Baby Names

The name Emily (and other popular names)

My husband and I both love the name Emily (it was even the name of my egg baby in high school way back when!). We took it off our list since it's so popular. It was the number one girl name from 1996 to 2007 according to the SSA website.


I still love it, and I'm a little sad to eliminate it, so I'm starting to consider the name Emily once again for our little girl. Even with it's popularity, the number of baby girls given the name is around 1%. To compare, the name Jennifer was given to 3% to 4% of baby girls in the 1970s.


Basically, I guess I'm asking, should popularity alone be a reason not to use an otherwise perfect name? Will I regret the choice based on the number of other little ones out there with the name, or will the fact that I've liked it for so long win out?

Re: The name Emily (and other popular names)

  • I really dislike using an overly popular name.  However I understand your situation because I love Abigail. For me I won't use it. I have a unique name for a girl and I have really appreciated it. I would keep looking and see if you can fall in love with another name.  If you can't then use it! You'll have to live with your choice forever.
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  • I have the same issue because most of the names I like are super popular right now. So I am still looking to see if I can find a name I like as much that is not in the top 5 baby names.
  • I've been teaching for years, and have only had 1 Emily, So, it isn't that popular.

    I'd rather have a popular name that is normal and not a fad, than some of the made up, i feel sorry for the kid types of names i see all the time!


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  • Our top girl name after Emily is Abigail, which is also a top ten name. Thinking about it, it seems silly to eliminate one popular name for another, since the two names are probably just about equally popular, kwim?


    I have met too many Emilys in real life. It seems Ava and Madison and Hailey are much more popular among people I know.


    Our first daughter is Claire, and while that name isn't quite as popular, I've never regretted the choice. I love the simplicity, timelessness and grace of the name, so I'm trying to find one that is a similar style and feeling for our second daughter.

  • I think you should use a name you love whether it's popular or not. Emily is a beautiful name.
  • I think that if you LOVE a name you should go for it! You may regret it later...if it's any consolation- there were no Emilys in the 3rd grade team at the school where I teach this year...and last year we only had one. I doubt she will be one of 5 or anything like that! Good luck! We are considering it as our MN!
  • I think Emily sounds great with Claire.

    Two very classic and pretty names.

    I always look around my town and neighborhood to see if I know any of the names I like. In our neighborhood we have a Charlotte, Amelia, Maya, Caroline, Kate and Julia for girls names. In my mommyand me classes that I have take (and I have taken 5 at 2 different places) we have not come across any other Abigails. I'm sure she won't be the only one in her class but I don't think there will be that many.

    I agree with your statement that there are so many more names to choose from today as opposed to when Jennifer was popular so the number of babies with the name is actually less even though it is the number one name. If you look at the number of babies with the name in your state--it usually isn't that many spread across all the towns.

    Use it if you like it-I bet there are more Sophia's then Emilys!

  • i really hate the idea of using a popular name because i grew up with one [taylor] and i hated knowing so many other girls and even boys with my name.

    not all kids feel that way, though, and your daughter may love the name emily. i think if you give her a pretty, less common middle name, it will be fine because then she can choose to go by that if she wants.

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  • If I really loved it and it wasn't in the top 10 or 20, then I'd go for it. But Emily for me, no. However, it is trending downward bc of the Emma popularity, so she might not have many in her kindergarten class. But me personally? I'd go with something like Emory/Emerson/Amelia/Emilia, etc.
  • For some reason, Emily seems so much less common than Emma. I'm not usually a fan or really popular names but Emily is a classic name, not a trendy one, so if you love it, use it.
  • If you really consider Emily the "perfect" name then I wouldn't let popularity sway me. I hear all of the time that Emily has been the #1 name for several years yet I still haven't met a little girl who is named this. Go for it!
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  • Try going to the baby name voyager site.  You can search your state and see how popular the name is there.  Perhaps it won't be as popular as you think.  Even if it is, I think it's a great name and you should go for it if you really like it.  

  • I'm not a fan of using popular names but it sounds like you've loved it from way back so I don't think I would let it deter me. Why not make it a bit more personalized like Emmalee or Emmeleigh? Although they'll constantly have to be correcting people on how to spell it.

    Our "Ellery" is due by C-Section this Friday and always have to repeat myself when people ask what we're going to name her.

     Good luck!

  • Popularity does not phase me in the least.  If you like it, so be it.  I personally DESPISE all the trendy, "hip" ways to name your kiddo...who wants to be a Aunt Nevaeh or Uncle Bruno?  Common is just fine in my book. 

    I also loved always being able to find my name on stuff like barettes, toys, toothbrushes, etc. when I was a kid so with an odd name, it'll never happen.  Just my two centsWink


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  • I am a Jennifer born in 1973. There was at least 1 other Jennifer in my class always. It was not a big deal. I survived.

  • My name is Emily and I have 6 friends named Emily... WAY too popular.
  • image magsugar13:

    I'd rather have a popular name that is normal and not a fad, than some of the made up

    This exactly.  And my name is jennifer so in theory, I should be opposed to common names.

  • i love Emily, but there's no way i would use it.  However if you love it, keep in mind it's number 1 for a reason.  You may also want to check the popularity in your area, as it does vary regionally.

    Frankly, 1/3 as many Jennifers in my class would still have been WAY too many.  (No offense to people with the name, it just drove me crazy even then.  Jennifer and Amy was the other one in my class.)

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  • If you really love it, use it, but I know that I'm glad I didn't have an overly popular name.
  • I have been teaching 2nd grade for 8 years and I have NEVER had an Emily!  I've had planty of Taylors, Mariahs, Kaylas, but no Emilys!  In fact, I can't think of one in my whole school.  I say go for it, it is a beautiful timesless name.
  • If you love the name, you love the name whether it is popular or not.   I do not think it is as common as many of the other name I have seen (Ava, Grace, Madison etc).  Personally, I do will not pick a name that is in the top 100 most popular, but that is me.  I have a unique name and I love it! It is not a made up name or a fad .... it really is a personal choice. 
  • if you like it your child will like it

    I avoid overly popular names, but that is just ms

  • I have an Abigail and was concerned about popularity when I named her it.  I have never regretted it.  So far, we have met one other Abigail.  Not a big deal.
  • Since high school, my mother wanted a baby girl named Jennifer. So in 1981 when I came along, I was named Jennifer.  It was the number 1 name that year (and for many years before and I believe after even).  I had 7 Jennifers in one period of Social Studies in the 7th grade.  Of course I complained a bit, but I think my name is beautiful and I don't care that my mom picked a popular name. She loved it and didn't pay any attention to the popularity - so she had no regrets.  My brother was also named a popular name, but again, she liked it well before it became popular, so oh well.  We both survived ;-) I say go for Emily.  It's important to you - don't seek anyone else's approval - people will just try to convince you otherwise because it is popular.  
  • It's funny how my DD's name (Abigail) keeps coming up in this post!  I have only met one other Abigail IRL and we know tons of kids.  My name is Jennifer, so I know about popular names!  Honestly, it never bothered me. 

    On this very board, I posted a listing of names for child #2 that were more unique, and pretty much all the responses were lukewarm or even bad.  So "unique" doesn't always equal good.  (No, I will not be naming a child based upon the opinions of strangers, but still.) 

    I say use the name if you love it. 

  • I love the name Emily. I have a younger sister, now 24, whose name is Emily, and she was always one of the few in her classes.

    If you're looking for an uncommon but timeless name, how about Eleanor?  I've always liked that one, and I was always the only Eleanor I knew until I got to college.

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