Category: Baby Names Popularity
Many parents are looking for baby names that are not too popular but not too unusual, not too trendy but also not too weird.
In search of names that strike this golden mean, we looked through the middle of the U.S. popularity lists, from Number 400 through 700 for both girls and boys.
What we found there was a trove of great names that are neither too hot nor too cold.
Here, our picks of the best names from the middle of the pack, with their 2012 standing included.
I love the name Henry.
If our first child had been a boy, she would have been named Henry.
Then, by the time we did have a boy, I decided I really wanted to use a family name — Joseph, if you’re curious — instead.
And when we had our third child and second son, it seemed I knew too many Henrys.
There’s a Henry my youngest son’s age who lives across the street from us. One a little older down the street. And one a bit younger, a friend of my son’s, around the corner.
I still love the name, a strong yet stylish classic. And yet while I feel that it’s a favorite that got away, I wouldn’t use it for a baby now because it seems there are too many Henrys in my neighborhood, my town, my life.
My husband and I have six kids. If naming babies were an Olympic sport, I’m pretty sure I’d medal. Not necessarily in quality or creativity but in experience.
When we had our first daughter in 2001, choosing her name literally took 5 minutes. My husband suggested Juliet. I loved it immediately but suggested the longer French version, Juliette, because I thought it made a better balance with our short, somewhat masculine-feeling last name. He agreed.
Her middle name was chosen before I was ever even knocked up. In 1998, I was visiting Ireland when a bomb blast in the Northern Ireland city of Omagh claimed the lives of 29 people. One of those souls was that of a little girl named Maura. I made a silent and personal vow to use that name if I were ever to have a baby girl. Also, Maura is the Irish form of Mary and we are Catholic, so it was especially precious to me. We never looked back or second guessed our choice of Juliette Maura.
I recently released an e-book called International Baby Names for Australian Parents, to help Australian parents find names that are uncommon, but not strange. My theory was that was a name that had never ranked here, yet was on the charts in other countries, would fit the bill of being seen as both “unusual” and “normal”.
Here are some names from the book that have never ranked in English-speaking countries, but are in the Top 100 elsewhere in the world.
Anouk (Top 100 in the Netherlands)
Hip and quirky while still having substance. As a short form of Anna, provides an alternative to that and related names.