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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    4,888

    Was your name too popular/too uncommon growing up?

    I'm curious to hear people's opinions about this.

    I love the idea of picking names in that sweet spot of standing out and fitting in, and my taste runs there completely. Nonetheless...

    I grew up a Jessica during its peak years in the early to mid 1980s, and am basically happy with my name. With some brief exceptions, I pretty much always have been.

    I know my name dates me (to some extent), but I'm still happy with its sound, its history, its meaning to my parents, and while there are disadvantages to being dated by your name, it's never struck me as the worst naming fate.

    I have only twice been in a class with another Jessica, and the whole Jessica X. / Jessica Y. thing never bothered me. Both times, students with other popular names were doing the same thing, so I never felt singled out by it.

    For what it's worth, my friends with very popular names have NEVER said they hated how popular their name was...growing up or now. Of course, they're not posters here : D. Many of my friends with less common names love their names, sometimes to a particularly noteworthy degree, and have always loved them. But, this is actually the group I hear some members of complain the most, that there were moments of at least partly genuine sadness for them, that they never met another X, or there was never a Y bike license plate, even if they're happy now.

    So, I'd love to hear thoughts on this issue from all ends of the popularity spectrum! Or second-hand stories!


  2. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    4

    Re: Was your name too popular/too uncommon growing up?

    My name is Dana Ellen and I was the only Dana I in my school and now I'm the only Dana at work. I like the name but am not madly in love with it.

    Dana is after my great-grandfather, Daniel...and might I add that I am so glad I wasn't named Danielle. I think Danielle is gorgeous but a very bad experience with a very bad Danielle left me with an aversion to the name.

    Anyway, I do like the fact that I was the only Dana amongst a sea of girls named Lori, Amy, Kelly, Rachel, Jennifer or Lisa.

    One of my friends is also a Jessica (like you) and does resent the fact that there are so many Jessica's amongst her peers.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    970

    Re: Was your name too popular/too uncommon growing up?

    I have a French name - one with an accent and therefore not really a cross-over name. I've never run into another one in the US. I grew up in Maine so there wasn't very much diversity.

    Here's what I think the common pattern is with names...in the early years, maybe up to the teens, children actually take reassurance from fitting in. There's security in the way things are. I think it lines up psychologically with kids not being at a stage where they're beginning to rebel or seek independence. This also seems to lead to those kids wanting names that are familiar. They like having popular or common names - ones that they hear on TV or see in books.

    Once you hit your teens and begin to strike out on your own, you tend to veer more towards being unique. I certainly found myself liking my name a lot more in high school, and certainly love it now. When I was younger I didn't really enjoy having to say it and spell it for people (although honestly, it wasn't that big a deal).

    I can't remember, but I read some article that talked about this. Children of difference age groups were asked to pick a name that they'd like their name to be changed to. The younger children tended to pick the name of their best friend or someone they were around a lot, whereas older children tended to pick rare names that belonged to nobody else in the group.

    I also had three friends names Sarah in our class of 60 - all three hated that they weren't the only one.
    Switching careers and becoming an RN! Sadly mommy plans will have to wait until that's done. Still loving names though!

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    290

    Re: Was your name too popular/too uncommon growing up?

    I might have been a weird kid, but I loved having an uncommon name. It wasn't totally strange, I admit, but I was the only one born with my name in my province that year (weirdly 14 followed in the next year -- copycats!) so in my little world I guess I was unique. It bugged me sometimes that I couldn't find things with my name on them, but then whenever I did I was thrilled to bits, so there is that.

    Regarding what the pp said about alternative names children would choose, I know for a fact I would have picked Charlotte at any age between 6-12 (at thirteen I would have picked Arwen. Yeah.). My nan was a Charlotte, but we seldom saw her and I didn't refer to her by that name, so I'm not sure it was a case of familiarity causing liking. But then I was the kind of kid who liked reading, playing alone, that sort of thing, and hated team sports and the very idea of camp. I was the only girl in my class who didn't like the spice girls or the backstreet boys. So I don't think I'm really representative of the norm :lol: !

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    803

    Re: Was your name too popular/too uncommon growing up?

    I have a pretty uncommon name, I've only ever met one other person named Hollyann at this point in my life. But I think because it is a combo name of two fairly normal names that it was never a big deal growing up. I've always liked being the only person with my name. I think it's a perfect blend.
    I think it does give away my age though, which isn't a problem at this point as I am still young, but I was named after a song from the band Boston in 1986, so in the future I may not want to divulge that fact as freely as I do now!
    Ladies
    Avery Elizabeth Celine ~ Caroline Frances Lucille ~ Clarity Anneliese Kate
    Josephine Louisa Danielle ~ Rosemary Margaret Jayne

    &
    Gentlemen
    Elijah Laurence Rhys ~ Ezra William Beau ~ Julian Samuel John
    Logan Christopher Knightley ~ Theodore David Henry


    Literary GP Combos
    Charlotte Pemberley Jane ~ Philippa Austen Rose


    Wedding first, September 2015 - baby soon after? *fingers crossed*

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