Does popularity affect your babynaming? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When I was pg with DS, we loved the girl's name we had picked out. At the the time, it wasn't that popular of a name, now it's in the top 10. Since we're pg again, we thought of dusting off the name, only to find out it's very popular now. We really love the name, but don't want our child to have the same name as many others in her class, and frankly, we want it to be a little different.

Now it seems that every name I pick is pretty high in the ranking, say in the top 50 or so, and rising to the top. How the heck is this possible? I keep thinking I'm all original but apparently I'm not.

I have a very popular name and sometimes I've wished it was a little different. It works fine for me, but I don't want my kid to ever think, "jeez, mom, couldn't you have been a little more original?"

I'm having such a hard time finding the line between a little bit different, and completely out in left field. While I don't want to give my child a super-popular name, I also don't want to give her a name that she's constantly going to have to tell people how to spell or pronounce.

How do some of you find the balance? Do you let trends influence you one way or the other? Should I just give my baby a name I like and forget what the rankings say? I'm making myself crazy here. :
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#2 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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yes. dh wanted a name as unpopular as possible -- at least not in the top 200. i wanted a name that was not in the top 20. my favorite boy's name met my criterion but not his. we found it a lot harder to find unusual male names that we liked. there are so many unusual but not weird in a bad way girl's names out there. my own name was #50 the year i was born and i found it just the right level of popularity -- recognizable but never one in my class.... in fact i was surprised to see it was as high as 50!
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#3 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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Yes. Most of they boy's names I like are too popular, so I won't use them. I still feel like my top choice of boy's names is kind of a compromise: Pax Sequoia. I would prefer to call him Sequoia, but there are just too many of them so I will only use it as a middle name and will call him Pax.

My first full-term dd's name was considered too weird and "out there" for a boy (but grudgingly barely acceptable for a girl) when I was pregnant with her, which I didn't understand since it felt perfectly gender neutral to me. I get a certain "Tolja so!" satisfaction from the fact that it was in the top 100 for BOY'S names in 2000, but I would never use it for a girl today and probably not for a boy either, although my son loves it and wanted me to dust it off for his little brother.

When I first chose bean's girl's name, I absolutely loved it and thought that it was so original, but I am devastated to find that she is one of four in my ddc. My dd thinks that I should definitely consider changing it to something less trendy. It fits Bean so well that I'm not sure if I can, though.
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#4 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 02:07 AM
 
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Ya know, it's never sure fire. When my mom named me, she didn't know any other Sarah's (same with my brother Jason) and with each of us, it wasn't until we were in middle school that the extreme popularity of the names became apparent.
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#5 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 02:12 AM
 
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dd's name is around 300, the same as mine was. unless i had a compelling reason (like the baby told me or something) , i would not choose a name in the top 100, and would try to avoid the top 200.
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#6 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 02:15 AM
 
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i wasnted to stay away from the names that were increasing in popularity when dd was born in 2003, Lily was one of those names, we were leaning towards Stella. dd was born on easter, she totally wasn't a Stella and was 100% my Easter Lily - we have met a handful and she thinks it's cool and it doesn't bug me as much as i thought, i guess because i feel like she kind of picked it... i have a very unusual name, wasn't so cool with it as a child, would love to have been named Sarah :-)) but am cool with it now. pick a name that feels right, that fits your child once you meet them and forget about the rest... go with your gut...
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#7 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 02:17 AM
 
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Yeah, I speak as someone whose name was not even in the top 500 when I was born, and was around 250 in 1990 and is now around number 50, it SUCKS! When my children were in school, there was ALWAYS a Mackenzie in their class : I named my children even thinking ahead, I really don't see a surge in popularity there.

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#8 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 02:21 AM
 
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I chose a unique name for my ds. I have no idea the ranking, but I pray it doesn't become popular. I have a name that wasn't popular either. I guess I take after my Dad! I am so new to this, I thought I had picked out a signiture with all the icons, but it doesn't show up when i do a post!
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#9 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 02:31 AM
 
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I am like you. I don't want anything too popular, but don't want anything out in left field, either. Its so hard to pick a good name! I did come up with what I thought was a perfect name for my dd, but am now having problems coming up with a name for a boy. sigh.
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#10 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 02:40 AM
 
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I won't even think about a name that is in the top 500, and I prefer it not to be on the list at all. There are lots of names that are very easy to spell and say that don't appear on the list, you just have to hunt for them.

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#11 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 03:48 AM
 
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Having a very common name myself, I would have to say popularity is an issue. Like you, I would not want my child later on down the line to say to me "why weren't you more original?"

