Is my name too popular?

(63 Posts)
flossyflo Tue 05-Mar-13 15:33:24

34 weeks pregnant and thought we had it all sorted...

Girls name chosen as Isla months ago (in all honesty I had the gmail account already registered a few years ago not that husband knew that).

But... am now having second thoughts as just checked the ONS website and found it is ranked number 15...

Should this affect my decision. I always loved having a more unusual name and would like daughter to feel the same.

Dillydollydaydream Tue 05-Mar-13 15:38:03

It's a lovely name. My top girls name is in the top 30 but I've loved it for ages so I'll still use it.

toobreathless Tue 05-Mar-13 15:56:35


I think it's faddy, will date and two a penny. It is very 'right now' and will date in a way that equally popular girls names won't because they have pretty much always been popular such as Emily & Charlotte.

BUT it is popular for a reason, it's a very pretty yet strong girls name that suits a little girl and will equally suit a grown women.

That's not much use is it....

flossyflo Tue 05-Mar-13 16:45:17

oh god. oh god. think you might be right... faddy is not good.

Yannah2006 Tue 05-Mar-13 16:50:11

I think it's very pretty, but yes, very faddy. I wouldn't use it even though i think it's lovely. I see it as the equivalent of Claire, Elizabeth, or Louise- i know millions of those.

I sodding hate it when that happens! DS1 has a name that wasn't that popular when we named him. 7 years on, i think it's ranked around number 20 angry

RunnerHasbeen Tue 05-Mar-13 16:55:58

Number 15 isn't the same proportion of the population as when we were young though, the spectrum is much wider now.

I think it depends where you are in the country. Also, how would you feel if you didn't use it and then someone else you were close to did - would you feel a wee bit sad that you gave up on it?

We discounted a lovely boy name because of the ranking (had a DD anyway, so it didn't matter) but when I have met one I didn't think "Ha, how unoriginal," I actually respect the mother a bit more for not getting bogged down in figures and other opinions and just going for a nice name. Step away from the statistics!

flossyflo Tue 05-Mar-13 17:07:05

I just know I'd hate it if she had to be referred to as Isla S because there was another Isla in the same class....

Although after reading up on it, does seem that there is a much wider proliferation of names these days so this is less likely to occur.

Guess it depends on how tied I am to the name... DH is Scottish so we were going to do a Scottish islands theme, Harris for a future boy and Muck and Eigg for future pets. Although do know Scottish island is actually spelled Islay.... but hey ho.

Any ideas how I can find out popular the name is in my region?

HappyJoyful Tue 05-Mar-13 17:10:08

I had it on my list, but vetoed by DH. Have to say, I do agree it's one of those that I think of now as 'faddy' of 'our time' not that should stop you. I've heard a few in the last year or so, so on the increase.

givemeaclue Tue 05-Mar-13 17:10:52

There are 3 in my daughters class.

What about Iona, popular in Scotland but less so out of Scotland.

On national statistics website you can search by region but only England, Scotland, Wales etc

afrikat Tue 05-Mar-13 17:15:08

I was at a party of 18 girls on Saturday. 5 of us had the same name or a variant of it (think a popular name beginning with K). I work in a very male dominated environment but of the few females 4 of us have the same name. I can't say it's ever bothered me! Tho it does cause some confusion amongst others...

Yfronts Tue 05-Mar-13 21:00:47

Sorry I know 5 Islas but then it is a lovely name for a good reason. Other nice names are Iona and

ladymia Tue 05-Mar-13 21:39:08

Sorry but I think it's both popular and faddy too.

I think Isla is the "Megan" and "Tracey" of our time

drownangels Tue 05-Mar-13 21:43:54

I don't know anyone called that. So I would use it.

thegreylady Tue 05-Mar-13 21:49:26


sausagesandwich34 Tue 05-Mar-13 21:52:22

I know 2 people called Isla with a 25 year age gap

If you like the name use it

My dd2 has a name that was 3rd in her birth year and is still top 10 but she is the only one in her primary school

LadyWidmerpool Tue 05-Mar-13 21:52:36

It's a million times nicer than a lot of 'MN' names and there aren't any in my daughter's nursery! Her name is maybe top 30 and there are two in the nursery so I think it's luck of the draw. I wouldn't be put off.

scaevola Tue 05-Mar-13 21:55:38

I don't think if it as faddy, as I only know one (aged about 8).

BikeRunSki Tue 05-Mar-13 22:01:18

How about Iona instead? Also a Scottish island, but far less popular as a name (but beautiful).

