Baby Names

# Top 10/20 SSA List Thoughts

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How vehement are people about "not in the top 10"? Or 20, or 50, or what-have-you?

I'm curious because I did a little mulling over our vacation. DH and I both like the name Sophia - we're not sure exactly how in love with it we are - but it translates well in the necessary languages, as well as many others. I was initially hand-waving it off saying "No, no, no! Top 10 name in the USA!". Then I looked at numbers...

And out of 4 million babies (let's just say 2 million girls)... less than 25,000 were given the name Sophia. So suddenly my visions of Sophia A., Sophia R., Sophia W. in class go out the window - because then we get 25,000 baby Sophias divided by 50 states (assuming equal balance, which we know it isn't) and get 500 Sophias in any one year in any one state. Assuming all Sophias were born in the 15 states in which it was a top name, that's about 1,667 Sophias to a whole state - and none in 35 states. And this is all using inflated numbers.

Suddenly, while the idea of naming a baby Sophia seems... less horrifying, after I throw the math around. I know some people are adamant about "not in the top (whatever)", but I'm curious on *why* that vehement passion is there... I know why it was for me (wanting to avoid Name + Last Initial), but I'm starting to re-evaluate that based off of these rough math workings.

~Living in rural India since 2010.~

## Re: Top 10/20 SSA List Thoughts

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The top names are distributed differently than they were 30 years ago with so many more name choices. When Jennifer was number 1, about 30 percent of babies born in the US were named Jennifer. Now, while Sophia is number 1, only about 1 percent of all the babies born were named that. That's a huge difference. Do I still think you may encounter other Sophia's? Without a doubt. The name I picked for my daughter was number 98 last year and two other bump mama's names their daughters that within the same week! So go with what you love and don't worry about it.

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I say who cares really. If you love a name then you should use it.
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I think this is a personal question. Its different for everybody so only you and your H can decide if you mind it.
For me I admit its the girl names I really avoid, and not purposely, but I honestly dont like most of them. Part of it is that I just get sick of the name hearing it all the time that even iif I like the name I just get sick of it. Obviously you will hear your child's name whatever it is all.the.time. but hearing it on several other children as well just gets a bit much.
For boys, say William I dont mind using because its like youre just used to the name. Or maybe I really just like it that much.
I wouldn't be 100 against a top 10 name, I like Abigail and LO would've been Natalie if he was a girl. Now, Im just over that name. I also like Olivia but wouldn't feel the need to name my own DD that. I hear it enough as it is. But others may still love it.
I wanted to avoid top or trending names too, but Eli was ultimately THE name. Joseph is our next boy name top 20. So sometimes rules get bent.

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Okay, I'm feeling very honest today apparently... so here's my flammable confession about this topic: I don't want to say my baby's name and have the FIRST thing said back to me be "What a lovely name!  I know three other baby Sophias that were born recently."  The wind comes out of my sails a bit to hear "How so unoriginal!"  I really don't want my kid's name to feel tired before it's been used.

I adore the name Ingrid.  I'd be lying if I said that hearing a distant college friend used the name and many of my college friends know her makes me sad.  I don't want to hear "Oh, just like Steve's kid!!!"  if we go with it.  Yeah, no thanks.

Again, somewhat side-eye worthy reasoning right here.

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I'm not that vehement if I love the name. And I would have never thought to do the math!

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I think the vehement passion comes from most parents being children of the 80's. Because THEIR names were top 10 names, they had to be Jessica A. It's merely projection.

My personal thing with the Top 10/20 probably has more to do with liking under the radar names. I legitimately like many Bottom 1000 names more than those at the top, but I fully admit there's also an element of, "Lame, Top 10, who wants to use that?" for me. I'm proud that DD1's name is in decline and DD2's hasn't even broken the top 1000 (yet.). That's really more about some lame sense of "cool" than about a fear of using a ppopular name.

Sophia is a beautiful name. It was a strong contender for DD1.

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My current boy choice is ranked 18. It doesn't bother me so much because I personally don't know any little boys named that. None of my friends have children (although I do have one friend who is expecting her first and I'm super excited!) and none of my family has already used the name. I don't think there will ever be more than one other Andrew in my son's class at a time, it's on a downturn in popularity (in 2000 it was ranked 7), its a family name, and it goes well with my other sons' names.

In conclusion: does popularity matter to me, yes! But I weigh its importance with other things I consider.

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Scarlett&Gatsby:

I think the vehement passion comes from most parents being children of the 80's. Because THEIR names were top 10 names, they had to be Jessica A. It's merely projection.

My personal thing with the Top 10/20 probably has more to do with liking under the radar names. I legitimately like many Bottom 1000 names more than those at the top, but I fully admit there's also an element of, "Lame, Top 10, who wants to use that?" for me. I'm proud that DD1's name is in decline and DD2's hasn't even broken the top 1000 (yet.). That's really more about some lame sense of "cool" than about a fear of using a ppopular name.

