Thoughts on Naming Your Child a Popular Baby Name?

Updated on May 08, 2013
K.H. asks from Tempe, AZ
38 answers

From previous questions I've posted, you may know that my husband and I are struggling to find a name for our baby boy due in July. We've run the gamut with names and even had a blow out fight over the whole darn thing! Things have settled but we're still lost. One of the names I've always loved is Jack and had my daughter been a boy, she probably would have been named this. Lately I know tons of people naming their sons Jackson or Jaxon. Is Jack too popular of a name right now? I've looked up its ranking and it's number 45. What are your thoughts on naming a child a popular name?

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answers from Chicago on

In my son's school there are 3 kindergarten classrooms, but only 1 Jack. So, I don't think that Jack is that common right now. Jackson and Jaxon are, and I think most people who use those names don't really abbreviate to Jack.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I love the name Jack! If you like it, you should go with it. I think it was more popular 5-10 years ago than it is now.

My first son's name was in the top 5 for the year he was born. I was careful not to let my hubby know that. He's been in one class with another boy with the same name, and there is another boy on his baseball team with his name so they just use the first name and last initial. I don't mind this because I just love his name.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I have a popular name and I always hated it. Part of that is that it's a slightly unconventional spelling, so it's misspelled ALL THE TIME and that drives me crazy (especially in professional emails where my name is clearly RIGHT THERE in the email you're replying to!). I think if you go for a nice, simple, non-crazily spelled name, Jack as opposed to Jaxon, it's fine.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Columbia on

I'm not concerned about popularity when it comes to name. My main concerns with names:

1. Is it going to get my kid's a$$ kicked throughout their childhood or cause them to be teased relentlessly?

2. When they say their name, will they also have to spell it two or three times for the poor person writing it out?

I pick a name because I like it, it's a good name that nobody is going to tease them for, and it's easy to comprehend.

If you like your kid Jack!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

When my daughter was born, we chose a rather unpopular name that is now in the top 100. My son's name isn't even in the top 1000. They are both very proud of their names. I prefer unique names, and since half my kids classes have names I've never heard before, I'd say that's a trend as well. I despise made up names, but I like old fashioned or ethnic names. My husband and I both grew up with unusual names as well. Nobody in our family can find preprinted souvenirs... I think we'll survive, though.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I, personally, think a person has a right to name their child whatever they want. However, I did birth certificates at our local hospital and I have to say that some of the choices made me cringe. On so many occasions I remember thinking, "Oh, this poor little baby has no idea what they're in for".

When my daughter named my grandson, she thought she was being fairly unique. No weird spelling or anything, but since her baby was born, all the sudden it seems like that name has just come out of the woodwork an it's pretty darn "popular". She has wished that she named him something else due to that, but his name is his name and it fits him.

I think that Jack is a good, strong name. I may be fairly biased as that was my father's name. Actually, his legal name and the name on his birth certificate was Jackie. He was always called Jackie until he became an adult and it got shortened to Jack.
He was born in 1939.

I don't think Jack is too popular right now. I don't know ANY kids named Jack and I know LOTS of kids.

I think you should go for it if you really like that name, popular or not.

Best wishes!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Only one of my three kids has a popular name, and while yes, I do sometimes find it annoying (who is your daughter, Olivia S or Olivia R? it's like thing one and thing two!!!) I still love the name and have no regrets :-)
ETA: if you name him Jackson PLEASE don't spell it with an x. He's going to be correcting peoples' spelling for the rest of his life and he WILL find it annoying. Just because your child is special and unique doesn't mean the spelling has to be so unique it becomes a burden :-(

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I always wanted to name one of my boys Jackson, but I could never get the hubby to agree.

I just picked names I liked. I didn't really worry about their popularity or lack of.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I think you should name your child from your heart....not from current trends. Conversely, if your favorite name is trending....then go for it if this is the name which speaks to your soul.

