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Does popularity affect your babynaming? - Page 2

post #21 of 102
MamaScout, I'm dealing with the exact same issue. Do I choose a name I've always loved (and always thought was unusual) even though it's now popular? Or do I choose something I love less just because it's not popular? It's a tough call and I don't really have any advice but I sympathize with your dilemma.

One thing to think about - I was born in the 70's when every girl was named Jennifer (3.5% of the female population). After combing through the Social Security database I realized that NO girl's name is anywhere close to that popular nowadays. Even the seemingly ubiquitous Emily is 1/3 as popular now (1.2%) as Jennifer was in the 70's, or about as popular as Heather was during the 70's. It seems like there are more names now, so even the popular ones aren't as common as they used to be.
post #22 of 102
My girl's name (Senara) doesn't even register on the baby name wizard site, my boy's name (Hektor) does in the Romanized version of spelling (Hector is 175 in 2006), but doesn't register in the K spelling, so I think that's good. I really wouldn't like to use an ultra popular name, I'm sure if I were considering an ultra popular name, I'd change it, if I realized the popularity of it!
post #23 of 102
Man, we definitely weren't choosing a popular name for our child (didn't find out the sex). We have the #1 last name in the US so anything even remotely common was out, and then DH has a massive family and it seems like they've used up 1 of every name out there already. So we tried to be as unique as we could. Then I come here to MDC and see like 6 other little girls with the same name. (but I've only heard it maybe once or twice IRL) At least we spell DD's differently than most everyone else.
post #24 of 102
I guess I am lucky because both of my names are relatively unpopular (but known, so I won't have to constantly spell them) and they are the ones I have had picked out since I was 9. The girl's name is number 645 and the boy's name isn't even in the top 1000. One is a family name and the other is just a really cool name from literature.
post #25 of 102
I always have to spell my kids names, especially my daughters. It does not suck and it leads to interesting conversations and stuff. (FTR my kids are Xitlaly, Damiyan, and Macario)
post #26 of 102
We wanted to name our girl after my husband's father, who died 3 years ago. Well, his original name, in Italian, was Olivio. That makes the feminine Olivia. Which now happens to be the #1 most popular name in the US according to the SS Database. Thanks a lot, people. I have a very rare name, and I can't stomach the thought of my little girl being in kindergarten with 5 other Olivias (even though I'm probably going to homeschool, you get the point). I think we're going to have to reserve Olivio (or Lee, his US name) for a boy, and follow the grandmothers' name for a girl (both have the same name).
post #27 of 102
It's never been much of an issue to me. I do like a few of the popular names, like Emily, but they're all obviously too popular for me to use. I've always been a bit stymied by all the folks who named their daughter Ashley and claimed they didn't think it was a popular name! That name was in the top 10 if not the top 5 for twenty years. There were always a lot of little Ashleys running around, and using Ashlee instead isn't any more unique.

I try to stay out of the top 500, or right around there, which I had no trouble with for the first two. But I wasn't paying much attention with Esther, and her name is #298, which makes me a bit twitchy, but the resurgence in the name, at least going by what I've seen online, is mostly amongst Jewish folk, & there aren't a lot in this city, so it's still probably going to be uncommon in practice. Linda has met a lot of people much older than she with her name (which was #1 fifty years before she was born, & #496 or so the year she was born), but Esther hasn't. (I haven't even managed to get her together with the Esther she was named for, sadly.)
post #28 of 102
Yes, popularity affects the naming of my baby. I like unique names, but names that aren't too weird or common. My daughter has a nice, unique name that we get complimented on all the time. This baby was harder to name because I don't care for lots of boys names. The boy's names that I like are in the top 50 but I refuse to give my child a popular name. I finally found one that I like and it's number 400 something.
post #29 of 102
I don't worry too much about popularity. If I love the name, meaning, etc., or if it holds special significance to my family, I'll use it. I think especially for boys, it can be a little easier to have a well-known name when among their peers. I tease my husband because almost all of his friends are either named Joe or John (including himself), but amazingly he doesn't forget who is whom. I actually think it creates a source of connection or familiarity in relationships sometimes, especially if it is a cultural naming trend. My mom has a very unusual name -- I've only ever heard it as a last name otherwise, and she hated it growing up. Obviously she grew into her name, and it is beautiful, but she was constantly spelling it and pronouncing it for people. We have a hard-to-pronounce last name, so that is enough of a challenge. I think that if a child has a popular name, there will certainly be something else about him or her that is unique.
post #30 of 102
When I was growing up, my name was super-rare. I think I only met 5 other people total with my name by the time I turned 20, and none spelled it the same and one was a boy. It was nice not to be one of the 5+ Jennifer's in every class. Now that I'm an adult, I find that my name has become popular in the under 10 age-range, and I hear it a lot at the grocery store or elsewhere. It's hard to get used to, after living so long knowing that if I heard my name yelled, they were addressing me!

My girl name I've had in mind since I was 12. I got it out of a book, and never heard of anyone having it until recently. Now it's in the top 50 and moving up every year. That's made me think twice about using it, and I've recently come up with a girl name - that DH agrees on - that I like just as well that doesn't break the top 500. Problem is it's harder to find a middle name for this new name.

