Unpopular Baby Names: Avoiding the Jacobs, Emilys and Madisons

My wife has now finished the first trimester of her pregnancy so we can let people know that our little Theo’s going to be a big brother this fall. That means it’s time to think of baby names.

Fallen Baby Names List

Name Rank:
1900
Rank:
2003
Drop Name Rank:
1900
Rank:
2003
Drop
1 Herbert 32 962 930 1 Edna 17 986 969
2 Herman 45 974 929 2 Louise 24 977 953
3 Floyd 50 964 914 3 Beatrice 44 982 938
4 J 35 920 885 4 Bertha 26 963 937
5 Fred 19 876 857 5 Gladys 15 945 930
6 Earl 27 882 855 6 Lucille 49 954 905
7 Clarence 18 717 699 7 Dorothy 7 846 839
8 Howard 30 721 691 8 Hazel 20 681 661
9 Alfred 33 683 650 9 Edith 25 683 658
10 Ralph 23 660 637 10 Frances 16 580 564
11 Elmer 36 654 618 11 Irene 21 581 560
12 Harold 15 595 580 12 Marie 8 496 488
13 Ernest 26 599 573 13 Martha 31 487 456
14 Eugene 49 578 529 14 Alice 10 426 416
15 Leonard 48 571 523 15 Helen 2 389 387
16 Harry 13 517 504 16 Ruth 5 350 345
17 Francis 37 509 472 17 Rose 14 358 344
18 Willie 28 454 426 18 Annie 28 339 311
19 Roy 24 433 409 19 Clara 23 295 272
20 Walter 11 356 345 20 Esther 30 297 267
21 Arthur 14 353 339 21 Josephine 33 260 227
22 Carl 20 357 337 22 Eva 39 215 176
23 Lawrence 34 344 310 23 Ruby 42 197 155
24 Albert 16 311 295 24 Margaret 3 130 127
25 Joe 38 321 283 25 Catherine 19 106 87
26 Theodore 42 313 271 26 Laura 50 122 72
27 Louis 21 278 257 27 Mary 1 61 60
28 Leo 44 288 244 28 Evelyn 34 89 55
29 Frank 8 228 220 29 Anna 4 21 17
30 Raymond 22 188 166 30 Elizabeth 6 9 3
31 George 4 137 133 31 Mildred 9 n/a 0
32 Edward 9 128 119 32 Florence 11 n/a 0
33 Paul 17 124 107 33 Ethel 12 n/a 0
34 Henry 10 116 106 34 Lillian 13 n/a 0
35 Peter 46 148 102 35 Gertrude 22 n/a 0
36 Kenneth 47 109 62 36 Mabel 27 n/a 0
37 Richard 25 86 61 37 Bessie 32 n/a 0
38 Charles 6 59 53 38 Elsie 35 n/a 0
39 Robert 7 35 28 39 Pearl 36 n/a 0
40 Thomas 12 36 24 40 Agnes 37 n/a 0
41 John 1 17 16 41 Thelma 38 n/a 0
42 James 3 18 15 42 Myrtle 40 n/a 0
43 William 2 11 9 43 Ida 41 n/a 0
44 Jack 41 46 5 44 Minnie 43 n/a 0
45 Joseph 5 6 1 45 Viola 47 n/a 0
46 Samuel 31 23 -8 46 Nellie 48 n/a 0
47 David 29 14 -15 47 Grace 18 13 -5
48 Anthony 43 10 -33 48 Julia 45 33 -12
49 Andrew 40 5 -35 49 Emma 29 2 -27
50 Michael 39 2 -37 50 Sarah 46 12 -34

Most new parents want to give their child unique names and want to steer clear of the most over-used names. Yet if you tell your friends you’re naming your boy Jacob or Joshua, they’ll all cheer you on. If your little girl goes by Emily, Emma or Madison, they’ll think that’s darling. Yet those are the top three boy and girl names for 2003.

They are tens of thousands of kids getting these top names every year. All of the kids with these names are going to be getting nicknames to differentiate them from one another: just hope your little angel isn’t the one that gets tagged “The Ugly Emily” or “The Stupid Joshua” by their third grade classmates!

There are definite trends in names. Certain names tend to sound fresh and daring even when they’re overused and trite. The only way to train your ear away from such trends is to methodically study the data (the New York Times had a fasincating article on all this when we were pondering Theo’s name, Where Have All the Lisas Gone?).

Fortunately the U.S. Social Security Administration provides a list of the most popular baby names by year, going back to the turn of the twentieth century. Using this, my wife and I were able to choose “Theodore” for our first child’s name; born in 2003, he name is the 313th most popular boy’s name and dropping. Yet it’s a known name and there have been great twentieth century folks who have answered to it (e.g., Dr. Suess, Theodore Geisel).

How is a parent to choose? One recent afternoon I cut and pasted the top fifty boy and girl names of the first decade of the Twentieth Century. I looked up their current status (the 2003 data) to see what movement has occured in their placement. The old names are still known but some have fallen far out of use. Herbert, for example, was the 32nd most popular boy’s name in the first decade of the Twentieth Century, but now ranks a dismal 930! If you want a name everyone knows but no one is giving their kid, Herbert’s your choice for boy’s and Edna’s your choice for girls.

Now these fallen names probably sound awkward. But that’s the point: they run counter to the trends. I’ll admit that some deserve their reduced status; I cannot imagine saddling a little girl with “Edna.” But in the list are some gems which have been unduly demoted by the trend-setters.

We’ve been very happy with “Theodore,” the 26th most fallen name of the Twentieth Century. He’s officially named after his great-great uncle. The social security datebase assured us that the name was safe from trendiness.

So what will the new baby be named? Check in soon!! The due date is the end of August.


Update: drumroll please…. Our new son’s name is Francis! And further follow-up brought us Gregory and Laura. We’re officially out of the baby-making game now but if we were looking for more, Walt and Dorothy would be our next picks of classic-but-uncommon names.

