How popular is TOO popular?(59 Posts)
I'm 30 weeks pregnant with my first baby (a girl) and DH and I are just getting round to the name talk. We are finding it quite difficult to agree on anything, but have both liked several names that turn out to be in the top 100 (Scotland). Obviously going for number 1 means she is likely to know/ go to school with others with the same name and we would like to avoid that but what if the name was at 35? 70? At what stage does it become TOO popular?
I think I probably have different thresholds for boys and girls--with my daughters, I didn't want to breach top 100 for girls' names (like other pp's, I wanted something classic and well-recognised but not ubiquitous), but for boys I'd be more inclined to throw popularity concerns to the wind in favour of a good strong classic that won't date (love the name Thomas, even though it's top 10).
I named ds before I knew anything about names lists / popularity lists. Turns out it must have been the most, or in the top 4 most popular names for his year.
He's never been in any group (playgroups, swimming lessons, classes, Scouts, etc.,etc.) where he's been the only one with his name. In junior school, there was a boy in the year above, and a boy in the year below who both had the same firstname ^and surname as he does. On one Scout camp, there were 11 dc, 4 of whom were girls, leaving 7 lads, and 4 of those 7 shared his name.
As a result of this, dcs 2 and 3 were given far less popular names.
That said, dc1 isn't phased by it, but I do get confused when he tells me he's "going round to Jack's" (for example) and I know that could be 1 of 5 places, as the name was so popular 18 yrs ago.....
This doesn't have 2013 on it but you need this tool! It shows you charts of how popularity as developed for a name over the years. Personally I would avoid anything which has a really steep sudden increase over recent years eg look at the graph for Ava!
I wouldn't worry about the popularity thing. My dd has a top 3 name and we have yet to meet another one - she's 5.
The reason the names are popular is because they're lovely!
My parents gave me an "unusual" name, which turned out to be less unusual than they thought. The year after I was born it was in the top 20, the following year it was in the top 10, then the year after it was in the top 3.
I think that used to happen to most people to be honest. Our parents didn't have such easy access to the births stats that we have, and there would always be hundreds of babies born with the same name while their parents were all convinced it was unique and they'd thought of it all by themselves without realising they'd been subtly influenced by the same things as everyone else! Even when my first and second child were born there was no access to this data on the internet. It was just a case of picking a name and hoping for the best.
At least now you can check really easily and accurately and watch for patterns of names going up and down the chart, pluse ven if you don't look at the official stats MN is a brilliant barometer for telling what's likely to become too popular.
Our rule was no top 20 names but you have no way of knowing if your choice is going to be a good one in terms of numbers.
DS1's name doesn't feature on the list in the UK but DS2 has a mid 20's name and there isn't another one in the school. On the other hand, there are 4 Charlie's in his year despite it being only 2 places above him in the rankings and none of the no.1 name
The other thing is that the rankings are done at the end of the year so you could have a surge in the popularity of a name which you won't know about until long after you have adopted the name so it is best not to get too hung up on it. For example, George was no. 12 last year in the rankings but I bet it is higher this year with people naming their child after the Royal baby. Nobody could have predicted that until the name of the Royal baby was announced and the effect on popularity won't be known until the ranking for the year are done though.
It is probably best to just chose what you love and hope for the best.
Mind you, my name was really unusual when I was named...it's now in the top 10.
My parents gave me an "unusual" name, which turned out to be less unusual than they thought. The year after I was born it was in the top 20, the following year it was in the top 10, then the year after it was in the top 3. It then dropped like a stone.
Our kids have classic names which were in the top 20 when they were born, and have remained in the top 20 ever since. DS is one of three in his school, but has only ever been the only one in his class / cub scouts / etc. DD likewise is one of 4 at her school, but the only one in her class / brownies etc (600 pupils in the school).
I named ds1 something fairly out there and not remotely popular.
We thought he was going to be an only, so no pressure to come up with another out there name. Fast forward eight years and ds2 arrives. We had a real job picking him a name. Ds2's name is not in the top 50, its quite unusual but is also quite fashionable.
