Uncommon Vs. Common Baby Names

Advantages and disadvantages to common and uncommon baby names.

Choosing a baby's name can be fun and exciting. Parents that are trendy may choose the latest and most popular names. Trendy as well as conservative parents may choose unpopular names. Unpopular names may be the result of paying tribute to a relative or other revered person. An unpopular name may be the result of ethnic origin, or even eccentric parents.

Popular and unpopular names have advantages and disadvantages that tend to outweigh each other. Popular names tend to have a direct relationship to the current social climate. Pop stars and movie idols can influence a surge of children namesakes. The name Madonna experienced a surge in the United States during the eighties.

Cross-cultural schemes can influence the trend in names. The popularity of Latino culture may produce many non-Latino Marias and Lourdes'. Socio-ecological trends can influence a name-choosing decision. When a society is actively sympathetic toward the environment, nature related names become popular. Names such as Daisy, Eartha and Sage tend to dominate.

The advantage of popular names are that they are easy to remember, and due o their popularity, easy to pronounce. Popular names are also conversation starters. Being a namesake of a star always gives people something to talk about. It lends an advantage to people who are involved in promotions or public relations type of work. Everyone will remember a "Denzel" or a "Celine" over a "Jack" or" Mary".

Popular ethnic names can make a person memorable. This is true especially if the ethnicity of the name is far removed from their ethnicity. An African-American Mei Ling will be remembered longer than an Asian Mei Ling.

Popular names may expand one's access to different groups of people. For example, Buddhism and Yoga are currently very popular. Names like Uma (like Thurman) are popular because of this trend. Having culturally attached names facilitates easier acceptance across cultures.



The disadvantage of popular names is the risk of trendiness and stereotyping. Popularity is a subjective concept whose time comes and goes. Naming a child a very trendy name that fades away in five years can be detrimental to their social life. Names such as Sade, Valentino and Seal may "date" the child or lock them into a time period. Once the pop icon's popularity fades, so does the name.

Once social issues change, social names will be a direct link to a passé issue. And if the source of the name becomes a victim of public disgrace, their namesakes may always garnish negative comments. Distrust and loath may even surface based upon a name. Imagine being named Fidel fifty years ago. The amount and tone of questions that follows a person with such a name may become unbearable. Many people opt for nicknames as they become older, to ward off any extra attention that their birth name may garnish.

Unpopular names may sound like a negative concept, but that isn't necessarily true. Unpopular (with regard to names) just means uncommon, or unique. The advantage of unpopular names is actually the same as the disadvantage: memorability. An unpopular name may be easy to remember because it sets itself apart from the rest.

It is important to note that the unpopularity of a name is relative to the name holder. There are many Sophia's, Antoinette's and Doris', but they are usually women over sixty years of age. These are unpopular but memorable names for a new generation. Unpopular names may be difficult to remember because of the uniqueness. This is especially true when babies are named after concepts -like Truth, or adjectives such as Sincere.

Ethnic and religious names provide many options and advantage. But depending on the political climate, an ethnic or religious name may bring about suspicion, scorn and/or harassment. One's loyalty may be challenged due to their name.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to popular and unpopular names. Political and social climates should be taken into consideration, to avoid future consequences and repercussions. Also, trendiness can be a guarantee to future ridicule. And don't forget to ascertain the meaning of a name, because it is just as important as the sound of the name.

© High Speed Ventures 2011