  • http://beppeblog.blogspot.com Joe G.

    Congratulations! “joe” isn’t such a bad name…{ahem}

  • http://www.nonviolence.org/martink Martin Kelley

    Well “Joe” _is_ right next to Theodore on the unpopularity charts. Unfortunately “Joseph” is right there at number 6 (I’m sure it’s even higher in our town where every third male seems to be named “Joe.”)
    I get the feeling I’m going to get a lot of comments telling me that “Amanda,” “Liz,” and “Pokie Mon” aren’t such bad names….

  • http://maurers.home.mindspring.com Johan Maurer

    If Jo(e) is good, then Jo(han) might also be okay. But if you’re not Norwegian you’d be better off spelling it with two n’s: Johann, because the second n will be added anyway more often than not. Except when people think you’re John or Joanne or (I’m not making this up) Jolican. The last error was on a mailing from Internal Revenue.

  • Liz

    I still like Alvin. Please consider it. I don’t think it will become trendy. It was 512 in 2003, 329 in 1900.

  • http://www.nonviolence.org/martink Martin Kelley

    A little brother Alvin for Theodore, hmm? The problem is that “Simon” is 240 and going up (it was 354 a decade ago) so that we’d risk trendiness on number three by trying to single-handedly spawn “The Chipmunks”:http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/ShowMainServlet/showid-2827/. I’ll _suggest_ it to Julie but don’t hold your breath.

  • Sue

    Congratuations! As a member of Norristown MM said on the birth of our Jakob, “another hope for the world”!
    We picked Jakob because it’s a family name. Its popularity STUNNED me; I’d checked the list only to see how unpopular it was! But I couldn’t name him Emanuel, and I wasn’t naming him George or James. Considering his birthday, we could have picked Phil. I say, pick a name you like, no matter how popular or unpopular.
    — S

  • http://www.nonviolence.org/martink Martin Kelley

    Hi Sue, Well at least you shouldn’t have to worry that your little one will be another generic Jakob!

  • Robin Mohr

    My husband talked me into naming our now three year old son Silas (which he picked out of the Book of Acts). I wasn’t sure whether that was in the same category with Herbert and Edna or not. (I thought it wouldn’t matter since I was sure we were going to have a girl and name her Mary Alice, which I thought would go well with big brother Henry.) But now I know another woman with a three year old blond boy named Silas – who almost went to the same preschool. You never know when a name is going to come back.

  • Chris Mohr

    Robin, I’d prefer to say that your husband was led by the Holy Spirit to open the Book of Acts to find the name of Silas staring up at him. If Silas was good enough for the Apostle Paul, he’s good enough for me, I thought. Anyway, it was the right name for our most precious and thoroughly sturdy younger son. (Perhaps some day he too will be wandering around Croatia converting people!)
    There are many Google hits for Silas because a hunky participant on the first edition of the TV show “Survivor” was named Silas. And there’s a Christian rock band called Something Like Silas. (Haven’t listened to any of their songs, doesn’t really appeal to me.)
    Many people first hear “Cyrus.” Many people associate it with Eliot’s “Silas Marner” (which I read for the first time only six months ago, and what a lovely Christian story it is!). A very few associate it with “Paul and Silas sitting in jail/with no one to go their bail.”
    And above all, many many blessings to Martin, Julie and Theo!

  • Noel L.

    I haven’t seen my name on there in a while… I am female and it is pronounced No L… as in the christmas song… although… I love my name because it’s unique, I neither find it on the unpopular or on the popular list so I guess it’s basically non-existant..

  • Staci

    We had so much trouble picking our daughter’s name. We considered Carris, but it sounded too much like my mother’s maiden name of Garris. We finally decided to saddle her with Kayla but to give her an unusural middle name in case there were too many Kaylas in her class. Her middle name is Eden.

  • http://www.nonviolence.org/martink Martin Kelley

    Hi Staci,
    It’s hard to find a good name these days. All the KA- names are big now, aren’t they, in all sorts of permutations and spellings. Are you calling her “Kayla Eden” or just keeping “Eden” in backup as a plan B? We’ve gone the known-but-unused naming route but even so it’s amazing how many people stutter over “Theo” or ask us how to spell it. The surprise with “Francis” is how many people have smiled and shared the story of a favorite grandparent with that name.

  • sandy

    kayla is awesome thats the name ive picked if i ever have a girl but i cant figure out a middle name with it ,

  • Kirrily Prat

    My name is VERY unpopular (KERiley)I love it.My name is not Emily for shure.

  • Laura

    Our son is a Theo too (born in 2001, so as there are more and more Theos these days [so it seems]) we are at the beginning of the trend. I think most people these days use the census data provided by thinkbabynames.com and look for more unique, less trendy names. So everyone seems to find the more traditional names unique, but this seems to now be a trend.

  • http://www.quakerranter.org/ Martin Kelley

    Hi Laura: You’re seeing a lot of Theo’s? “Theodore” was the 306th most popular baby boy’s name in 2001, when you named your baby and the 305th most popular last year. The numbers aren’t showing a trend yet. It’d be smart of parents to use the census data (provided originally by the Social Security Administration of course) but I ‘m not sure they are…

  • Emily Y.

    Thank you for blogging this. My name is Emily and when I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s in New York City, I didn’t know anyone with my name. I loved being the only Emily my life. When I was in class I hated it when we had to differentiate between which Jennifer or which Michael. Now, I will have to dread when all these little Emily’s grow up and cause everyone confusion. I will probably be described as Old Emily. *sigh*

  • http://www.xanga.com/laurenperry Lauren

    I have a Mabel and a Lucy. Where was this list when I was looking for names? Good luck naming yours!