Sophia is a beautiful name. It was a strong contender for DD1.

My name is Jessica, it was the number 1 name the year I was born, and the like 5-6 years around my birth year.  It's ANNOYING to have 5 people with the same name in a class with you.  So, I probably wouldn't use a super popular name for my kid, but if I *really* loved it, I might use it.  But, I'll always have hesitations about names that have been number 1 in recent years when we name kiddos.

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If you go to babynamewizard.com they have a namemapper and it will tell you how popular the name is in your state (vs. the country).

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We will be using a top 10 boy name because it has family meaning and we haven't come up with anything we like better.  We did the same number analysis you did and came to the conclusion that the top 10 names today are less common than the top 10 names of the 80s, when we were kids.  People are using more variety in naming overall.  Also, we live in Northern California, a state with a lot of cultural diversity.  Yes, it is likely that at some point in school our son will share his name with another kid in his class.  But it's unlikely that he will share it with 3 kids at once.  We're ok with the name being common.  He will stand out by his actions and accomplishments, not the yuneekness of his name.

Also, he won't have much trouble with people misspelling or otherwise butchering it, which can be really annoying too.  I have an uncommon name that's constantly mixed up with similar more common ones and it gets old having to answer to a name that's not yours or spell out a 6-letter name for people.  There are two sides to that coin.

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Like a PP said you can find more information pertinant to your area.  Check the top names for your state from the SSA.  They can give you the number of people in your state that named their children "Sophia" last year.  The list can vary from state to state.

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Let's also put it this way, if I were to go off if what my friends names their babies, I would think Charlotte was the number one name. I know lots of baby Charlotte's and only one Sophia. Unfortunately, Charlotte, which is one of my favorite names, would be out for this reason.

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With girls names I try to avoid the top 100. With boys names I try to abound the top 20. If I really loved a boys name I might go as far as 11.
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I say if you love a name, go for it. The most popular names aren't as popular anymore as they were in the 80's. We're probably not going to see five Sophia in once class anymore. Perhaps two, but probably not more.

DS's name is in the 500's somewhere and I've still heard "Rhett? That's my nephews name!" more than once. You can't avoid these situations no matter where your name falls.

That being said, names lose their charm for me when I start to see them all over facebook. I think social media has really changed our perceptions of popular names. I would have never known that five or six college acquaintances named their daughters Adeline ten years ago. But now I do, and all my friends do so the name just kind of loses it's sparkle for me.

DS born April 2012
DD born September 2014
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I appreciate that you're trying to run the numbers. Take into account that your kids will have friends that are a year or several years older and younger than them, forever. So the babies born the same year as your kid aren't the only other 'Sophia's in the world they'll encounter.

Yes, I'm a child of the 80's, but even though I'm well out of school I work with 3 guys named Josh (who span 8-10 years in age difference). None can go by their first name because we got sick of the confusion. I work on a fairly small team, considering. The super trendy and classic popular names will encounter the Sophia A. issue at some point, or it'll come up regularly.

Just a thought.

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I don't have any set number. Popularity doesn't bother me nearly as much as others in this board. My son's name is in the top 40 and daughter's is in the top 30. Plus, when you add in other spellings of her name it's higher. I'm okay with that. I love both their names so much and couldn't imagine either with a different name. I never had a popular name, though, and always wished I was named Heather, Sarah, Melissa, Jessica or something like those.

I say go with what you love!

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Creedon778:
If you go to babynamewizard.com they have a namemapper and it will tell you how popular the name is in your state vs. the country.nbsp;

Oh neat! I didn't know this.
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As an Amanda born in the 80s and having other Amandas in my classes and social circle I never minded it.  In fact, I embraced it and hung out with other Amandas because we already had something in common to build our friendship on.  So having a popular name does have its benefits.
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Ideally I want/wanted a name that wasn't in the top 100.  Mostly because I don't want to be hearing it all over the place.  I wanted a bit of individuality without resorting to making something up or misspelling it.

But, love of a name trumps popularity, so the name we went with was in the top 100 for our son.  It's a classic name, so I'm not as concerned about it as some of the more popular names which I think will sound dated in the next few years.  I don't love the fact that since his birth in October 2011 I have 2 friends in my social circle who named their sons the same name.  Only because it shows that it is definitely rising in popularity - not because I have anything against those women.

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Joy2611:

Okay, I'm feeling very honest today apparently... so here's my flammable confession about this topic: I don't want to say my baby's name and have the FIRST thing said back to me be "What a lovely name!  I know three other baby Sophias that were born recently."  The wind comes out of my sails a bit to hear "How so unoriginal!"  I really don't want my kid's name to feel tired before it's been used.

