets liked online. (I also think [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] is quite a cute option for whatever that’s worth!)

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I feel like older generations tend to be… less in-touch with popular names. [name_f]My[/name_f] dad has made similar comments about [name_u]Jalen[/name_u]. I’ve met many Jalens. It’s a pretty common name, at least where I live.

I guess I always assumed that the style of name you like kind of correlated with how popular it is even if you don’t know it. Like that the style of name you like is the style that’s pretty popular right now and the chances of choosing an out of left field name were slimmer. That might be completely wrong though. I’m not super opposed to [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] it’s just not really my taste I feel like it’s a lot of name for a baby. It’s also possible that I’m not a fan because the [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] we were referring to goes by the NN [name_f]Phyllis[/name_f] and I’m not really a fan of that either.

Yeah, I can see where the comment about [name_u]Jalen[/name_u] comes from though because even though it’s popular now it doesn’t have a long history of use. [name_u]Oliver[/name_u] seems like it’s been maybe not popular but at least a name you heard in books and movies for a long time . I should have expected it from my dad anyway I suppose. [name_f]My[/name_f] mom has told me about their naming struggles, he was very picky and had very strong opinions about names haha.


I had similar with my dad, I mentioned that a friend had named her twins [name_f]Charlotte[/name_f] and [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] and he said something like ‘oh [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] is going to hate the parents for giving her the weird name’. [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] is something like no. 30 in the UK name charts and I already know three little Matildas so in my eyes it’s now quite a popular name.

I suppose the last time he was thinking about baby names was back like 30 yrs ago when my sister was born and I assume nobody was using [name_f]Matilda[/name_f] back then, had to explain to him that times have changed :laughing:

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I saw someone the other day in a TikTok referencing the name [name_m]Paul[/name_m] as an example of an old and “ugly” name along with others like [name_m]Eugene[/name_m], [name_m]Wilbur[/name_m], and [name_m]Horace[/name_m]. I absolutely don’t see [name_m]Paul[/name_m] as dated or clunky in the way of those names! It was super weird.

Also I absolutely have more conservative taste than most berries but I’m still surprised what some people consider a weird or unusual name. An influencer named her baby [name_f]Evangeline[/name_f] recently and I saw people talking about it like it was an incredibly bizarre unheard of choice.

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I don’t see [name_m]Paul[/name_m] as clunky old or ugly either. I do think it might be one of those names that’s not quite ready for a resurgence yet because the [name_m]Paul[/name_m]’s of the previous generations are too young. I know a [name_m]Paul[/name_m] who is currently 25 and one who is 60 so I don’t think it’s quite hit the grandpa name ready for a resurgence yet.


Oliver is very popular I’m surprised that your dad thinks this name is strange maybe he means that he doesn’t understand the popularity of the name maybe he thinks [name_u]Oliver[/name_u] has a strange sound.

Philomena I think has potential to increase in popularity she has that clunky cool vibe similar to [name_f]Wilhelmina[/name_f] or [name_f]Theodora[/name_f]. [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] is pretty and has a sweet pure vibe.

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Paul is my name (sometimes)!

My grandmother read a birth announcement for [name_m]Emilian[/name_m] and was absolutely certain he was supposed to be a girl and the parents wanted to use [name_f]Emilia[/name_f]. There was no way of making her consider the parents might actually like [name_m]Emilian[/name_m]. The only thing she couldn’t make sense of was why they didn’t just use [name_m]Emil[/name_m].
On a different occasion I was surprised that the same grandmother liked the name [name_f]Emma[/name_f]. I would have assumed, per 100-year-rule, that it must feel like a middle-aged-woman-name to her that she just can’t picture on a baby.

Recently my friend (who has previously expressed that she likes the names [name_u]Kayden[/name_u], [name_u]Emerson[/name_u], [name_u]Finley[/name_u], and the like) mentioned that her top name for a girl is [name_f]Rosalind[/name_f], and I was shocked. I don’t think of it as that style at all! She also saw [name_u]August[/name_u] on my boys list and her reaction was “that’s a girls name”. I think people who have not looked at the data base their opinions of what’s trendy off of who they have met, so I guess this makes sense but was unexpected!