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How popular is too popular?

(30 Posts)
Pico2 Thu 22-Jan-15 00:19:20

I spent my school years known as Pico X because there was always more than 1 with my name in my class. Though I did go to a girls' school, so that must double your chances if that being an issue.

We are waiting for DC2 to arrive. We really like a top 10 girls' name, but don't want to inflict the same on our baby (who won't go to a single sex school). How far down the list do we need to go to minimise the duplication risk?

NinjaLeprechaun Thu 22-Jan-15 01:04:45

My daughter's name was in the top 10 when she was born and she never had a class with another one. On the other hand, my name wasn't even in the top 50 and I went to school with another girl with the same name.
Which makes me think it can be a bit dependent on chance as well as statistics. If you like the name, go with the name.

DarceyBustle Thu 22-Jan-15 01:08:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

amy0787 Thu 22-Jan-15 09:42:52

My son has a name that is normally around 70 in top 100, in his pre school of around 15 children there was another one. On the other hand has the number 1 name and I have never met another one, definitely not around here. Go with what you like!

Girlwithnotattoos Thu 22-Jan-15 09:52:11

dd's Y1 class (30 children) has 3 Noahs, 2 Niamhs, and 2 oscars! None to my knowledge are top 10 names ��

invisiblecrown Thu 22-Jan-15 09:54:38

Top 150 is too popular for me. I made this decision based on my own name, and how much I loved being the only one during my childhood.

Have met only a handful since too, although it isn't a strange name. There must be plenty of babies with my name though, as it is suggested way more often on these boards than it occurs in adults.

TheRealMaryMillington Thu 22-Jan-15 10:04:01

I think there must be localised hotspots for certain names. There are 7 Tom/Tommy/Thomas/variations in my daughter's class of 31.
Which must be inconvenient, but very unusual. DS1 has a name that surged in popularity just around the time he was born (we had no idea), but no others in his school or our circle of friends etc (albeit freaking zillions every time we go to a music festival).

I think if you love a name it doesn't matter. It only seems to matter when they are babies. Once older it makes no difference at all.

seaoflove Thu 22-Jan-15 10:11:33

I used to think outside the top 100 was essential. But I'm pregnant right now and my favourite boy and girl names both edged inside the top 100 in 2013 and most likely will have gone up last year, so I'm probably going to have to move the goalposts smile

It's a question of whether it would really bother you or not, meeting other girls throughout toddler groups, school etc.

StellaGibson Thu 22-Jan-15 10:13:03

I named my daughter a name that is around 800 in the list. There is another one in her nursery. There are no Sophie's, Jessica's or Isabels. I was on the bus just after she was born and met another mum with a newborn with the same name.

I also named my 2 older daughters a name that was around 50 in the list when they were born. Now they're both top 10. I haven't come across another one of either of them though. I wish I hadn't called them those names now because I prefer something more unusual, they like their names though.

I agree there is localised differences in popularity. In my area you're more likely to come across an Inigo or an Audrey than a Tom or an Isla.

Pico2 Thu 22-Jan-15 10:31:35

I woke up this morning convinced that it's the right name if we have a girl. I just need to convince DH.

burgatroyd Thu 22-Jan-15 10:40:46

I think top 10 is way too popular. Its not just about duplicates in a class. I'm aware that trends and tastes change. If I like such a popular name subconsciously its prob because I'm influenced by a trend. I try to challenge that and think about others outside top 200.

mamaslatts Thu 22-Jan-15 10:44:57


i gave my dcs unusual name as I probably have the most popular girls name ever. It has always driven me mad. I am also 'average' in just about everything else - height, looks, personality etc so always felt I had no distinguishing features whatsoever. I am now expecting dc3 and am completely stuck for any names.

Britbird Thu 22-Jan-15 10:49:18

I think there are more girls names around now and much more diversity than when I was a child. So, a top ten girls name now will not have as many girls with that name as a top ten girls name thirty years ago did. Ie there were more girls called Sarah, than there are girls called Amelia. I haven't looked at the stats though so I'm guessing!

shoobidoo Thu 22-Jan-15 11:23:58

By avoiding the top 100 or top 250 most popular names you'll have a much higher chance of avoiding a trendy name - there will be no guarantee that the name won't rise up the charts, but by choosing an already popular one you'll know there'll be many others out there with the same name.

In my dc's classes the main duplicate names are within the top 100 - there are 3 Harrys, 3 Ellies, 2 Sams and 2 Finns.

Also, there are over 1,000 baby names that were given last year - have a look at the ONS lists - lots and lots of lovely underused names!

