How popular is TOO popular?

(59 Posts)
FredFlintstonesSister Tue 17-Dec-13 14:54:01

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?

NeedlesCuties Tue 17-Dec-13 15:11:01

Top 10 was too popular for me. Think my kids names are both in the top 60-top 70. Popular enough to not be confused or hmm but not popular enough to have them turn round 10 times in the playground when other kids are called.

NomDeClavier Tue 17-Dec-13 15:26:57

I think top 50 is risky as they're likely to have been or to become top 10 over a 10 year period.

The other option is to count up how many little girls you know or know of with that name. Some names can be very geographically concentrated.

Ragwort Tue 17-Dec-13 15:29:34

Choose the name you like - my DS's name is apparently in the top 5 grin - he genuinely doesn't have any others by the same name in his (wide) circle of friends/acquaintances. We attend a large church and there is one (much older) person there with the same name.

OhCaptainDarling Tue 17-Dec-13 15:31:25

Top 10 was also a no no for us, but girl wise that didn't matter as nothing grab us, for boys it's been a pain fgrin

Towards the end of my pregnancy with DC1, we argee nothing in the top 30/50.

DD's name is in the 400! DC2 yet to be decided.

But ultimately if you love the name you should pick it, if you don't i think you're massively regret it. Thomas, Oliver and Jack are all massively popular names yet I only know 1 of each under 5. You can just never tell you might pick a name that isn't popular and within five years it tops the charts.

Utter minefield and tell you this naming malarkey!

Bumpsadaisie Tue 17-Dec-13 15:34:57

My DS is Thomas. Out of a vast acquaintance of children, I only know one other Thomas, and he is 13.

That said, the school abounds with Lilys and Mollys and Jacks.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Tue 17-Dec-13 15:35:43

See, the 'top ten' shouldnt be discounted due to how many you will.know. The number one boys name given last year went to less than 1% of ALL boys born tgat year. Therefore, you would statistically need to know 100 girls borb tge same year to stand a chance of finding another one.

Additionally, top 10 names are there for good reason.

My dds year, she was one of only 13 born with the same name. However I went to softplay and found one.of the other 13!

Go for a name you like. Better to be Grace B (or whatever) and you love the name Grace than be Jocelyn (and only be OK with the name)

elvisola Tue 17-Dec-13 15:37:10

It doesn't always work out like you would think. My 2 daughters both have names sitting firmly in the Top 10, they are described on here as "too popular" but in a double intake infant school of 240 pupils they are the only ones with their names.

There are however 2 Mabel's, about 10 Sonny's and a number of other less popular name duplications, picked presumably so they weren't one of a few in class.

scaevola Tue 17-Dec-13 15:37:28

It's difficult to predict.

Which would make you feel worse - choosing a name you love that is currently popular, or choising what you believe is a name unlikely to be duplicated and then finding sod's law means s/he has a identically named classmate?

Rosencrantz Tue 17-Dec-13 15:42:50

I always judge around my own name. Was I happy with its popularity? Yes was the answer, so I chose a name around the same level or less popular.

My name hovers around 160 and has done for 20 years or so.

TheZeeTeam Tue 17-Dec-13 15:45:17

I agree with Mortified. Ignore popularity and choose a name you like. Popularity changes rapidly anyway. You only need one or two famous people to choose it for their children, or for it be the name of a character in a popular book, and it's flying up the charts

12 years ago, when we had DD, her name was very uncommon in the UK. Now it's in the top 10. We named her after her Grandmother and still think it's a beautiful name that really suits her.

I wanted to avoid top 20 with DS1 and his was about no. 63 I think. Since then it's moved to 31 but I love the name so I don't mind.

For DS2 (due any day), all the names I like and agree with DH on seem to be in the top 15. If it comes down to choosing between a name we love (and goes with DS1's name and our surname etc) and one that isn't popular then the compromise we'll make is the popularity.

FredFlintstonesSister Tue 17-Dec-13 15:57:19

I think people are right; that liking a name is more important than how popular it is. It's difficult, because I don't know anyone else with young children so have no idea what's popular in my area! Just going by the Scotland-wide list.

Theonlyoneiknow Tue 17-Dec-13 16:26:41

Agree, if you love a name the popularity shouldnt put you off as it might turn out there are no other children with that name in your area. I dont know anyone called Jack for example.

