Why does it bother me/others

(61 Posts)
OwlBeThereForYou Wed 29-Jan-14 01:55:46

Ok so I can't sleep and I'm not switching off, so I'm just wondering...why is there such a big deal made about the popularity of a name?
I mean I get that we want our children to be unique but they're going to be themselves regardless of how many there was in their class. I'm talking from someone with a fairly popular name, usually at least two in my classes etc, and apart from being a little irritating on occasion (not often really) it hasn't seemed to harm me.
So why does it seem to be such an issue...and for me too!? One of the names we like is in the top 10 and it's putting me off. But we don't personally know any at all! And I also think that we could go for a name that's currently 400 something, and it become popular quickly and therefore 'start the trend' iyswim! confused
Anyway this is a ridiculously long post for a 'wondering'...please blame the not sleeping and pregnancy hormones grin

Thingymajigs Wed 29-Jan-14 08:10:45

I think its a relatively new stress. I definitely didn't feel concerned about naming my first two boys 14 and 11 years ago. They were given popular, nice names and the whole process was easy. Ds2 ended up sharing his name with 4 others in his class (class not school) but this made his school life easy rather than difficult. He had an instant friendship group and remains popular now so his common name has been an advantage.
Yet naming ds3 (due any day) has been a huge headache. Possibly because I had a year of TTC to name obsess which just continued in pregnancy. I've also had endless sleepless nights considering every potential naming issue. We have now decided on a name that is slightly more unusual and raises a lot of eyebrows but we like it and hopefully he will too. In the back of my mind though I can't help but think that maybe, like ds2, he would fare better with a more common name.

I always think that top ten names are popular for a reason grin

Also, the top boys name was given to less than 1% of the boys born kast year - you would need to.know 100+ boys born the same year to have a chance of encountering another one.

sebsmummy1 Wed 29-Jan-14 08:20:13

I think most of us are trying to find a name that sounds like a name but isn't the 'name of the moment'.

I was secretly pleased that id found a name DP and I both liked that was outside the top 100 in 2012 yet in the top 20's one year later!! So even if you feel pretty smug pleased that you've avoided a top 10 name, you can still end up with one down the line.

Ragwort Wed 29-Jan-14 08:22:02

I think this is only an issue on Mumsnet grin - my DS's name is in the top 5 and we don't know any other boys with the same name - and we live in a busy town and are involved in lots of groups and activities.

I think it is much harder for a child to grow up with a name that is slightly unusual and raises a lot of eyebrows. hmm

My DH has a fairly common name for men of his age (a name you never hear nowadays) - there are four with the same name on our road but it is a bit of a joke - there is 'new Dave', big Dave', Dave 3 - my DH is probably 'bald Dave' (Note - name is not 'Dave' grin).

lookdeepintotheparka Wed 29-Jan-14 09:24:32

I was wondering the same OP!

I am getting increasingly stressed in a very 'middle class' fashion about DD' s name which was as you say, top 400 but suddenly more popular both on here and rl. I want to say 'no please don't choose that, it's my dds name' - like we have a patent on it or something!! Why am I so stressed about it being popular - I really don't know and it doesn't make sense but I am grin

So I do understand why you are lying awake thinking about it - good luck with your decision!

emsyj Wed 29-Jan-14 09:31:42

I was one of four in my class at school and I hated it. You end up being referred to either as 'Emma [surname]' all the time, or by reference to a physical characteristic (so there was also a 'little Emma'). Hated hated hated it and didn't want the same experience for my children. The DDs both have names that are well known and 'ordinary' but not currently in common usage.

Having said that, my top name for a boy was Oliver - I've never ever met an Oliver in real life (other than one my own age many years ago). All the boys around here are called Harry and all the girls are called Isobel or Isabella.

miffybun73 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:38:05

I don't know. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. Popular names are popular for a reason.

My children are Emily and Daniel (known as Dan) I know the names are very very popular, but I don't mind.

I chose them because they are my favourite names and am very happy with my choices.

Finabhear Wed 29-Jan-14 09:43:53

I don't think its a new thing, I fretted about naming both my boys aged 13 and 4 and I remember my parents fretting about naming my little bro, he is 32.

I have a very unusual name - never met another with the same spelling - and despite the fact that people always get it wrong I love my name.

littlebluedog12 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:44:44

I know what you mean. As a teenager my favourite name was Isabel (I was obsessed with all the Isabel Allende novels). It sounded very exotic to me grin

When it came to naming my DDs I was gutted that Isabel was so popular and it totally put me off. Which is a shame really as I do still love it.

In the grand scheme of things it's a small thing to worry about. I never did especially, three of my children have names that are currently in the top 10 although when I had my 'lily' 11 years ago it was considered slightly risqué and grannyish!
I'd much prefer to give my child a name I love regardless of its popularity than a name I'm not so sure of that is obscure.
It just so happened that the names I loved were popular. I also love some more unusual names but DH vetoed them.
Despite my dc names being supposedly popularly there's never been more than two in their classes.

Finabhear Wed 29-Jan-14 09:50:54

In my class at school there where 7 variations on the name Mary, maria, Marie, moira, Annamarie etc. Just got a little dull.

