What Uncommon Names Do You Hear a Lot?

And what 'common' names do you never hear?

For me, it’s Huxley.

At #556 in England & Wales last year, and me being British, you’d think I’d be lucky to meet a single Huxley. And yet, it seems like every time I’m out with my kids, we meet yet another little one with the name. Ditto Rafferty (#278), Annabella (#348) and Sylvie (#386).

We’ve written about regional name popularity before, and our annual look at each state’s quirky favorite baby names is always popular — and draws some illuminating explanations!

But today we’re asking for those baby names that seem super-specific to your individual neighborhood or social circle; names that the stats say you should never (or almost never) hear, but you do.

All the time.

So, what’s the most surprising name that you come across a lot where you live?

What are the most unlikely names to have doubled up in your child’s class, kindergarten or friendship group?

How would you define the local baby naming style where you are?

And, on the flipside, are there any supposedly “common” names that you just never seem to hear?

Let us know in the comments below, or join the discussion on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

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49 Responses to “What Uncommon Names Do You Hear a Lot?”

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emz876 Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 2:20 am

For both questions it’s Theodore. I see so many birth announcements saying Theodore etc. But then here in UK, I haven’t met anyone or know anyone called Theodore.
Also, I didn’t know Huxley was that common here, I also think of it as an American name lol.

kaiajade Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 3:51 am

In our neighbourhood we have lots of kids named Ziggy, Bowie, Luna, Arlo, Dash, Winter, Fox and August.

tarahble Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 4:56 am

I keep hearing about or meeting Scarlett’s which I knew was popular, but didn’t realize it was on the rise so much.

I also know Mason is very popular, but I’ve only personally met one (my cousin) although his mom found out about a ton of them when he was born a couple years ago.

Everywhere I’ve lived has a diverse population, so names have always been kind of varied dependent on parents cultures and backgrounds.

Miakate Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 6:00 am

I’m in Sheffield, UK and am coming across an increasing number of Sebastians, Theodores, Harleys and Reggies. Also a name that keeps cropping up is Everly/Everleigh which I always saw as a very American name, however it is growing on me!

blueylit Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 6:26 am

Weirdly it’s Ava – I’ve met loads of Eves, Evas & Evies but no Avas and only one Avery.

Living in Scotland there’s a lot of Gaelic names that obviously I encounter on the regular that most folks in the UK haven’t heard of (Eilidh, Oisin, Eimear, etc) but the most surprising common uncommon one is Heidi. I help run drama classes for teens and we just have a ridiculous number of Heidis!

Aunt_ning1 Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 8:19 am

Kayde/Cade and Alister are two I hear frequently. My son’s daycare is almost all boys (there are 2 girls out of 20) and the only duplicate names we have are Kayde and Cade, and Alister and Alyster. I hear those two names everywhere too. My son is named James, i fully expected to hear more James’ but in almost 3 years we have only met 1 little boy named James who was 2 years older.

paw Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 8:26 am

Tucker seems to be coming up a lot here. Also Grant and Malcolm seem to be more prevalent suddenly.

For girls, I hear Hannah and Allie more often than I would expect.

ClaireEliseWren Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 8:35 am

I know so many boys named Ewan. And it seems as if every other little girl I come across is an Isla. I live in Ontario, near Hamilton.

QuirkFlower Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 8:44 am

I weirdly know three Bronwyns, even though I’m in a small Ohio town. Caleb is popular (#50), but I feel like every second child here is a Caleb or Kaleb.

I also see lots of Aubreys, Audreys, Olivias, Isabellas but almost no Avas.

leafsgirl44 Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 8:50 am

The most surprising names I’ve encountered more than once would be Albert, Athena, Bryden, Elsie, Liberty and Emiliana.

I don’t have kids just yet, but working in schools, I’ve seen Nathan, William, Bryden, Scarlett, Brooke, Alexia and Isabelle double up, and I’m fairly certain my niece goes to school with two Ainsleys and two Sophies. In my friend group, I’ve seen a lot of Olivers, Willows and Abigails.

My area’s naming style is pretty unique, there’s a few top 10 names I see often but for the most part everything is below the top 100. As for top 20 names here, I never hear Olivia, Benjamin, Liam, Ethan, Noah, Amelia, Isabella, Owen, Alexander, Chloe, Evelyn, Hannah, Grace, Aria, Avery, Lily, Lincoln (for a boy, I know a girl with the name), and Gabriel (basically every name in our top 20).

