Am I being stupid to rule out very popular names?

(53 Posts)
ricecakeaddict Sat 26-Oct-13 17:17:47

The only names my dh has suggested so far are Charlotte, Sophia, Jessica and Emily. He likes Sam for a boy and basically wants something traditional, popular and well-known. I like these names but we have a very common surname so I want to rule out any top 20 (well, maybe top 50!) names to prevent our child having exactly the same name as someone else in their class.
Am I being stupid in restricting our search to less popular names (and dismissing top 50 names we really like) just to avoid them being one of 3 or 4 Sophias, Emilys etc in their class?
We're in Surrey if that helps....

Ragwort Sat 26-Oct-13 17:20:08

My DS's name is in the top 5 - I really haven't come across that many boys with the same name as him - none in any of the classes he was in at primary school (three different schools) - he does have one in the same class at secondary school but it is not a problem at all - even though their surname is almost the same as well grin. None of his circle of friends have the same name.

I don't think it matters where you live, you don't want your child's identity to be wrapped up in the first initial of their surname. I don't think you're stupid at all, there are plenty of timeless classic names out there which aren't in the top 50. You just need to do more digging smile

LittleSiouxieSue Sat 26-Oct-13 17:26:41

No. You are not being stupid. I like the idea of children being individuals and this includes their names. I cannot see the attraction of being the 5th Amelia at nursery myself! There are wonderful less used names and there must be several you could find and agree on. I think sometimes people think children cannot live up to having a name that is a bit different, but in my experience they can and relish being different. Don't choose a name with an odd spelling though. A lifetime of spelling my first name has taught me that an unusual name with a straightforward spelling is best.

Coupon Sat 26-Oct-13 17:50:36

For it to be likely there would be 4 Sophies in a class of 30 (15 girls, 15 boys), you'd need 26 per cent of girls to be called Sophie.

The actual prevalence of the top 1 or 2 names is around 1 per cent.

niffernaffer Sat 26-Oct-13 18:24:44

No. I do for exactly the same reason. I really don't want to have a child with a top 100 name.

wigglesrock Sat 26-Oct-13 18:38:31

I think it depends how much you love the name. My 3 daughters all have very popular names, although 2 of them aren't as popular where I live as they are seemingly on MN. Both my older girls (8 and almost 6) are at primary school and are the only ones in their school year with their name and the 5 year old is an Olivia.

Also how much would it irritate you if you used a less popular name and there was another one in the same class or moved next door? For example I know 2 baby Astrids born within 3 months of each other that live in neighbouring streets & may well end up in the same school.

Fwiw one of my daughters has one of your names, spelt differently - it's lovely smile

Wellthen Sat 26-Oct-13 19:29:48

My name is (and seemingly always has been) in the top 10 for girls and it never bothered me. I had another one in my class at primary but she was known by a different version and there were 6 of us in our year in secondary (all known by the same shortening!) but as I say, never bothered me. I am an individual, I never felt part of a group. Being known as Wellthen J or Wellthen Jones never bothered me. Its my whole name, why should I mind being called it.

I always find it odd when people comment 'he'll be one of 5' - so what? Annoying for the teacher but thats not your problem.

I have a cousin called Augustus and, as a child, he had long blond hair. There was another boy in his class at PRIMARY school (a very small one at that) called Augustus....with long blond hair. No word of a lie.

weneedtotalkaboutkettles Sat 26-Oct-13 19:47:09

Being one of 5 is much, much better than getting blank looks when you say your name and constantly having it misspelled and mis-pronounced. Trust me! grin

To be honest although I don't mind my name now (was bullied for it at school which put me off it) one of the things I HATE about it is that I am the only one with it. You can't be anonymous in the same way as a Sophie Jones or Emily Smith. For example I recently applied for a job (had to withdraw due to pregnancy) but anyway - I was shortlisted and they remembered me from an UNSUCCESSFUL interview I'd had in 2007! Cringe. It was purely because of the name - drives me mad!

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 26-Oct-13 19:52:16

On the other hand, if I have to look up a Sophia Jones or Emily Smith on Linkedin (I am recruiting at the moment) - I would get frustrated pretty quickly - whereas say off the top of my head - Tondelayo Schwarzkopf would be found easily.

JumpingJackSprat Sat 26-Oct-13 20:00:36

I have a name which has always been outside the top 100 and I love the fact there was never another in my class. I do have to spell my name out sometimes but really is not that big a deal. I think your husbands name choice s are pretty dull to be honest. What are your preferences?

GrandstandingBlueTit Sat 26-Oct-13 20:29:15

Obviously all you're going to get when you post on here is personal feelings - no hard and fast facts as which is the best way to go, and so all you can do is work out which best aligns with your thoughts on the matter.

Some people love being a generic Sophie Jones or Emma Smith, while others can't think of anything more mundane.