Gro Scotland statistics issue the top ten names by council area which is interesting. Some names which are no.1 in one area dont make the top ten on another.

wigglesrock Tue 17-Dec-13 17:08:40

My 3 daughters have very popular names. It honestly doesn't bother me. I have a 6 year old Olivia smile , she's the only one in her school year (intake of 63), was the only one in nursery school & is the only one in our street.

Meglet Tue 17-Dec-13 17:12:27

Top 100.

I have to live with an eternally popular name and it's pretty annoying. The dc's were given names that will hopefully never be that common.

jellyandcake Tue 17-Dec-13 17:15:52

I had an extremely high ranking name the year I was born. Never had someone with the same name in my class/social circle at school, college, uni or the workplace! I don't know where they all are! My children's name choices are top 40 I think - not unusual at all but they don't feel stale, not to me anyway. I would have loved Ruby for a girl and wouldn't have been put off by that being so popular but I have boys and am a bit less keen on the top ten boys' names!

jellyandcake Tue 17-Dec-13 17:19:52

In fact Google says my name was #1 the year I was born but I have never felt it was especially common and it's never bothered me. Have very unusual surname though so maybe that's why I have always felt my name to be quite unique.

curiousgeorgie Tue 17-Dec-13 17:22:14

My DD1's name is pretty popular... I think it's around the 30 mark and we never meet any. (Though I read it a lot on here.)

My DD2's name is pretty unique, way up there in the thousands and yet in a swimming class of 4 there's another one!!! I couldn't believe it.

You have to remember as well, that they are only going to be at school for 14 years, after that they are off into the wider world where they are diluted amongst people from every other generation, so unlikely to be Grace B in the workplace grin

Also agree with others, you never know about regional differences in popularity until after you have named them. There are two Amelies in DS's preschool, out of 24 children, and it's not that far up the charts. I also know two girls called River, which is definitely not a common name!

HaleyDunphy Tue 17-Dec-13 17:39:31

My name is always in the top 15, mostly top 10. I didn't meet any others until high school, and there were 3 or 4 of us I think. I didn't care or think twice about it. Go with what you love. I'm annoying myself atm trying to find something 'different'.

BananaHammocks Tue 17-Dec-13 18:40:12

I would maybe choose something near the bottom end of the top 100 if I really loved it but I'm more conscious of looking up names on Darkgreener and seeing if they are shooting up! If it's 150 and shooting up I'd be more likely to avoid it than if it was 80 and tailing off in popularity.

The problem is names that I like that are not popular are often not popular for a reason and as my child is going to have to live with the name not me I think I do have to consider other people opinions. I'm finding it really hard to find a balance!

missmargot Tue 17-Dec-13 18:42:29

For me personally there is a difference between 'classic popular' names like Sam, Tom, Emily etc and 'trendy popular' names like Archie, Alfie etc. Personally I am comfortable with using the former but with the latter nothing in the current top 50, ideally not the top 100.

Wishfulmakeupping Tue 17-Dec-13 19:02:19

I avoided the top 50 altogether when I was looking for dd's name if I was ever expecting a boy I don't think I could do that only like a couple of names and they're top 20

FredFlintstonesSister Tue 17-Dec-13 19:03:09

It can be hard to decide what is "classic" though! Something like Emily is probably an obvious one but what about Molly or Grace? Do we just think they are "classic" because they are fairly popular with a particular group of people? Are they "classic" enough for it not to matter how far up the charts they are? Or are they just a fad? See, it's a minefield!

Lebkuchenlover Tue 17-Dec-13 19:55:13

Avoid the top 100 - there are lots and lots of lovely underused classics that aren't too trendy at the moment.

Theonlyoneiknow Tue 17-Dec-13 19:56:50

bananahammocks has hit the nail on the head here
"The problem is names that I like that are not popular are often not popular for a reason and as my child is going to have to live with the name not me I think I do have to consider other people opinions. I'm finding it really hard to find a balance!"

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Tue 17-Dec-13 20:00:27

Ds' name is top 10 I think, and I love it. And so far I've yet to meet another boy the same age with it too. I do work in a school and it is popular name though. It doesn't bother me one bit, but then again I'm not particularly fond of really unusual names.

