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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    452
    Interesting, isn't it? My name was just outside of the top 100 when I was born, and growing up I'd be more likely to hear comments about how uncommon it was -- it was never on those souvenir license plates or anything, you know? Now, 20-some years later, if you bring up a name that's ranked around number 100, people will act like it's Linda in 1950. As you pointed out, the reality is quite different.

    I think part of it is just the availability of information. Back when my parents were having kids in the late 70s - mid 80s, they picked two top 50 names and two other top 150 names. They were going off of "do I know any kids with this name already? If so, how many?" My mom was a teacher, so that helped. These days, we're able to track exactly how many kids are given a name, what states it's most popular in, etc. Sometimes all of that information can cloud our perception of how popular a name is. Maybe, in a way, going by the old-school question of "am I hearing this name a lot?" was better.

    There are also clusters of names. In the mid-90s, there were two girls named Taryn in the grade below me, in their grade of 40 kids. Even picking a low-ranked name doesn't mean that a child will be the only one who has it. Then, you grow up, most likely work with people of all different ages, and the name popularity thing doesn't matter as much because different names are more popular across different age groups.
    Girls:
    Nickname-able: Susanna, Johanna, Paloma, Lucille, Harriet, Beatrix, Rosemary, Juniper, Marigold, Annabeth, Gwendolen, Kathleen, Tabitha
    Short and to-the-point: Flora, Jane, Laura, Anne, Cecile, Susan, Kaia

    Boys:
    So much easier: Hugh/Hugo, Wilfred, Basil, Augustin, Edmund, Arlo, Timothy, Frederick

  2. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Galveston, TX
    Posts
    102
    Quote Originally Posted by hardertobreathe View Post
    @navyjane, thanks for the love. I know, teachers just don't care sometimes. Eleni is a great choice, it is very pretty, but it has its drawbacks with pronunciations.
    It it helps I went to school with a girl named Helena Troy...everyone calls her Helen of Troy not Helena they just go straight for Greek mythology and it's to a point where she doesn't even try to correct people. I'd rather be Eleni than walk around being called Helen of Troy for the rest of my life
    Madigan - Effie - Tamsin - Tully - Jaxie
    Thorin - Declan - Adler - Thayer - Hudson

  3. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,440

    If you like

    a popular name for your child, then you should name him/her that.

    I've always known hip (or trying to be hip) people who would never like or choose a popular ANYTHING. I've always found them tiresome.

    My tendency actually is to like names AFTER they were popular! Not to be hopelessly dated, but just because that's often what I like.

    And there is something to the idea that sometimes some names become popular because they are good names! Mason is a great name in my opinion. I think of mason jars filled with Grandma's canned fruit in the root cellar and summertime and fireflies and a lake.

    It's almost better to create your list before even checking what is in the top whatever.

    Good luck!

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Pemberley
    Posts
    676
    Popularity doesn't really bother me. If I love a name, I'll put it on my list, regardless of whether it is in the top 10. Most names are popular because they are excellent names, especially the classics! James should be popular. Henry, Daniel, and Elijah should be popular! At least a lot of people are naming their kids decent things.

    Of course, some of these names do get tiresome. I don't think I could stand to name a boy Jacob- I've met too many of them. It's a boring name to me now.

    And remember that popular names aren't as popular as they once were.
    "Walter. That’s good. I’ve never known a little kid named Walter. It seems like an old man’s name, but I guess you have to start somewhere."

  5. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    439
    I am always an advocate for names that aren't popular. I grew up all through school as Stephanie H. My best friend for years was Stephanie D. We couldn't escape it. Eventually she started spelling her name Stef. I always knew I would never give my daughter a popular name. It's all about preference. I also teach, so a lot of popular names are put off for me because of that. Now that we are naming a second, we will be looking for another name out of the top 1000. I like plenty of names that aren't, but I won't realistically choose them. For a boy, it's not as important but I am still leaning toward something more obscure.
    Proud Mommy to Maeby Alana (8/6/10) and Saela Eliza (6/24/14)

    Aerie - Simone - Romy - Xanthe - Wylie
    Miles - Zefram - Eli - Ephram - Gannon

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