I adore the name Ingrid.  I'd be lying if I said that hearing a distant college friend used the name and many of my college friends know her makes me sad.  I don't want to hear "Oh, just like Steve's kid!!!"  if we go with it.  Yeah, no thanks.

Again, somewhat side-eye worthy reasoning right here.

I completely know what you mean regarding a name you hear in your circles.  If a friend or family member (hell, even a FB friend) uses a name, it feels less special to me.  I put more into that factor than the actual SS ranking.  My daughter's name is Kate, which is not unusual at all, but I don't personally know anyone that has named their child that- And any adults I know that even go by Kate are friends of friends, so I don't feel tired of the name.

But, I know of several baby girls named Quinn and Lyla, so, while those names are less "familiar", I feel more tired of them than I do of the classics.

That being said, I would pause before I considered a top 10 name, Anything over top 20 doesn't really bother me- Like OP said, it won't be the same as it was when we were growing up with 5 kids in a class.

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If it's a classic name in the top 10 or 20, like Michael or Elizabeth or John or Margaret, I'm totally cool with that. I don't know that those are my favorite name, some are a little blah for my taste, but they are classic for a reason. However, I would like to try to avoid giving my child a dated-sounded name. Think of Barbara, Nancy, Susan, Jennifer, Jessica, Crystal. Totally nice, good-sounding names. Names people still use today! But names that definitely hit their peak and were VERY popular in a completely different era.

40/112

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I know I'm a little late to the party, but my name was in the top ten for my birth year and I only encountered other Heathers when I got to college (there were 3 on my floor :P). It was still unique enough for me. Plus everyone knew how to spell it (like Sophia!).
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edited July 2013
We don't pay attention to them- no matter what you do you run into the chance that the name will turn popular.

We named our 3 girls from literary sources. Our first girl is Hadley. Never in my life had I met another Hadley. Suddenly, she is in school and there are two other Hadleys- all named from the same source, Hemingway's first wife. Our newest is Evangeline. Who names their kid that, right? Apparently a woman who lives about 5 blocks away had an Evangeline three months after us. It is a crap shoot- and as a mom of a "Sophie C." let me just say it is totally fine to have a kid with the top 10 name, as long as it means something to you.

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MelRC117 said:

Like a PP said you can find more information pertinant to your area.  Check the top names for your state from the SSA.  They can give you the number of people in your state that named their children "Sophia" last year.  The list can vary from state to state.

I don't live in the USA, so for the first 3 years, it will be irrelevant - the Hindi name we're considering is actually more of a concern, since there are 0 girls named Sophia at the school I live and work at, but I can point out 3 girls named Asha ("hope") right now - and that's not counting the adults in the town. Asha hasn't been on the USA list since 2003 - and it was #978, then. We're not expecting to be back in the US or Canada until... probably 2020 or so.

My name... I'm 30, and I've run into maybe a dozen people who share my name over the years - and only a couple who share the spelling! Mine is a literary name also shared by a ballerina - not hard to say, but 3-4 different accepted spellings that aren't attempts at being yooneek. I'm not hell-bent on a kid's name being Unusual, because people still misspell mine when they're responding to emails and Facebook posts and G+ and so on. I didn't get the name + initial thing in school, but I have friends who did, so I'm very cognizant of it.

We're still up in the air about what name to use, but I'm glad to see/read these different opinions and views on the popularity side.
~Living in rural India since 2010.~

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edited July 2013
Growing up everyone always said ``What a pretty name!  I love it!``  It was uncommon without being weird... Then Dreamworks gave an ogre princess my name.  And now everywhere I see hundreds of little Fionas running around.  I hate it.  I hate that my name is suddenly creeping up the lists.

Now we are faced with naming our child and I am hoping to find something that people will like without thinking it is weird.... but my husband, who grew up with the name Andrew has the opposite experience and is looking to all of the common, classics that he is familiar with.

I think a lot of where you fall on this question really depends on your experience.

I can't wait to meet you Neva Margaret Rebecca
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Joy2611 said:

Okay, I'm feeling very honest today apparently... so here's my flammable confession about this topic: I don't want to say my baby's name and have the FIRST thing said back to me be "What a lovely name!  I know three other baby Sophias that were born recently."  The wind comes out of my sails a bit to hear "How so unoriginal!"  I really don't want my kid's name to feel tired before it's been used.

I adore the name Ingrid.  I'd be lying if I said that hearing a distant college friend used the name and many of my college friends know her makes me sad.  I don't want to hear "Oh, just like Steve's kid!!!"  if we go with it.  Yeah, no thanks.

Again, somewhat side-eye worthy reasoning right here.

It might be flame-worthy, but everything you just said is the exact reason I will stay away from the top 50 and any name a friend has ever used.
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