10 Common Baby Names We Are So Over

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Image adapted via Flickr/ gabi_menashe

Growing up, I had a love-hate relationship with my non-common name. I loved it because there were no other students in my school with the same name and people tended to remember my unique name. On the other hand, I hated my name because as a young girl who had a stereotypical “male” name, which wasn't common back then, I didn't like when teachers or doctors confused me for a boy. Now, as a mother who has been able to choose the names of her own children — the uniqueness of my name has become something I really love.

When it came to choosing the names my kids will be known by, I wanted to make sure they had the best balance of both — the uniqueness, but also avoiding something they will hate, even just a little bit. I was determined to choose names that would not leave them referred to with their last name initial (let's be honest, how many kids in your class were “Emily B” or “Ben F”?), but just like all trends change — there's no way to be certain the name I chose wasn't going to be the hot name in two years.

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The one way I could ensure they weren't going to be one of three with the same name in their friend group was to make sure I stayed away from the super common names. The ones that seem to make those top lists every year … and have for at least the past few years. The names, on their own, are gorgeous and there is nothing wrong with them, but if I am being honest, I am so over hearing them.

1. Emily

Emily. I can name at least four Emilys without even putting too much thought into it because it's a name that is crazy popular where I live — and it has been for a long time. According to Social Security Administration, Emily has been ranked the number #1 name for females 12 times in 10 years and has been in the top five over 15 times.

2. Christopher. This is one of those classic names that is so saturated I don't even think about it one way or another (as in I don't like it, but don't hate it either). In the past 100 years, Christopher has been in the top 5 names for male babies 29 times, according to Social Security Administration (although, it has never landed the number 1 spot).

3. Olivia. I really do like the name Olivia (or Olive, which some people use as a slight variant) because it sounds like someone who has timeless beauty. It is well-loved too, having been in the top 5 baby names for females nine times in the past 10 years.

4. Jacob. For 14 years, Jacob held the number one spot in baby names for boys and has been in the top 5 19 times since 1995. That is crazy popular and it's no wonder there are so many Jacobs of all ages around.

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5. Madison. Madison is a great name for those who love the traditional last names as first names method, or want a name that doesn't sound too feminine. While Madison hasn't held the number one spot, it was most popular between 2000-2007, making the list in each of those years.

6. Michael. Just like Emily, I know so many Michaels; and they're all referred to with their last name so I can tell them apart. In the past 100 years, Michael has made the top 5 baby names for males a whopping 63 times.

7. Jessica. I don't have any feelings about this name either way, other than it's used so often I wouldn't consider it for any of my children. Jessica made the top 5 list for the first time in 1977 and for many of the years following, it's been holding a spot for 21 years.

8. William. I really like the name William, but I think it's much better suited for a middle name than a first name. Why? It's been crazy popular over the past 100 years and has been in the top five for 41 years!

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9. Sophia. Sophia is relatively new in popularity, but if since it's held one of the top 5 spots for 5 straight years since 2009, I can only predict it's going to be one we see over and over for a while.

10. Joshua. It's never held the top spot, but Joshua has been on the top 5 list for 26 years since 1983 so it's had quite the ride in the popularity, making the list last in 2008.

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What baby names do you think are way too common right now? Share in the comments!

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What do you think?

10 Common Baby Names We Are So Over

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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165 comments

  1. BRANDI says:

    i have a mia, sophia and jeffrey and baby #4 on the way, i find out gender next week and the names i have are stella or bentley. where i live i have the only sophia around her age so its not that popular..

  2. Jessica says:

    As a Jessica, I say name your baby whatever you want! Who cares what others think! 🙂

  3. Shelly says:

    My first grand child (a little girl) born in June is named Dagny after Dagny Taggert in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

  4. Caroline says:

    Although I love common names like these (because let’s face it they aren’t so “common” anymore) my husband likes different and unique ones. We have 2 boys: Remington Samuel and Oaklen Michael.

