When it comes to popularity …
what makes you consider a name “too popular”?
Top 10? 20? 100? 500?
Or just feeling like you know a lot of them?
Just curious! Since A&W both ended up with top 10 names despite my original hopes, for a future baby I’m hoping for below the top 30, but I’m flexible; to me it’s more important that we both love the name and that it’s meaningful and fits our other criteria.
embraParticipant7 months ago
I’d prefer out of the top 100, but anything that has not been in the top 10 or so in the last 100 years is fair game for me. I don’t mind trendier/more common names as mns though.
IngaParticipant7 months ago
I would prefer a name not be in the top 10, but be familiar enough not to sound too out there. However, as I’ve found with Ethan, those lists only mean so much. Despite the popularity of Ethan, he’s never had another Ethan in any of his classes or lessons and he’s actually the only Ethan in his entire preschool (two years in a row). There was one other Ethan in his daycare, a 5 year old when he was an infant. I think the fear of “five other kids in class with the same name” is exaggerated. As the percentage of kids with the most popular names decreases (because people are using a lot more names than just the top 10), you have less of a chance of too many kids with the same name in the same place. Ironically, there have been plenty of duplicates in his classes of less popular names so you just never know. I think it’s most important to like a name, then to not know anyone personally (friends, family, coworkers) with the name. I’d be really upset if I passed on my favorite name and picked a less common name to later find out that lots of other parents had the same idea and my less common name was suddenly a trend.
TheWishingStarParticipant7 months ago
My name was 26th the year I was born – my parents thought it was pretty uncommon, but apparently so did everyone else. 26th was popular enough that I usually had another in some classes, and I graduated high school with about 5 others in my grade. Not a ton, but enough that I often was “Kelsey H.” It’s annoying, but it’s not that hard to live with. I’m always just grateful I’m not another Katie…
I’m not against the idea of using a top 10 name, though I’d prefer to avoid it. But with the exception of the sudden trend names, like Isabella, I don’t think I would avoid a name just because it’s popular. I would definitely look at the name’s recent history, though. If in the last few years it’s soared up in popularity, that would be a sign for me to reconsider. Or if it’s been rapidly going down in popularity, it would be interesting to research why. And nicknames are important too – there are hundreds of Katie/Katy/Caitys at my school, but their full names aren’t all that common on their own, especially considering all the spelling variations of Catherine and Katelyn. If the name has an obvious nickname that other really popular names could also share, I’d be really hesitant. For a more current example, Liliana’s not even in the top 100, but Lillian, Lily, and Anna all are.
But I think how much you love the name is way more important than how many other people around you have also loved it. The benefit of popular names is that you know other people like it a lot too.
kimihaParticipant7 months ago
to judge my opinion about popularity, i looked at the top 100 of the year i was born and thought of how many people ive come across with those names. many names i was surprised to see because they seem rare to me. and some names i thought they would be higher ranked that they were. so i dont think you can ever know how popular a name will be. i would try to stay away from a top 5 or 10 name. i think top 100 is pushing it and unnecessary. i think the ideal name would be
1. uncommon enough so it is refreshing to hear- too common names seem boring and annoying to hear over and over
2. familiar enough so people will no how to say and spell it- it is very frustrating having a name that is constantly butchered. so unfortunately you may have to go more common to avoid that issue.
my issue right now is that i love the name sophia. im afraid people will start getting annoyed by its popularity because its been the number 1 name for a few years.
jenni_lynn91Participant7 months ago
I prefer names that are not in the top 100 because my name was very common. Jennifer was the number 8 name the year I was born, 1991. In elementary school, I never had class with another Jennifer, but by the time I got to high school, there were at least 6 other Jennifers in my grade. Also in college, there was a Jennifer in almost all of my classes. There was even a girl with my same exact first middle and last name. (My last name is also one of the most popular in America). I had a long list of girl names that I showed my fiance, but he said no to a bunch because they were common in Mexico and he knew girls with those names. We finally decided on Noemi, which I have only heard used one time. Her middle name, Xochitl, is not even on the top 1000 in America, but may be more common in Mexico.
yellowwattsParticipant7 months ago
My whole motto is, if I like it, I’m going to use it no matter how popular. I do have an Emma after all.
ashthedreamerParticipant7 months ago
I really have no number. I’d easily use Olivia, which is in the top 5. I’m not sure I’d use something in the first or second spot, but really, that’s just ridiculous, since I’d use Olivia, and it’s nearly as popular.
I just have to really, really, really love it. Despite its popularity. Like I love and would easily use Olivia, but Noah ranks almost exactly the same, and the popularity bothers me. I think that tells me that I find something inherently wrong with Noah, and that it’s not the right name. I adore him, and miss not having him on my list, but I think I have lingering issues with Noah that don’t relate to his popularity at all, and the popularity just seems to make my hesitation all the stronger, if that makes sense. Also, Sophia. I’ve liked Sophia for years. Would I use her? No, no way. Especially since she went to number one, because I don’t love her to the same extent that I love Olivia and Isabelle/Isabella. The popularity isn’t the reason I reject it (at least, I don’t think so!)–it just brings out the other reasons I have issues with the name. But I have names with varying popularity all over my list. From the popular (and eye-roll inducing) Olivia, to the obscure-ish Emmeline, to rare, international, funky, unexpected, almost weird choices like Madelief and Zinnia and Zosia. And the same with my boys’ list.
Interesting; thanks for all the well-thought-out responses!
Inga, I think that’s an interesting point. When we were looking at the name lists when naming our boys, William was #8 and Alexander was #12. They were born at the very beginning of 2009 and when the 2009 name list finally came out, Alexander was #4 and William was #5! So they were already higher than I really liked and then they both jumped a few spots.
However … state popularity is important, too! Though Alexander was 1 spot above William nationally, we rarely come across another Alex(ander) in his classes … but there is almost ALWAYS another Will(iam). Out of two 3′s classes at preschool last year (about 30 kids total), there were 5 Williams. William was the #1 name in our state in 2009, while Alexander was only #27 here despite being #4 nationally!
And wow, Elijah was #4 here last year! *If* we ttc again and *if* we have another boy, I think I really will work on coming up with a different FN that DH also loves and maybe Elijah as MN (which would fit with the theme of the other boys having OT middle names).
peachy93Participant7 months ago
I’d probably stay away from the top ten but only from names that seem “trendy”. Timeless names like Jacob and Elizabeth (if that’s even still in the top 10) wouldn’t be out of the question.