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SibbyThe top 10 most popular girls name for the UK and the USA right now are:

ukflagTommiJessica, Emily, Sophie, Olivia, Chloe, Ellie, Grace, Lucy, Charlotte and Katie. (

EbieusflagEmily, Madison, Hannah, Emma, Alexis, Ashley, Abigail, Sarah, Samantha, Olivia (

PerynBut yet in 100 days of being here (Yes, today is my 100th day in the USA) I have yet to meet a girl with any of those names above.

Ok, so these are admittedly names for new babies, but do names really change that much over the years?

KeelingSince I’ve been here, I’ve been confronted with a rather varied selection of girls names – some which would never have occured to me might have been something that you call someone – so I started making a note of them, saving them up for this blog entry today.

BannerNow don’t get me wrong – I’m not being nasty, but when you’re used to a world where women are called things such as: Claire, Rachel, Rebecca, Sarah, Suzie, Nikki, Fiona and other such ‘standard’ girly english names, it’s just very odd when you realise that there is just not a whole new vocabulary for everyday items, but there’s a whole new world of names too.

HaywardAnd for some reason, I’ve found the female names more unusual than the male ones – although that have had their oddities too, just not as many as the girls.

(Just in case you’re having trouble with the fancy fonts: Sibby, Tommi, Ebie, Peryn, Keeling, Banner, Hayward and Comer. All genuine feminine names that I have encountered!)

39 responses to “Namette”

  1. I prefer the term “common” as opposed to popular.

    The reason you haven’t met them is they are all under the age of 2. Let me assure you, if you mix in those circles, you can’t move for Charlottes.

    Do they change over time? Yes…
    Geoff was most common at the start of the 70s, for instance

    Girls’ names are generally more eclectic than boys’. Take the hypothetical situation… what would you name your son? your daughter?

  2. Ps. To make that tool work, start typing. Ian gets ever more popular, it seems. Everyone wants to be like me!

  3. Jon Allen says:

    There was a blog I read just recently dedicated to this topic. Can I find it now?
    No, but there are some great wierd names here

  4. Amy says:

    It seems here in Canada that you either use a traditional girls name (much like you listed) or go the other way. The variations of some names I have seen recently in the “BIRTHS” column are downright comical.

    So, with that I must ask. When you and Leigh have babies will you go traditional or ‘varied’?? (Any ‘Apple’s in the horizon? 😉

  5. Neil says:

    Who would call their child “Banner”?

  6. geofftech says:

    Maybe “Poster”, or “Billboard” just wasn’t catchy enough for them … ?

  7. N.O. rthener says:

    Commer isn’t a name, its punctuation.

  8. Jono says:

    My mother-in-law will tell you the story of a girl she used to teach who went by the name of Immaculata Concepta. She suggested to the poor young girl that she use a contraction she liked the sound of, and they came up with “Connie”. This prompted said girl’s mother to storm into school to complain about this…

  9. Commer is the name of a van. What next?

    Transit! Sherpa! Stop doin’ zat twunce!

  10. Brent says:

    Few things I’ve always thought interesting:
    Four girls I was in school with were named “Chastity”, “Charity”, “Serendipity”, and “Serenity”. Now, first off, these 4 were all best friends. Next, you’ll notice it seems all their parents went for something to do with being at a total end of the spectrum (greatness, abstinence, peace). Third, these 4 girls were from some of the poorest families in our area. and Last, “Chastity” was the least chaste woman I knew at the time…followed by Serendipity, Serenity, and Charity (Charity was more of a tease ;-)).
    Anyhow, I’m rambling…I’ve often noticed that the lower a family is on an economic scale, the more odd their daughters names will be. On the flip of this, these same families will name their male offspring very straight-forward names like “Bill” or “Dave” or “Bubba” (oh, well, that might just be in the south ;-)).

    Also, I’d like to point out that Ashley as a girls name is a current thing and that it used to be a male’s name. Apparently I’ve been put on this earth for reasons of pointing this out as often as possible, otherwise my mother was just cruel in giving me the middle name of Ashley :-/

  11. stroppycow says:

    Isn’t comer Spanish for eating?