  5. ShelleyWood says:

    I’m really disappointed in Everyday Family for publishing an article with this title. I agree with another commenter that the title of the article could have easily been ’10 names that are super common right now that I personally wouldn’t use’ and been way less offensive. I was shocked to see Joshua on the list. We have a daughter named Mariah, 2 sons Joshua and Elijah, and another little girl on the way that we are naming Evangeline. I don’t know of any other Joshua’s or Elijah in our area, and the ones I know of in other cities are shortened to ‘Josh’ and ‘Eli’ which we have intentionally not done. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having an opinion about certain names that are over-used. I have my own list of names I would never use because they are so popular right now. I just think that kind of conversation is better with a friend at lunch or reading someone’s personal blog, as opposed to getting an email in my inbox from a company I JUST subscribed to that is so negative about baby names that someone people have already chosen to name their kids. My first email I opened from Everyday Family was about a free carseat cover that I qualified for and I was pumped and thought ‘this company is awesome!’ Now after reading this, my first thought when I think of Everyday Family is ‘oh, yeah that’s the people that sent me the email saying they are SO OVER my son’s name (Joshua).’ Most people don’t just pick a random name, they really put thought into it and sometimes even stress over what they should name their child. It’s very personal and special and I just don’t think it’s a good topic for a family company to give negative opinions about.

    • Sara says:

      Honestly, you are making it wayyyy tooooo personal. Of course as mother’s we get offended by the slightest thing even if it is not a direct insult or meant to be a insult. Joshua is so common, and that is okay. It doesn’t take away from the human being you carried and grew inside your tummy, and his own uniqueness as a person, and I personally did not take that from this article myself. Just as you make your life what you will, whether you have a happy exciting relaxed or intense drama filled life. You are going to make comments article’s or what have you negative and positive. But at the end of the day, you are wrong to place shame on the entire company as a whole or even on the writer of this article. Because, it clearly states in the title 10 most common names we are so over, lets be serious she even clears it up and explains herself. I can understand your offense, because to you your son’s and daughter names are unique etc. Whatever it is. you are taking this too personally, I understand but still its not cool.

  6. Khrysten says:

    My name is really common (usually spelled Kristen) but I like that it has a certain uniqueness to it. Those other people don’t have My name. However I come from a family of strange names. My mom is Eulalia Lei, we call her Layla, and my brother is Torin Elijah Samuel. When we found out I was pregnant with our first my husband (Thomas) and I decided not to give our child a name like his that is seen every where. We named our daughter Laurana Elayne. I think classic names are great, just not for us.

  7. Amber says:

    Wow, I can’t believe so many people are getting so worked up and defensive over this article. Devan is not trying to say that these are bad names or that children with these names are somehow inferior. Nor is she trying to convince people not to use them or imply that parents who do are bad parents. She is simply giving a concise list of common names to avoid, to those of us who wish to do so. Obviously, everybody is entitled to there own opinion on whether giving your child a common or unique name is best. Both will have their pro’s and con’s. I am due Oct. 3rd with a little girl. I chose a common name with an uncommon spelling for her first name. Ceili (pronounced Kayley). It’s Gaelic and it has meaning to me. Her middle name will be Ann after my grandmother who passed from cancer when I was 15. Later in life if she wants to, she will have several choices of nicknames to go by if she gets tired of correcting people pronunciation. I’m ok with that.

  8. Jen says:

    I don’t mind any of these names. What I’m over is people trying to get really creative and cool with names so they end up with a name that you don’t know how to pronounce or is just strange.

  9. LadyAnneJT says:

    From a little old lady – Try using your daughter’s name in this sentence “Do you think …would be a good choice for vice president of this bank?” (Or this country!) I once did a baptismal cake for a child blessed with the name Tressie Belinda.

    No matter how much you like it, don’t give any child a wildly popular name. When my granddaughter graduated from high school, I think every girl in her class was named Amanda, Nicolle, or Brittany, or some combination there-of. I was given a very popular name and was one of four girls in my high school class with the same name. We all sat together, so when the teacher called on us, the one who knew the answer would pipe up.

    One good thing about classic names – Christopher, Steven, Katherine, Margaret, etc. – is that nobody will be able to tell your age or background by your name. And please, please, allow your child to use a nickname or go by their middle name if they prefer. It’s their life!

  10. Debbie says:

    I love old names like Sarah, Catherine, Michael, Steven. But I don’t like the shortened ways people say them. All 3 of my kids have none traditional names. Shawnna, Crista and Bron. Bron is just Ron with a B in front. And yes he’s called everything. I guess people just thought I deidn’t know how to spell my kids name. He will have a son next week and they will call him Josiah Bronson. And I think it’s beautiful.

  11. Sabrina says:

    We have a short last name. I am Jewish so we chose a Biblical name for both sons. My oldest was given the name Benjamin – no particular reason, we liked the name and it fits him – his middle name is after my grandpa Jim (James) so his Hebrew name reflects that (Ya’akov). With the youngest we came up with Zackary, the more English version of old sounding Zachariah, middle name Ian (for daddy’s Irish heritage) and his Hebrew name is Yitzhack (Isaac) because he is always so happy and giggling.

