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  1. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3,389
    I dislike popular (not classic, there is a difference) because I'd like my child's name to reflect their uniqueness, and honestly, as a name-lover, I simply get sick of hearing certain names. I used to adore the the name Isobel/Isabel/Isabelle, and now I can't stand it. I wouldn't let the popularity of a name simply off of a list deter me from it, but names like Isobel that I know too many of, will put me off of the name. Using Allie's list, here's how many I know (bolded are how many I know; not all of them are babies/small children, obviously):


    1 Jacob 3 Sophia 9, 10, 11
    2 Mason 0 Emma 4
    3 Ethan 1 Isabella 4 (I know far more Isabelles)
    4 Noah 1 Olivia At least 10
    5 William 0 Ava 1
    6 Liam 1 Emily 6
    7 Jayden 0 Abigail 2
    8 Michael 4 Mia 1
    9 Alexander 0 Madison 1, 2
    10 Aiden 2 Elizabeth 3

    Popular names, as a general statement, are names that are completely associated with a certain generation. How many people named Lisa do you know that aren't born in the 60s? Or, as in your example, Jennifer, that weren't 70s children? Names like Sophia and Emily, to me, will be the Jennifer of the late 90s/early 2000s. Most of the Sophias I know are teens or preteens; a few are small children or infants, but the name is dying, already, being dismissed as "too popular", which people immediately stray away from. The desire to be hip and new is truly what is popular right now, the desire to shock, the desire for people to say, "I've never heard that name before." No one aspires for their child to be come just another ____ A. , or _____ R. Unfortunately, this often melds into similar strategies to amaze in impress; using boys' names for girls, is one common way to differentiate, as well as mixing two separate names, and inserting different and unnecessary letters (the letter "y" is especially popular) into established names. Here, on Nameberry, these are the three deadly sins, yet more every day to I see young children bearing names fitting these "youneek" trends.
    Amedeo Enjolras Aristotle Leonardo Archer Olivier Mischa Liam Caspian Benedict Theodore Fitzwilliam
    Rosalie Evangeline Mirabelle Ophelia Alice Elisabeth Stella Titania Artemis Cicely Margarethe Thalia Astrid

  2. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    190
    Sophia and Olivia, when I was a kid, were pretty much unheard-of. Sophia would have been considered glamorous and romantic, and name to envy, something that would confer distinction on its owner; Olivia was regarded as an ugly clunker on a par with Gertrude. (I can remember jokes about Olivia Newton John--it seemed incredible that she was actually named that!) Now, of course, Sophia wouldn't be romantic and distinctive at all; it would be the name of that cruel girl in math class, that other girl who made a play for your boyfriend, etc.--the name has been ruined for a generation by carrying so many associations that it is no longer meaningful. It has lost its ability to be evocative. If popular names were truly popular because they are the Best Names Possible, the charts would be far more stable than they are, and not nearly so swayed by fashion.

    Having grown up with a very popular name, I find them pretty appalling; I would't want my child to feel that his or her name was so generic that it's barely a name at all, which is still how I feel today. And in adulthood, a beautiful, unusual name is always an advantage. So: nothing in the top 200, and below 500 seems a lot better.

  3. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,316
    Quote Originally Posted by vasilisa View Post
    Sophia and Olivia, when I was a kid, were pretty much unheard-of. Sophia would have been considered glamorous and romantic, and name to envy, something that would confer distinction on its owner; Olivia was regarded as an ugly clunker on a par with Gertrude. (I can remember jokes about Olivia Newton John--it seemed incredible that she was actually named that!) Now, of course, Sophia wouldn't be romantic and distinctive at all; it would be the name of that cruel girl in math class, that other girl who made a play for your boyfriend, etc.--the name has been ruined for a generation by carrying so many associations that it is no longer meaningful. It has lost its ability to be evocative. If popular names were truly popular because they are the Best Names Possible, the charts would be far more stable than they are, and not nearly so swayed by fashion.

    Having grown up with a very popular name, I find them pretty appalling; I would't want my child to feel that his or her name was so generic that it's barely a name at all, which is still how I feel today. And in adulthood, a beautiful, unusual name is always an advantage. So: nothing in the top 200, and below 500 seems a lot better.
    It's a matter of perspective. I grew up in the 80s and Sophia was an old-lady name to me and my friends while Olivia was a beautiful name. I also loved the name Emma. Isabella was another old-lady name. And don't get me started on Agnes or Agatha. I still don't like Sophia, Isabella, Agnes, or Agatha because they're just not youthful to me, yet many out there do like them and think they're precious names for their baby.

    I grew up with a very unusual name and I hated it. For that reason, I don't intend to let popularity sway me toward or away from a name. If I like it, I'll use it, regardless of how popular it is.

  4. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    FL, USA
    Posts
    2,834
    I grew up with such a popular name. I can barely recall times where I was the only Emily. The popularity of my name made me dislike it less and less and less and...well, you get the picture. I made a promise to myself that when I have kids (and that is far away!), I will never ever give them a popular name! Even if it is a family name. I joke around with my parents that I am in an identity crisis!! So to answer the question, no, I would never ever ever even REMOTELY consider a popular name!

    ETA: That doesn't mean popular names aren't on my guilty pleasures list! I just wouldn't give that name to a child...
    ~Emily

    Ladies...
    Annabel, Carlotta, Tamar, Jubilee, Lorelei, Lola, Josie, Alice, Indira, Claire, Liliosa, Vivienne, Ella, Abigail, Ivy


    Gents...
    Jameson, Samuel, Archer, Dominic, Barnaby, Paul, Henry, Oliver, Jadon, Isaac, Harrison, Lawson, Ezra, Rhys


    "The most beautiful voice in the world is that of an educated Southern woman."
    (Stolen from @tabby)

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,299
    Popularity isn't an issue for me. If I like a name then I will add it to my list and I won't bother about the popularity of it. I would also only use the original or more heard of spelling of a name. For example I would use Caleb not Kaleb or I would use Ronan not Ronin and so on. I just think the original spellings look so much more classic and 'right' and the spelling variations look a little tacky.

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