TenthMuse Tue 05-Mar-13 22:17:17

Agree with toobreathless - it is pretty but very faddy. Every other new baby I meet/read about seems to be called Isla. Lots of celebs have chosen it too, it seems, so it's getting a lot of exposure at the moment. Reminds me of Ruby, which also came from nowhere and suddenly became ultra popular.

That said, as others have pointed out, popular names are generally popular because they're nice! If you're sure it's 'the one', use it.

MidnightMasquerader Wed 06-Mar-13 00:56:30

Agree, very faddy. It's a lovely name, but it's sort become a bit, 'mmm, nice' on account of being so widely used. I'm well outside the UK, too.

As for how popular it is your region - this is a bit of a red herring. Nobody remembers whether Claire, Karen, Sarah, Lisa, etc, were more or less popular in region X or Y; they simply associate them with a particular era/generation of girls...

catlady1 Wed 06-Mar-13 01:08:59

It's a lovely name but a bit predictable. I work in a nursery that takes about sixty children and I think there are three Islas, which, when you think of all the thousands and thousands of possible names, is a lot really. I also feel like I hear about a lot of babies being born called Isla lately. BUT that being said, don't let it put you off if you really love the name and have for a while - if you've become set on it you might regret not using it, and there's nothing to say it will stay as popular even for another year.

echidnakid Wed 06-Mar-13 04:53:03

It's a nice name and I don't think it's faddy at all, it's too traditionally Scottish to be that. I'm not in the UK but I only know of two Islas - one born to a friend in England recently and a six year old Isla here in Australia. If you LOVE it, I think you should use it.

ripsishere Wed 06-Mar-13 04:56:24

I think it's a lovely name. I only know one, born to a fiercely Scot mother and an 'I;m so enraptured with my DD I'll go along with anything dad'.
We are abroad though so not entirely representative.

magichamster Wed 06-Mar-13 05:12:53

If you love it then use it.

My DS has a really common name, according to the name lists. It's a name we both loved for years and really suits him. In his class he is 'Bert A' (obviously not the actual name!) as there are 2 of them,but there are 350 kids at his school and they are the only 2.

At one of ds2's clubs there are 2 children with the same name, but it's a really unusual name. I'd have been more gutted if I'd have given my dc what I thought was a really unusual name, only to find another.

Also remember that the name lists are not always entirely accurate. Each entry is for that only spelling. So for example, Lily can be Lily, Lilly, Lillie, Lilley, not to mention all the Lily-May's, but would all be counted as different names. Isla (and my son's name) only really have one spelling, and no obvious abbreviations (e.g. Ben/Benjamin) so maybe appears more popular than it really is.


I love it by the way smile

googietheegg Wed 06-Mar-13 05:20:27

V good point magichamster. I think Isla is lovely.

weegiemum Wed 06-Mar-13 05:44:21

I like it, but I'm in Scotland where Isla could be 1, or 7, or 15, or 28, or 50+. It's timeless where I live, but I can see how it would be faddy elsewhere. All 3 of my dc (9,11,13) have an Isla as a friend. We considered it for dd1 but went with another name in the end.

If you like island names, as you said (and I used to live in Harris, awesome name!) what about Iona, Skye or Rona/Rhona. Or a name that's popular there - Eilidh, Rowan, Catriona, Anna, C/Katherine, Isabel, Marion, Mhairi?

SanityClause Wed 06-Mar-13 06:02:42

DD2 has a name which isn't even top 100, but there were two at her nursery. The other mother had really chosen unusual names for her DC, so she, in particular, was a bit surprised when DD2 rocked up!

I don't know any Islas, but I don't know many people with babies, as my DC are a bit older, now.

nooka Wed 06-Mar-13 06:22:25

I think that the issue with Isla is that it's a name which has had a rapid rise in popularity. See this chart here: and then compare it to Iona

Iona has bobbed around at about the 300 mark for the last ten years or so, whereas Isla ten years ago was about the same, but has since risen each year since at quite a rate. So it is very of the moment.

Bakingtins Wed 06-Mar-13 06:23:52

I like the name Isla. My friend chose it 3 years ago and we all thought it was unusual, now they are everytwhere, it does seem to be very of the moment and will probably date.
However, My DS1 has a top 10 name (more classic - in the Charlotte mould) and has never had another child with the same name in his class or groups. DS2 has a name which is down in the 60s/70s and has another in one of his classes.
Magic's point about the variations affecting the populairty listing is important too, you can't move for Amelia/Milly/Lily/Lillie/Mia and Evie/Eve/Evas round here, those names are much more popular than their position on the list would suggest.
If you love it, and it's the name you've always had in mind, then use it.

nonpractisingVirgin Wed 06-Mar-13 08:34:42

I know loads of babies and only one Isla so it might be a bit of a regional thing. I'm in a big Northern city. I also have a very popular name myself (5 of us in my year at school, about 4 within a few desks at work) which is fine, at least everyone knows how to spell it!!