QuirkFlower Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 8:50 am

I’ve also never met a little Oliver, and I worked in schools for years.

kmdharrington Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 9:27 am

I live in Maryland, and am Catholic. I know multiple teenagers named Frances/Francis, two Johnluca, and several Mauras.

Babies123456 Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 9:39 am

I live in New England and one common name I never hear is Charlotte, I only know someone with it as a middle. I also never hear Elijah which is a shame, same with Amelia. The most popular names I hear are Sophia, Lily, Emily, Jack, Abigail, and Emma. I’m not sure that there are any “uncommon” names that I’ve heard a lot here.

SparkleNinja18 Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 9:58 am

I’ve known two girls named Margo and one Margaux, which is why I’m shocked that Margot is the only spelling that ranks! I also know two girls named Ophelia from my old dance studio, both of whom are about 6 or 7, so they came before the name reached the top 1000.

I’ve only met one Mia, and only two girls named Isabella, both of whom go by Bella. I know of only one Liam (who is a baby), but it seems like every boy in my area is named Jackson or Wyatt.

My area tends to be very trendy and predictable. I know tons of girls named Ava and Avery, probably more than a dozen combined. Olivia, Emma, and Sophia are rampant, as are Lily, Sydney, and Ellie. We do have some variation in the younger kids, and I’ve seen Juno, Elodie, Seraphina, and Wells (b).

jrave656 Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 10:14 am

Not really a surprise, but I feel like I hear a lot of Jackson in my area – however, the spelling is never consistent. I hear “Jackson” but see Jaxsyn, Jaxxon, etc. Lots of “-son” names in general: Jackson, Emerson, Jameson, Madison, Jenson, and so on.

I don’t hear too many of the top names like Liam, Noah, Charlotte, Amelia (although definitely lots of Sophias and Isabelle/Isabellas) – the names I see my late 20-something/early 30s circles using tend to be a la Carter, Cameron, Cooper, Gracie, Mia, Wesley, Zoe, Sawyer, Thatcher, Everett, Chloe

LibelluleClaire Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 10:34 am

My top names I hear frequently but aren’t in the top 100 are Esai, Nayeli (nyelli/nyeli/naiellie etc.) & Xochitl (Sotchie, Zochi, Xochie etc.) & Louis

However I hardly ever hear Daniel, Ethan, Lucas, Amelia, Harper, Madison…. and quite a few others from the top of the list…

Suzannah Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 10:57 am

I hear Amelia, Charlotte, Olive and Olivia, Sophie, Sadie, and June.

MegsAndBacon Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 11:08 am

I’ve met two little girls named Daja/Dasia (pronounced nearly the same), both in the same dance class of less than 10 girls!

beynotce Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 11:30 am

Not super uncommon, but I hear the name Miles quite a bit on kids – I’m always surprised to be reminded that it’s not even in the top 100 in the US and that it still sounds fresh to people. I’ve heard Otis three or four times in the last two or three years. I also know three little girls named Hayden/Haydyn/Haiden – but no boys. And I know of a couple little Kinnicks, which has never cracked the top 1000, but that’s got local significance, so I’m not totally surprised by it.

BonnieLyn Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 11:39 am

Four Coopers, one is a girl! Five if you count the neighbor’s dog. Heard Mom call Aspen (girl) and Rowan (boy) at playground. And my newest grandson, Ke1th, called Kiwi.

nameaddictmadison Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 12:44 pm

I’m not sure that I’ve ever met an Ava! I also see a lot of name announcements for Piper, Luna, Oliver, and Theo even though I can’t think of many/any that I know.

The most surprising is that I know two little girls both named Harvey.

Names that I hear a surprising amount of: Jude, Sutton, Eloise, Juniper, Sawyer, Levi, Malachi.

That being said, I went a long time before meeting anyone named Isabelle/Isabella, Sophie/Sophia, Jackson, or Noah and now I know so many I can’t even count them!

ariellelucienne Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 12:47 pm

My ex told me how unique his son’s name was when we met – Maverick – but I see the name all the time now, and it’s rising very quickly in the charts. My ex was so mad at me when I told him his kid wasn’t the only one I knew with that name.

dawnderee Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Jalen! I gave this name to my older son 20+ years ago, discovering it while watching Jalen Rose play college basketball for Michigan. I loved that the name felt unique but was not strange or difficult to remember; Jay would be a logical nickname. Now it seems like male and female Jalens, Jaylens, Jaylyns, etc., are everywhere. Proud that I chose a great name but I no longer consider it unique or rare. Oh, well!

