I’m Glad That My Daughter Has a Popular Name

I haven’t paid much attention to the annual top baby names lists since my husband and I decided we were done making babies after our second was born in 2009. At least not until the 2014 list of top baby names was released last Friday.

Our daughter’s name, Sophia, holds the #3 slot on the list, which is compiled by the Social Security office.  (It held the #1 spot from 2011 to 3013, according to Nameberry.com.)


I’ve heard that some parents are upset that what they thought was an uncommon name for their child has become popular. They imagined that names like Mason and Emma would be more unique and help their children stand out. Now those names are #3 and #1, respectively, on the boy’s and girl’s lists.

When I asked my daughter if it bothered her that her name is so popular, she shrugged. In preschool, the teacher had to designate the two girls in her class named Sophia by their last initial to avoid confusion. Sophia had two other classmates with the same name in her second grade class. In fact, my daughter thinks it’s pretty cool to meet other girls with the same name.

As for my husband and I, we think it’s pretty amusing that her name is in the top spot for popular baby girl names. We joke that we’re trendsetters.

Growing up with a unique name can be tough. Not only was I the only Asian kid in my grade school class, but pretty much everyone butchered my first name, Thien-Kim. For the sake of my sanity, I just told everyone to call me Kim.

I don’t mind that Sophia is a popular name. I chose Sophia for my daughter because it means wisdom. It’s a name that rolls off the tongue with her last name. And, it’s pretty easy to spell.

While I hope that Sophia won’t become the “Jennifer” of my generation, I have another reason for choosing a name that’s more common: personalized pencils and keychains. I remember how disappointing it was to never find keychains with Thien-Kim or even just Kim on them. The closest I could find was Kimberly. This sounds superficial, but when you’re a kid, it’s exciting to find little tchotchkes with your name on them!

Instead of complaining that our daughter will never be the only Sophia in class, we’ll embrace it and encourage her to embrace it. What kid doesn’t like hearing and seeing her name everywhere she goes?

I can pat myself on the back for being a trendsetter. Because we almost named our daughter something else.

Photo: Getty