What's wrong with popular names? Need answers!

It seems like a lot of people on this site really despise popular or, at least, very common names. Actually, it’s really obvious.

I know everyone has their own tastes, especially when it comes to baby names, but honestly, what’s the problem? Popular names are popular for a reason, right? [name_m]Even[/name_m] when it’s like a decent, normal name like [name_f]Amelia[/name_f] or [name_m]Alexander[/name_m] or even [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f], a lot of people will navigate away from those name and stick with more unique ones.

I’m not saying unique names are bad or anything; to each their own, right? I just can’t figure out why to hate a name that is too popular.

I would appreciate if anyone who read this will give me their opinion on this :slight_smile: Tell me why you don’t like popular names and give some example too

There is nothing inherently wrong with popular names. They tend to be very nice names. However, in today’s world I feel like a unique name is more of an asset. I’m more likely to remember an [name_f]Emiliana[/name_f] or a [name_m]Leander[/name_m] than I am an [name_f]Amelia[/name_f] or an [name_m]Alexander[/name_m].

Yeah, finch, I guess I see your point. [name_u]Unique[/name_u] names are sometimes the ones that stick in your head the longest

It’s just a matter of taste. Some people want their kid to be the only person they know with that name, or at least they don’t want them to ever share a class with someone with the same name, or they feel that common names are just not exciting because they hear them too much.

I like a lot of common names myself and I think it’s very likely we’ll choose a name from among the most popular names in our country. The thought of my child being one of two with the name in the class doesn’t upset me, and I hope it won’t upset my child either if that does turn out to be the case. I don’t think I would choose the absolute top name, but top 10, sure. I would probably prefer to choose something a bit lower down the rankings, but if the name we love the most is in at number 6, I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

Some people with very common names hate having to always be [name_f]Emily[/name_f] B or whatever, some like being able to blend in or simply aren’t bothered. Some people with unusual names like being different, some long for a more well-known name that doesn’t cause them spelling/pronunciation hassle or attract comments. You can’t really predict how your kid will feel about these issues, so I suppose you might as well go with your own feelings.

I actually tend to remember names better the more familiar I am with that name. I’m pretty good at remembering names anyway, but I do find it easier to remember that someone’s name is [name_m]Tom[/name_m] or [name_f]Sarah[/name_f] rather than [name_m]Fabian[/name_m] or [name_f]Willow[/name_f]…

I don’t hate popular names, some of my favorite names are pretty high on the list, but there are definite pros and cons to popularity. I agree with a lot of what jackal had to say, especially with popular names getting their initial tacked onto their name. Some want to avoid having descriptions used to identify their child in school, especially when popular middle names are added with popular first names. For example, you could easily have three [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] [name_f]Maries[/name_f] in one class, let alone in a large school, and if two of them are [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] S. their peers might start using descriptions to explain who they are talking about (e.g., tall [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f], short [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f], blonde [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f], etc.). I’ve also noticed that there is more focus on popularity for girls names, so that uniqueness is more important to a lot of people for girls than for boys.

Names in the top 10 aren’t as frequent as they were when I was growing up, so hopefully it won’t be as bad as it used to be. I always think that you should go with a name you love, even if it’s popular.

There are lots of great popular names but I want my future children to have those great unpopular names. I’ll put it this way:

I move to a new neighborhood and I’m required to have flowers in the yard. Everyone is free to have any type of flowers they want yet every house has either roses or lilies. I think roses & lilies are beautiful but what’s the point in me having them when they’re already everywhere? I’m not excited about something I see all the time. Plus, why go with what’s popular when the sky’s the limit? [name_f]Rose[/name_f] & [name_f]Lily[/name_f] are nice but what about [name_f]Lotus[/name_f], [name_f]Orchid[/name_f], [name_f]Azalea[/name_f], or any of those other beautiful flowers?

Because when you heard the same name over and over it loses its charm and if you are reading this site often you see a lot of the same popular names and they start to sound mundane. If you are not really interested in names those popular names sound new to you because you don’t see them everyday. It’s like if you ate a turkey sandwich everyday for lunch and dinner- you would get sick of it after awhile!

It doesn’t mean I hate popular names, I just don’t find them as interesting. I am not into super out there names either though

I personally have a common/popular name for my age group, and I hate being one of so many. So I wouldn’t want to pass that on.

It’s all a matter of taste. I have no problem with popular names. I probably would hesitate before using a top 5 name, but I wouldn’t look down on someone else for choosing it. I know some people dislike popular names because they grew up being called by their initials, but I grew up wishing my name was more popular and cool, so I see it from the other side. The names I like aren’t super high on the charts, but if they kept rising, I’d still use them.