    • Katlyn Mckinney

      l.o.v.e. that name

      • Rissabean99

        Noel has to be one of the coolest/prettiest names i’ve ever heard. I can never find my name on any lists either….(my name is Clarissa)

      • http://freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com/ Sarah

        !!! I Sarah Post This Testimony Coz Am Pregnant Thanks To Dr.Ukaka

        with the pregnancy spell Dr.Ukaka did for me, i was able to conceive within 4weeks, after he cast the pregnancy spell for me he told me that i will have to sleep with my partner so that i can put the spell to work. after i have slept with my husband i became pregnant 4week letter, when i went for my pregnancy check up the Doc confirm that i am a week pregnant. with this great privilege i want to thank Dr.Ukaka and i will also recommend him to others that need help to conceive to contact him via his email address freedomlovespell@hotmail.com to those who seek his great help………

  • http://www.quakerranter.org Martin Kelley

    Hi Lauren: oh those are great names! Both of ours have been boys but Lucy’s one we talked about. We haven’t known the sex either time; time we face the decision we had settled on a girl name of Dorothy or Dorothea (right next to Lucille on the list!).
    For those reading this, the 2006 figures debuted a few weeks ago. “Theodore” is up about six places in popularity, while “Francis” has dropped another 25 or so.

  • http://www.quakerranter.org Julie DeMarchi Heiland

    Just a note on the “Ka” names that Martin is mentioning. I work with small children daily (and older ones too, for that matter). Yesterday I had a gymnastics class with the following. No joke. I always get tongue-tied:
    Kayleigh
    Bailey
    Kaitlin
    Katie
    McKinleigh
    I also have the following, sometimes in multiples:
    Kayla (MANY)
    Kylie
    Carly
    Kasey
    Katrina
    Cailene (say “Kay-leena”)
    Kimmy
    Cassidy
    Cara
    Karla
    And also:
    Alissa/Alyssa/Yuleza (pronounced Jah-lissa) (multiple)
    Marissa
    Mia (a few)
    Maia (a couple)
    Madison/Madysen/Maddy/etc. (MANY)
    McKenna/Michal/Myangel/McKinleigh (one each, but you get the picture)
    Amanda (a few)
    Samantha/Sam (and also Sara/h) (a few)
    Larissa
    Lissa
    Brianna
    Lianna
    Arianna (a couple)
    Alexandra
    Hanna(h)
    Hailey
    Ashley
    Jordan (multiple)
    Taylor (many)
    Tabitha
    Eve/Eva
    Emily (many)
    Abby/Abigail (MANY)
    Gabby/Gabriella/Gabrielle (MANY)
    Julie/Julianna/Julia
    Jessica/Jesika
    Chloe/Zoe
    Grace
    Olivia
    Nicole/Nicolina/Nicki/Nicolette
    Brooke (a couple older ones)
    Brittany/Britney/Brittney/etc.
    That’s a sampling. As a general note, few people deviate from the above list. Most of the kids I teach have one of the above names, embracing names that end with the “anna,” “abby,” “ah,” and “issa” and/or begin with “Kah,” “Kay,” or a similar sound. You also see place names as popular, gender neutral type names, and the whole “last names as first names” trends. I have well over one hundred students and know several dozen more, and teach birthday parties for dozens more. That means most of these names are excessively (IMO) repeated.

  • Christina Smith

    I notice that a lot of people think they’re being original with their name choices when in actuality, they’re not. So that said, if I were to give my baby a plain name (John), am I being original by giving him this name? With all the Jacobs and Madisons and Taylors and Haleys out there, could “John” actually be the more unusual choice? “John” seem to place around #20 on the Social Security site–this seems odd to me as I’ve never heard “John” around the playground and furthermore, when I google “John”, most people lump it under in the “boring” category.
    Anyway, just want to see what people have to say about using “boring” names to be original.

  • Tricia

    Well this is interesting – my dad is 1 of 6 children, 5 boys and 1 girl. All the boys are on that list, with Fred the most ‘fallen’ and James and Jack the least. I guess Geraldine wasn’t popular in the early 1900s (they were all born a few decades after that).
    I find it curious that you didn’t put the girls’ names that have completely fallen off the list at the top of “most fallen”, but hey, it’s your method, you decide! :^) Also interesting to note that none of the boys’ names completely fell off – I’ve read in various places that girls’ names seem more subject to trends and fashion. This seems to reinforce that!

  • Martin Kelley

    @Tricia: yes, scientific method might have dictated that I put the off-the-list girls up top. I originally compiled this as an aid to choosing a name for my second-born and just couldn’t bring myself to consider a name that had gone so far out of popularity that it was out of the top 1000!

  • Bernadette

    I’m Bernadette. My father named me after a Saint. There are not that many Bernadette’s out there…

  • shaniece

    im only 11 and i want to know what my name meens.theres only shanice on websites like these does my name meen the same?

  • janie

    i would have never thought of these names i thought about naming my baby andrew or vengense

  • janie

    i would have never thought of these names i thought about naming my baby andrew or vengense

  • hey i'm a carl!!! it definitely hasn't helped me score with the ladies…they call me nick or kyle… go figure

    i knew enda was on the list though!! definitely bertha!

  • hey i’m a carl!!! it definitely hasn’t helped me score with the ladies…they call me nick or kyle… go figure

    i knew enda was on the list though!! definitely bertha!

  • Parker

    My name is Parker, but i'm female. Born 1994. No one I meet has ever heard of a girl named Parker, and few have heard of even a boy named it. Everyone asks me if that's not my last name. No. My middle name, Loren (think Sophia Loren), is also unheard of and most people read it 'Lauren'. It gets on my nerves. Can people not accept unusual names in America? Apparently they have to learn to cope.

  • Parker

    My name is Parker, but i’m female. Born 1994. No one I meet has ever heard of a girl named Parker, and few have heard of even a boy named it. Everyone asks me if that’s not my last name. No. My middle name, Loren (think Sophia Loren), is also unheard of and most people read it ‘Lauren’. It gets on my nerves. Can people not accept unusual names in America? Apparently they have to learn to cope.

