Help! My Favorite Baby Name is Getting Popular!


My husband and I have been holding onto the name Archer for a few years now, so no discussion was needed when we found out we were having a boy -- we could use our favorite name. However, on the NameVoyager and elsewhere, it seems like Archer is surging in popularity. We want to avoid bestowing a trendy name, so now we are rethinking our #2 choice, Adlai. We love the name and it will never be trendy, but, everyone we've mentioned it to thinks it's a girl name! What do you think?

- A's Mom


I can imagine your feelings watching your favorite name rise up the popularity charts. Archer's uniqueness was part of what drew you to it. Now you feel a loss, as if your special name has been robbed of its specialness. That's a natural emotional reaction, but don't let it become an over-reaction. If you confuse a run up the charts with true popularity, you might just talk yourself out of the perfect name.

Let me see if I can help bring you and Archer back together. Take another look at that scary graph that shows the number of baby Archers suddenly shooting skyward. Tear your eyes away from the upward spike and look at the number on the right-hand side. That's the number of Archers you'll find out of a million babies born in America.

Now try typing the name Jacob instead. Or try John or Michael and look at the peaks of those graphs. What looks like a mountainous popularity surge on the Archer graph is just a tiny bump in the great naming landscape. The percentage of babies named Archer is still minuscule: 0.0086 percent. It's less common than Prince, Ireland, Zechariah and Sincere.

Yes, Archer will rise some, but it should never be truly "trendy." It's also handsome, easy to spell and pronounce, and miraculously sounds both antique and modern. Everybody you talk to likes it better than Adlai -- even, you might recall, you. Do you really want to give up your perfect name just because one in 6,000 babies shares it?

Is popularity a factor in your name choices? Share your experiences here. And if you have your own question to Ask the Name Lady, drop her a line!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.