It’s also worth remembering that name popularity is regional and sometimes it’s just a fluke. [name_f]Heather[/name_f] and [name_f]Jennifer[/name_f] were huge when I was growing up, but I didn’t have a single [name_f]Heather[/name_f] or [name_f]Jennifer[/name_f] in my class until Grade 6. Yet I grew up with several girls named [name_f]Irene[/name_f], way less popular at the time. You could pick a name you think is totally obscure and wind up with another kid on the block with that name!

I absolutely love unique names and I would find it to be hard time naming a child a name that I love if it was a top ten.
My problem with popular names comes from having one myself. I’m [name_f]Isobel[/name_f] nn [name_u]Izzy[/name_u] which was unique up until the year of my birth…awkward. Through all of my schooling I have always been in a class with at least one other person sharing my name especially in senior school - there are 5 of us just in my year which is not fun. People end up having to refer to you by your full name as in with your surname too and that’s quite irritating. It also makes it so hard to tell when you’re the person being spoken too someone calls out ‘[name_u]Izzy[/name_u]’ and a whole lot of people turn around, it just gets old real fast.
[name_m]Don[/name_m]'t get me wrong I don’t hate all popular names they’re popular for a reason I just don’t want my kids ending up with so many other similarly named other children running around. As someone who has had these problems I wouldn’t want to pass them down. But if your absolute favourite is really popular you might as well use it anyway even just as a middle name. [name_f]Hope[/name_f] this helps your search for answers! :slight_smile:

It’s not that they are bad names, it’s just that if you work with children or your friends have started having children, you get so sick of hearing the same names OVER AND OVER again. It’s not hatred of the name, just of the mega popularity. Plus, as someone who does a lot of volunteer work at an elementary school, popular names are a huge pain. There is a kindergarden class, 9 girls in it, 4 of them are named [name_f]Emma[/name_f]. It’s ridicules. They can’t even be [name_f]Emma[/name_f] A. [name_f]Emma[/name_f] B. and so on because there are so many, they have the same first letter to their last names! It’s crazy.

[name_f]Emma[/name_f] is a lovely name but oh dear if I hear it on one more baby I might scream. If you are currently naming a baby, I would highly advise you give it a name that isn’t in the top 30 at least.

(Same goes for [name_f]Zoey[/name_f]/[name_f]Zoe[/name_f], [name_f]Mia[/name_f], [name_f]Charlotte[/name_f], [name_f]Isabella[/name_f]/[name_f]Isabelle[/name_f], [name_f]Sophia[/name_f]/[name_f]Sofia[/name_f], [name_f]Ava[/name_f], Garce, [name_f]Lily[/name_f], and all the other popular names)

Popular names are popular for a reason. My first born is [name_f]Emilia[/name_f] (spelt with an e because my husband sounded the name out when attempting to spell it)
I see why people want to avoid popular names give their kids something they dont have to share. But they aren’t necessarily wrong or right. Everyone will choose a name they can live with saying every day for the rest of their lives

I sort of understand the ‘seeing it and hearing it a lot’ thing, but kind of not really. Because if you choose to name your child something, you’re going to be hearing, seeing and saying that name multiple times every day for years on end. Once you have a child named [name_m]Caspian[/name_m] (or whatever), realistically is it actually going to sound ‘fresh’ to you for longer than two weeks of his life? I feel that once you know someone with a name it usually starts seeming just like a normal name, I would imagine that would definitely be the case if it was your own child?

For that reason I would personally rather choose a name that I do hear and see a lot, and still like, rather than one I haven’t heard much on the basis that I find it fresh and interesting. Because fresh and interesting probably isn’t going to last, in my opinion.

I don’t see anything wrong with people using popular names if they happen to like the names that are popular. I’m sure most people using those names adore them. I just find many of the more popular names boring and flavorless. I like variety and rarer names have a diamond-like sparkle to me which is the sort of thing I would love to pass on to my children. I want to give my children something I like.

Nothing. We just have some very dramatic people here on Nameberry.

Most of my favorite names are pretty popular. I would never pass up a name I love just because it’s popular, hence my wanting to name my first son [name_u]Noah[/name_u]. I’d do it whether [name_u]Noah[/name_u] was number 1 or number 889. I never had a problem being a [name_f]Katie[/name_f], even if others shared my name.

This. As someone who grew up with a fairly popular 70’s/80’s name, I have absolutely no desire to do this to my child. After a while these names stop sounding like names and just become white noise - as in: “Oh, your daughter is lovely! What’s her name?” “[name_f]Sophia[/name_f] [name_f]Rose[/name_f]!” “Uh huh. Well, here’s your coffee, have a nice day.” [name_f]Every[/name_f] time I run across parents with an infant, it’s become my habit to ask the baby’s name. I remember last summer I actually stumbled across a little two-week-old [name_f]Hypatia[/name_f] - and I still remember that baby’s name seven months later because it wasn’t yet another [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] or [name_f]Ava[/name_f].