Mrsindecision Tue 17-Dec-13 20:15:54

I agree with many of the previous posters, choose a name you love rather than worry about its popularity. My dd has a name that was outside the top 500 for the year she was born and there is another in her class at school (plus I also have come across at least 2 others of a similar age). Fortunately we chose the name because we loved it so it doesn't bother us at all. Also, rather bizarrely, 3 girls that my dd does a sports class with share a name that was ranked just below number 700 for their year of birth (they were all born in the same school year). You really just cannot tell!

lestagal78 Tue 17-Dec-13 23:03:20

My criteria when choosing names was does the name work for them in whatever profession they choose to do and not be too tied into an era. As someone with a very 70/80's name and not used now it was important that their names didn't tie them to an era.

My DD's names have been top 5 for most of their lives, DS has a name that skirts the top 10.

None of them have names that they have been more than the only one of the year (apart from a few months at nursery when DS was one of 3). Other names that you would say are less popular are everywhere. At the risk of outing me DS has 2 girls of a name that hasn't really been popular since the 90's in his class.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 17-Dec-13 23:17:35

I think you just have to choose something you like, although saying that, I've just checked and DD's name is just indie the top 2000. Uncommon but spell able we're our key criteria.

Out of interest, how do you find out how many babies we're born with a particular name in a particular year?

ZombieSquirrel Wed 18-Dec-13 01:12:22

I agree, something you like. DS1 had a Top5 name at birth. Now it it is under the 50 mark! Popularity fluctuates, how much you like the name shouldn't iyswim.

MartyrStewart Wed 18-Dec-13 01:19:38

I have a Jack - I knew he would be one of several but it just suited him so we went for it.

I think locality has a part to play as well - If he had been a girl he would have been Eva (shortened to Evie) which I would have thought would have been the same scenario but there are no Evies in his school.

There are, however, 3 Destinys and two Trinitys :D

Can you guess the kind of area I live in?

mathanxiety Wed 18-Dec-13 02:53:25

One of my DDs was, unbeknownst to me, No 1 and had been in the top 5 for a good while, and still is, 15 years later. It turned out to be a blessing as this particular DD stands out for her flaming red curly hair and pale complexion, big blue eyes. She is also very shy and overthinks everything. Giving her one of the names I was considering - a lot of them were way out - would have made her stand out even more. She ended up as one of two with her name in her class. She is also known as one of the four redheads in her class.

One of the names was Clementine, which would have been ridiculous with the red hair.

Two other DDs were the only one in school with their name. They complained occasionally.

Last DD has a very unusual name, but we met the only other one we've ever run across on her first day in kindergarten, so she too was one of two in her class.

BeattieBow Wed 18-Dec-13 05:41:25

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.

Rosa Wed 18-Dec-13 05:46:46

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.

bryte Thu 19-Dec-13 11:47:39

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 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.

YoDiggity Thu 19-Dec-13 12:03:37

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.

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 fsmile) and this years regional list.

Vintagebeads Thu 19-Dec-13 17:28:14

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.

qumquat Fri 20-Dec-13 11:05:44

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.

amandawaters Fri 20-Dec-13 11:42:59

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,
Amanda smile

PenguinsDontEatStollen Fri 20-Dec-13 11:46:10

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.

curlew Fri 20-Dec-13 11:49:49

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"!

PenguinsDontEatStollen Fri 20-Dec-13 11:52:40

I don't remember being overly bothered eithersmile

squeak2392 Sat 21-Dec-13 14:36:10

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.

LynetteScavo Sat 21-Dec-13 14:44:48

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.

Mehrida Sat 21-Dec-13 14:46:42

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.

LynetteScavo Sat 21-Dec-13 14:46:49

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. grin

DoItTooBabyJesus Sat 21-Dec-13 14:50:12

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!

BonnieWeeJeannieMcCall Sat 21-Dec-13 14:54:15

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).

LynetteScavo Sat 21-Dec-13 14:55:49

Mind you, my name was really unusual when I was's now in the top 10. hmm

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.

YoDiggity Sat 21-Dec-13 16:40:11

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.

cheesypastaplease Sun 22-Dec-13 08:24:23

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!

Tikkamasala Sun 22-Dec-13 12:53:36

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!

BackforGood Sun 22-Dec-13 13:19:40

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..... grin

Linguaphile Sun 22-Dec-13 13:26:43

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).

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