  12. Danica says:

    There’s a fine line between ‘one of three in the class’ and ‘never will find a keychain with that name!’ I have one of the latter, but my sister hit the jackpot with Erin – only one in her class, plenty of keychains. My husband and I are going for the same magic with our soon to be born daughter’s name – Hannah.

  13. Jessica says:

    My name was VERY popular back in the 80s when I was given the name (Jessica). But now in days it’s extremely rare I hear my name on anyone much younger than me (34). I LOVE unique and uncommon names. However when I was pregnant last all the names I LOVED didn’t feel right. The only thing that felt right was Jessica. So with a couple months left in my last pregnancy I chose to name my daughter after me. Just with a different middle name. I’m Jessica Lynn and she is Jessica Rose. This time (I’m currently 2days away from 32 weeks preg) I have went for a name very uncommon. Freya Sage. However since I have chosen this name I’ve heard a couple of little girls with that name.

  14. Christy says:

    I like to take a name and spell it differently. My first son (born in 2004) is named Devyn. I am about to have another baby boy. I am checking into the hospital for my c-section day after tomorrow. This time around I wanted to name the baby after me and his father. I kept with the “y” spelling and am naming my second son Christyen. I chose the name as a way to name my boy after me as my name is Christy. His middle name will be after his father whose first name is Gabriel.

  15. Ashley says:

    But I wouldn’t be over any kids name just gets confusing at times. And since my name is Ashley & ive had to deal with it for 26 years with it being common & my last name with being called to office at school for something that the other one did wasnt the greatest at times. So I went in depth with my son & gave him 2 middle names so he had choice if he decided one day to go by a different name& Ashten has never made #1 but always been in the background for many years you hear it but not enough to be 2 in same class or even 3 in the grade.

  16. Ashley says:

    My son has William as,one of his middle names from my pawpaw’s middle name & I feel the same way,it is best suited for middle. But I have a overdone name that ive been hearing like crazy these days and its Jackson or jaxson,its a cute name but I know 7 babies\toddlers\kids with that name.Also the list missed Ashley it was popular between my age group & continued for a few years & is still everywhere.

  17. Katelyn says:

    This is a really mean article. Parents who picked these names loved them and probably agonized for 9 months over what the perfect name would be. You’ve basically told them their choice was boring and outdated, or a poor choice because it’s “typical” and not creative. Bad form everyday family.

  18. Angela says:

    My first name iss sooo over rated, Angela, yea even my boss has the same first name.. 🙁 while I wouldn’t want to be something like an “Apple” I sure rather be another name..

  19. Laura says:

    I will take all these names over the parents who name their kid something “unique,” like Apple, or need to misspell their child’s name to make it unique It drives me nuts when I see someone with a misspelled name…sorry I am going to spell it right! Nothing wrong with traditional names.

  20. Robyn says:

    Wake up Devan. Your name is no unique jem.I have an Emily and she has had more Devan’s in her school classes than other Emily’s. Just because it is a fad name doesn’t make it better than the classics.

  21. alexandra says:

    I still like many of these names, and think they are classic and timeless. Now, in all honesty I truly dislike the name Devan. It is certainly not a pretty feminine name for a girl, and an odd name for a boy. Kind of a unisex, I need to see you first before I know what sex you are name. Olivia would of been a much better choice I think. So, point proven we all have our own opinions. Your opinions are your own. You do not speak for mine, and I I obviously do not have your taste either.

  22. Shayla says:

    McKayla and McKenzie are the worst. “Mc” in Scottish is attached to names to mean “son of”. So it looks dumb to name your daughter this.

    • Jessica says:

      I know a McKenzie. And I LOVE her name. Would have considered it for my own daughter had it not been a friend’s daughter’s name. You look dumb bashing someone else’s name.

  23. Agatha says:

    Uh, JAYDEN should’ve seriously been on this list. That name is flat out overrated and annoying.

  24. susan says:

    Parents to be. Please do not let any “expert” advice sway you on names for you babies. Follow your hearts. Mother’s who are so over any so superficial are immature, and probably having a writer block. there are going to be so many more serious issues to worry about . Naming your baby Emily or Jacob will not scar them for life. Your good. Wishing all parents to be the very best. Enjoy and PLEASE do not follow the advise of such as this. Listen to your heart, your pediatrician and other moms who have been around the block a time or two. Relax and enjoy.

  25. Mary says:

    They are all classic names except for Jacob – classic is good! My daughter’s name is Lara and I still think it is beautiful as is she.

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