Berry Question of the Week: Are my favorite names becoming too popular?

baby name Rowan

Our second Berry Question of the Week comes from Blaire, who lives in Asheville, North Carolina.  The mom of infant daughter Rowan (that’s her in the adorable picture), Blaire writes:

“I really would appreciate a little input on trends, since you guys are so good at predicting the next “hot” baby names.

I have always wanted three children and have pretty much known what I wanted to name them for years. My daughter and first child Rowan Jane was born in October 2011 and since then I have been seeing Rowan literally everywhere.  I thought it wasn’t that popular. =(

Since I want to avoid this in the future, my question is about my other two favorite names. My other favorite girl’s name is Wren.. and my boy’s name is Milo. What are your honest opinions on Wren and Milo?  Are they becoming popular and/or trendy?  Do you see them skyrocketing in the near future?

And which other names that might be unusual and distinctive now do you see taking off over the next few years?  I want to avoid choosing names I’m going to end up hearing everywhere!”

So what do you think, berries?  Are Milo (#422) and Wren (not even in the Top 1000) destined for superstardom?  What are some other names that are ready to pop?

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


43 Responses to “Berry Question of the Week: Are my favorite names becoming too popular?”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

tarat3232 Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 7:17 am

I think both Wren and Milo will move up the charts, but Wren will not be in the top 100 nor will Milo be in the top 50. I know a little Wren and have heard other people admire the name. I don’t know any Milo’s, but it fits the Arlo, Nico trend.

Maple10 Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 7:27 am

I think there’s a difference between popular and trendy. I think Milo is trendy, but far more people are interested in it than are using it. Same with Rowan and Wren.

babyoneday Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 7:34 am

Although Milo is only #422, bear in mind the name Miles is getting quite popular (it jumped 25 places from 2009-2010 to get to #137) and some of these little Miles’ might end up going by Milo as a nickname, meaning that you might end up hearing it more than you’d expect.

Ainscough Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 8:04 am

Wren was/is a name we are seriously considering, I am not sure if it is going to become “popular” but, it is beautiful!

pam Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 9:12 am

I do think Milo and Wren will be getting more popular and that you’re going to hear them a lot more often, especially in an arty, style-conscious town like Asheville. But I don’t see them becoming Jacob and Olivia popular.

It really is hard to find a name that’s familiar, appealing, in tune with the times, yet ISN’T in danger of becoming a lot more popular. I think of names like Dashiell or Dash, Maisie, Hugo, Maeve — these would all be considered very quirky in a lot of places and by the numbers there are not that many children with those names, but yes, I think we’re going to be hearing them more especially in places where parents are looking for that quirky yet appealing name.

MollyKat78 Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 10:07 am

Yes I do too..I know a little Ren..Milo is so cute and a great nickname for Miles too..on th top of my list…
Rowan is my favorite girls name..and I think its too girly for boys..that little Rowan is adorable

kashed22 Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 10:33 am

I only know of one Rowan,a boy, and he happens to live in Asheville! He is about 3 now.

laurbails Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 11:10 am

I know at least one Milo but have yet to meet a Wren, though both names seem poised to explode in the next year or two.

laurbails Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 11:12 am

Also, aren’t Rowan and Wren a little to similar anyway?

starophie Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Ugh, what a precious baby, and what precious siblings she will have! I think Milo is a name that has been floating around for ages (and which I love, by the way), but will remain relatively underground, at least for a while. I do think the ends-in-O trend is just that, but I feel like Milo is a name that many might adore but shy away from using. I also think a lot of people prefer to have nickname options, and all of the names you’ve picked don’t really allow for that. Wren, I think, is even less likely to become the new Ella. Wren is quirky and off-beat and I think that’s likely to remain a cool middle than a first name.
All in all, I’d say you’re safe! Good luck, Brooke!

hmm007 Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I think Wren and Milo will be continue an upward trend (I’m assuming Milo will climb higher than Wren because it’s already so high, but who knows?), however I think Rowan, Wren and Milo make a fantastic sibset! And never forget that just because Milo and Wren might be climbing higher in overall popularity on names lists, it doesn’t doesn’t give insight into whether it’s actually popular where you live. If you hear an influx of Milo’s and Wren’s when you take Rowan to the playgroups, etc. you’ll know if they’re getting too popular for you in your area.

