By Linda Rosenkrantz
Ever since we started exploring and writing about baby names, Pam and I have been intrigued by the concept of sweet-spot names, those that fall in that perfect position of not being epidemically popular—so common that their distinctive images to be diluted—yet not extreme enough to raise eyebrows or cause any confusion.
Of course, the individual names in this category morph over time, and some of those that were once considered to be in the sweet spot would now be found on what we then called our So Far In They’re Out list. For example, on the Fitting In, Standing Out list in our first book, we find such current Top 25 appellations as Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Mia, Abigail and Chloe, and among the uncommon boy choices Noah, Oliver, Lucas, Henry and Sebastian.
So where are we now? What names do we think fall into that golden triangle of not-overused names that still have meaning and history and appeal but will never be seen as over the top? Many that fit that description can be found in the lower half of the popularity list, between Numbers 500 and 1000. Here are our sweet spot choices of today—40 for girls and 40 for boys. You’ll find some underused classics, a few international imports, and a couple of hero names.
We’d love to hear if you agree or not—are there some you think primed to climb out of that sweet spot?– and what names you would add.