Category: popular baby names
Do you wish your own name was more unusual…or more popular?
The general trend of taste in baby names these days is toward the unusual — many of us are looking for names that will help our children stand out in the crowd.
This is borne out by statistics, in the ever-growing number of sheer names in common use and the shrinking number of babies given the top names.
But how does this relate to your feelings about your own name? Do you wish you had a more unusual name yourself, and if so, why?
And if you have an unusual name, how do you feel about that — now, and when you were younger? Are you happy you have an unusual name or do you wish you had one that was more standard-issue?
By Linda Rosenkrantz
There was a time when the top baby name lists of different countries reflected their own distinctive native cultures. When John and Mary headed those of most English-speaking countries, just as Giovanni and Maria and Juan and Maria and Jean and Marie et al were in first place elsewhere.
But that has changed. With the homogenization of culture in general, with an increase in international travel, the spread of the internet and global audiences watching the same TV shows, we are no longer surprised to find the Irish appellation Liam ranking high on the list in Switzerland or the Old Testament Ethan suddenly Number 3 in Monaco. This is a moment when certain names, often in a variety of indigenous forms, are spreading epidemically across the world.
My pregnant friend had settled on a name—Olive. And then she saw a baby announcement two weeks ago: “Meet Olive Louise,” it read. The announcement came from Facebook, and from a “friend” she has only seen once in 14 years, but she’s decided against the name for fear it will be too common, and is back to searching the Social Security lists for the year’s top baby names, and scouring the name blogs.
The web has opened our eyes to world-wide naming trends, and my generation of Jennifers, Laurens and Ashleys, who were disappointed to be one of five in our classrooms, feel a new sort of power: Our children will not suffer the same fate. I watch my friends register their children’s twitter handles and create their Gmail accounts before they’re born, and part of the naming process is considering whether the name’s domain is still available on GoDaddy.
Nameberry’s popularity lists are based on which names attracted the most views of the nearly 50 million views of our name pages in the past year.
Names that made the biggest slides down the list compared with last year are all emblematic of pop culture shifts. Flynn, popularized by last year’s television sensation Breaking Bad, lost 67 places, while Christian from Fifty Shades of Grey and Arlo of Justified were the second and third biggest losers. George, as in 2013’s little prince, dropped 36 spots.
The top 100 boys’ names of 2014 are:
But what about the names that are common in your little corner of the world? The names you seem to hear all the time in the neighborhood playground, at the pediatrician’s office, in the classroom?