I prefer ds1's name and secretly hate it when I hear another ds2 name.
I know it's stupid and a nonsense, but there you have it!
Having said that - Hugo shot in to the charts at 88 this year, and will probably become more popular...I love the name Hugo, and would still use it.
If you look on the General Registrars or Scotland website, you can download a list by what council are a you live in. Don't have link, sorry, just google it.
I went for names which were between 50 -100 - and they both shot up in popularity. One is now in top 10.
It depends whether you mind your DC being known as "Sarah L" Or "Sam D" rather than just Sarah or Sam.
If I were naming a child again, I'd be looking outside the top 100.
Speaking as a Holly (#13 year I was born, in top 20-30 ever since) I think you can go up to top 15 and not have much bother. If it's not a name you LOVE though, don't go beyond 30.
I don't remember being overly bothered either
And it's not actually a disaster if you have somebody in your class with the same name- it really isn't. My ds was absolutely delighted when he met another "him"!
I think you need to bear in mind that names aren't evenly distributed.
I know a class with not one Olivia (the top name that year I think), Grace or Ruby, but three Alice's. Likewise I have a rare name and once shared a class with another of my name.
If you genuinely want a low-ish chance of others with the name, I think you have to avoid at least the top 100.
It depends. Some parents look for rare and unique baby names that can't be found anywhere close to the top 1000. Others might found the same names a bit strange. That's why most parents opt-in for what we call a "safe choice". Others pass the name to their grandchildren as part of tradition, so in this case, it doesn't really matter if they are popular or not.
All things equal, I would suggest you follow your heart and instincts in choosing the name of your baby. You can browse around the internet to find some lists for popular baby names predictions in 2014 and decide if you want to pick one of them. Alternatively, you will have to do some further research and dig into history and archives to find a more uncommon name.
Hope it helps,
As so many have said, pick a name you love and don't worry about popularity. I teach a class with 3 Libbies in it, and another with 4 Nicoles - not being top ten/50 is no guarantee of being the only one in the class. I also loved having friends with the same name as me when I was little.
My name was the top five for the year I was born, I have met one other person with my name and there is one celebrity that has it.That's it.I don't know where everyone else is!
Pick what you love,first and foremost the thought of worrying if its in the top 100 as a basis to select a name will be depressing and hard.
Fred The Scottish charts have regional lists as well, so you can see what the top 10 names in Fife, Aberdeenshire, wherever, are. DSS has a top 10 name - DP thought that it was a nice and unique name cause he'd only ever heard it once, but it's now top 10 in 10 council areas. A variation of DS's name is quite often top 20 but his spelling isn't which makes me a bit happier with it.
This is 2012's baby name ranking by council area PDF from the General Registrar's Office. This is 2013's list (updated today ) and this years regional list.
Anything in the top 50 would be too risky for me, but I always felt quite strongly that I wanted the DCs names to be reasonably unusual and unused. None of mine even appeared in the top 100 when I chose them although one of them did go on to to be in the top 10 about 10 years later, for about three years then dropped back down again.
I nearly didn't use our first choice name (Grace) for our eldest due to popularity, I think it ended up being the number 8 name that year. We didn't like any of the other names quite as much though so went for it and I am so glad we did. I have a feeling if we had gone for something different it would have always bugged me that the name wasn't my first choice.
it seems that every other girl born in the late 70s was called Clare and it's never really bothered me.
One thing to consider is that there are a wider variation of names used now. Top 10 names indicate the most popular names but those names are given to fewer children than in, say, the 70s.
My DD1 has a top ten name and she's the only one in her year group of 90.
I never even looked at the top 10,20 or whatever. I went with what we liked. It turns out that both second names are popular but first names are classic and traditional.
My dd's name is in the 1000s and I have met 3 since she was born!
My other children's names were in the 40s when they were named, but have all shot up the charts since - and are very popular now. I haven't met many others with the same names though. I think the parents in my area all strive for unusual names, so you are more likely to be unique here if you name your child Jack or Emily.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.