I love the name Jaxon. I know a wonderful toddler with this name & it suits him. But I do not like all of the off-color jokes which associate with the name Jack. Just sayin'.....young boys, teens, & adults can be cruel. I, too, wanted to use the name Jack....but held back in an effort to prevent that cruelty. Other names also fit in that category: Grody Brody, Dick, etc. I'm also very careful with what the initials can spell!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My attitude is I don't give a flip if a name is "popular" or not. I want to name my child what I want to name them when they're born. It's that simple. I don't know ANY Jack's in my area. Perhaps it's regional that Jack is popular in AZ. And in my view, "popular" is the top ten, so Jack seems like it's more familiar than common.

Go for it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I know a couple of Jacks, all around 4-5 years old.
I think if you love a name you should use it. In the grand scheme of things your kiddo is going to be in a bigger pool of people than they will in school. So what if there's another Jack in his class... if you love the name and it suits him, it'll be great.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Here's the thing, IMO. You want to like your kid's name. If it's Jenny and there's 15 Jennys, then she'll get a nickname or something. My first name was not popular where we lived when I was in elementary school. But when I moved, I became one of three in my math class. It worked out. I personally like the name Jack and would have named DD "Jack" had she been a boy. My DD's full name is not uncommon, but her nickname is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Green Bay on

We named our son Benjamin (Ben for short). I am not sure where it stands on the "ranks" but I love the name. To me, it is a strong, solid boy's name. You don't question the spelling or whether or not it is a boy or a girl. There are many little boys named Benjamin/Ben but that is fine with me because I love it.

If you like the name, who cares how "popular" it is or not?



answers from Raleigh on

Jack is a nice traditional name. So what if it's popular? If you like it, go with it. I named both my kids after family members- my son after my husband, and my daughter after my grandmother. They are both on the "top 50", but ironically, I know no other child their ages with their names. So do what you like!



answers from Seattle on

One of my girls names was 91 and one was 9, and we've run into more with the less popular one! It depends on the region too. I only know one jack, but a ton of Jacksons. Jack was our boy name, I say go for it!



answers from Chicago on

I think you should name your child something you like. Many of the people I talk to have said they purposely named their child an unpopular name, only to have it be popular the next year!

My SD has a name that my husband said was very unique because they "made it up" and had never met another girl with that same name. There were 8 girls with the same name (but different spellings) in her gymnastics conference. So much for a unique name! My husband actually got mad when he heard that name being announced 8 different times during the meet!

So even if you think the name is unique, it might not be! So just go with what you like. Who cares about the rest?



answers from San Francisco on

When I was choosing my first daughter's name the criteria was that it had to be easy to spell because I always grew up having to spell my name and it was often misspelled. I had no idea that her name had been the most popular name for 10 straight years!! She almost always has one other girl in her class or on her sports team with the same name. Consequently she's referred to by her first name plus her last name initial. It's sort of annoying. That said, I don't know that I would have given her a different name had I known this at the time. I love her name and so does she.

When child #2 came around the criteria was that it must be easy to spell AND it can't be on the top 50 popular names.

Ultimately you need to choose a name you love. You're going to be saying it A LOT!


answers from Washington DC on


My daughter's name is not on the oldest son's name - I'd have to check. I don't think so. My youngest? Unfortunately, when my husband chose his name - it's STILL a popular name!! I don't like having "popular" names....because in school? There will be 3 other Jane's or 3 other Jim's....I don't like to be "unique" (i.e. Neveah - sorry - but that's no longer unique) but I don't like to be "common" either!!

