Baby Names: How Popular is Yours?

Suzanne Murray


photo by IamaBeloved

I was standing in line to see Santa the other day and asked the woman in front of me what her baby's name was. "Valentina," she said. "I wanted to name her Sophia, but I overheard a conversation outside a nursery school and someone asked, 'Sophia D. or Sophia M.?' And I didn't want my baby to have to use a last initial her whole life."

I didn't have the heart to tell her that Salma Hayek also named her baby Valentina (which probably means there are one or two more Valentina's on the way).

And a few months ago I did a poll on baby names, asking if you named your baby something that was popular, unique, or in your family. A huge majority (70 percent!) of you said you had given your baby a unique name. So did I! But the sad truth is that we spend months coming up with the perfect, one-of-a-kind name, and then one day the inevitable happens: We meet a baby who has the same name as our baby! The same name!

I just a read a funny blog post in the San Francisco Gate "Meeting other kids with the same baby name," where that very thing, but even worse, happened to the writer. He named his sons Theo and Milo. Not only did he meet one child with one of those names, he met two sets of brothers who were also named Theo and Milo.

He writes, "As I resigned myself to the fact that Milo is the new Jake, and there will be 17 other Theos in my kid's first grade classroom, I realized that my worst baby name nightmare coming true bothers me a lot less than I thought it would. I mean, my kids are completely healthy, the older one is potty trained and the baby occasionally sleeps through the night."

How about you? Have you met anyone with your baby's name yet? Would it make you consider giving him or her a nickname? Is your baby's name more or less popular than you thought it would be?

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