So much for being unique | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Saturday, December 15, 2007

So much for being unique

Baby Center announced its top ten lists in baby naming 2007 this past week. I am not happy. Sophia has now overtaken Emma as the number one girl name in America. And since we all know just how long Emma held the title (3 years, with another several years in the top ten), I can only assume that my baby, who I hoped had been named somewhat uniquely, will have a million other Sophias in her Kindergarten class.

Joel and I were disappointed enough when the list came out last year, 5 months after she was born. Sophia was in the top ten. Number seven to be exact. I had been a bit worried because after we named her we kept hearing, "oh, my [insert relationship here] named her baby that." On the other hand, when we named Chloe, we knew her name was in the top 30, but we have such a struggle with girl names (seriously, we have so many wonderful boy names picked out) that there really wasn't another choice. Her name has climbed steadily the past five years, but still hasn't made the top ten list.

Bria has been the only one of our chosen names that has remained totally unique. As far as I know, her name hasn't even broken the top 500 list. She loves that there is never another Bria in her classes at school and church, and that everyone tells her what a pretty name she has. She does have problems getting called Brianna or Brianne (since those names have most definitely had their stint in the top ten), but she's cool with it, and she adores her name.

So, why do I even care? Why does it irk me so much that I've chosen popular names for my kids? It might have something to do with having a fairly unique name myself, and being quite proud of that fact. Lara enjoyed a slight surge in popularity in the late 60s and early 70s because of Dr. Zhivago, but it was still only #360 on the list the year I was born. My middle name, although an alternate spelling of a top ten name, was #472.

But, the fact is: Popular or not, I love the names I chose for my girls. Not only do I love them, but Joel loves them too. And if you only knew the incredible discussion and deal-making and begging and pleading that went into the actual choosing of the last two names, you would tell me to shut up already, because do I really want to go through that again?

Besides, their names suit them perfectly.


  1. If it makes you feel any better, two of my boys' names are in the top 10, although one is spelled differently, so does that count? When we named Jayden in 2000, SO MANY people said to me, "I've never heard that name before." My mom even said something along the lines of "making up a name." And there he is, correct spelling and all, at number four. Go figure.

  2. Mine kids are #54 and #89 for 2006. Hopefully they won't get any more popular. There were always atleast 2 Heather's in every class I was ever in. It was so annoying. There are 6 women in my ward with the name Heather. Ahhh! So yea I feel your pain.

  3. Hilary, since the rise of Hillary Clinton has has one of the biggest downfalls in girl's names in history.
    And that's a fact.

  4. top ten or not, you have wonderful names for your girls! about our name, it is pretty unique, although, last time in Vienna I turned my head once or twice, since I heard it called. but it was just two Serbian little girls (the name is very popular there). but I am rather pleased with this: it's a beautiful name we're having, isn't it? Love, Lara.

  5. Oh, I know what you mean. I like the "common" names, but not the "popular" names. We've been pretty fortunate, in not being overrun with kids sharing my kids names, but there is another Sarah (ours is spelled Sara) in my daughters class.

    Frankly, though, I'd be more interested in the Social Security list of 2007 baby names -- considering that their list takes data from over 4 million social security applications (for 2006, anyway), rather than 300,000 like BabyCenter. Not to say that the numbers won't be similar -- but Social Security's list would hold more water for me. Of course, their list won't be out for a few more months because 2007 isn't officially over. :)

    Sophia was number 9 in 2006, according to SocSec. Does that make you feel a little better? :)

    Bottom line - you like their names, they (so far) like their names, and that's all that matters. The recent drama in our household is that Sara no longer likes her name because she can't have a nickname. Rebecca gets called Becca all the time. :) You win some, you lose some, ya know?

  6. Me again...

    This site is SO cool:

    You can enter your kids names and it will give you the popularity of it over a period of years.

    The highest ranking Bria ever got over the past 15-years is 175 in 1993. I'd say that's still a pretty unique name. :)

  7. My Bria hates her name! She always wants to be called "Aubrey" or "Amber"!
    So, what are all the boy names you like? Maybe you won't say? We are the complete opposite! We have tons of girl names we like, and no boy names! We had the hardest time naming Micah and Colton. I actually didn't like their names 100% for awhile...but, as you said of your girls, the names suit them perfectly!
    It's funny to me that you are so "up" on the rankings of names! I know who to come to with name questions!!!

  8. I'm with you, Lara. I liked Emma way back in the early 90's when it was out of style. I would never name a girl Emma now because it's too popular. And I liked Lily back then, too, when it was in the 400's. Let's just pretend that everyone else is copying our ideas and leave it at that, shall we?

  9. We have purposely tried to avoid the common, popular names of the day for the very reason you state-not wanting our kid to have to be Sarah P. instead of just Sarah.
    So, we thought we were totally safe with Ryanna and then along comes this hoochy looking singer Rhiana and now everyone's going to think we named her after that girl!
    I think Owen is in the top 30 for boys and that's pretty safe so far. We couldn't agree on anything else given that Derek said it had to be a family name and there was no way I was using Phil. What a struggle.

  10. Ashley was the most common name at my school. I swear their were like twenty Ashley's in my graduating class. I am surprised that it still seems to be pretty popular. My girls have pretty unique names, I have known someone with each of their names though. People either comment on how they like the different names or their eyes tell a different story. The only problem is that no one can ever spell them right! Oh well we like them and that is all that matters.

  11. What a fun discussion you opened here Lara. I agree in that I think most people want their kids to have "unique" or uncommon names. In school, I always enjoyed the fact that my name was not very common, I don't think I ever had another in any of my classes, although everyone thought it was short for Christina (which it isn't).
    Like you and Joel, we have had the hardest time agreeing on names for our kids. With both of our boys, it got to the point where discussion had to stop until the baby was actually born because we were literally at each other's throats. And both times, even after we had decided on a name, I still wasn't very fond of it for a long time. In contrast, naming our girl was easy, we have a ton of girl names that we both like. So go figure. :)

  12. I love the name Emma. . . but have avoided it for this very reason. Sad huh?! I am hoping Ainsley's name stays a little more uncommon :)

    I love your girls names as well!

  13. I love this topic because I too have picked very unique names and we (hubstar and I) love it! I don't think I've ever seen Quinn on the girls list before and I'm pretty sure August isn't on the boys. Now, unless you speak French or maybe even Spanish, then Ciel will only look like SEAL to the average Joe. However, just to clarify it means heaven or sky in French. We love our names and I'm glad you love yours too-stupid lists!!!

  14. I know how you feel! Ellie and Sadie aren't in the top 1o, but they seem to be more and more common these days. I don't want them to ever have to have an initial at the end of their name.

  15. I thought that I was unique with Olivia Mae, I love the old fashion names myself, but apparently EVERY one else does, too. I even dare say when I am pregnant again, it'll be a boy, and we're going with Issac Brigham..........

  16. It is funny how they end up fitting whatever names they get, isn't it? I thought I got it about right with both Casandra and Jared but what I didn't realize is that Jared seems more popular in the Jewish preschools. So the year he was in pre-k, there was a Jared in every age group at his school!

  17. I saw that list too. I have always wanted to name my little girl (imaginary for now), "Isabella". Well, not the most unique name anymore, but still darling.

    I LOVE the girls names and they all suit them and "Bria" is still very unique