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Bad idea to choose a popular name?

(36 Posts)
foxcote90 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:21:58

So we are due anytime now and still haven't decided on a name. All the way through this pregnancy I had Lily in my head for some reason, however as the pregnancy has gone on I've realised how popular it is and have heard of so many people using it.

So a question for you. As someone with a very uncommon name myself I don't know if having a popular name is a bad thing or not.

I certainly don't want her to be in a class with 4 other Lily's but I don't know if that's realistic anyway - since everyone seems to be choosing quite unusual names now and there's 1000s to choose from, would it be ok? Or do you know lots yourself and think it's a bad idea?

Our second favourite is Jemima (Mima for short) which is very uncommon so completely the opposite side of the spectrum!


OP’s posts: |
ImportantWater Thu 13-Feb-20 08:30:49

Well, DS1 has a top 10 name for his year and DS2 a top 20 name, and there hasn’t been an issue. DS1 had one other in his class, but goes by a diminutive anyway. DS2 has not had another in his class ever but we do hear it a lot when out and about!
I think you can’t really know which names everyone is suddenly going to decide to call their children anyway - there were two Hamishs in our baby group and we are as far from Scotland as it’s possible to be! I suppose if a name was crazy popular and had been number one for years I wouldn’t use it - Oliver, Jack, Isabella, at the height of their popularity - but I think Lily is OK.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Thu 13-Feb-20 08:35:37

It's only a problem if it bothers you or not. Not only that but you never know with names. You could go with Jemima and there could be 3 in her class and no Lilys in her year group. E.g. My DD was born 1999. The forth most popular name was Sophie. However there wer e no Sophies in her year group, let alone her class.

BlueEyedFloozy Thu 13-Feb-20 08:37:59

If you love Lily go for it, names drop in and out "fashion" unpredictably and it varies by area too despite the UK wide lists!

My DS has a name that was just inside the Top 50 when he was born but there were 4 in his class at nursery/primary school - other than adding a letter to distinguish which one they were talking to it made no difference to him. He's in secondary now and they've all been seperated anyway.

I have a name that I need to spell all the time and would rather have a common name.

BadCatDirtyCat Thu 13-Feb-20 08:48:03

I have the most popular name for my year (and probably for about 10 years in he 80s) and have honestly never minded. It's a classic that has never been associated with any particular class, travels well and (almost) everyone can spell it. There have been a few times in my life where there have been more than one of us in the office (never in the same class at school if I recall correctly), and maybe it had been mildly inconvenient but never enough to bother me.

There is far more variety in names these days so the "top 10" names are used by fewer people and are actually less common than they were in the 80s (if that makes sense).

Mainly what I'm saying is - if you love the name go for it smile

Whatsyourflava Thu 13-Feb-20 10:05:07

I wouldn’t worry too much with Lily @foxcote90

If you look at the official statistics, the name has been on a downward trajectory since 2011.
The most recent year we have statistics for, the number of Lily’s had halved from 2011 to 2018 and they’ll be even less by 2020
Obviously it’s relatively popular but if anyone who has a 2011/2012 baby tells you it’s popular , it’s a very different story now so thought you might want to bear that in mind. I like Jemima but prefer Lily

Nowayorhighway Thu 13-Feb-20 10:05:23

Jemima is lovely, I would choose that.

Issue is name trends change all of the time. My almost 9 year old DD has a name that wasn’t even in the top 100 when she was born, then a certain celebrity used it as her DD’s middle name and now it’s in the top 20 sad. There’s just no way of predicting how fashions will change so just use whichever you like you best.

Twickerhun Thu 13-Feb-20 10:07:54

I actually know more little Jemima’s than Lily’s...

blondie87 Thu 13-Feb-20 13:09:49

Funnily enough even though Jemima is more unusual I actually know two under four! I also know a couple of Lily’s. I would go with what you like rather worrying too much about popularity as you don’t know how many you will come across! One of my sons has a relatively unusual name and I have met two others recently.

BestBeforeYesterday Thu 13-Feb-20 13:14:12

I avoided popular names because they all go out of fashion sooner or later, and then it will sound like the name has aged badly. So the very popular Sophie might sound really dated in the future.
Not everyone is bothered about this of course, but I decided to go for either classic or unusual names.

Astronica Thu 13-Feb-20 13:21:48

I think you should go with the name you love the most. I think there are more important issues than popularity, ie how good it sounds with the surname, and how much you love it. Popularity may be just one factor, and how important that is really is very personal. Some people prefer having a popular name.

