When I asked readers to share what they consider the most difficult aspect of finding a baby name, not surprisingly, one of the top 4 was the fear that their child would share a name with many others.
In most areas of life, popularity is sought, not avoided, but with baby names, popularity is like a disease—something to avoid.
Our children are all special snowflakes to us. We–understandably—want their moniker to represent their individuality.
And yet most of us want our child to have a name that fits in a little—and herein lies the problem.
Any name that fits in is susceptible to discovery by everyone else. Any name susceptible to discovery could become more popular. Formerly obscure names have been known to zoom up the baby name ranks seemingly overnight.
The logical argument has been used to assuage popularity fear before.
The logical argument, as you may already know, if you follow baby name discussions closely, is that fewer babies get top 10 names now than in years past.
Statistically speaking, there is little chance that a child born 2012 and given the top boy or girl name (Jacob or Sophia) will become 1 of 5+ in a class of 20 kids because only about 1 in 100 babies get the top baby name each year. (In 2012, 0.94% of boys were named Jacob and 1.15% of girls were named Sophia.)
This fact is touted a bit, and yet this fact has done little to ease popularity fear.
This is because popularity fear is not a logical fear–it’s an emotional fear.
And I get it.
I too once dreaded the possibility that my children could share their names with several others. After all, they are my little snowflakes.
That’s why I’m not going to address this emotional fear with logic. I’m not going to bombard you with statistics. And this is coming from a former Market Research Analyst who loves statistics. I’m especially obsessed with baby name statistics.
But I’m not going to throw any statistics at you today. Instead, I’m going to attempt to connect with you on a personal level.
Readers: When it comes to names, how popular is too popular? Under what circumstances would you use a popular name?
I would like to thank my camera man, none other than my patient hubby Rob. He sacrificed part of his Sunday, and his only compensation is my happy gratitude. But as the saying goes, when the wife’s not happy… nobody’s happy.