I like Jack. I like Jackson. Is your husband on board with Jackson? You know - when you look at your son for the first time? he might not be a "Jackson"...he might be a Zane or a Garret! You never know!! :)

Congrats on the baby!! I hope you and your husband will be able to pick a name!!



answers from Boston on

Go with what you like and don't worry about its popularity. Having a common name doesn't make for a common person, nor does having a unique name make someone unique or memorable. My first name was the most popular girls' name for 10+ years. One of my sons has the most popular boys' name for that past 10+ years. My three other kids' names were all in the top 10 or 20 when they were born. None of us is bothered by not being the only one in the class or group with the same name - everyone knows how to pronounce it and spell it.


answers from Dallas on

I didn't look at a list of names when I was pregnant. My husband and I agreed once we knew it was a boy that he would have my grandfather's first name as his middle name. We have a difficult last name so I knew the first name needed to be simple in order for it to not be a mouthful. Whatever you like is all that matters. And as always, once your baby is born, the name you choose might not "fit" his look or personality. Classic names are wonderful. Just don't go the celebrity route and name him something totally outlandish that he'll hate as he grows up! If you both like Jack, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. My nephew is named Jackson and while I like the name, it isn't what I would have chosen. Whatever you choose with be fine.
Congrats on the new baby!



answers from Salinas on

The only thing about having a "popular" name is that when he is in school he runs the risk of being Jack B. (or whatever your last initial is) all his life. Jack is a cute name, but it is very popular right now.



answers from Albany on

Naming is always tough... we ended up going with classic, common names for our first 2... names I loved but didn't want to go with because they were so common. My daughter is Kathryn (though we called her Katie for her first 6 years of life, she decided to go with Kathryn this year! It is so funny that her teacher and friends from this year know her as Kathryn and everyone from the past calls her Katie! Our son is Ryan... I always loved this name, but we still hear it a lot. So, for #3 we decided to go with something a little different- though not too different to not really fit with the other names. We were planning on Camden for a boy and Natalie or Alessia for a girl. Our third child is Natalie... and low and behold we hear it ALL the time now... so, you just never know when a name will become more popular. As long as you like them name and you can picture your child with that name as an adult, go for it!


answers from Washington DC on

what does 'too popular' really mean?
if YOU like the name, use it! who cares where it ranks?
i LOVE the name jack.



answers from Houston on

Go with whatever you and your husband agree on. Picking names is SO hard. When I was pregnant with our twins, we had MANY arguments about names. It's amazing they didn't end up with Twin A and Twin B on their birth certificates!!
Go with what you love! Congrats!! :)



answers from New York on

Jack is very popular and has been for the last 10 years. It's up to you. My son's name is Wyatt and when I meet another Wyatt, I have not been impressed. They are never as cute, funny, and smart as my Wyatt. If you are not as bitchy as me and you wont compare your kid against the other Jacks and you don't mind more than 1 or 2 in a class, then go for it. It's very important that you love your child's name.



answers from New York on

Well, we decided to eliminate anything in the top 100. It was a good way to pare down our list. But Jack is a nice name. How about a name to which jack can be a nickname? Like John or something similar.



answers from Pittsburgh on

You could name him John for which Jack is a nickname. If he later decides he doesn't like it, he can go with John.



answers from Portland on

I think it doesn't matter either way. Name your baby what you want.



answers from Portland on

I'm not a fan of popular names, personally. Did you ever read the Freakanomics piece on 20 year name cycles? It's eye opening...

That said, I think classic names are fine...I'd prefer a simple, strong Jack to Jackson/Jaxon in any derivation at this point. The former is a classic name, the latter is trendy right now.

Our son's name is nearly unheard-of in our area-- we only have met two other children with the same name, and both only because we were calling after our son and those parents were amazed that our kid had the same name.... and that a little blonde boy had a Spanish name. Funny, thing, the English translation of his name is Jack!



answers from Chicago on

I don't hereJack too often among my sons 6 yr old peers. I've only come across one.

When we were naming our son, we made a list of names we liked, then shortened the list to names we both liked. We ended up with 3 we really liked and one we both loved. I never even thought about if it was popular because it was more important that we both loved it. And we still do.


answers from Washington DC on

I know a dozen Jackson's (or Jason's) easy. They are everywhere here. Two of them are named after their mom's maiden name, but still...I know way too many of them to lke the name personally. BUT, it doesn't matter if *I* like the name, it matters if YOU and YOUR HUSBAND like the name.

