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  1. #1

    Case for common names - are they truly common or maybe not?

    I love uncommon names for a quite a time. But recently I found that only 1% of girls are named Sophia in 2012. So, all other names are less common. So, chances to meet Sophia are pretty slim. Chances for some kid called Sophia meet another Sophia are pretty slim, too.

    Most common reason to avoid common names are that children will share a name. Um, maybe they won't, no matter what name you and your partner choose.

    Here's link:
    http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/popularnames.cgi


    Tell me, if you still want to choose uncommon names, please tell me why.
    I am still loving my list of uncommon names, just started to doubt should I add more common ones.
    Sorry for bad English, I am from other country

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,068
    I go by what names I run into. For example I've met more than 4 or 5 girls under the age of 7 named Sophie/Sophia so there's a very good chance that if I named my daughter that she would run into another little Sophia. But I've also met just as many if not more little girls named Brinley/Brynlee which is #323 on the ssa list, so it really depends on your area what's popular and whats not.

    But my personal philosophy has been if you love a name, popularity shouldn't really matter that much.
    Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,241
    I think popularity of a name is a lot more concentrated which can make it harder to know if you're choosing a name that's too common, since its not always easy to know if you're in a city littered with Sophias or Jaydens, or if Dorothy and Huxley gets 3 kids heads to turn at the playground.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    879
    In my area, the average elementary school has about 400 kids. That's, on average, 4 Sophia's. Add that to the Sofia percentage, and the Sophie percentage, and you've probably got ten little girls running around the school with nearly identical names. Really, that's a lot. Think about recess; say 100 kids on the playground at once. Two or three of them are Sophia/Sofia/Sophie/Sofie.

    How many are you going to meet in your life? A lot. How many will your child meet? Even more. Little Sophie goes into the world and ten kids in her school are named Sophie, three of them are in her grade, and that's per school. In middle school, when things funnel in, there will be ten in her grade alone, six in the grades above and below her. Middle school is heavily circulated with a period class schedule, so she could easily have another Sophie in three of her classes. Maybe even two. High school only makes this worse; you have fifteen to thirty Sophies running around. Heck, in my high school I knew of at least ten Emilys, fifteen Sarahs, five Jessicas... And I'm not social. I knew a small portion of my school, maybe 500 or so names I could connect with faces in a school of 1800.

    Then, consider regional differences. That's a national statistic, but distribution for names isn't even. There are going to be more Sophie's in a particular area than in another, so it's entirely possible to have a school with 15 Sophie's and a school with only one. The same goes for the other popular names. Names like Sebastian and Oliver for boys are fairly popular in the Seattle area, but they might not be in the Mid West (I haven't gone to great lengths to find stats, so I'm half-guessing here).

    With popular names varying by region like this, then it's easier to gauge popularity by looking at local lists. It's like 'actual' vs. 'theoretical.' Many of the top 5 or 10 are consistent, but especially between 25 and 50 I've seen incredible variation.

    For the sake of simplicity alone I'd use more uncommon names. Help keep my kid separate from everyone else's. I've always liked my 250-range name, it's known but not common. That's what I'd want for my kids.
    I'm not feeling incredibly profound at the moment. Check back later.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7,083
    I think it's often more about a combination of familiarity and popularity.

    Even if you've never met someone named Olivia, it's definitely a familiar name and one that almost no one will comment on for it's strangeness.

    At the same time, even though anyone who's in contact with children has probably met one with a trendy surname, a misspelling, or a word name; they are not names that people would consider "familiar" even if they are rising in terms of the # of kids who have them.

    Basically, even though Bailey is #79 and Caroline is #80. Caroline is still perceived as a FAR more popular and familiar name by the average person. So Bailey is hailed as interesting and unique and fun and different, and Caroline might be snubbed as old-fashioned or boring or too common, when in actual fact they both are almost identical in terms of the # of babies named.

    Of course, a lot of that has to do with the fact that Caroline is a classic name that has been used for centuries and Bailey is a surname that will likely rise and fall very quickly in the "name universe".

    So it's not really a case of popularity, but rather history and familiarity.
    I am very much in favor of using uncommon names.
    I am not in favor of using names that have little or no history unless they are exceptionally meaningful and at least name-like with a simple spelling so that they won't cause problems for your children.
    Olivia/Livia/Livy/Liv : Thessaly/Darah/Bethel : Noelle/Eve
    Benedict/Eli: Jude/Zane: Luke/Darius : Levi/Phineas/Calvin


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