RustyBear Wed 06-Mar-13 08:44:06

It may be more popular than it was, but it's still only given to 0.32% of babies - about 1 in 300.

ChocolateCoins Wed 06-Mar-13 08:50:36

Am I the only one that's never heard this name before?

youfhearted Wed 06-Mar-13 08:56:03

to the child i dont think it matters at all. i had an unsual name child and to me that did matter, i quite like it now, and it is more common in children than in my day

go with the name you like

ILikeRed Wed 06-Mar-13 09:08:50

What about Shona instead? I love Isla and Orla, but they're both getting really, really popular. I had a friend called Shona at school and always thought it was a really lovely name. It's similar but not as common....

catlady1 Wed 06-Mar-13 11:29:56

I agree with Bakingtins in that there seem to be soooo many little girls called Amelia/Lily/Mia/Evie etc, and also little boys called Oliver/Oscar/Noah, yet according to some charts these names aren't even that popular (although they are near the top). It also seems like every little girl that has been born in the past few years have the same middle names - May/Mae/Grace/Rose. They're beautiful names, don't get me wrong, but I always groan a little inside when I hear about a new baby with one of these names. I do think it depends where you live though, surely it can't be the same everywhere!

RustyBear Wed 06-Mar-13 11:35:45

ChocolateCoins -Isla Fisher? Isla Blair? Isla StClair? Isla Mujeres? grin

scaevola Wed 06-Mar-13 11:38:52

How would you feel if you chose a different name, and then there were two of that name in her class?

Worse than if there were two Islas?

eminemmerdale Wed 06-Mar-13 11:42:17

My eldest dd's name was unheard of 23 years ago when she was born - except as a name for cats or puppies grin now it's about number 14!

I really like Isla. It's our back up name for DD because of the Scottish theme. What about Cara? It's just off Kintyre and means "dearest" in Gaelic.

ShowOfHands Wed 06-Mar-13 11:47:49

I named my ds Raphael which isn't popular. I then did a parentcraft session when he was 11 days old (showing couples how to change nappies/bath the baby etc) and two of the pregnant women there liked his name and used it. If I don't move and they don't move, there will be 3 in his class.

You never know.

Beamur Wed 06-Mar-13 11:50:14

I know 2 Islas (one spelt Islay) one is a young teen, the other about 7. It's not that popular or faddy where I live.
I thought I was giving my DD a fairly unusual name, but in her tiny school and class of only 4 other girls, there is another with the same name..there's another a couple of years older and I know of at least 2 more local babies with the same name. Unusual - ha!
I think if you like a name, use it.

My dd's name was no. 5 the year she was born and no. 1 the year after - I love it though, and we don't know many others!

If you love a name, go for it!

It's a lovely name but it is very popular, and because it sprang out of relative obscurity right up to the top 20, rather than a slow climb, it's going to date quite a bit over the years. Is that a problem for you? Only you can decide.

If you want to stick with Scottish islands, what about Ailsa, Cara, Shona, Iona or Vaila? Or Muck if you want to go REALLY unusual... grin

wiltingfast Wed 06-Mar-13 23:12:42

Isla is not faddy and I don't get the attitude that a name will date, it's rubbish! Maybe the makey uppy I so want to completely original names might date, but proper names do not date. People grow into their names imo. When did you last meet someone and think "that name is so dated"?!

Personally I know no islas nor have I heard of anyone using it.

So go for it and ignore the snootiness cause it's in the top 20! That's a v mn specific attitude imo.

serin Wed 06-Mar-13 23:23:44

It's a lovely name.

We spent our honeymoon on Islay and actually conceived our DD there wink

We would have loved to have called her Islay but it clashed badly with out surname.

Think along the lines of Isle of Man!

Petalpink Wed 06-Mar-13 23:29:04

Isla is very popular right now, but very nice in my opinion

amandine07 Wed 06-Mar-13 23:57:44

I love the name Isla! I'd say go for it, does it matter that it's in the top 15 or whatever? It's a beautiful name.