UnderTheRainbow Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Here in Spain two very, very, very “uncommon” but popular names are Kai and Enzo. I think there’s one Kai and/or Enzo in every kindergarden and Pre-primary school class. Common name that parents avoid but I’ve never met any kid named is Juan.

SweetNSauerkraut Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 1:52 pm

I’m a teacher in California so I see a lot of names. One hear I had 2 girls named Peyton and another year I had 2 named Alondra although they are uncommon names.

The school I teach at has a large Latino population (mostly Mexican and Guatemalan) and I’ve been surprised in the naming pattern of boys. There are soooo many boys at my school named some variation of Giovanni, Jovani, Yovani, and Jovan but I know that those names are not ranked high nationally.

On the other hand, I’ve only met 2 girls named Emma and I don’t know anybody who has named their baby that despite its rank in the top 10.

zsazsa00 Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 1:58 pm

I’m in Alberta, CA and Brielle is supposed to be very popular here. I never hear it strangely or know someone who knows a Brielle etc.

Yet, Cassandra / Cassie’s are much lower on the on the Top Baby Names list for the province but I hear and know so many coming up. Also Lena which has a respectable about of babies receiving the name but it appears everywhere.

And Aunt_ning1 I’d like to know where you are cause I am really hoping Alastair isn’t rising in popularity near me. It’s #1 on my list ;P

justthinkin Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 5:14 pm

When I was in elementary school, 2000’s, there were two girls named Adair in the same class, and both a boy and girl named Presley in the same grade. Multiple named Eva/Ava before it ranked very high. Lots of -aylee names. Far more boy Taylors than girls. A plethora of Morgans of either gender.

adklined Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 5:29 pm

I work with young children here in northern Indiana and I have heard several girls named America and Unique. I have also heard so many Lincoln’s, for both girls and boys. And plenty of Atticus and Olivia.

AD10 Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 6:12 pm

I’ve met loads of Theodores lately. I work with kids and at one time I had a Theodore, a Theo, and a Teddy all in one class! I’ve also met more boys named Avery than girls.

For girls at one point I knew 2 Islas, 2 Nolas, and 2 Campbells all from the same suburb.

I’ve surprisingly only ever met one Mason and Liam, no Caidens but lots of Aidans, no Isabelles/bellas but lots of Avas, Sophias, Olivias. Lots of Emmas but no Emilys.

Erin Beth Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 6:14 pm

I’m in the mid Atlantic U.S. and I’ve lost count of the number of teens named Virginia that I have encountered. I also know quite a few Rosemarys and more than one young Pauline. Mae also recurs in my circle.

Leah_ Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 8:24 pm

My name (Leah) is a decently common name, but where I live everyone acts like they’ve never heard it before. No one pronounces it right. I was once even told “how creative!” What?

ErinE Says:

January 28th, 2019 at 11:45 pm

I live in the south, and it feels to me like *everyone* is naming their new baby girls Helen! I was so surprised to see it still ranked in the 400s!

Merryweather Says:

January 29th, 2019 at 11:32 am

I don’t think I have known or met an Ava or Liam .

Some I do hear rare or more common – Reiley ( girl), Gavin, Makahla, Quincy, Spencer, Dakota, Maxwell ( girl) , Abigayle , Jasper, January,, Isabelle, Madison, Audrey, Zoey, Miles.

DanaKatherine Says:

January 29th, 2019 at 1:50 pm

I have never met an Amelia, Charlotte, or Sophie. However, there were two girls in a fifteen-person middle school Mandarin class with me named Princess. I’ve also known more than one Dayanara, Damaris, and Athena.

Annie.1 Says:

January 29th, 2019 at 2:49 pm

In my daughters year there are at least five Annabel/Annabelle’s and another Arabella and Annabella! I hadn’t met any Annabel’s (or similar) other than myself before. There are also two Rory’s (one being an Aurora)!

CordeliaFrost Says:

January 29th, 2019 at 3:14 pm

I’m also in England, down on the South East coast.

Benedict – I hear it all the time in these parts, yet it’s still only ranked #454 in England & Wales. All I can think is, that 50% of the small number of boys being named Benedict, must be in this area!

