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  1. #16
    I think it all depends on your area. Which is probably best to check out names in the birth announcements. For example, I think Annabelle is somewhere around the top 100 names, and yet I've seen that name already pop up a couple times in my area. Although, I would still be pretty wary to use any name in the top 20 (unless it was a name that i really, really loved).

  2. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    915
    I think the best way to go about this may be to look up stats for names that you encountered a lot growing up. I knew a lot of girls named Jessica, Ashley and Jennifer growing up (Katie too, but there are too many roots so I don't want to use that one), and a lot of boys named Matthew, Christopher and Michael.

    If I use my birth year (1984) as the average, since certainly some I knew were born on either side. I looked up popularity percentages for that birth year and, funnily enough, the first three names I thought of for each gender were the three most popular names for that birth year.

    1 Michael 3.6108% Jennifer 2.8051%
    2 Christopher 3.1995% Jessica 2.5439%
    3 Matthew 2.6536% Ashley 2.1507%
    4 Joshua 2.1463% Amanda 1.8812%

    Compare that with percentage stats for 2012:

    1 Jacob 0.9404% Sophia 1.1531%
    2 Mason 0.9383% Emma 1.0820%
    3 Ethan 0.8731% Isabella 0.9852%
    4 Noah 0.8559% Olivia 0.8923%


    Today's most popular names are significantly less used than those of 1984 (and that trend continues as you go back in time). With Sophia in particular, you're not getting the aggregate average of Sophie/Sofia/etc. but just for argument's sake leaving them out: today's Sophia (spelled this way) at 1.15% is just a skosh more popular than 1984's #10 Elizabeth at 1.13% (Heather was next at 1.19%).

    So today's Sophia would expect to run in to as other Sophias as I ran into Elizabeths. I certainly knew/know a bunch, but not nearly as many as I knew Jessicas and Ashleys. This is largely a regional thing, as well, but I found the list pretty accurately represented the spread of names I ran into growing up.

    #2 Emma at 1.08% is between 1984's #10 Elizabeth at 1.13% and #11 Megan at 0.94%
    #1 Jacob at 0.94% is actually in line with 1984's #25, Thomas, at 0.94%

    http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/popularnames.cgi
    Last edited by yellow; June 21st, 2013 at 01:49 PM.
    One little born 1/14

  3. #20
    To me, the downfall of common names is that they lose that head-turning factor. Sophia is a beautiful name and has so much going for it, but once you meet a few you're just like 'meh' when you meet one. It loses its spark. My name is Jessica and it was the fourth most common name in my state the year I was born. I have 2 other Jessicas in my grade of about 220 people, so although we make up a small percent of the class the downside is that whenever I tell someone my name it never gets a reaction. Maybe for some people this is a good thing, but I feel like a name is such a great opportunity to wow people and if you pick a common name that they've heard a million times before you just squander that chance. I think my name's really pretty and I love the Shakespearean roots/nickname options, but I'd much rather be named something a little more memorable. No one ever misspells or mispronounces my name but I think people should aim for somewhere in the middle, those 'sweet-spot' names that are heard of and familiar but also unique enough to draw attention.
    Felicity ~ Calista ~ Claudia ~ Beatrice "Betty" ~ Carlotta ~ Millie ~ Cora ~ Audrey ~ Violet

    Calvin ~ Jude ~ Miles ~ Oliver ~ Roscoe ~ Benjamin ~ Leo ~ Adrian ~ Isaac ~ Colin

    Please rate my namelist! http://www.babynames.com/namelist/9831814

  4. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    915
    Quote Originally Posted by wgcathyhillary View Post
    To me, the downfall of common names is that they lose that head-turning factor. Sophia is a beautiful name and has so much going for it, but once you meet a few you're just like 'meh' when you meet one. It loses its spark. My name is Jessica and it was the fourth most common name in my state the year I was born. I have 2 other Jessicas in my grade of about 220 people, so although we make up a small percent of the class the downside is that whenever I tell someone my name it never gets a reaction. Maybe for some people this is a good thing, but I feel like a name is such a great opportunity to wow people and if you pick a common name that they've heard a million times before you just squander that chance. I think my name's really pretty and I love the Shakespearean roots/nickname options, but I'd much rather be named something a little more memorable. No one ever misspells or mispronounces my name but I think people should aim for somewhere in the middle, those 'sweet-spot' names that are heard of and familiar but also unique enough to draw attention.
    I agree with this 100% ! Though I'm coming from the opposite side, with a name that's 'heard of' but you probably haven't met another. I've run into three others in my lifetime, but only one with the same spelling (and she pronounced it differently - though both of us pronounce it technically incorrectly, ha!).

    The downside is that people have trouble pronouncing and spelling it, but it's easily understood when spelled out. My last name, on the other hand, requires a lot of "N as in Nancy, no not like Mary, like Newton." I'd love to find a name that's totally unfamiliar to most, but relatively intuitive to pronounce and spell. Quite the Goldilocks journey, but my list is actually full of them now that I've done some worthwhile digging.

    From the slightly vain parent side of things, I'd like the name to reflect some effort on our part to find something unusual, interesting and still beautiful. Hidden gems are what I'm after. I appreciated having an unusual name (I was almost an '80s Katie), and I'd like to gift my child with the same fun uniqueness that I enjoyed.
    One little born 1/14

  5. #24
    I don't mind common names. My husband and I are Michael and Jennifer, classic popular 1980s names. The name we chose for our daughter isn't super popular, we named her Jillian. We chose that name because we loved it. We are due with our second in November and if it's a girl we are thinking of naming her Olivia (super popular, but we both love it), and if it's a boy Christopher (not as popular but still familiar).

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