DilysDerwent Thu 22-Jan-15 11:41:04

It all comes down to luck. My current school has about 20 white British children and we have 2 boys with the same first name and surname, which must be pretty unlikely statistically. Use the name you love.

TempsPerdu Thu 22-Jan-15 12:57:36

For me, I'd definitely aim to steer clear of the top 100 for girls and the top 50ish for boys. For some reason choosing a popular boys' name would bother me less - probably because there seem to be more 'unusual but not outlandish' options for girls, and there are also more boys' 'classics' that don't date to the same extent. If I really fell for a very popular name, I'd probably use it as a middle name instead (also handy if you DC decides they hate their unusual name and want something more 'normal'!)

That said, there are no guarantees, even if you choose a statistically less common name - for example, there were two Ariadnes in my brother's primary school class back in the '80s! Think it also depends on geography - names like Arlo, Jasper, Elodie, Ottilie etc. are two a penny where I live in London, but would probably be seen as unusual in some other parts of the country.

Karelia81 Thu 22-Jan-15 13:05:58

Speaking as someone with an unusual name (never seen it come up on baby names threads) I'd rather go for something a little more intuitive. As an adult, I still have to tell people how to say it and where it comes from etc etc etc. People have asked if my parents were drunk when they registered me, have I thought of changing it, can they call me something else. If I were Sarah or Claire, yes, there would have been 3 others in my class but at least now I wouldn't constantly be explaining my identity.

That said, go with what you love.

Pico2 Thu 22-Jan-15 13:07:27

I used the ONS list to get a list of 24 names. I went down to 1300 in the ONS list.

curiousgeorgie Thu 22-Jan-15 13:09:45

I gave DD2 a name I thought would be guaranteed to be unique, hundreds of places down the baby name list.

In her swimming class of 6 babies she was one of two! I couldn't believe it.

I think just go for a name you like and don't worry about the stats.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves Thu 22-Jan-15 13:19:36

If it's in the top 10 now but has never even been in the top 100 before, I'd avoid it because it might become dated. This might apply if it had only had one very popular but short period before, e.g. Audrey.

On the other hand, the real classic names which have never been out of the top 50 for many centuries are not nearly as likely to date. I'd have no qualms about using any of those.

None of the above would apply anyway if I just loved the name. This was the case with my daughter's name. It was always my favourite girls' name. When I first met my husband we had a chat about names we liked. It turned out it was his favourite name for a girl too. So that was that. No further discussion needed 11 years later when I was pregnant! It wouldn't have mattered much if every other girl in the UK had been given that name that year, or if none of them had. It was the one we wanted.

charlyn Thu 22-Jan-15 13:55:23

I have a really popular name and was always encountering others growing up which I didn't like. I gave my daughter a name that I thought wasn't very popular but then since she was born its getting more and more popular and I predict will enter the top 100 soon! It ranked around 300 the year she was born.
Last week I took her to a local crèche and there was only 4 children there and another girl had the same name!
I think in the future I would aim for something outside the top 500 for a girl and 100 for a boy as I find boys names much more difficult!

CurlyRedHairNow Thu 22-Jan-15 13:57:04

If you are really concerned, you have to look not just where the name is but how fast it's travelling up the charts compared with other names of the same position.

Jackieharris Thu 22-Jan-15 13:59:59

There were 4 of me in my school year even though it wasn't a popular name.

I gave dd a more uncommon name I liked less so this wouldn't happen but there's another dd in her class. My preferred name I've never come across amongst her peers.

Unless you actually know another X of the same age I wouldn't let it influence your decision.

Sarsparilla Thu 22-Jan-15 14:38:27

I just had a look at the top 10 girls names; I only personally know children with 5 of the names, the other 5 I have never encountered a child of that name. If I extend it to the top 20, I have met/know children with 11 out of the 20 names. If I look at the bottom of the top 100, names ranked 80-100, I happen know children with 4 out of those 20 names.

On the other hand, DD's best friend at nursery, and now her best friend at school (nursery friend is at a different school) both have the same, rather unusual name, certainly one outside the top 100.

Unless you choose a name that nobody has ever heard of, there's a chance your child will meet other children with the same name, it's just one of those things.

Go for the name you love the best, and don't worry too much about popularity.

skylark2 Thu 22-Jan-15 20:44:11

Is it a generally popular name, a name which used to be right at the very top and is dropping, or a name which is on an upward curve?

If it's the third, it'll almost certainly be even more popular by the time your DD is here - the lists are always out of date.

Bear in mind that when a lot of people say "unusual", what they actually mean is "nobody my age has this name but it fits all the current 'rules' for super-trendy." I lost count of how many people I met who genuinely thought that "consonant + ayden" was an "unusual" boys name when I was expecting DS.

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