    • Jasmine

      There’s the actress Parker Posey:
      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000205/

      I like your name!

      My name was very different when I was a kid and I didn’t like it, but now that I’m older and enjoy having a unique name…I’m meeting alot more of them!

    • Karlee

      Your not the only one with a different name my name is not so popular but i spell it different. and it anoys me that some people pronounce it Kaile like what is this.

  • Alice

    A pretty Girls name is Jericha (Jerika

  • Alice

    A pretty Girls name is Jericha (Jerika

  • Jasmine

    There's the actress Parker Posey:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000205/

    I like your name!

    My name was very different when I was a kid and I didn't like it, but now that I'm older and enjoy having a unique name…I'm meeting alot more of them!

  • Devon

    my top 5 baby names

    Boys:
    1.Randy
    2.Brad
    3.Mark
    4.Kandem
    5.Erick

    Girls:
    1. Kandie
    2.Lacie
    3.Erika
    4.Kordelia
    5.Ginger

  • Devon

    my top 5 baby names

    Boys:
    1.Randy
    2.Brad
    3.Mark
    4.Kandem
    5.Erick

    Girls:
    1. Kandie
    2.Lacie
    3.Erika
    4.Kordelia
    5.Ginger

    • Beebanna

      LOVE those names but they might get teased if theyre called ginger x

  • Clara Ellen

    I think a cute old fashioned baby name is Da da da da…. Carol Anne Grace Driggers(my last name)
    my mom said she would love to name me that. I am 11 years old from Macon GA. my name is Clara-Ellen Grace Driggers. Old fashioned but girly and sporty at the same time I cant imagine being called another name like a used name such as.. Reilly or Katy or elizabeth. Though they are cute hey are not at all my style! Hey ever think about calling you boy a nick name like Franci or something? Oh, and Francis is so adorable!

  • Clara Ellen

    I think a cute old fashioned baby name is Da da da da…. Carol Anne Grace Driggers(my last name)
    my mom said she would love to name me that. I am 11 years old from Macon GA. my name is Clara-Ellen Grace Driggers. Old fashioned but girly and sporty at the same time I cant imagine being called another name like a used name such as.. Reilly or Katy or elizabeth. Though they are cute hey are not at all my style! Hey ever think about calling you boy a nick name like Franci or something? Oh, and Francis is so adorable!

  • jennifer

    My son's name is Theo(dore), born in 1994. I found this while trying to determine how popular his name was. I hope both your kids find great happiness with their names. My 8th grader loves his name… although he is actually one of two at his middle school! We honored many with his name… my great grandfather, Teddy Roosevelt, Dr. Seuss, Theo Van Gogh, Theo Van Doesburg, and the name's meaning is wonderful as well. Theo has found his name is very popular in books, TV and movies, so it must appeal to creative types like me. Steven Spielberg (sp?) has a son Theo.

  • jennifer

    My son’s name is Theo(dore), born in 1994. I found this while trying to determine how popular his name was. I hope both your kids find great happiness with their names. My 8th grader loves his name… although he is actually one of two at his middle school! We honored many with his name… my great grandfather, Teddy Roosevelt, Dr. Seuss, Theo Van Gogh, Theo Van Doesburg, and the name’s meaning is wonderful as well. Theo has found his name is very popular in books, TV and movies, so it must appeal to creative types like me. Steven Spielberg (sp?) has a son Theo.

  • Alan Blackwell

    My Grandson,born two days ago, is named Theo. He is lucky that my g/parents idea has not been followed. My father was named after the ship that sank on his birth day.He lived as Titanic for 61 years.

  • http://www.martinkelley.com Martin Kelley

    @Alan: wow, I think that wins the prize as the worst name I've heard yet!

  • Alan Blackwell

    My Grandson,born two days ago, is named Theo. He is lucky that my g/parents idea has not been followed. My father was named after the ship that sank on his birth day.He lived as Titanic for 61 years.

    • http://www.martinkelley.com/ Martin Kelley

      @Alan: wow, I think that wins the prize as the worst name I’ve heard yet!

      • Katlyn Mckinney

        i think titanic is a cool name

    • Bella

      I think that name is very creative and i like it a lot. Your father, in my opinion, is very lucky to have a name like that.

  • Karlee

    Your not the only one with a different name my name is not so popular but i spell it different. and it anoys me that some people pronounce it Kaile like what is this.

  • Caroline

    I too have a bit of an unusual name, not many people are named Caroline even though there have been many famous Carolines in history. I am very happy that my mom chose to name both me and my sister (Louise) less common names, unlike the 3 Taylors or 3 Emilys that I know from school.

  • Caroline

    I too have a bit of an unusual name, not many people are named Caroline even though there have been many famous Carolines in history. I am very happy that my mom chose to name both me and my sister (Louise) less common names, unlike the 3 Taylors or 3 Emilys that I know from school.

  • Betssie

    try to use cartoon charater names that would be FUNNUY

  • Betssie

    try to use cartoon charater names that would be FUNNUY

  • Ciará

    I love the name Florance! And it's hard to believe that John would have dropped. I thought it was quite popular. I also like the name Samuel and Clarence… My name is Ciará Cailean-Candika Marte and people find that crazy in the USA! Since my first name is pronounced as Kira, then Kay-lynn, Can-Dee-Kuh, Mar-tee. They always pronounce it wrong… But I'm very surprised by many of these fallen names. Dragos is a fallen name too… Just not an English name.

  • Ciará

    I love the name Florance! And it’s hard to believe that John would have dropped. I thought it was quite popular. I also like the name Samuel and Clarence… My name is Ciará Cailean-Candika Marte and people find that crazy in the USA! Since my first name is pronounced as Kira, then Kay-lynn, Can-Dee-Kuh, Mar-tee. They always pronounce it wrong… But I’m very surprised by many of these fallen names. Dragos is a fallen name too… Just not an English name.