CaliRN4kids Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I agree with most of the other berries on here – it feel that Milo will become a lot more popular in the coming years, but Wren not so much. We may hear a bit more Wren’s being called in the classrooms, but not like the influx of Milo that I predict will happen. However, it’s an extremely cute name & Rowan and Milo sound soooo cute together. I also agree with ‘laurbails’ in that Rowan and Wren sound too close together – that was actually my 1st thought. As an aside, YOUR name is in the top 5 on my girls’ list – I’ve always LOVED the name Brooke! Good luck & your little Rowan is absolutely gorgeous! 🙂

mkat41896 Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Congrats on your gorgeous little girl! You name choices are great! Wren is my niece’s middle name. Odessa Wren was born in December and my sister always gets complements about the name! I don’t feel that Wren is that popular. Milo on the other hand has a lot of possibility! I love the name Milo too, but I’m not gonna lie, it is going to get very popular!

Flick Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I don’t think any of them are going to be *really* popular. I think Milo and Rowan have the most climbing power, but I don’t think those will every reach the super stardom that are Emma and Isabella. I really like your style, though, Milo is on my own short list for a boy (not what you want to hear, though, sorry!).

I’m having the same difficulty with Penelope. It’s been a favorite for a very long time and is one of the few names my SO and I agree on – but it’s been climbing non-stop and is just getting increasingly popular. It breaks my heart every time I see it on someone else’ list for a potential baby.

IzzyQ Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I think that Wren probably won’t be popular for a little while and when it does it probably won’t get overused. Milo, on the other hand, seems to be very trendy at the moment.

miloowen Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Of course, my online name is Milo, named after my beloved Bengal cat, Charles Milo….(a very long story on the name).

The only Rowans I have known are male, a Canadian/Israeli writer and my best friend’s daughter’s brand new son, Rowan Atwood. I would hate to see Rowan become a girl’s name, since Rowena is a perfectly good name and a literary name at that. Wren is a really cool name, and I think it’s funny that no one has mentioned the fact that the comic Baby Blues used Wren for their youngest at least two years ago (Zoe, Hamish, and Wren).

I don’t think any of these names are going to become “popular” in the Jacob/Sophia sense.

shinysarah11 Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I feel the same way about some of my favorite names. For example, I’ve loved Amelia since I was 8 years old and now it’s everywhere. Same with Hazel. I love love love this name, but I see it on lots of people’s lists. How sad! I feel you, Flick.
I think I finally found something my husband and I both like that no one else will ever use, or at least, very rarely. Fingers crossed!

I don’t want my children to have to attach their last name onto their name in school, like I had to (i.e. Sarah B., Sarah J., Sarah F).

I haven’t heard Rowan for a girl on anyone but a celebrity (I think it’s Brooke Shields), but my former co worker named her son Rowan, born in Nov. It’s cute either way. Wren is adorable, and I don’t see it getting too mainstream, and Milo is a good, old fashioned name that I don’t think will be the next Jack or Aiden. I think you’re safe!!

pam Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Lauraballs, I did think the same thing about Rowan and Wren. Their similarity is not instantly apparent when you read them but say them out loud and they sound a lot alike — too much alike, I think, for sisters.

I did come across another interesting bird name in the Nameberry database today though: Deryn.

pam Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I am so embarrassed — the questioner this week is not Brooke but Blaire! I am sorry, Blaire! I must have name dyslexia…

agirlinred Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

I love Asheville! I want to move to that area of NC in the next few years. Anyway…

I don’t see Milo or Wren becoming mega popular, but I’d imagine they’d see some use in an area like Asheville. Most of the younger people I met while I was there during Christmas did fit into the hipster/artsy crowd, which is who I imagine would use names like Milo and Wren. I’ve never met a Milo or Wren in my part of the South, which is very conservative. One thing to consider might be that since Rowan is unisex and seeing decent use for both sexes, you’re bound to hear it more often than Milo or Wren. Rowan and Wren do strike me as very similar for sisters.

agirlinred Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Just did some quick math. In 2010 Rowan/Rowen got more uses than Milo and Wren combined. I added the boy and girl numbers and came up with this:

Rowan/Rowen: 1810
Milo: 659
Wren: 216

Adding the numbers for Milo and Wren gets you to 875. I didn’t take into account every single spelling, so the numbers for all three names may be higher.

pam Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Thank you for doing that! Curious to know whether those are the numbers for Rowan/Rowen for just girls or for both genders?

blaire_em Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Wow… thanks to everyone who commented!

