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  1. #1

    Just say NO! to popular names, but why?

    In 2012, only two names were given to more than 1% of either sex- Emma and Sophia. Jacob and Mason came close, but under 0.95% of babies. Whereas, in 1980, every single name in the top 10 was given to over 1% of babies of either sex. 3.7% of babies were Michael, and 3.2% were Jennifer. To give your kid a name in 1980 that your kid wouldn't have to answer to Mike G, you would have to look beyond the top 50. Go back even further, and you'll see that in 1945, over 5% of boys were named James, and over 5% were named Robert.

    I'm wondering why people would nix a name simply because it was popular, especially given that a #1 name today is nowhere near as popular as a #1 name 30 years ago. Are there some brave souls here willing to stand on the side of going along with the masses and naming your kid Olivia or Ethan because you just really love the name? Unlike when many of us were growing up, Olivia won't be one of 6 Olivias in her class, like Jennifer would have been one of 6 Jennifers. It seems silly to me to say, "I'm not naming my kid (top 10 name I've always loved) because I have heard it used too frequently."

    I'm looking for opinions, and hopefully some advice to sway my husband away from "nothing in the top 200." I like several top 200 names. I feel like we're limiting ourselves by saying, "Nope, too popular," because the top 10 names aren't anywhere near as popular as they used to be.

    On a side note, of the dozens of kids in the youth groups at my church, I don't believe there is a single repeat name. Reflective of current trends, about 1/4 of the kids have outside the top 1000 names, and at least a half dozen boys have some -ayden name. There is not a single baby with a top 10 name in the nursery. Those of you who say you only want outside the top 500/1000, let me say I read the names in your signature. Almost without fail, every signature with outside the top 1000 names, I have met a kid with at least one of your signature names. 25% of parents pick a name outside the top 1000. It's almost becoming more unusual to pick a common name.

    I worked with a woman who named her little boy Robert (#61), and he went by Bob. SWOON! I thought it was so awesome that her son had such a unique name, though many berries would probably disagree. I don't even like the nickname Bob, but I thought it was amazing that this cute little toddler had a grandpa nickname. I never see little kids answering to these time-honored classics anymore. Her reasoning for choosing Bob? "I wanted him to have a family name, a name that everyone recognizes, but nobody hears anymore."

    Hopefully I get some interesting responses. I'm just really curious- what's so bad about your kid sharing their name with <1% of kids their age? I always had to answer to Firstname L. as a kid, and I turned out OK

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Liverpool, England
    Posts
    4,142
    For me it's because I feel like I hear or read the name everywhere and, true or not, it does seem like everyone's daughter is named Isabella or Sophie or Olivia to the point where I just get sick of them due to over exposure. In general there's nothing wrong with the names though. In regard to your other point, the couple in the house behind ours named their son Bobby
    ~Boys~

    Jory Leander Atticus, August Eli Benedict, Casimir Mordecai Stewart,
    Edmond John Meirion, Horatio Ethell Emery, Bram William Jasper,
    Julian Remy Charles, Vasiliy Lochlan Michael.


    ~Girls~

    Aira Rose ___, Eleni Fiorella Charlotte, Sylvia Sayuri Noor,
    Merit Eleanora Adelaide, Clover Elodie Seraphine, Bridie Scarlett Viola,
    Marguerite Cecilia Iris, Eilidh Clara Valentine.


    Sorry to anyone who read TSI. First draft was terrible. Second drafting now.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,350
    I totally agree with you. My FAVORITE name is Zoe, which is in the top 50. It is the name of a family member that I truly love and want my daughter to emulate. But it is "popular". I have never met a little girl named Zoe, and I've only heard of a few. But so many people on nameberry say it is too popular. Many names are in the top 200 for a reason. They are beautiful names. I put names on my list because I love them and try not to let popularity get to me. Many names I love are in the top 200, for ex:
    Rank 11- Chloe- 9,595 (2 babies away from being in the top 10), Rank 23- Amelia- 7,191 babies, Rank 30- Zoe- 6,383 babies, Rank 125- Penelope- 2,510 babies, Rank 127- Alice- 2,480 babies, Rank 228- Genevieve- 1,379 babies, Rank 235- Tessa- 1,346 babies, Rank 239- Adeline- 1,327 babies, Rank 282- Iris- 1,122 babies, Rank 292- Evangeline- 1,083 babies

    Rank 14 - James - 13,271 babies, Rank 17- Joshua- 12,522 babies, Rank 18- Andrew- 12,501 babies, Rank 25- Samuel- 11,290 babies, Rank 43- Henry- 8,006 babies, Rank 48- Jordan- 7,734 babies, Rank 51- Aaron- 7,478 babies, Rank 62- Charles- 6,873 babies, Rank 70- Dominic- 6,140 babies, Rank 76- Jason- 5,699 babies, Rank 108- Asher- 3,514 babies, Rank 161- Silas- 2,460 babies, Rank 162- Jude- 2,456 babies, Rank 168- Malachi- 2,281 babies, Rank 184- Ezra- 2,064 babies, Rank 264- Jasper- 1,339 babies, Rank 287- Gregory- 1,217 babies