  • Sally

    We have chosen Theodore for our son as well! It's a namesake, but we really love it.

  • http://www.martinkelley.com Martin Kelley

    Yea for Theodores! The best part is you can call him “Theadorable”!

  • Sally

    We have chosen Theodore for our son as well! It’s a namesake, but we really love it.

    • http://www.martinkelley.com/ Martin Kelley

      Yea for Theodores! The best part is you can call him “Theadorable”!

      • athena2015

        My full name is Athena Dane’ (pronounced Danay) and I love it. I have only met one other Athena and a friend of mine just gave her daughter my middle name. I am pregnant now and trying to find an unusual name but it is a lot harder than i thought. My grandma’s name was Greta Theodora so i have thought about Theo for a boy. i love the name Rae for a girl but i want it as a middle name. Maybe Daelyn Rae or Jocelyn, which my husband hates! I would love some suggestions!!!

        • Bella

          What about Raina (pronounces Rain-a) or Renee (Ree-nee) They are both very beautiful names and unusual.

        • Becca_Jane

          What about Riane (prounounced Ryan) it’s for a girl!!

        • coda

          well i am soon to be married and i have loved this name that i made up when i was in 8th grade. akeeli rae that is going to be my first daughters name. i have looked everywhere and there is no word or name exactly like it. its pronounced (a-key-lee)

  • Ashlee

    how about keane for a boy or amelia for a girl???

  • Ashlee

    how about keane for a boy or amelia for a girl???

    • julia

      keane for a boy is weird
      amelia for a girl is o.k

  • Savannah

    I've been looking at least popular names because I know that in the high school I go to there are at least ten Kaylas, Stephanies, Emilys, and so on. There is also one Kaleigh, which I have to say is the one that annoys me the most.

    If I ever have a daughter I want to name her Kathleen Sanford, Kathleen for my grandmother and Sanford because that's my mom's middle name and I think that it's really cool. That or Florence after my great great aunt.

    Some other interesting names in my family are Park Treslin (my uncle) Anne Elise (my aunt) and Azalia Bernice (great grandmother)

  • Savannah

    I’ve been looking at least popular names because I know that in the high school I go to there are at least ten Kaylas, Stephanies, Emilys, and so on. There is also one Kaleigh, which I have to say is the one that annoys me the most.

    If I ever have a daughter I want to name her Kathleen Sanford, Kathleen for my grandmother and Sanford because that’s my mom’s middle name and I think that it’s really cool. That or Florence after my great great aunt.

    Some other interesting names in my family are Park Treslin (my uncle) Anne Elise (my aunt) and Azalia Bernice (great grandmother)

  • Jane Dorothy

    I love it! Surprised that my name isn't on the list! I love it, but I'm 23 and it's not very popular (probably why I love it) My middle name is on it though. See, when I look up my kids' names, I get upset when I see that a name is within the top 400. I like the classic, old, 1900-esque names. Margaret, I really like Margaret. or Katharine (which I think is number 900 some) but not Katherine which is 45.

  • Jane Dorothy

    I love it! Surprised that my name isn’t on the list! I love it, but I’m 23 and it’s not very popular (probably why I love it) My middle name is on it though. See, when I look up my kids’ names, I get upset when I see that a name is within the top 400. I like the classic, old, 1900-esque names. Margaret, I really like Margaret. or Katharine (which I think is number 900 some) but not Katherine which is 45.

  • julia

    this is a cool orginazation of popular and unpopular names. I think it is cool to find your own name on one of the lists. I am number 48 on the unpopular names list.

  • julia

    keane for a boy is weird
    amelia for a girl is o.k

  • julia

    this is a cool orginazation of popular and unpopular names. I think it is cool to find your own name on one of the lists. I am number 48 on the unpopular names list.

  • Alexandra

    Wow! Your website is neat and true.my name is Alexandra and my sisters names are Tatiana and Natalya. my brothers name is nicholas. I never knew any one with the same name as me before. I have only heard Tatiana one time other than her. Never heard any body named Natalya. My mom is going to have a baby any day now and she want to name him Constantine. We all have Russian names.

  • Alexandra

    Wow! Your website is neat and true.my name is Alexandra and my sisters names are Tatiana and Natalya. my brothers name is nicholas. I never knew any one with the same name as me before. I have only heard Tatiana one time other than her. Never heard any body named Natalya. My mom is going to have a baby any day now and she want to name him Constantine. We all have Russian names.

  • http://myspace.com/evil_has_awoken tommie.

    my name is tommie.and i'm a girl actually.(:
    my mom was gonna spell it 'tomi.'but i'm
    kinda glad she didn't.and my middle name
    is lynn.tommie lynn.i couldn't see myself
    being named anything else,it's pretty
    unique of a name.but when i was younger,
    i got picked on because of it.hahahah.

  • http://myspace.com/evil_has_awoken tommie.

    my name is tommie.and i’m a girl actually.(:
    my mom was gonna spell it ‘tomi.’but i’m
    kinda glad she didn’t.and my middle name
    is lynn.tommie lynn.i couldn’t see myself
    being named anything else,it’s pretty
    unique of a name.but when i was younger,
    i got picked on because of it.hahahah.

    • Becca_Jane

      I’ve got a friend that is named Tommie. She is really nice. You sound nice too!

    • Maplenation

      I know a girl named Tommie too!  I thought she was the only one.  It goes to show there is never just one! :-)

  • sel

    Is “Selena” an uncommon name? I've never met anyone who has my name.

  • sel

    Is “Selena” an uncommon name? I’ve never met anyone who has my name.

    • BeckaH

      i named my cat is Selena ..i thought it was a fitting and lovely name.some people could not get there heads around it, they would always end up calling her lina or nina lol.If i had a child i would have called her that,very unusual.