  12. Paul Webb says:

    I did once hear that in the early 20th Century the Immigration Officers at Ellis Island got tired of trying to make themselves understood to the new comers who did not understand their questions, which were always delivered in English. So, in order to keep the processing as quick as possible, the Officers simply asked their questions and then (phonetically) wrote down what ever answer they got. Conversations sometimes when like this:

    Officer: “Surname, please”
    Immigrant: (in Polish or whatever): “Excuse me?”
    Officer: “Christian name, please”
    Immigrant: “Where are the toilets?”
    Officer: “Welcome to America, Mr Where-are-the-toilets Excuse-me!”

    Thus a strange new world of American names was born.

  13. Kristy says:

    How very odd but this seems to be a much discussed topic in my life these days.

    I think part of the oddities of those names are the location in the South here. When I lived in Philadelphia, I ran into much more common names. After moving down here, I’ve heard Trivette, Timmons, Brooks, Sullivan, Cricket, Reverly, Kit (who has a sister named Kat, natch).

    I just wrote a blog entry on it:

    It’s such an interesting topic to muse on.

  14. See, I knew somewhere in America, there would be someone who understood Cricket.

  15. Lisa says:

    Ummm…did you hear those names in Charleston? I’m from here and haven’t heard them hear. Heyward is a common surname and I have been called by my Surname as though it were my name especially when there are other Lisa’s about. Seems in 1969 and many years before and after, Lisa was rather popular over here. I have heard tell of a girl named Female. The hospital named her. Pronounounced fuh-MALL-ee.

  16. Amy says:

    You still didn’t answer the question Geoff, traditional or ‘different’ for your brood. Because we can expect a brood after the wedding right?

  17. David - Lightwater says:

    Well at least Comer isn’t Cumer! Sorry I just had to mention it. It seemed so bleeding obvious!

  18. Richard says:

    Names fall out of fashion over time – is there anyone called Gertrude or Reginald who was born after 1945?

  19. Philippa says:

    I know a poor bloke called Roy. I thought that was bad enough.. until I found out that his real name is Neville. Roy is just the name he uses because he’s embarrassed of the other…

  20. geofftech says:

    Ermm… “Roy” is my middle name I’ll have you knows!

    Amy … I think we’ll be going for something mostly ‘normal’ when we decide to have our brood, yes! 🙂

  21. TowerBlock Tina says:

    It really annoys me in England when certain people take a normal name such as Tracey, or Nicky, then shorten it to ‘Traci’ or ‘Niki’ like they can’t be bothered to write the rest. Or they use a traditional
    name but spell it oddly changing some of the vowels. Grrrr! Do they do this in the U.S.? I’m becoming a grumpy old woman I think. There was a phase recently of calling babies ‘Chardonny’ or other such rubbish names off the T.V. Footballer’s wives I think (not that I ever watched it of course).

  22. #21 Yeah, we know. GeoffRoy Marshall.

    #22 Isn’t Tina an abbreviation too?

  23. Shaz says:

    Speaking of names, I’m going to join the band wagon here…as an expectant mother, the thought of naming a child forever does become very daunting. Do you choose a popular/common name which half the kids in their class is going to have, opr do you go for something a little of the unique side and have them struggle to a) spell it b) have them called the wrong name all their life. Help – it’s keeping me awake at night; for about 5 mins until the tireness takes over 😉 And with a long surname, the choices are limited as you can’t possibly have 10 letters in your first nae and 10 in your surname =- when it comes to filling out forms, you’d run out of ink.

  24. TowerBlock Tina says:

    Ian, you right, I was originally ‘Christina’, but my parents mysteriously always called me ‘Tina’.
    I believe it was something to with the war! It always caused confusion at school. I have now officially
    changed my name to ‘Tina’ by declaration to a solicitor, and is on my recent marriage certificate. As a matter of interest, I have changed my names 4 times, twice by marriage, twice by choice. Apparently you can call yourself what you like. You might wake up one morning and decide you want to be known as ‘F5’ or Eyepod. As long as you don’t intend to use the name to commit fraud, I think it’s OK. (P.S.Geoff is an abbreviation!)