I don't have kids (yet) but already have a mental short-list of names, I don't think I'd be swayed too much by where they are in the popularity polls.

MidnightMasquerader Thu 07-Mar-13 01:01:49

The fact that names 'date' is not rubbish. When did you last meet a baby Dudley, Trevor, Kevin, Patricia, Barbara or Maureen?

Nothing wrong with those names, but our generation isn't exactly rushing to use them for their offspring - because they're dated to our ears. We may not necessarily use the word dated, we might think 'old-fashioned', 'middle-aged, 'frumpy', 'tired', 'dull', 'boring',* etc, etc. But the outcome is the same. The names are eschewed because they're not current, and have negative (not bad) associations.

I'm also not saying this is a reason for not picking a name you love. But like it or not, there are people out there who don't want their child to have a popular name for this exact reason. It sounds nice now, but won't forever. And when there are so many lovely names out there, it is very tempting to go for one that has more of a timeless, less-used quality about it.

*Disclaimer: I don't necessarily think these names are any of the adjectives I've listed, and can definitely see how some of them will be re-claimed in another generation or so, because they'll sound fresh to their ears. smile

serin, we had the same problem -- Isla was the girls' name both DH and I loved (this was just before it became wildly popular) but it isn't an option with DH's surname, which could well be the same as yours (nor does it sound good with mine, but on aesthetic grounds in that case).

Gwennan Thu 07-Mar-13 08:18:54

I always loved having a more unusual name and would like daughter to feel the same.
Then, quite frankly, Isla's not the name for you.

If you decide that popularity/trendiness isn't a big deal, Isla is a pretty name and a perfectly nice choice.

Taking into account combined spellings, Isla only drops from 15th to 20th. Check out this excellent list:

vess Thu 07-Mar-13 11:08:27

Every toddler group we've been to seems to have an Isla or two!
It is a nice name, though.

Fishandjam Thu 07-Mar-13 11:16:44

I love it, but I agree it's extremely popular at the moment. I am incredibly fussy about names (as my exasperated DH will confirm - naming our two DCs was a nightmare!) and one of my criteria was that the kid shouldn't be "date stamped" by their name. Unfortunately I'd personally feel that Isla has Early Twenty-Teens running through it like seaside rock. But I still like it as a name, and if I wasn't so unreasonably picky I'd possibly have used it myself.

oohlaalaa Thu 07-Mar-13 12:26:22

Well my DD's name is Ava. This has been described as faddy, but we love it and no regrets. To with the name you love.

Nancyclancy Thu 07-Mar-13 12:48:52

I would use Isla if that's the name you really like. My dd's name is not used much but when we do come across another everyone points it out.

getmeoutofthismadhouse Sat 09-Mar-13 05:06:43

But ... my son is a Jack , he is one of only a handful in his 500 strong school and that was a number 1 name for years. It depends on your area. I hardly hear his name round here.
So don't just rule out a name because of popularity that might not be the case or she could be one of 5 in her class ....

mathanxiety Sat 09-Mar-13 05:49:12

No matter what, she will be your Isla and that makes all the difference.

<Speaking as the mother of a DD whose name has been in the top 10 for years in lots of different countries -- DD was born just when the name was taking off and there have always been several in her class and on teams she has been on too. But that name is just DD to me.>

everlong Sat 09-Mar-13 16:41:27


nectarini1983 Sat 09-Mar-13 20:22:20

It's lovely but very 'in' at the mo. My best mates 9 month old is Isla Summer.

rachywhite83 Sat 09-Mar-13 20:39:09

we loved the name Isla but our surname is White so they didnt go well together !grin grin grin

PurpleStorm Sat 09-Mar-13 21:53:05

Isla's definitely got a lot more popular recently.bBut if you really love it, then I'd use it anyway.

Also, just because it's number 15 nationally doesn't mean it'll be super popular where you live.

I've come across of 3 little Isla's where I live - but on the other hand, I haven't met a single Olivia, Jessica or Ruby, and they're all top 10 names.

Southeastdweller Sat 09-Mar-13 22:00:34

It seems to be quite popular, yes, but if you really love it then I think you should use it.

But speaking as someone with a more unusual name than most, like yourself, I do understand your reluctance.

IslaMann Sat 09-Mar-13 22:09:52

I love it. If I had a DD this is on the list, hence my mn nn. Unluckily I have secondary infertility and am in my 40s so it's unlikely to ever get used.

williaminajetfighter Sat 09-Mar-13 22:41:42

Are you in Scotland OP? Here every other girl seems to be an Isla. Less common in the south I think

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now