That’s alright, Pam. I’m actually called Brooke a lot accidentally, and Blaine. I see what people are saying about Rowan and Wren sounding similar now… I guess I have a certain taste huh? Other girls names are so hard for me, because Rowan’s name was chosen so long ago. Actually, boys names are hard too, haha. I always see names on other people’s children and really like them but don’t ever see myself using them. My boy’s name used to be Asher but I am thinking Asher is the next Joshua. I don’t like ultra feminine girls names, but all the other unisex names bore me. I thought Wren was the perfect combo of androgyny and uniqueness. But I guess my search continues…

emilymaryjane Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Rowan is so cute and I don’t think wren and milo will become popular.

emilymaryjane Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Yeah Rowan and Wren are very close

agirlinred Says:

January 25th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Those are the numbers for both genders.

amandaberry Says:

January 26th, 2012 at 12:59 am

I do feel like Milo and Wren are going to go up in popularity. I’d categorize them as trendy. I would go with Swan instead of Wren. The are very similar already, sharing the “w” and “n” as well as being the same amount of letters. Swan seems more feminine and pretty than Wren and less likely to become a trend.

Thuja Says:

January 26th, 2012 at 3:23 pm


I want to comment on the similarity of Rowan and Wren, from a place of experience. Thirty some years ago we named our daughters Bryn and Robin, which strike me as a very similar, though more dated, duo. Unisex name followed by bird name, also in our instance, unisex.
We simply couldn’t come up with other names we liked as much–we got stuck on a certain kind of sound impression–but over the years we’ve come to regret their similarity. When I look back, I feel it was a bit lame of us.

UniqueNameLover Says:

January 26th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Sorry. The baby picture is too distracting…so cute. Ahhhh…

kokotg Says:

January 26th, 2012 at 11:39 pm

I have an 8 year old Milo, named way back when it was still in the 700s, and I haven’t regretted it. I’m not sure I’ve ever run into another real life Milo, in fact. Okay, wait–I have once. At Disney World. My suspicion is that it’s peaked already…I think it’s just a bit too quirky to ever get much more popular.

jcc434 Says:

January 27th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

As the mother of an almost 2 year old Milo, I’ll admit that I have met a couple other Milos since he was born, but we live in Seattle where names like Milo are fairly trendy. All my family who live outside Seattle or New York tell me that have never met another one. But either way, I love the name so much and am so happy we chose it. It makes me not even care how much it rises because it’s just the perfect name for my boy.

I agree that Milo will likely get more popular than Wren (though in his daycare there is a Wren, though no Rowan!) but I think both names are wonderful and you should go for them if you love them.

ps – the picture of your baby is so so cute!

peach Says:

January 27th, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I know of several little Rowans, one Wren, and many Miles but no Milos, yet. I agree with most others that Milo will climb higher and faster than Wren. I doubt Wren will become popular but it will likely enter the top 1000. Milo will likely reach the top 100 but not much more as boys names remain more consistent and less trendy than girls names do. Of the three names my personal favorite is Wren, although I won’t us it myself as it doesn’t go with our last name.

spmccarter Says:

January 28th, 2012 at 8:31 am

We live in the DC area and we had 2 boys named Rowan in my daughter’s 2 year old preschool class last year. So, I think Rowan is probably the most popular of the 3 names (which I think are all GREAT). I have not met any Milos at all in our area. I think it is a great name! And, I haven’t met any Wrens either. But, I feel like it was a name used by quite a bit by celebrity moms last year. So, that always makes it more appealing to the masses. Good luck. Little Rowan is adorable.

PeachThePrincess Says:

February 2nd, 2012 at 9:28 am

The same thing happen to my mother when she was expecting me: she wanted to put a not-very-known name on her baby daughter because she kinda suffered as a child with a much-common name that my grandfather gave to her, so she pick up one that wasn’t too POP – at least, not where I was born and raised – , but I had 6 – SIX – girls with my very same name in Middle and High School. So don’t worry, you’re not the first and surely not the last to live this.

misswriter Says:

February 12th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I think Milo will probably become a little popular, but Wren probably won’t. But I love both names-and Rowan is adorable! 🙂

afmastro Says:

February 21st, 2012 at 7:09 am

I know I’m late, but this phenomenon got my interested in researching names. I had always been a closet name nerd, but when it came time to name my first child, I didn’t want to spend too much time looking at baby name books and websites because I feared I would second guess every choice and end up in indecision city!