[name_m]Don[/name_m]'t get me wrong - if your number one aspiration in life since you were ten years old is to have a daughter named [name_f]Sophia[/name_f], by all means, go for it. But the seemingly incessant Lilys, Sophias, Avas, Emmas, and Olivias do exasperate me. There are so many beautiful and underused word names, literary names, cross cultural names - if you can think of it, there’s probably a possible name for it. The average person gets two, maybe three, possibly four chances to name a child - and you’re going to spend one of those chances on [name_f]Emma[/name_f] when the horizons are so vast? Come on. Live a little, and give your child something she’ll be proud of in fifteen years. And have pity on her daycare providers and teachers, too. [name_m]Don[/name_m]'t make her an [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] P. - “You know, the tall blonde one with the braces.”

Anyway. That’s my rant. Nothing against people who love popular names, honestly. They are nice names, which is why they’re popular. But I’d never do it.

Hahaha. [name_u]Truth[/name_u]. :slight_smile:

I don’t want my kids to be [name_f]Ella[/name_f] D. or [name_u]Max[/name_u] O. I want their names to represent their uniqueness. I actually like a lot of popular names, but I don’t like the lack of individuality they seem to come with.

I’m totally with you. I’ve noticed that years ago, and just realized it was part of Nameberry’s personality. A lot of people here just like uncommon names. In a way, I can understand–I have a popular name ([name_u]Ashley[/name_u]), and sometimes, I just wish I had something more exciting. I like the ties to my name, I think it suits me, but it would have been nice to be an [name_f]Annabel[/name_f] or a [name_f]Lydia[/name_f] or an [name_f]Adeline[/name_f] in the middle of all those Ashleys and Jessicas! I went to private schools up until halfway through college, so I really didn’t go to school with another [name_u]Ashley[/name_u] until I was a junior in high school, but still, having a name more exciting than [name_u]Ashley[/name_u] [name_f]Marie[/name_f] would have been nice. :slight_smile:

On the other hand, I loved the popularity of my name, because I was a really shy kid and it helped me feel like I fit in. Also, these days, popularity is much more varied, so even the popular names are nowhere near as popular as they were 20 to 30 years ago. So I really don’t think picking a popular name is bad. I have a lot of popular names on my lists, although I always try to balance it out with an uncommon name (so like, [name_f]Olivia[/name_f], which is popular, with [name_u]Wren[/name_u], which is not). Honestly, I feel like if I’m put off of a name because of the popularity, it wasn’t really a true love, and it wasn’t meant to be, anyhow. So popular names that I like but I’ve been put off of ([name_f]Sophia[/name_f]/[name_f]Sofia[/name_f], [name_u]Noah[/name_u], etc.) I would probably consider for MNs. I have been tossing around [name_f]Emmeline[/name_f] [name_f]Poppy[/name_f] [name_f]Sofia[/name_f] for my girls’ list, and I liked [name_u]Addison[/name_u] [name_u]Noah[/name_u] [name_u]Grey[/name_u]/[name_m]Atticus[/name_m] [name_u]Noah[/name_u] _____, etc., in the past.

But many of my names are either on the top 100, or have variants on the top 100 ([name_f]Isabella[/name_f], [name_f]Ariana[/name_f]/[name_f]Arianna[/name_f], [name_f]Olivia[/name_f], [name_f]Violet[/name_f], [name_f]Charlotte[/name_f], [name_f]Grace[/name_f], [name_f]Eva[/name_f], [name_f]Audrey[/name_f], [name_f]Emma[/name_f]/[name_f]Emily[/name_f], [name_f]Zoe[/name_f], [name_f]Katherine[/name_f]…). The only ones that aren’t, for my girls’ list, anyway, are [name_f]Eleni[/name_f] and [name_f]Tess[/name_f], which have popular enough variants as it is ([name_f]Elena[/name_f]/[name_f]Eleanor[/name_f] and [name_f]Tessa[/name_f]). My boys’ list is a little more brave, but I honestly like those names best, anyway, so why would I give them up? Besides, they’d have so many options due to their full names, that I’m hoping that they’d find at least one thing they’d be happy to go by, especially since I do two middles.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with popularity. Is it nice to have a more memorable name? Sure. But I wouldn’t discount a name because it’s too popular or too unusual (as evidenced by my love of top 100 names and names that don’t even rank, lol).

I’m not saying popularity doesn’t have its drawbacks, but I think a lot of people fear it’d be worse than it actually is. I think a lot of names are popular for a reason, though, so if you like a popular name, use it.