We are expecting our first baby (a girl) at the end of March. Our last name is very common and pretty much goes with anything (rhymes with phones). My husband and I narrowed our list down to Emma, Kate, and Anna. We decided to knock Emma out because of the popularity factor. I realize all three names are common, but we felt that Emma was even more so. I recently read an article (on the nameberry website) about the names Katherine and Kate. Basically the article said that once you added up all the Katherines, Kates, Katies, Kaitlyns etc. (and the fact that it is a nickname for many of these as well as a name by itself) that Kate was a top 10 name. I was baffled! I totally thought Emma was much more used, but the article actually said "this is the reason you feel like every other little girl you meet is a Kate." So, now we are stumped. Should we throw Emma back in the mix because of this or do we definitely go with Anna now? We really like all three names. But there are other names that we liked and decided against because of popularity and the fact that they might be more trendier versus classics (Charlotte and Lila for example). Can you give us some insight? Also, if it helps - we do plan to have more children and the boy names we like for possible future children are Henry, Grey, and Jack. Thanks for your help!
I'd say that if you really like all three names, and your only real issue is popularity, then you should use Anna: it's #29 and falling. But as you say, all three are popular, and with a common surname, you may be motivated to find a first name that's even less common.
I wonder if you'd like Emeline? I don't know why this name isn't more common. It's not even in the Top 1000. I added up the four spellings that seemed most likely to me (Emeline, Emmeline, Emmaline, Emaline), and all together they bring the name to #725.
Or Annabel! This name's ranking is deceptive: it's at #722, but the spelling Annabelle is #156.
Or Anneliese is pretty. Hard to figure out the rank: that spelling isn't in the Top 1000, but Annalise is at #648. I prefer the -el- myself (and TWO Ns for SURE), to avoid any unfortunate associations.
Or Annika. That spelling is at #416; combined with the spelling Anika at #533, the two spellings together would have a ranking of about #250.
Or I love Anastasia, and you could still call her Anna.
Or Anya: so close to Anna, but #363.
Or a blend, perhaps? You could name her Anna Kate Phones and call her Anna Kate, or Emma Kate Phones and call her Emma Kate. This also gives her a likely out from being "Anna P." or "Emma P." if there's another Anna or Emma in her class. (I say "likely" because of the year my mother had a class where there were two Sarahs who ALSO had the same middle name---but probably that qualifier isn't often necessary.)