  25. My first name is really William because it’s a traditional family name for first-born son etc. “To avoid confusion” with my dad+grandad, I was however to be known by my middle name, Andrew. This caused no end of trouble at the start of each school year, when I had new teachers… when the teacher called the register and called out “William”, half the class would chant “but people call him ‘Andrew'”!
    It still occasionally causes trouble when people write me cheques to ‘Andrew’ and I have either squeeze in a “William” or a “W.” onto the payee line, or just hope the bank clerk is not being picky that day.
    I don’t mind William. ‘Billy’ is a bit demeaning though.

    Time for a new thread/post, Geoff.

  26. Paul Webb says:

    #24 From personal experience, do not go for anything too common. My name is really common (run it through Google to see) at it has always caused problems, from confusion over medical records, misdirected post and e-mails, problems in personnel departments of large orgnisations (i once worked in an office with another 2 Paul Webbs) etc, etc. Professionally I always add my middle name to try to get around misidentification.

  27. Paul says:

    I went to school with a guy called Norman. I thought that was bad but then I met his brother, Derek! Poor kids!

  28. Brent says:

    Oh, I just remembered I didn’t put my friend’s name in on this.

    Timmi…and she’s a female. Female named Timmi…even worse for her since the South Park character of Timmy and how he always says his name “TIMMAAAAHHH” or “TIMMMAAAAYYY”. poor girl get ridiculed to no end for it 🙂

  29. geofftech says:

    Why do we have names? Why not just be a totally unique number? We can then use it as a National Insurance/Social Security number & everything… right down to having it burnt into your retina to use for secutiry purposes. Excellent. I volunteer go first and be number ‘0000000000000001’. is that ok?

    It also makes it easier to chat someone up, as “Can I have your number?” is actually asking them for their name, and not just because you’re trying to pull. Fantastic.

  30. Richard says:

    I’d rather have 1000000000000000 and the rest of you can have a smaller number.

  31. Yes Geoff….”And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the Mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

  32. Ciaran says:

    Funny how you never get people calling their kids Adolf or Pol Pot nowadays isn’t it?

  33. CV says:

    What number base are we using here? Can’t I have 9000000000000000? Or maybe F0FF000000000000??

  34. Random thoughts on all this: First..Have you seen this? It’s a dynamic interface that lets you chart the rise and fall in popularity of the 1,000 most common boys and girls over the past 120 years. (See how Emily went from #251 in the 1960s to #1 in 2004.) I believe it charts mainly American trends. Still…very interesting to look up your own name.

    I would never ever give my kids OVERLY trendy names… they date you…

    This means that the Harmony’s born in the 70s and the Ashleigh’s and Connors born in the 00s will be the Ethels, Herbs and Melvins of their generation.

    For my twins, we went for classic, timeless names. (Christopher and Kyle.) We gave them meaningful Hawaiian middle names to honor the island of their birth.

    Geoff is also timeless (think Geoffrey Chaucer)… hmmmmmm, thinking about it, Kristina MAY be a bit trendy but has a timeless base. (Tina, I was always called Krissie as a nickname, never Tina.)

    For what it’s worth, I love the name of Ian’s newest daughter. It sounds like a movie star’s name! Whether he wants to share or not, will be up to him 😉

    I wonder if all this name talk means the Leigh-Geoff team has a bun in the oven already and are not fessing.

  35. Gaaah. Sorry, I just noticed Ian had the same link in the second comment. Maybe I should read all the other comments before I write one??

  36. geofftech says:

    No bun.

    No oven.


  37. Well I suppose seeing as your being so nice about little Winona Monroe, I’ll forgive you for ignoring my comment above. But you have been hoisted by your own (or my) link – it seems Kyle is a quintessentially 90s name.

  38. TowerBlock Tina says:

    Surely Leigh has an oven, it’s just that’s nothing cooking at the moment!

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