Originally Posted by gumshoegirl007
The name that we're leaning towards is one that has become quite popular in the US, but didn't even crack top 100 lists in Canada till 2008 (I don't know any kids named this, nor have I heard it called out in any of the kid spaces I've occupied of late). The thing is our population is drastically smaller than yours States-side. For the year in question while there were 4 million babies born in the US, there were only 378,000 born in Canada. I live in the largest province population-wise in Canada where roughly 40% of people reside. There were roughly 140,000 babies born this year. The year in question is 2008 and it's not likely that the 2009 data will be released until after the baby is born.
If you're still following the math, the name that we're thinking of was the 24th most popular name in our province that year. Normally that would make me run away and flee. However, as the 24th most popular name, there were a grand total of 294 baby girls registered with that name. Do you hear the crickets chirping?
I've been thinking that I wanted to stay away from popular because I didn't want her to be one of three or four children in a class with the same name. But with so few babies born in my province per year (the number 1 name for 2008 was Olivia with 904 births), how many kids living in a city with a population of 1 million could end up in the same class? WWYD?
Crashing (from my pre-baby queer lurker status) to weigh in on the name question, because not only have I been name-obsessed since I was a kid, but I also have clearly have an OCD streak, because there is nothing I love better than obsessively looking at baby name statistics (god bless the US Social Security Administration for feeding my addiction).
I used to be in the "the rarer, the better" camp, but now, still several years away from kids and anxiously watching my grandmother's name, which I love and really want to use, become trendy, climbing the U.S. charts in leaps and bounds, I've spent some time convincing myself that the ranking doesn't matter as much as I used to think it did. When I was born in 1978, 3.4% of U.S. baby girls were named Jennifer and almost 25% of baby girls had names ranked in the top 20. So, is it any surprise that there were 3 Jens and 2 Jessicas and 3 Melissas in every class, and that all of us are trying to avoid this generation’s Jennifer, when naming our kids? But, here’s where the statistics are interesting. Things have changed a lot—in 2009, the top ranked name, Isabella, was given to 1.1% of girls and the top 20 names were given to only 12% of baby girls (and even combining different spellings to revise the rankings, you still get nowhere near 25% for that top heap o’names). So, even the highest ranked name may not result in your child being Abigail Q, these days. And I think, aside from those extremes of popularity, it doesn’t end up being that big a deal—my name was at #17 (0.84% of baby girls) when I was born, and I was still the only Rebecca in my grade, though there were several others in the grades above and below mine (small town, admittedly), and I truly never thought of my name as over-popular.
It may be that our exhaustion threshold “I’ve heard it a million times” has gone down. There are certainly names that I love that are truly too popular for me to consider, but I think my main considerations, when the time comes are going to be: is the common nickname for my child’s name one shared by several popular names (Maddy, Ellie), and does the name rhyme with a whole group of very popular names (Kaylee/Bailey/Riley, Jadyn/Kadyn)? As long as it’s a distinct name using those criteria, I’ll try not to be overly concerned about the ranking, if I love the name. I worry sometimes that the names I like seem to be especially popular with the crunchy, liberal educated crowd that are probably going to be naming my kid’s classmates (oh, that pesky zeitgeist!), so that even if her name isn’t ranked all that high in the general population, she’ll still end up one of several Violets or Hazels or Willows in her class, because of the demographics, but, well, you do the best you can, right?
Okay, all that was a very longwinded way of saying that I think you should go with the name you love, because while I don’t doubt the name may keep going up in the rankings, I do doubt that it’s going to get so popular that it’s going to mean your kid will constantly be one of 3 or 4 with the same name. Loving it is truly what’s important!