With boy names DH and I had a much more difficult time agreeing. The one we finally agreed on is the name of his grandfather, and it's in the top 5 boys' names, but with the German spelling. DH's parents will use the German pronunciation, even, which would really set it apart. But although it's really popular, I'm sticking with it.

Also, I have a good friend who has changed her baby's name because a friend of hers "stole" the name she'd made clear she wanted to use. I don't think I'd change a name I picked out just because a friend chose to use the name. Who's to say I'd even live near or still know that friend by the time the child is old enough to be aware of anyone else with the same name? That said, I agree with PP that not spreading around one's choice of names can be a wise choice. I have a friend who chose cute names to refer to her babies as in utero, and only after the birth revealed to anyone the real names.

Besides, as much time and effort as we put into the naming of our children, we have no control over what nicknames our childrens' friends might give them which could totally supplant their original given name. That's what happened to me - but it was my father who gave the nickname. The name I've gone by since I was 10 months old is no part of my original given name. It's made for a whole lot of explaining to teachers over the years. My one vow with my own child is that I will call my child by his/her given name!
post #31 of 102
I was going to make the same point Dee did above--even if a name is popular (in the top 10) that doesn't mean there will be several Olivias or Avas in your child's class. In 2006, the most popular girl name was Emily--about 21,000 Emilys were born in that year. In 1980, the most popular name was Jennifer, with 58000 Jennifers born. So, it was about 3 times as popular as Emily is today. Parents are being more creative with names now, and the distribution of names is more even across the board.

Popularity doesn't matter to my husband and me--we're naming our son Michael. Still the 2nd most popular boys name, but it was my father-in-law's name, and that matters to us.
post #32 of 102
Dee and dcgirl are correct. My name, Laura, ranked #16 in the 60's and I had only one other Laura in Elementary school in my classes. There were no other Laura's in my junior high or high schools that I shared a class with. Not even in my ballet classes.

My DH has a Swedish name, Stig (pronounced Steeg). It's always confused with Steve. His brother's name is Tage (pronounced TA GA). His name has been butchered all over the place. We don't want to do that to our child.
I found a study that shows that people with unique names can suffer from getting lower grades from teachers, to not getting hired at jobs. : Really dumb, but people are prejudice over stupid things.

So after much contemplation, we found names that can't be butchered or misspelled or mispronounced if you hear it or see it spelled. One of the names is in the top 50. Wasn't even in the top 200 5 years ago.
We feel that they are unique enough, but not a name where someone will ask you to repeat it.
Now the middle names are another story. They are much more unique and that's where we came up with the compromise.

I can hear it now...."I love my middle name, why didn't you name my first name that?" You can never win.
post #33 of 102
Then there are the names on the "infamous" list. I have a great-great grandfather Adolf. Sadly, I can't imagine that name getting passed on. Ever.
post #34 of 102
Definitely. I'd eliminate anything in the top 20 for first names, maybe top 50.

My favorite names are old ones. 'Course, like you, we seem to like the ones that everyone else suddenly likes too. Evelyn is shooting up in the rankings. I would have picked Martha (after my grandmother) but DH nixed it.

For a girl my DH has agreed to name her after his mom, Linda. That one is not likely to shoot up anytime soon.

You can go for one that's hard to spell as long as it's only 4-6 letters, that's my theory.
post #35 of 102
I totally get you! When we named our baby girl Alexis, I had no IDEA how common it was. Thankfully Kylin and Aja are not as common. I always look for names that aren't that common...or if its common, change the spelling or something.
post #36 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by mizznicole View Post
Then there are the names on the "infamous" list. I have a great-great grandfather Adolf. Sadly, I can't imagine that name getting passed on. Ever.

My FIL is named Adolf. That's why we're going for naming after DH's grandfather instead!
post #37 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by MajorGroover View Post
One thing to think about - I was born in the 70's when every girl was named Jennifer (3.5% of the female population). After combing through the Social Security database I realized that NO girl's name is anywhere close to that popular nowadays. Even the seemingly ubiquitous Emily is 1/3 as popular now (1.2%) as Jennifer was in the 70's, or about as popular as Heather was during the 70's. It seems like there are more names now, so even the popular ones aren't as common as they used to be.
an excellent point
post #38 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by aries_mama View Post
I tease my husband because almost all of his friends are either named Joe or John (including himself), but amazingly he doesn't forget who is whom. I actually think it creates a source of connection or familiarity in relationships sometimes, especially if it is a cultural naming trend.
Yes, I named my brother Jeff(rey). He loves it for that reason. I think it is more likely to happen to men. I have a lot of friends who are Lisa and none of them liked its popularity.
post #39 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by janellesmommy View Post
I checked the social security database, and Sequoia isn't in the top one thousand for any years.

i'm glad you wrote this because i was getting bummed out that there are alot of sequoias! i have "met" one other on MDC. perhaps it is the area where pp lives.....
post #40 of 102
Absolutely. Both my first and middle names are very popular and I hated it. So our kids get to have a *very* uncommon first name + a common (or at least normal) middle name. That way they can choose whether they want to be unique or common when they're older. I'll always call them by their first names unless they hate them though

love and peace.
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