    And a lot of these names (you can tell by my signature) are in my top ten.
    Over 1000 babies seems like a lot of kids, but in reality, with so many babies being born per year, it isn't that many. I work with children, and I have never met a Chloe or a James, the highest ranked baby names on my list. Some names become "too popular" because I hear them too much. Those names include: Sophia, Ethan, Jacob, Noah, Jack, Madeline, & Benjamin. They just become boring because I hear them so often. I once had a class with two Ethans, and there were only like 8 kids in the class. I really like Madeline, Noah, Sophia, & Benjamin, but because I hear them a lot, I've gotten bored of Sophia & Noah & Ethan because I know so many. If I could convince my family to like Benjamin, it would be on my list because I really love it. Madeline is so lovely, I love the book, but with all the Madalyns, Madelyns, Madeleines, Madisons, etc, she would be lost in the crowd. I know so many Mad-s. So it is a GP for now.
    But what was popular 50, or even 20 years ago, is not the same anymore. This is why I put names that I love, no matter the rank, on my list.
    And I am kind of anti-outside-the-top-1000. I'm not talking about names like Dorothea and Dimitri, which are easily recognized. I'm talking about these unrecognizable, unpronounceable names that berries love. I grew up with an unpronounceable name (Eleni) and I sometimes hate my name. No one can spell it, pronounce it, or recognize it. Or remember it. It took my friends years to be able to spell my name. I don't even correct my teachers anymore because it is just a waste of time, people's accents can't get it. I found it very annoying growing up, which is probably why I like so many names in the top 1000, especially boys names, because I feel like a name should be recognizable and established. Not saying that a child named Sparkle couldn't get a job, but would you rather hire a Sarah or a Sparkle (with the same credentials)?
    Top 1000 names aren't as popular as they used to be, so use names you love, no matter what. A lot of times, if you try to avoid the trend, it backfires. You think that the name you picked won't get popular, and the next thing you know it is rank 6.
    I'd rather blend in than stick out because of my name. In my preschool class none of the children have the same name. We have 18 kids. Popular names aren't really that popular anymore. People blow it out of proportion. In reality, lots of parents are unaware of popularity when naming their kid. It is fine to use names in the top 1000, top 500, top 200, or even the top 10, as long as you love the name. I'd rather know my parents truly loved my name, rather than them using a name to avoid the popularity curve.
    Sorry for the rant!
    Just another teenberry and writer, a lover of names
    Current Favorites:
    | Zoe | Selene | Thalia | Jane | Persephone | Ariadne | Lilia | Nicoletta | Nina | Natalia |

    | Dimitri | Augustus | Paul | Jude | Basil | Tobias | Nico | Abram | Samuel | James |
    Pondering:
    | Artemis | Cassandra | Delia | Helena | Margo | Thaddeus |

    GP:
    | Thisbe | Cassiopeia | Briseis | Mercy | Lachlan | Emerson | Callum | Owen |

    Have a fabulous day!

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Liverpool, England
    Posts
    4,142
    Quote Originally Posted by hardertobreathe View Post
    I grew up with an unpronounceable name (Eleni) and I sometimes hate my name. No one can spell it, pronounce it, or recognize it. Or remember it. It took my friends years to be able to spell my name. I don't even correct my teachers anymore because it is just a waste of time, people's accents can't get it.
    This absolutely baffles me. I'm not negating your experience of your own name, I'm just so surprised by peoples reaction to it. It seems - to me anyway - so straightforward to say and so obvious to spell. I love Eleni.
    ~Boys~

    Jory Leander Atticus, August Eli Benedict, Casimir Mordecai Stewart,
    Edmond John Meirion, Horatio Ethell Emery, Bram William Jasper,
    Julian Remy Charles, Vasiliy Lochlan Michael.


    ~Girls~

    Aira Rose ___, Eleni Fiorella Charlotte, Sylvia Sayuri Noor,
    Merit Eleanora Adelaide, Clover Elodie Seraphine, Bridie Scarlett Viola,
    Marguerite Cecilia Iris, Eilidh Clara Valentine.


    Sorry to anyone who read TSI. First draft was terrible. Second drafting now.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Galveston, TX
    Posts
    102
    I was kind of thankful for my name it's something you hear everyday, but not as a name. I was the only Navy in my class all throughout my schooling and I was rather happy about that. Nothing irritated some girls more than being Ashley M. or Jessica B. Maybe they choose the less popular route to avoid things like that, they want their child to be "unique" it's kind of the same way with alternate spellings. I think Lauren is just fine, but why Lawryn? Are we trying that hard? Than again at the end of the day to each their own.
    Madigan - Effie - Tamsin - Tully - Jaxie
    Thorin - Declan - Adler - Thayer - Hudson

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