Posts Tagged ‘ creative spelling ’

How Popular is TOO Popular for Baby Names?

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

I’m always intrigued when I talk to parents about their baby naming strategy.

Some people simply pick a name without regards to popularity—and are often very surprised when they find out that the name they thought was so original was in the top 5 names for that year. (The mom of one of the three Olivias in my daughter’s class said she was shocked that there were so many.)

And then there are others who won’t pick a name if they know it’s in the top 1000—even though, quite honestly, if you avoid the top 10 names for your state, you’re probably golden. I’ve even been asked by readers to remove references to their beloved baby names from blog posts or stories, as if my single blog post is going to be responsible for breathing life back into the name Louisa. (Honestly, I wish I was even close to that influential!) This crew is also more likely to choose creative baby name spellings to make a their child’s name stand out—even though Aydyn is still pronounced exactly like Aidan.

Personally, I’m more in the first camp. The names we picked for our daughters were picked to honor beloved family members, and if those family members were named Sophia or Olivia or Isabella, that would have been that, popularity be damned. But if we’d chosen another baby naming strategy, simply picking baby names that we loved or ones we thought had a lovely meaning, we may have been more conscious of where they sat on the charts.

So where do you stand on this issue? Would you choose a top 10 name, despite the fact that your kiddos would likely find others with the same name in their class? Or would you consciously try to avoid those above a certain point on the popularity list? I’m intrigued to see where you all draw the line!

Still looking for the perfect baby name? Try our Baby Name Finder, or email me at with your dilemma, and we’ll try to solve it on this blog.

And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?


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Under the Radar Girls’ Names: Beyond the Top 1000 Baby Names

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Sometimes, you have to dig a little deeper to really get a baby name gem. And while the top 1000 baby names in the U.S. list offers plenty of stellar options, there are lots of head scratchers, too. (Do we really need to spell Journey Jurnee?)

But sometimes, it’s the ones that don’t make the top 1000 list that really shine—especially if you’re looking for something unique. Skip all those creative spellings of Adeline and check out these options.

Tilda With Matilda on the rise, will this shortened version follow suit? It means “mighty,” and has accomplished actress Tilda Swinton as its namesake.

Kismet I’m generally not a big fan of word names, like Journey or Destiny. But there’s something about Kismet (a name that actually means fated) that just seems right.

Marae This relative of Mary means bitter, and evokes the sea as well. It’s a great way to pay homage to a Mary in your family, without using the name.

Jovia By Jove, this name is intriguing—it’s a feminization of the Roman king of the gods, but also has that connotation of happiness, thanks to the word “jovial.”

Aretha The legendary Aretha Franklin may be a tough act to follow, but you could consider this name, which means “blessed,” in lieu of the more popular Athena.

Briony If you like floral names, but are weary of the Rose/Lily/Daisy combo, consider this very offbeat choice, a lovely vine with green-hued blooms.

Dulcinea This ultrafeminine name has a cool past for literary folks—it’s the name of Don Quixote’s fictional true love in Miguel Cervantes’ classic. It means sweet.

Magenta A vibrant purple-red shade could be the next cool color name, after names like Violet and Scarlett. (For Rocky Horror Picture Show fans, there’s the character who goes by the name.)

Ione How has this gem never made it into the top 1000? Popularized by actress Ione Skye (of Say Anything fame), it’s the name of a violet-colored stone, and of a sea nymph in Greek mythology.

Tell us: What offbeat names do you love? Would you consider any of my choices for your daughter?

Check out the wild and weird side of last year’s baby names—and see if you’d pick any of those for your kiddos! You can rate baby names with our popular Baby Name Game—and keep up with the latest in baby name news by liking In Name Only on Facebook!

Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?

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