Yes I am from Ireland grin

My dts have got pretty popular names, both are in the top 30. We liked the names before we even realised they were popular and picked them anyway despite the fact that there may be another child or more with the same name in their class. I don't regret their chosen names, they are popular for a reason.
A woman I worked with fretted over picking a nice but different name and scoffed when I told her our choices, she thought they were far too common. The name she chose was used in a tv show and is now really popular, so there are no guarantees that a name will always be unusual.

poppydaisy Wed 29-Jan-14 22:17:36

Sometimes we forget why we name a person - so they can easily be identified.

I hated being one of 4 or 5 in my year and always having to add an initial or adjective to my name. My name, having been fashionable in the 1970s (yes, names are popular for a reason!) now sounds dated.

But many parents don't seem to mind about these things.

YouGrateMyCheese Thu 30-Jan-14 00:03:59

I have to agree with poppydaisy. The top names that are being championed as "popular for a reason" will start to sound dated in the next 10 or so years. It's just the nature of names. If you look at the top 100 popular names through the decades, it's staggering to see how drastically the styles change. There are only a precious few that have never gone out of rotation.

lebkuchenlover Thu 30-Jan-14 10:07:11

"I always think that top ten names are popular for a reason grin)"

Absolutely. The reason is that these names are fashionable and, just like clothes, we all want the same ones until they are so overused that they fall out of favour and sound/look dated!

Names like Sharon, Tracy, Mike and Gary were all "popular" for the same reason!

In addition, if you have 3 or 4 Harrys or several Evies/Eves in your class (sometimes with the same surname!), things can get a little confusing at times.

There are SO many lovely names out there to choose from!!

PenguinsDontEatKale Thu 30-Jan-14 10:15:40

Yes, for me a popular name which is a log term classic- like James- wouldn't be an issue. But I would rather try and avoid names which will date badly.

PenguinsDontEatKale Thu 30-Jan-14 10:15:55

*long term

skolastica Thu 30-Jan-14 10:40:50

I raised eyebrows with a Finlay, known as Finn, twenty one years ago - never imagined it would become so popular.

notso Thu 30-Jan-14 11:04:28

3 of my DC have popular names, I didn't think they were popular at the time though. In fact I thought they wouldn't be popular.
DC4's name seems to be featured on here a lot now so will probably go the same way.
So far though DD was the only one in primary and there are only three in her secondary none in her year.
DS1 is the only one in his class and there are only three in the school.
DS2 is so far the only one is his nursery class and there is one other in the school.

I never understand what people mean when they say a name will be dated or date badly.

I had an almost popular name like being Rose in a sea of Rosie's at primary school. At the time I wanted to be another Rosie but as I got older I find it annoying that I can say " hello I'm Rose" and people say
"Hi Rosie nice to meet you"

harryhausen Thu 30-Jan-14 11:16:10

It's never bothered me at all.

My career is very unusual and creative. I have a very common 1970's name. My 3 friends at college all had the same name. In fact it bonded us together and we all chose nicknames that we still use with each other today.
When I had dcs I had lots of barbed comments from people that is chosen rather 'normal' names and people expressed surprise.

When I had dd (9) I chose I timeless top ten name that worked with the time she born so it meant something to us. She's the only one in her school of nearly 500 children.

Then I have a Harry. I knew how popular it was. I very nearly didn't choose it. However it was my granddads name and we really wanted it. I still love it. Whenever I hear another child with the name it makes me smile. There is one other in his class, and about 5 in the school.

I have no regrets. I don't get the wringing of hands about unusual names either. Just chose the band you like - if it's unusual, great. If it's in the top ten, great. Everyone's happy.

Sharaluck Thu 30-Jan-14 11:47:55

Id rather my child had a 'popular' name than a name that was very unpopular/too unusual. I'd probably rule out the top 10 (unless I loved it lots) and also any name that had become very recently popular. I'm not a big fan of 'classics' either to be honest, would prefer something that suits the era we live in.

lebkuchenlover Thu 30-Jan-14 12:01:03

"Whenever I hear another child with the name (Harry) it makes me smile"

It may make YOU smile. But it probably won't make the teacher smile who has several Harrys in her class, some of which perhaps sharing the same surname or surname initial smile.

Also, depending what area of work you're in, it can help if you have a name that easily identifies you (e.g. in terms of marketing etc).

WaveySky Thu 30-Jan-14 13:55:38

I think it's been a problem for a long while, half the girls at school were called Claire, Louise or Kelly and they all moan now that they have such generic boring names. It;s definitely something I thought about when naming my DC.

Mrsindecision Thu 30-Jan-14 14:20:34

I don't think that the duplication of names is anywhere near as predictable as it was in the 70s when the top 10 names were proportionately far more heavily used than they are now - even the most popular names these days are used by less than 1% of the population and therefore it is statistically unlikely that you will find another in a class of 30. Interestingly, the duplicated names in my dd's year group are names which you would have never predicted would be duplicated - some from even outside the top 500 for their year of birth (one being my dd's name!) I genuinely think you should choose a name you love rather than get too bogged down with its popularity.

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