We named our daughter a name we had NEVER heard of before. It's not off the wall, but we had never heard it. Now she knows 3 other girls with the same name. It's still not a super common name, but still. One of her good friends that she dances with has that name and another girl is new in her class and has the same name. Most people spell it differently than we do, but still.

My middle son has a common, but not overly used name. I think we've only found one other little boy with that name that we have known personally. I know a couple of little girls with the name too. He would have had the same name (different spellings) regardless of the gender. I LOVE his name.

And the youngest has a name of a boy I used to babysit when I was in high school. I LOVED the name then and still do now. It's uncommon, but we did find another little boy at the ball field a few years ago with the same name. My son was 3 and her son was 4. I called my son and she asked me who's kid I called....her son had the same name. It took us 3 years and her 4 to find someone with the same name. And that's the one and only time it's happened to date.

But like I said before, you go with a name YOU all like and be fine with it. Don't worry about popularity.



answers from Baton Rouge on

Name your child what YOU want to name him. It doesn't matter if 50 million people share that name, or if he is the only person with that name who ever existed.



answers from Colorado Springs on

Most babies are named what is more or less popular at the time. I like the name Jack, but I've never heard it given to a girl. With a boy, Jack is a traditional nickname for John. Jackie (with various spellings) is a traditional nickname for Jacqueline. But I don't see anything the matter with it being your son's real name.

I know there are jokes about what happens when the person given the trendy, cutesy name turns 40. But there are always trends. Whoever thought Mabel or Elsie would come back for girls? They were out of style way before I was born! But now I'm meeting young girls with those names.

So don't worry too much about popularity. Try it out with your last name; try it out in various hypothetical situations ("Jack Morgan Smith, DDS"... "Jackson Michael Jones, do I have to come up there?!") and see what seems to work. Don't overthink it. Your boy will have more effect on his name than his name will have on him (unless, like the old song, you name him Sue).


answers from Dallas on

I think don't worry about it. How many Michael's do you know? Or Mary's or any name you might light. I still love them even if I have 3 friends with the name. Pick the name you like. Jack is a wonderful name!


answers from Phoenix on

My son is 10 and is Jackson. Back in the day it wasn't popular, now, you yell "Jackson!" and 8 kids will turn and look at you. So no, I would not use it. I personally don't like common names and made up my daughters name. Good luck.


answers from Grand Forks on

I like for a name to be in the top 100, but not in the top 10. That way the name is not too unusual, but also not too common. I dislike kr8tive names that are difficult to spell, but I also didn't want my kids to be one of many with the same name in school. As it is my boys names both ranked in the 40's and 50's for popularity for the year they were born, and they are the only of each name in their school of 200 students, but no one has ever had to ask them how to spell or pronounce their names. BTW I really like the name Jack. My dad was John, but went by Jack his whole life. I do not like Jackson, and especially not Jaxon.


answers from Austin on

Who cares about anything, except, you like the name. '

Our daughters name is a normal name spelled traditionally..
The moment we saw her, we knew it was the correct name for her.

Go with what you want.. no regrets.


answers from Los Angeles on

It really depends if being unique is important to you. Uniqueness rates low with some and high with others. I refuse top 10 names and really prefer to be off the top 20. But there is no guarantee. My daughter was named Lily and at her birth, that ranked number 30 or so. Now its number 6. If you're on an upward trend there's no telling where it will land.
Now I thought i would be really off the beaten path by naming our expected son, Henry, after his grandfather. I don't know any young Henry's! Oh guess what, top #3 for 2012. Didn't even make top 20 in previous years.
As to your specific question, It just doesn't matter if some people like common names and others don't. You're going to get a range of preferences here, what matters is what is your preference for common vs. unusual names? And what about you husband? I like unusual names, my husband likes common, we compromised by using vintage names.

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