Monday, August 26, 2013

Mommy Mondays: The Infant Guide to Popularity (Names)

While we were in Yosemite, we ran into a family who had a teenager with the same name as Thatbaby.  It got me thinking about popularity and names.

You see, we picked Thatbaby's name in 2009, before we were even trying to make a Thatbaby.  At the time, it was a name we hadn't heard used by anyone, although it was a recognizable name.  Which was one of the reasons we liked it.   Growing up, I had a fairly common name.  Common enough that there were 3 of us in my elementary school classes, more when I got to high school.

After we had Thatbaby, the name started popping up everywhere!  It jumped up 20 spots on The Social Security Baby List, which tracks the popularity of baby names throughout the years.  Two members of my social circle (one from college and one from law school) named their sons the same name.  There was a little guy in our swim class with the same name.

In truth, and embarrassingly enough, this was a little disappointing. I kind of felt like one of the cool kids naming my child a name that wasn't on every other child like Mason or Madison.  But really?  In the vast scheme of things, I'd much prefer a popular name than one that is misspelled or made up.

And in terms of popularity,  I prefer a classic popular name versus one that can be pinpointed directly to the year in which my child was born.  For instance, here's the current top-10 list.

RankMale nameFemale name

If you look at this list, you'll notice that most of the names are fabulous, classic names that have been around for hundreds and thousands of years.  Biblical names, name of royalty, names that were used in your grandparents/great grandparents/ and even great great grandparents time.  Other names, like Jayden, Madison, or the number #39 name - Nevaeh, weren't even blips on the radar until recently.  The name Madison didn't show up on the social security data list until 1985, Jayden didn't make it until 1994, and Nevaeh made her appearance in 2001.

The moral of this story is that if you're looking for a name, take it's popularity with a grain of salt.  Because even an uncommon name can become popular and most of the popular names are classic and wonderful.  What is important is that you love the name and you can picture yourself calling your child by this name for a very long time.


  1. I am definitely into the more unconventional names but I do tend to like ones that have been popular in the past but are making a comeback. It is a hard choice though and everyone has their own process!

  2. tamales look so scrumptious,awesome snaps of those gigantic trees :-)