It basically took alot of research and baby name books before we came up with a name we liked. Wasn't easy but we kept at it until something clicked for us. Heck, we did not pick the name until the baby was almost born!

And just a piece of advice, dont tell too many people the name you choose or are thinking about- family and friends can be the biggest wet blanket when it comes to baby names.

Good Luck!
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#12 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 03:59 AM
 
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Rena is a fairly popular name in our community, she might have one other kid in her class with the name, but not 10. Nechama & Rivka are more traditional names, more popular in some areas, but still considered classic and well known. I honestly didn't think about it much before naming them, the name suited the child and the situation.

I haven't done too much thinking about this one yet. Ideally s/he won't have 10 other kids in the class with the same name, and it won't be a never heard of how do you pronounce it name either.

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#13 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 04:38 AM
 
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I avoid at least the top 200. Some of the top names are so beautiful, but I don't want my kids to be one of the 10 Sophia's or Isabella's in their class. They are gorgeous classic names, but not at all original.

dd1 4/7/05 dd2 8/22/07 and b/g twins born 5/23/10
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#14 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 05:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Avocado View Post
I avoid at least the top 200. Some of the top names are so beautiful, but I don't want my kids to be one of the 10 Sophia's or Isabella's in their class. They are gorgeous classic names, but not at all original.
Yep, neither one of my kid's names made the top 200 list for that year they were born.
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#15 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 05:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
I would prefer to call him Sequoia, but there are just too many of them so I will only use it as a middle name and will call him Pax.

I checked the social security database, and Sequoia isn't in the top one thousand for any years.
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#16 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 05:11 AM
 
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Well, my name is Amanda, and although I am called Manda which is a little less common, there are still enough of us around that I'm never the only one in the dr's office or a class. I wasn't named after anyone- not my first name anyway- and I have a rather common last name too... so common that I've run into 2 other women with my first AND last name (we shared a dentist- it was a real pain to keep our records straight.)

So, I do tend to lean a little more toward original names or ones that aren't quite so popular. BUT, having said that, you can't ever tell what the text trendy name will be. I tend to look to really old names, but it seems like everyone is going that route these days too!

Here is a cool little tool: http://babynamewizard.com/namevoyager/lnv0105.html

Manda

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#17 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 07:16 AM
 
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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 live in Humboldt County, CA.



He wouldn't even be the only "Sequoia B." in his class; they'd call him something like "Sequoia B. with the black hair who likes cats and talks too much".
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#18 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 09:00 AM
 
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just a piece of advice, dont tell too many people the name you choose or are thinking about- family and friends can be the biggest wet blanket when it comes to baby names.

Good Luck!
Great advice here. I learned that lesson. With dd we decided to keep our name choice to ourselves. When people would ask we would just say "Oh, we haven't decided yet," then look to the other one and say "Honey, we probably should think about that soon, huh?" and it worked fine. Made me look a little ditzy, but oh well DH and I learned that sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get your privacy and to avoid those annoying comments.

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#19 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 09:06 AM
 
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I would prefer to stay out of the top 50, but if you really love a name, I think you should go with what feels right to you.
DH and I picked out dd's name years before she was born. By the time she was born, it was on the top 20 list. I just couldn't find anything else that felt as right, though, so we went with it. We've done tons of baby gym and dancing classes and we've only ever met one other person with the same first name. She has a very unusual middle name, though, and we often combine both just because it sounds nice and only 3 syllables total.
Just about everyone I know (thinking nieces, nephews, cousins, etc) has chosen a name that would fall in the top 50. It's not tragic I think you should just go with what feels right to you- whatever name you just love.

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#20 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 09:36 AM
 
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I think it depends on gender. So mamy girls names are popular. If it is in the top 200 you will hear it on others. Boy names however are a bit different. The top 50 are used with great frequency and I think the others are seen a bit less. This has been my experience. I try to avoid the super popular but also like classic names - and am batting 2/3 on the girls, can't decide if my son's name is popular or not. His is in the top 100, I have heard of others but never personally met any and he is almost 11.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#21 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 09:49 AM
 
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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.

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#22 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 11:06 AM
 
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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!

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#23 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 12:00 PM
 
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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.

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#24 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 12:29 PM
 
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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.

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#25 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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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)

This is a tree on fire with love, but it's still scary since most people think love only looks like one thing instead of the whole world. *
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#26 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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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).
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#27 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 01:44 PM
 
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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.)

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#28 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 01:46 PM
 
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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.

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#29 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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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.
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#30 of 102 Old 08-10-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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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!

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