In 2007, without knowing too much about name trends, other than knowing that Madision and Sophia were popular, I named my daughter Fiona thinking it was different, but still stylish and would fit in with the Madision’s and Sophia’s of this world.

Considering that I didn’t spend too much time on name sites back then, I feel I did OK even if Fiona is trending upwards. At first I was disappointed when I saw Fiona trending upwards, but I doubt my daughter will mind that. But I vowed that for my second child I would pick something truly unexpected.

When my son was born in 2010, I want on a different track. I picked a classic name that was trending downwards and perceived by the public as common because there are a lot of adults with the name. But few people realize there are few children named Paul.

While I’m happy with both choices, even though I occasionally fear Fiona will become the next Sophia – I didn’t even pick up on how the name sound almost exactly alike – I sometimes wonder if my children’s names don’t really go together. I sort of compare Fiona and Paul to a sister and brother named Jennifer and Oliver born in the 1950’s!

As for Milo and Wren, I honestly feel Milo is in danger of becoming very popular, but Wren is not. But make of that what you will. Bear in mind, after spending so much time reading about name trends, names that the general public finds unusual, I hear all the time on name boards and feel used up to me. For example, Atticus, Adelaide, and Matilda all feel strangely common to me.

ebenezer.scrouge Says:

March 9th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I think Rowan and Wren are too similar. May I suggest Addison or Emerson or even Tegan instead

Alexandra.Iseult Says:

March 15th, 2012 at 2:22 am

To come to think of it, this is a relatively great era of baby names. I’ve liked almost all the names in the top 100 for years, and even though they will fall, the names themselves will always be timeless and beautiful (I’m speaking particularly of Emma, Olivia, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Sophie, etc. though I have my thoughts about Ava).

It’s sad how mine and many other people’s opinions of these names changes to disgust out of how popular, because right now I can’t stand to see people naming their little Angel ‘Emma Rose’ and commenting on how unique it is.

But honestly, I wouldn’t worry too much about name popularity. Seriously, my name is Alexandra and though it’s rare that any of us go by Alexandra (instead of any nickname) I still have hated the popularity since I was Alexandra G. But, names are popular for a reason. That means they’re beautiful! Your little Rowan will still be very unique, and actually a little popularity is good, because it shows that you aren’t the only one that loves this name.

So I wouldn’t worry about it, I love that name, btw!

Sincerely, Alexandra I. G.

paranoidferret Says:

March 18th, 2012 at 5:38 am

I love those names! Ive always liked the name Milo as I was OBSESSED with the movie Milo and Otis when I was a kid . Yes, I want my son to be named after a cute ginger kitty.
However, in Australia, Milo is the name of the top chocolate malt powder drink. Poor Milos get laughed at as if they had been named Ovaltine.
I think Milo is shooting up through the name ranks but Rowan and Wren will not. Wren is a stunning name, as is Rowan and she is such an adorable little bub too!

Nedra Says:

May 15th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Milo is a great name and I don’t think that Milo is getting too popular (at least not yet).

Wren is a great name, but I wouldn’t recommend it with Rowan. It’s a tongue-twister for me to say them together. “Rowan and Wren! Come here right now!” To me, it just sounds awful together. I can barely say them out loud together without having to talk extra-slowly.

Mego0801 Says:

July 6th, 2012 at 7:26 am

It has been a few months since this post, but I have certainly seen Wren explode in the last month! Not sure if anyone is using it or if they’re just interested in it though. I see Milo, Rowan, and Wren all becoming very popular soon. I’m in the same boat, I’m terrified that my very carefully selected name that is packed with Meaning is soon to explode in popularity 🙁

SiaMia Says:

April 23rd, 2013 at 9:14 am

Wren will be in the top 1000 for 2012. My guess is that it will debut at about 850. It might climb a bit, but I don’t think any higher than the 500’s.

Milo will climb much faster…and my prediction is that it will hang around the 100 spot

Echo27 Says:

November 27th, 2013 at 8:46 pm

My kids are named Rowan and Milo, so I’m the wrong one to ask!

I do, however, agree with others that Wren and Rowan are pretty similar (although I think Wren is adorable, too).

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.