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Think you've decided on a name? Check out where it ranks on the official list of the most popular baby names first.

Does it matter if children have a popular name?

(21 Posts)
Mumwithadragontattoo Fri 29-Jul-11 11:24:44

One of my children's names has really risen in the popularity stakes in recent years and is now in the top 5. Will it matter that they have such a popular name? What are the problems with having a popular name?

scarlettlips Fri 29-Jul-11 11:37:47

Hi Mumwithadragontattoo just posted the same thread...!!


GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 29-Jul-11 11:44:52

Speaking as someone with probably the most popular 70's name ever, I have always been one of about 8 in my close environment. There were loads in my class at school, never mind my year and now three of us in an office of 10. My entire life, my name has been Gwen L as opposed to just Gwen. Even when I was nannying the children I looked after called me Gwendolinelacey all run into one to distinguish from one of my charges who was also Gwendoline.

There is absolutely no sense of identity in that setting. To have someone at work call out Gwen! And have three people look up and say "what?" is horrible. I was copied in on an email at work last year from a senior manager (not mine) who was asking my manager to 'get one of the Gwendolines to do such and such'. That pissed me right off.

Hence why I make sure that DD's name was well out of the top 50. Obviously there is no guarantee that there won't be another one in her class but it's less likely. The name I've got in mind for dc2 if a girl has just gone out of the top 100 and I'm delighted.

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 29-Jul-11 11:45:30

Disclaimer: My name isn't actually Gwendoline grin

scarlettlips Fri 29-Jul-11 11:47:13

I would be very upset if DD's name shot up the ranking...however it's never going to beat all the Jessica and Emily etc.

Which is FINE by me!!

muminthemiddle Fri 29-Jul-11 12:04:44

Not sure!
I have an uncommon name but it is not an "out there" name. It has never raised an eyebrow but the only thing I ever had with my name on as a child was a broach!
I love it now as I am the only x and it flows well with my surname. A colleague recently commented on how nice my name is!
However as a child I longed to be one of the many with the same name in my class, but then again I hated my long,dark hair and longed to be mousey.

hiccymapops Fri 29-Jul-11 12:09:10

I think if it's the name that you've chosen, and feels right, it doesn't really matter.

Ds1 has a very popular name, and I was very surprised there isn't another in his class. I am glad though smile.

seeker Fri 29-Jul-11 12:09:35

have a look at this

SpangledPandemonium Fri 29-Jul-11 12:10:00

There can't be one answer can there? Depends on the child, as well as many other factors. There were always lots of my name around when I was growing up and it didn't bother me in the least. In fact, I'm sure it helped me bond with another Spangled when we met on the first day at University! But not everyone feels the same way.

PipFEH Fri 29-Jul-11 12:30:32

I have a relatively uncommon name but still manage to find plenty of people who share it! My hubby is one of 4 with the same name within our little circle (well 2 Johns and 2 Jonathons, both of whom go by Jon), and we just call them by their last names!

With my eldest I deliberately sought an uncommon name, but typically it has risen a lot over the last 3 years since we chose it. My daughter's name was in the 30's and is now in the 20's - lots of progress in 2 years! This time I have decided I don't give a monkeys and have a choice of 2 quite popular names. There are lots of ways to be individual.

startail Fri 29-Jul-11 12:52:38

I'm an eccentric soul so it was probably the 101 other Stars at school who hated having the same name as megrin
Mostly it caused no trouble as we all choose different nn and were split across different forms.
The only time it drove me mad was at guides. The leader was called Star so of course I'd turn round a lot when it was her people wanted.
Felt very sorry for the 2 girls with exactly the same name (school didn't even realise there were 2 and had to do some quick form allocation on the first day of term).
They had a fairly common regional surname, but they were the only "Pertunias" in the entire high school

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 29-Jul-11 13:37:21

Depends on how popular it is, which can be very hard to judge. We gave DS a name in the top 50 and there is only one other in his school whereas there are some children with more unusal names where there are 2 in the same class. Name can also be very regional, Evie has been very popular around here for 4 years whereas in other areas there is hardly one.

If you are going for a name in the top 5 though I would seriously reconsider. I was one of 5 Jilted's in my class and am one of 3 at work. My sister also has the most popular name for her year which is the same as my bf's, and lots of other people in our social circle.

Enjoyed watching David Mitchell's soapbox, agree that you can choose a name without baggage and not too common without sentencing your child to a lifetime of ridicule.

violetwellies Fri 29-Jul-11 13:45:23

DS name in top 10, but named after his grandfather, my uncle and a very dear friend, its not my fault that lots of other people like it smile

Bartimaeus Fri 29-Jul-11 13:50:01

In the year I was born my name was number 1.
I've never been in a class with another "Bart", there were 3 of us in a year of 200, and since I've left school I haven't often met another "Bart".

So having the most popular name didn't actually have any effect whatsoever! Except that it's a very classical name, easily spelt etc.

pilates Fri 29-Jul-11 14:05:24

I can't understand the big deal about having a unique/uncommon christian name.

My name was popular in it's day and so are my childrens, so what, I don't have a problem with it and it doesn't bother them. It's almost like they share a bond with the other children who have the same name as them.

bruffin Fri 29-Jul-11 14:14:12

"My name was popular in it's day and so are my childrens, so what, I don't have a problem with it and it doesn't bother them. It's almost like they share a bond with the other children who have the same name as them"
Totally agree - both my dcs have classic biblical names so alway popular.

However DS 15 has been christened "Ralph" by his mates nowadays.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 29-Jul-11 14:53:18

That has happened to all three of my DS's names. Two are in the top 5 now and the other is in the top 10. Two weren't in the top 30 when they were born, but everyone else seemed to suddenly like them too. TBH, they are lovely names, they are popular for a reason and my boys are quite individual enough not to care.

Also, the top names today aren't given to as many children as say 'David' was given to children in the 60s, there are so many more names chosen that the number of top ten names given to children would have got them only into the top 20 back then.

fastweb Fri 29-Jul-11 14:59:24

My name is Sarah, back in the day it was VERY popular. But I like it anyway.

My son has one fo the most popular boy's names in Italy. Don't care, he is named for his grandfather and we like it. Although... his nickname is very unusual for around here.

Quenelle Fri 29-Jul-11 15:21:40

I think more children might be more bothered having a unique name than a popular one. They might not like to stand out, or it might just be a nuisance having to spell it all the time.

I had a very common 70s name. I was one of three in my primary school class. At one company I worked for, there were three of us out of only 11 employees. It wasn't a problem. We just answered to Quenelle N, O and P.

When we chose DS's name we had no idea where it ranked in the ONS table. We just liked it and it went well with our surname.

Mumwithadragontattoo Fri 29-Jul-11 16:44:38

Thanks everyone - I feel reassured that it shouldn't affect them too much except for a degree of Gwen H and Gwen G-ing. And hopefully that shouldn't be too much of an issue. I still love my DD's name but was just worried she would be caught up in a sea of others.

I enjoyed the David Mitchell video but then I suppose he is a David so he would say that. I remember some research a few years ago where the most successful names in terms of careers were David and Susan. I suppose there is something to be said for a well known name.

mich54321 Fri 29-Jul-11 18:38:26

As EllenJaneisnotmyname says, there are so many more names these days to choose from. Looking at the 2010 stats, just over 5000 girls were called Olivia (top name) - that isn't that great a number when you look at the total number of babies born. Also, you can choose a name that isn't really popular and all of a sudden shoots up the popularity chart. Also, people have different nn so even if eg they were called Isobel, they may be known as Izzy, Belle, use full name, etc.

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