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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Surrey, Canada
    Posts
    126

    Question Popular names VS Unusual names- the pros and cons?

    So lately I've been stuck between two names: Viggo and Finn. Finn is more popular and familiar where I live (but not incredibly so) and Viggo...is only recognized as Viggo Mortenson's name and as far as I know has never been used in my province. Its got me wondering about the pros and cons of both popular and unusual names, and I was wondering what you guys consider are the pros and cons of each one?

    And also would you let the cons of having a popular or very-out-there name stop you from using a name you love?
    Love, Claire
    ~~
    Fiancee to Robert "Theo” Theodore
    ~~
    Mama to Lucius "Loki"

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    28
    I think the main thing to consider when you choose a very unusual name is whether it's so unusual that your child will have to explain it every time he introduces himself to someone. Many people are looking for that perfect name that is not common but not so uncommon that it will produce puzzled reactions in others.

    The other thing to consider is whether the unusual name is strongly linked with one particular celebrity or well-known historical figure. As you note, the name Viggo is strongly associated with Viggo Mortensen at the moment, because there are no other currently famous Viggos and it's a very rare name in the general population. Personally I'd avoid names like that, even though realistically, by the time your child is in school his peers likely won't have the same associations their parents do. Only you can decide whether the association bothers you or not.

    Finn is more common but it is also very tied to the current generation. It was an extremely rare name only a couple of generations ago, and now it definitely isn't. Again, only you can decide whether this is an issue for you - to some people, it's important to choose a name that is a 'timeless classic', i.e., a name that can't easily be pinned to a specific decade or generation - but there is really nothing wrong with having a name that is in line with current trends.

    Looking at your signature, I actually think Dimitri is one of those names that most people have heard of but you don't hear it everywhere. It also works well in many different languages, and it's just a nice name all around. But my advice would be to not get to wrapped up in overthinking things - go with your heart, and if there's a name that you and your fiance both love, don't let popularity or lack thereof prevent you from using it.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,460
    I would break this question down into 3 categories - top 10 names, popular names, and unusual names.

    I have a name that was in the top 10 the year I was born and for several years before and few after. This meant that I have always known several people with the same name. While this wasn't horrible and I do like my name, I don't think this is ideal unless the parents so love the name more than any other and can communicate that love of the name to their child. I must say I know several men with top 10 names and they don't have the same concerns as I do, they generally seem to like the easy recognition of their names.

    I think popular names that are not in the top 10 can be a good choice. People will generally recognize the name but there won't necessarily be several with same name among your child's contemporaries. The tricky part in selecting a popular name is there is no way of knowing if several people are going to "find" the same name the year your child is born (or shortly after). My son was named after an uncle who died shortly before we conceived and I thought a chose a name that was trendy up but not top 10. The year after my son was born, his name hit the top 10 and a few years later, it was number 1. While it still is the perfect name for him, I do think I might have chosen a different variation of it had I known how the name was trending.

    I like unusual names as long as they are real names and not almost completely associated with one person e.g. Oprah or Whoopi.
    I like simple yet versatile names that work well for the athlete, the comic, the genius, and the judge.

  4. #7
    The pros of popular names is they are generally well liked. The con is obvious- there will be others in your child's life. The pros for unusual is that he/she will be the only one but probably not everyone will like the name. Some will think it is awesome & some will think it is strange, not pretty, etc. I have 1 child with a top 10 name (but a classic) and 1 with an unusual name. I geta little annoyed when people say "oh my niece has that name" etc. But I usually get more "oh that is one of my favorite names" more.
    With my other child, when I chose the name, I deep down thought I would get more reactions like "wow that is such an awesome different name". I haven't gotten that very much. I love both girls names equally. I wonder when they get older who will like their name more

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    North Haven, Connecticut
    Posts
    104
    I am very partial to unique names... although Amelia is now popular, it wasn't while I was growing up, and neither were my mother, father, sister or husband's names, although they're all recognizable (with the possible exception of my husband, Ferron, who often gets mistaken for Aaron or pronounced fur-ON). I think that's what everyone is looking for, as another berry said... a name that will be recognized when shared, but not common. There were a few names when I was growing up that I knew several people who had them, and that can cause just as much confusion as an overly-unique name, and more long-term (Danielle said that. Which Danielle? Danielle E or Danielle S or Danielle M? Well Brittany said... Brittany who? Britanny Smith or Brittany South?). When you're dealing with an extremely unique name, like Ferron, the confusion is only an issue for new acquaintances, while the commonality issue is always an issue with people who know them well... a bigger problem than repeating your name a couple times when you meet someone in my opinion.
    -an Amelia from a time before 'Amelia' was in the top 100.

    Currently feeling:*Roseanne Amelia* or *Kamal Clifford*

    Girls: Rose, Juliet, Roseanne
    Boys: Beres, Kamal

    TTC Fall 2013!

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