What is a "common name" to you?
Lately, there has been a lot of discussion around the forum about how many classic (and new classic) names are bestowed on so few children that they are actually rather rare among today's youth. Comments about how, since parents think of certain names as being common, they don't use them, meaning that those who do use them are in the minority. Comments about how a John, Paul, or Mark stands a good chance of being the only one in his class.
However, while that might be the case, the notion of a "common name" means something more to me. Yes, your John might be the only one in his class or grade - or even the only one in his school - but to me, that's not the only consideration when judging a name's popularity. Yes, whether or not your John will be the only one among his peers is an important factor, but to me, a name's popularity isn't just about its current usage. Even if I don't encounter a single child with a given name, if the name brings to mind multiple individuals with that name, then the name is common. It might not be commonly used now, but it's still a common name.
If I know, have met, know of, or read about several people with a certain name, then that name belongs to many, and is therefore common, even if those people are not newly-named children.
What does "common" mean to you?
Tue, 05/08/2012 - 4:20pm