  • Sarah

    I don't really like the way my name is spelled, but i'm finding out that not many poeple spell it like i do so i think that that's pretty cool. I like these girl names because their so unike.

    1. Aressa
    2. Arisella
    3. Azura
    4. Kira
    5. Meridia
    6. Thea
    7. Bria

  • Sarah

    I don’t really like the way my name is spelled, but i’m finding out that not many poeple spell it like i do so i think that that’s pretty cool. I like these girl names because their so unike.

    1. Aressa
    2. Arisella
    3. Azura
    4. Kira
    5. Meridia
    6. Thea
    7. Bria

  • marina_michele

    My names is Marina (Michele; middle name) uncommon in the US, I hear its kinda popular in russia though. Ive only met 2 ppl in my 22 years w/ my name, one was russian.

  • marina_michele

    My names is Marina (Michele; middle name) uncommon in the US, I hear its kinda popular in russia though. Ive only met 2 ppl in my 22 years w/ my name, one was russian.

    • Renee1994watts

      That my friends name. :) i am Renee meet two people with that name on was a girl who bite people she didn’t like and everyone thought i was her….so sad cuz i was the new kid and didn’t understand

  • BeckaH

    i named my cat is Selena ..i thought it was a fitting and lovely name.some people could not get there heads around it, they would always end up calling her lina or nina lol.If i had a child i would have called her that,very unusual.

  • kimmypersun

    I LOVE the name Kaydence Dawn-Marie (my Fiance's Mom's first and middle name was Dawn Marie..RIP) I heard the name (Cadence) in a movie… “American Wedding” and thought it was an awesome/cute name. So I made up my own little spelling.. i've been in love with that name since i was in 8th grade (im now 22) =D
    I wish that was my name.. but instead Kimberly (after Gem and the Holograms) from my sister.. got picked on alot in school.. i was nicknamed “Kimberly the Pink Power Ranger”

  • kimmypersun

    I LOVE the name Kaydence Dawn-Marie (my Fiance’s Mom’s first and middle name was Dawn Marie..RIP) I heard the name (Cadence) in a movie… “American Wedding” and thought it was an awesome/cute name. So I made up my own little spelling.. i’ve been in love with that name since i was in 8th grade (im now 22) =D
    I wish that was my name.. but instead Kimberly (after Gem and the Holograms) from my sister.. got picked on alot in school.. i was nicknamed “Kimberly the Pink Power Ranger”

  • leighna

    My name is Leighna, and you know, I LOVE my name. I don't care what others think. They call me “Leighnie.” And you know what, I LOVE it.

  • leighna

    My name is Leighna, and you know, I LOVE my name. I don’t care what others think. They call me “Leighnie.” And you know what, I LOVE it.

  • asuralynn

    I really don't like my name. It's too common for my tastes; Christina Javene Thompson.
    I like unusual names that nobody has thought of using before, like:
    Asura ('demon' in Hindu / aSUrah)
    Mitsukai ('angel' in Japanese / MITskai)
    Engel ('angel' in German / ENGyel)

  • asuralynn

    I really don’t like my name. It’s too common for my tastes; Christina Javene Thompson.
    I like unusual names that nobody has thought of using before, like:
    Asura (‘demon’ in Hindu / aSUrah)
    Mitsukai (‘angel’ in Japanese / MITskai)
    Engel (‘angel’ in German / ENGyel)

  • Lola Jacqueline Gonzalez

    I have a journal where i wrote a lot of names (over 200) and there is probably not enough space for me to put them here. (im 12) here are a few… or alot…

    Girls:

    Ambrielle
    Rosalina
    Jordan/Jordyn
    Chelsea/Chelsie
    Audrey/Aubree
    Celestina
    Aliana
    Gabrielle
    Annemarie
    Alexandra Mae
    Arabella
    Lauren Keyana (like Keke Palmer)
    Marisela
    Miranda
    Mackenzie
    Jadyn
    Leah
    Serena/Selena
    Liliana
    Davey
    Esme
    Marianne
    Richelle
    Hallie
    Tiana
    Marissa
    Makena
    Anarea
    Serenity
    Allie Brianne
    Serafina
    Ciandra
    Rose Alana
    Alexa Janelle
    Kodi
    Aphrodite
    Kylie
    Aurelia
    Anahi (anna-ee)
    Lindsay Maryse
    Shanelle

    Boys:

    Daniel Jacob
    Anthony Manuel
    Luke
    Randy
    Kevin
    Brandon
    Justin
    Michael
    Aaron
    Christopher
    Alexander
    James
    Jonathan
    Jared
    Joshua
    Caleb
    Andrew
    Jackson
    Darren
    Cody

    • Purple22448

      Hi Lola Jacqueline Gonzalez!

      Hey, I’m 12 years old too!

      Like the list! By the way, I think a great name is Cassidy. It’s not that popular and a cute nickname is Cassie. ( My name’s Cassidy, though, and I like it spelled more unique like Cassi) It can also be spelled Kassidy.

  • Kendelle

    My name is Kendelle (female 26) and I didn’t know anyone with that name growing up. A year or so ago I heard someone calling my name at the mall and a little girl answered to it, so I guess there are some others out there now, but still not many.

  • Pumpernickel

    I absolutely agree with you, both my husband and I have somewhat trendy names. My husbands name is way too common for our generation. My name is also quite common, but is not as common in North America as in other countries that I’ve lived in, but still I know lots of people with that name. We named our oldest son Ronald, which was very common about two generations past. It doesn’t sound weird but you also don’t find too many people naming their children that today. We are currently expecting our second son and planning to name him Theodore (that’s how I ran into your article). I like the nickname Theo, not a big fan of Ted (for some reason too many people are choosing Ted as a name for their pet!).