It is worth pointing out there is scads of middle ground between a super-popular, dull, tired, over-used name, and an usual, unheard-of, yoonee'q name. And this is probably where you want to focus your hunt on.

Personally? I avoided very popular names, because I didn't really want my kids to have the Karen, Joanne, Claire, Jennifer names of this generation. Absolutely nothing wrong with those names - all nice, but now a bit dull through sheer over-use 30 years ago.

And the one comment that always make me a bit hmm is, 'popular names are popular because they're lovely'. It doesn't make any logical sense. If that were the case, then the same names would be popular all the time, rather than being popular for a set period of time and then falling from favour. If names are 'popular because they're lovely', then why isn't everyone still calling their daughters Claire and Jennifer?

Names are popular because they're fashionable and because the style of the name is part of the zeitgeist of the time. At the moment, quite feminine, frilly names are popular (for girls, anyway!); often ending in -a or -y/ie. Whereas back in our generation it was quite a different style of name tha was predominantly around, often ending in a consonant; Karen, Joanne, etc - definitely a far less frilly style.

It wont be too long - in fact , it's already happening - before people start to move away from the more overtly feminine styles that are popular at the moment.

The issue with choosing a popular, top-10 name is that it will date. It will be associated with a certain era.

And some names date better/worse than others. Some name date because they're cyclical (classic names, but they come in and out of fashion, i.e. Isabelle/Isobel) and some date because they're totally of-the-moment, used once, never to be used again - Jayden, Neveah, etc.

Some names date, because they capture the popular imagination - wrong place, wrong time, type thing - e.g. Sharon and Tracey.

There's no way of foretelling quite which way a name's going to go.

But the bottom line is that there are zillions and zillions of names out there that are not being used by everyone, that are not massively popular, won't end up being associated with a certain era, and won't inevitably sound dated in another generation.

And this is why many people avoid popular names.

getmeoutofthismadhouse Sat 26-Oct-13 20:43:04

My DS has a name that was number 1 boys name for years yet there is hardly any in his school . Having a unusual name doesnt necessarily rule out others having the same in the class.

Iwaswatchingthat Sat 26-Oct-13 20:46:18

I love all the names your DH has suggested.

My dds have top ten names and are both the only ones in their class. One is the only one in her school.

CarryOnDancing Sat 26-Oct-13 20:59:45

^Grandstanding summed the topic up perfectly!

Frontdoorstep Sat 26-Oct-13 21:06:23

Having an unusual name doesn't mean you won't come across an other. I have a fairly unusual name, it's not a strange name, everyone will know the name, there were no others in my school, but the baby who stayed opposite us had the same name.

NewbieMcNewbie Sat 26-Oct-13 21:36:49

Yes. I did and wish I hadn't.

heidihole Sat 26-Oct-13 21:41:25

I agree with what coupon said.

GreenShadow Sat 26-Oct-13 21:42:01

I have a not very common, yet very easily spelt name and although I'm not especially keen on the name, I like the fact that it is quite unusual.

So, go for it - choose something a bit off the beaten track - without being too outrageous.

ricecakeaddict Sat 26-Oct-13 21:59:21

Thanks all. coupon - that's a v sensible way of looking at it! Have also completely overlooked I have a timeless but very popular name and have never had an issue with it!

happy2help Sat 26-Oct-13 22:08:12

It's the pits when you think you've got a really unusual name, then within a couple of years you hear it absolutely everywhere! I expect it's much worse if your lastname is very common, as you've said it is. I don't think you're being stupid at all, just be prepared for it to suddenly become popular a few years after you've bagged it!

Lubiloo Sun 27-Oct-13 07:22:01

No, you're not being stupid at all. Why do we name people? So they can be identified!
If you are another Sam or Sophie, especially with a popular surname, that will be more difficult.

There are thousands of lovely normal classic names to choose from, why restrict yourself to the top 100?

Mumof3xx Sun 27-Oct-13 07:31:31

I would not and did not chose a top 5 name for any of my three dcs

That said they are all currently in the top 100

Older two are at school though and are the only child in their class with their names where as there are 4 Finley's and 4 Lucas's between the two classes

My dc were 29, 45 and 74 in 2012s most popular names

I think the main thing is that you should go for something you both love. My name (easily spelled) is outside the top 100 for years but was a little more popular back when I was born in the mid 70's. I liked being the only one in my schools with it and even at uni I only knew of one or two others. Having a popular name just seems so boring to me and any future kids will have slightly unusual names. Sometimes it's good to be remembered though this can sometimes not work out as in the example given by Weneed.

DalmationDots Sun 27-Oct-13 08:09:26

I agree. It is a personal choice. Obviously you can never guarantee. I gave my son a name which, at the time, wasn't particularly popular. He went all through primary with no one else with that name. Then, when he moved to secondary he became one of 10 in his year group with that name. It was strange.

Hope you manage to find something which balances you and your DH's taste smile

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