In terms of popular names I don’t hear much, it has to be Alfie, because it’s been popular in E&W for years, yet I’ve rarely heard it.

Girl wise, I hear Sylvie quite a bit, yet I’ve just looked and it’s still only #386 in E&W. One day last summer, my best friend and I took her 3-year old little sister to the park, and there two little girls named Sylvie there at the same time. Both mums kinda looked at each other, when they realised their daughters both had the same name, clearly not expecting to come across another!

However, Mia is very population nationally, yet I don’t recall hearing it much at all.

jmc0907 Says:

January 29th, 2019 at 4:09 pm

Where I live on Long Island has a high concentration of people of Irish decent. So I frequently run into other little ones named Bridget or Mairead

Kellen_Claire Says:

January 29th, 2019 at 7:52 pm

I work with Pre-school-8th grade in Southern Indiana. I only recently met a little girl named Ava, a name which I had never previously come across in my area. I hear a lot of interesting names that I wouldn’t expect: Hyatt and Frasier (sisters), Carmine, Kipton, Monroe(girl), Brylee, Dara, Abilene, and Matthias.

alf Says:

January 30th, 2019 at 1:20 am

In the south eastern us. Lots of babies named Charlotte, Eloise, Everly, and Jackson.

Elfy4252 Says:

January 30th, 2019 at 10:09 am

I have yet to meet a Penelope in real life. It was the 24th most popular name in 2017 and has been in the top 100 for a few years now, yet I’ve never heard of one in my area. Maybe because it didn’t rise up much until recently.

Liberty_Bell Says:

January 30th, 2019 at 3:25 pm

North West England here, I’ve heard several of the following over the past 18 months or so, Ida, Bessie, Arlo, Minnie and Lenny.

Paigelilou92 Says:

January 30th, 2019 at 4:00 pm

I live in north west England, most common names I hear are:

Girls: Isla, Layla, Lila, Bella
Boys: Oliver, Freddie, Alfie

Common but surprisingly none in my village, my sons name Noah! He’s the only one i know, and Theodore

LuMary Says:

January 31st, 2019 at 7:40 pm

The naming style in my neighborhood is, well, very Nameberry. It’s not so much a particular name that is common, but one generally showing Nameberryish foresight compared to the top names throughout the U.S. This is what I’m observing: Saoirse, Flora, Walter, Harvey, Stanley, Helen, Mercy, Annie (official name), Marjorie, Lydia, Felix, Frieda, Felicity, Asa, Moses, Ezra, Boaz, Winnie, Gus, Cashel, Hadley.

I don’t observe Kaitlyns, Jaydens, Kayleighs and other recent (within the past 2 decades particularly) uber-trendies.

LuMary Says:

January 31st, 2019 at 8:03 pm

Oops, I’m in a neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. Also, I’m seeing: Eva, Evie Mae, Frederick, Ava, Dominic, Peter, Mick (I’m assuming Michael), Charlie and Lottie (likely Charlotte, unless Lottie is the full name), Katherine, Margaret, Mary, Dillon, Connor/Conor, Martin.

LuMary Says:

January 31st, 2019 at 8:05 pm

I’ve also seen Oscar, Otto, and Edith.

oftenoverseas Says:

January 31st, 2019 at 10:10 pm

It’s not at all uncommon, but when I was 8 months pregnant with our second son last September I couldn’t leave the house without overhearing yet another kid being called Finn! It was a top contender for us but I just couldn’t do it after looking at all those little faces and thinking ‘you aren’t my son’. Liam, another top contender on both our pregnancies, has been cast aside twice due to “popularity” but I’ve never actually met a kid named Liam! Maybe the next one will finally get it.

Nysha Says:

February 4th, 2019 at 5:22 pm

A common practice where I live for both girls and boys are names that start with “Br” and end with “ley”, such as Brantley, Braxley, Brynley, Brayley. And names that start with “C” for boys are popular here. My grandson’s kindergarten class only has 9 boys and includes Casey, Caleb, Carter, Carson, and Conner.

linda Says:

February 4th, 2019 at 6:02 pm

@Nysha–That is really fascinating–as are all of these!

Vox84 Says:

February 5th, 2019 at 12:16 am

Henry. Every boy is Henry these days in my American upper middle class educated liberal circuit.

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