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Avoiding Trendy Baby Names?

We're in the process of naming our second boy, and we don't want to end up with a name that will be at the top of the charts in ten years. How can we predict if we're picking the next Aiden or Liam? - Not one of the crowd

When it comes to clothes or music, you can be avant-garde with just a few month's head start. Baby names are different. Your "cutting-edge" choice may well hit the mainstream by the time your son walks into preschool. There's no crystal ball for name trends, but if avoiding the crowd is important to you, try these three tests of your favorite choices: 1. Ask yourself: How similar is my choice to other hit names? Baby names tend to change in baby steps, with new fashions just a small twist on the old. Just ask any mom of a Madison about Addison. The more smoothly a name fits in, the more likely it is to rise. 2. Look at the name's recent history on Social Security Administration's annual list of popular baby names (it goes all the way back to 1880) as well as the NameVoyager. If it has already started going up (like Miles or Piper), it's likely to keep on rising. On the flip side, a slow, steady history (Clayton, Nina) usually points to a fad-free future. 3. Brace yourself, because this is the one you don't want to hear. If you've hit on a traditional but fresh-sounding name that everybody likes but nobody's using...that's the name that's going to skyrocket. (Think of Ava a decade ago.) Such is life in the fashion fast lane. The best way to guard against future name trends is to choose a name that has already gone out of fashion. And no, names of great-grandma's time don't count. We're talking the names of the '40s-'80s that aren't close to comeback time yet. A little Kent or Margo, anybody? They're really not half bad. Or you can just make your peace with popularity. There are worse fates than to be well-liked.


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March 3, 2009 12:12 PM
By Joni (not verified)

Except that everyone I know is liking Kent. It's short, snappy, has a K in it. It's even growing on me. It's also Superman's name. What's not to love?

June 26, 2009 12:56 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

If you are concerned that the kid's first name might become trendy, choose a middle name with a very different feel. My mom was an investment banker, didn't have time to look at baby name trends, and named me Amanda. (She's a latin nerd, and Amanda means 'must be loved." Then she opened TIME magazine to see that it was at the top of the list that year because it was the name of some TV character. Luckily, I got a cool name with a family history for a middle name. I started going by Cecilia in high school.

August 18, 2009 3:33 PM
By Los Angeles Locksmith (not verified)

Name history is quite important. I got a historic name :) sometime i people do kidding with me for my name.

October 25, 2009 2:28 PM
By Anonymouse (not verified)

I know a 4yo Margo. I actually think it'll get more popular, as will other girl names that end in "o" or "oh".

November 2, 2009 12:21 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Then again, you never really can tell. Margo isn't a terribly popular name, but for some weird reason my younger brother ended up in a kindergarten class back in the 80's with like 3 Margos. Who all had to be Margo J. or whatever for the next few years, even though their parents were creative enough not to name them Tiffany or Britney. There were, I kid you not, three girls named Ami Patel in my high school. Ami (pronounced AHH-mee, not Amy) is probably not even in the top 500 names anywhere in the US.

At a certain point you just have to step back and pick a name because you like it and it's a good name and not worry so much about the trend factor.

January 19, 2010 2:40 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My parents named me Kaitlyn, which was a practically unheard of "classic" type name at the time. By the time I got to kindergarten there were 4 other Kaitlyns in my class. I started going by "Katie" (also super popular) but my parent's spelled it Kaity. I found it annoying when I was young, but now as a 20-something I like the uniqueness of it!

May 7, 2010 4:48 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I still like the name KAY

December 1, 2010 11:29 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My grandson's name is Hendrix. We haven't heard of anyone else with the rock icon's last name as a first name. We think it's cool.

February 25, 2011 12:49 AM
By SEATTLE LOCKSMITH (not verified)

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Thanks for the info
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March 1, 2011 4:42 AM
By locksmith in corona ca (not verified)

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March 19, 2011 4:19 PM
By redmond locksmith (not verified)

know i now how to call my baby name
thanks for the great info

May 25, 2012 11:28 AM
By amy (not verified)

you cannot predict this. I wanted to name my first child Joshua, but the name was hugely popular at the time. So instead we went with the less used name Jacob. Within about 4 years Jacob had moved into the number one spot. Our next son was born 10 years after the first and we decided to give him a name that was really unusual at that time: Mason In fact, people had never heard of it at all. When I started teaching at a new school, one of the kids wrote "The new teacher's son is named Mason, what kind of name is that?" My son could never find anything with his name printed on it. Now he is 13 and I just found out that Jacob is still number one, but Mason is number 2 in the country.

May 28, 2013 1:44 AM
By hermes constance bag (not verified)

Great topic. Thanks for sharing.

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