  • Breianna

    Hello
    My name is Breianna (Prononced bree-r-na) Neva Price
    i love it to be very honest although people always say my name wrong which annoys me abit lol. Recently i just had twins boy and a girl and i called them
    Una Jaydie Allon (Girl)
    Bricen Chase Allon (Boy)
    I Love unusual names i think it makes the person you are very intresting
    :) xx

  • lenoria

    Hello Martin! We live in Germany and also have a baby boy named Theodor, nickname Theo. The baby is about 1 year old and all the time the people look at us very surprisingly and keep asking us how we could name our son with such a old-fashioned name? that’s how I landed on your site. I was just looking for persons with teh same name to see how many we are and if the people are happy with their names as I was already to change the baby’s name – all those speeches that the baby will be unhappy and not lucky in the future made me just nervous and unsure that our choice was correct. By the way, in Germany the name is getiing a bit popular if we compare the last 10 years.

  • Rosalie

    Okay, I read Twilight. (100% Fact: Twilight=The best book ever). And I was writing a story myself. I was wanting to use beautiful, old, unpopular names for my characters, and. . . HELP!!!!!

    -R.Lite 14, female

    • Violet

       You need to read the blog reasoningwithvampires on tumblr if you think twilight is exceptional. Her use of grammar is appalling and her character development is weak at best. Please do not emulate Stephanie Meyers writing.

  • Siqb004

    Ciao, I’m Shajneen, (10 years old). I guess ur thinking thet WHO THE HELL NAMED HER THAT!!
    the truth is thet im the only person in my whole CITY to have this name. (done by survey!) People actually LIKE this name so my advice………………………….
    U will not regret it if u name ur kid/dog/cat/goldfish/lamp/umbrella/turtle/flagpost this *Most uncommon name in this century*

  • Melody

    Am always hearing that ‘Melody’ is a pretty name, but not many girls are named that. Notice that it does not appear in popular or unpopular baby names. Guess my name’s off the charts! However, that’s okay. It’s nice to have a unique name, different from all the Marys, Bettys and Emilys out there.

    As far as unpopular boys’ names, how about Percival? It seems to be so unpopular it doesn’t appear on any list, either.

  • Cana12354

    I’m going to name my children Venus, Amy, Gregor, Nadia, and Samuel.

  • Kmk830

    Hey, my name is Emily and I know you might think that that is a BORING name because tons of people have that name, but the reason so many people have it is because it’s an AWESOME name! Just name your child Skyler, or Rokeyl and have them have the nickname Rokey (Pronounced Rocky, but it being spelled differently is so much more unique) or Cecilia(nickname CeCe) if they are a girl. For a boy Flynn would be a cool name, or maybe Duce. Have some kids with cool, fun, unique names. They will turn out pretty cool

    • Auglioness498

      Hahaa, tht is from Shake It Up

    • Katlyn Mckinney

      why are you quoteing shake it up?

    • Purple22448

      Wow, Kmk830, All those names are from the disney channel show “Shake It Up”. And you thought nobody would notice….
      By the way, i like the name Emily! Ive always wanted that name.

    • HollyGirl

      You Watch shake it up im guessing your probably young and why would u coment on baby names if you are young…And my names Holly Becuase I was born near christmas

      • HollyGirl

        Oh Yea And Im 14

    • SugarTomAppleRoger .

      Its a prissey name.

  • KaysMom

    lol, by the time you have a baby that name will be far from unique. My daughter is 5 and she is Kaydence Marie. I also know of almost 10 Kaydence’s who live in my area. 😀

    But still a great name and I wouldn’t have picked a different name for my daugther.

  • Kitty

    I named my girls Zoie Michelle and Ashia Nicole, I love their names. At the time I was pregnet with Zoie it was unpopular. As for Ashia everyone always pronounces it wrong…when its pronounced Aw- sha! It is very different and have only met two people with that name. As for a boys name, I have thought and thought of names and can’t ever come up with one that just sticks.

    • KITTY

      I do like that name Parker after reading everyone elses post but by tomorrow it will be a name that I would have forgoten about!

  • jlgrantdisqus

    I want to use beautiful, unpopular, old fashioned names that flow for a book I’m writing and I need help! Please reply, thank you!

    • Purple22448

      Cassi
      Cassie
      Kassi
      Kassie
      Ruth
      Stella
      Sonya
      Zella
      Rosemary
      Myra
      Lila
      Ellen
      Constance
      Annabelle

      Hope this helps! These are all girl names, sorry!
      By the way my names Cassi!

  • Hanna-h 94

    Hey, my name is Hanna and here in Finland it’s not unusual name. I like my name and I don’t have any nickname because nobody hasn’t ever found a good one. Few of my friends call me my lastname ‘Hirvonen’ or mix my first and lastname ‘Hirvoshanna’. I have also secondname and it is Maria what are very usual here. When my parents were thinking of name for me they made a choise between Hanna, Saara and Heidi, and they deside Hanna because my grandgrandmother was Hanna. I love more Heidi than my own name but now I have maybe five Heidi in my friends so it is absolutely ok to be Hanna! But I love all unpopular names and that’s the reason why I am now in this website. When I have children in some day I am sure I’ll use my time to think that they’ll get beautiful names.

  • Maverick1_1994

    I’m 17 and a girl… and my parents called me Maverick…my dad loved the show and he thought it would be ‘cool’ to name a girl a boy’s name. It’s ok now… but I still get weird looks when I tell people my name…

    • Cori

      beautiful!

  • Rishika Sharma

    I like Emily name. The meaning of Emily is “rival; laborious; eager”. It sounds a loyal, humble, determine, beautiful, loveable, wise person. babynames

  • AM

    I just happened to notice, its Dr Seuss not Suess. Assuming you’re talking about the famous children’s author…

  • KyleeJean

    My first and middle name is Kylee Jean. In the first 13 years of my life I met 1 other Kylee or Kylie. But now my name is on the top 100.