Lavenderblues Thu 13-Feb-20 14:02:20

Popular names have two disadvantages

1) they are fashionable for a few years and inevitably fall out of fashion, often sounding 'dated'

2) they don't do a good job at identifying a person, who often has to add a surname initial or other adjective.

Lavenderblues Thu 13-Feb-20 14:05:51

*I have a name that I need to spell all the time and would rather have a common name.*

Common does not mean obvious to spell (eg Catherine/Kathryn, Clare/Clair etc) and equally unusual names (as in not popular) are often super easy to spell!

BobbyBlueCat Thu 13-Feb-20 14:14:22

I've never understood why people are so against using a popular name.

Just pick your favourite name and use it!

Batqueen Thu 13-Feb-20 14:18:53

I have a very popular name for my age group. It was a bit annoying at school, then wasn’t a problem for years until recently as my brother is dating a woman with my name which is apparently super difficult for people to deal with hmm. It gets annoying when my family then decide that they get to refer to me as Bat 2nd name or a freaking nickname that I’ve never had because of it! I’m your bloody daughter!

Lollygaggles Thu 13-Feb-20 14:20:52

We chose the name William for our son because we have a very unusual surname and I hoped that everyone at least would be able to spell "Will". I was fully prepared for there to be hundreds of other little boys with the same name, but in fact there was only one other William at his first Primary. He's since moved to a different school and was delighted to find he's now one of four. grin
Just choose the name you like, that suits your baby and honours your own traditions.

BlueEyedFloozy Thu 13-Feb-20 14:30:27

@Lavenderblues I have one of those types of names and it drives me batshit sometimes - even my family spell it wrong sometimes 🤔

I guess I mean common as in popular, well known with traditional spelling (there are 4 variations of my very 80's name but mine is the least common form) rather than having to state the spelling before they ask.

Added to this is my unusual seemingly unpronounceable surname.

I wish I was called Amanda Smith or something as it'd be less tedious 🤣

babysnowman Thu 13-Feb-20 14:32:42

I have a Lily.

Before she was born I did think about it being too popular a name. But honestly, I just love it and am so glad I picked my favourite name rather than using one I didn't like as much just because it was more unusual. I won't have any regrets if there are 1 or 2 others in her class with the same name.

Go with you favourite!

babysnowman Thu 13-Feb-20 14:34:19

We also have one of the most common surnames 🤷🏻‍♀️

Narcheska Thu 13-Feb-20 14:36:22

I have an Oliver. Everyone and my dog told me I would regret it there's millions now of them around. Haven't met a single other one his age or his older brother (8) everyone's too busy finding different and unique names.

If you love the name shouldn't matter

mondaynoon Thu 13-Feb-20 14:38:01

Just use a name you like. My DD has a very common name but she was the only one in her small primary. Lots more in secondary though! There were two boys in her class who shared a very unusual name so you just don't know what will happen. Another friend of mine wanted an unusual name for their DS but it became very popular a couple of years after they named him - it's now in the top 10!

Bluerussian Thu 13-Feb-20 14:41:05

There's nothing wrong with choosing a popular name, especially if it is fairly ordinary. Then at least the child will not hate it or grow up hearing fellow pupils taking the mick.

Lily is lovely.

elp30 Thu 13-Feb-20 14:43:17

If you love a name, use it!

I have an Adam and in his 22 years, he's only encountered one other Adam and he's my first cousin and 41.

My daughter has a more unusual name and one of her high school teachers has her first and middle name too! I found that odd.

Lily is a great name and I'm sure your little girl will suit her name just fine.

HoHoHolyCow Thu 13-Feb-20 14:45:09

DS1 has a relatively uncommon (but classic/biblical) name. I have only ever met one other DC with the name...and they are in the same class at school! Neither of them are remotely bothered.
DS2 has a much more popular name. There are others in his school, but not in his class.
Use the name you love.

Whatsyourflava Thu 13-Feb-20 14:52:22

I agree you can’t predict that a particular name might suddenly boom (eg name Harper after the Beckhams used it)

But if you look at the trajectory on the dark greener website you can pretty much predict what will happen to most names @Nowayorhighway

Lily has been on a downward trajectory for years now (each and every year) so you can guess with some certainty that that pattern is likely to continue

I wonder if your daughters name was already coming up the charts even before the celeb used it? Have you checked the website. I’d be interested but I’m a name nerd 🙈

I also know more Jemimas than Lily’s

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