    My mom picked Jean because it was my dad’s deceased mother’s name. And since she gave me my dad’s mom’s middle name she wanted to name me after one of her parents but I guess she didn’t like the name ‘Judy.’ And she didn’t want to give me the name Lee even as a middle name (5 of my 20 cousins have that as a middle name and my dad does too) plus she loved her friend’s name which was Ky. Just Ky. So she was smart enough to combine the too to get Kylee. But now there are a bunch of little Kylie’s running around and I’m stuck with this now common name. (which I still love) But I love the unique spelling. But the only other Kylee I have met had the middle name Jean too so I guess my name isn’t as uncommon as I once thought it was…

    • http://freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com/ Sarah

      !!! I Sarah Post This Testimony Coz Am Pregnant Thanks To Dr.Ukaka

      with the pregnancy spell Dr.Ukaka did for me, i was able to conceive within 4weeks, after he cast the pregnancy spell for me he told me that i will have to sleep with my partner so that i can put the spell to work. after i have slept with my husband i became pregnant 4week letter, when i went for my pregnancy check up the Doc confirm that i am a week pregnant. with this great privilege i want to thank Dr.Ukaka and i will also recommend him to others that need help to conceive to contact him via his email address freedomlovespell@hotmail.com to those who seek his great help.

  • my_name42

    You may say those names are Boring names. my name is emilee. And emily/emilee ect… is a very popular name. in 1999 it was the #1 most popular name.and has been in the top 10 for years. this might be your opinion on these names but don’t go trying to make them facts. i have done alot of research on these names and they are very popular. i am flattered that alot of people have that name. it is a TIMELESS name, not just trendy,but it fits in everywhere! And there are alot of ways to make it a unique name. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean no one else should. standing up for my name…

    • Purple22448

      I like that name! By the way, you should check spelling and punctuation errors. You need to capitalize your sentences and “alot’ isn’t a word. It’s two simple words. “A lot”

  • Pam_huff

    Dorothy?   Eh!  My middle name is Dorothea…..mucho better!

  • Brittanyleean69

    my daughter’s name is Elissa, (: 

    • snowflake013

      My name is Alissa, I don’t mind it but people never spell it right, Birthday cards from my grandparents were always funny because every year they spelled it differently. 

  • Katlyn Mckinney

    hi im katlyn, my dad said he was going for an un popuar name, but resently there’s been bunches of kaitlyns, caitlins, and kaitlin’s, and everybodys been calling me Cat-lyn instead of katlyn.    The name’s I’ve chosen for my kids are:
    Skylar Renee (Skii, prounounced Ski as in sking)
    Jasmin Jenee  (Jayza pronounced Jay-za)
    Andrew Alexander (Andy for short)

    • http://www.clubpenguin1111.weebly.com/ Purple22448

      Ummmmm, I think you spelled skiing wrong. You spelled it with one I instead of two. Skiing

  • ShantareBailey

    who out there can name a new baby girl using the name JOHN WILLIE

  • Beebanna:)

    Yay! my name is Anna and my sister is called Eva! unique :)

  • Donna

    Um… but the apostrophes in your title are incorrect. An apostrophe with a name indicates possession or a contraction. Emily’s means “Emily is” or something like “that’s Emily’s pen.” For regular plurals, you need no apostrophe. Your title should be:

    Unpopular Baby Names: Avoiding the Jacobs, Emilys and Madisons

    Interesting article, though. Just those apostrophes that appear here and there with the names bother me a bit.
     

    • http://www.martinkelley.com/ Martin Kelley

      Donna: correct!, and thank you very much for pointing this out. You can tell that in 2005 I was between editing jobs and so not obsessive-compulsive about looking up all rules in Chicago Manual of Style (rule 7.8 in the current 16th edition). Now that I’m back working as a professional editor I cringe at the error. Luckily the internet is forgiving and the offending apostrophes are gone with a few clicks of a mouse!

  • Be1983

    Fantastic, my sons name is also Theodore but he was nearly Walter.

  • Andral

    My name is unpopular. It’s Andral. I love the name Tristan for a boy

  • http://twitter.com/JGeorgeArcher John George Archer

    The high frequency of both the name Wyatt as well as Mason I find peculiarly American. What is it about these two names? Any ideas?

    • Kirily

      My cousin’s son in named Wyatt, he’s nearly a year old. Where he lives in Sydney it is certainly not common. He has one American and one Australian parent. I have since met another infant Wyatt- maybe it’s on its way to popularity in Aus?

  • SugarTomAppleRoger .

    My favorite name for a boy is Ludwig, as Beethoven is cool.

  • pdiddy

    I love Stella, it has my moms name Ella in it, which people have gone crazy naming girls ella lol and i love my name Patreese pronounced Patrice and i love Trish or Trisha

  • Norah Herbert

    My name is Norah Kathleen ….neither are modern and neither are popular, not when I was born and still not 64 years later, although I cannot help my surname of Herbert. I used to hate my first name when I was a child and a teenager but I’ve only ever met 2 other women with my name but they were Nora, so definitely uncommon names.

  • amy mahoney

    when i have children; the will be named… (boys… Klarke Aaron…Edward Scott…Carter Michael);; (girls… Lina Elaine…Bethanee Elizabeth…Dana Michelle…);; ((i have a harder time coming up with girls names than boys;; why is that??…))

  • Isabella Grogg

    I love the name Jack…

  • http://freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com/ Sarah

    !!! I Sarah Post This Testimony Coz Am Pregnant Thanks To Dr.Ukaka

    with the pregnancy spell Dr.Ukaka did for me, i was able to conceive within 4weeks, after he cast the pregnancy spell for me he told me that i will have to sleep with my partner so that i can put the spell to work. after i have slept with my husband i became pregnant 4week letter, when i went for my pregnancy check up the Doc confirm that i am a week pregnant. with this great privilege i want to thank Dr.Ukaka and i will also recommend him to others that need help to conceive to contact him via his email address freedomlovespell@hotmail.com to those who seek his great help.