we are having our second child soon and want your opinion on the name we are 95% set on. we have a 19 month old named Joseph Hank, he goes by Hank. this baby is a girl and we have decided we love the name Stella Rose, to mainly go by just Stella. Rose is my mom's maiden name, and her mother is my only living grandparent left, so we really like this for the middle name. The part I would like your advice on is -- Stella. when i was pregnant with Hank, we didn't have ANY girl names that we both loved. actually not any that we even liked. so, when we found out this baby is a girl, we started to wonder if we'd ever find a girl name we both loved. after LOTS of ideas, i suggested Stella (i've always loved it) and my husband was pretty much hooked from the beginning. my questions to you--is it too popular? is it going to be too popular in a few years, like when she starts kindergarten? do you have another suggestion that you like better with Hank? we LOVE hank and stella together, but i want to make sure we aren't missing something better. i have a unique name, especially the spelling--Kinsey--and i love that Hank is not weird or out there, but still not that common. we want the same for her! help!
ps. we have a LARGE group of friends and family with kids the same age as ours, and i'm a teacher, and i've never personally met another stella. and if it wasn't for facebook i wouldn't know two of my sorority sisters named their baby that either ;-) but that also makes me nervous that it's too popular. what do you think?!
Let's start with the chart from the Social Security Administration:
When there's a little blue "a" in the slot, that means the name wasn't in the Top 1000 that year. So for the name Stella, we have a name that was very, very uncommon, and then went from #907 to #126 in a dozen years---a rapid rise.
We won't have the 2010 data until next month, and we won't have the 2011 data until a year after that, but if you'd had a baby named Stella in 2009, she'd be sharing the name with .1267% of the baby girls her same age---or roughly 13 Stellas per 10,000 baby girls. An uncommon name.
Whether it will become more popular is anybody's guess. Ella and names ending in -ella are in favor right now; some parents who love the name Ella but want something less common may head for Stella. It may even be that by the time your Stella is in kindergarten, the name will be given to more like 1 in 100 baby girls, as the name Isabella (the #1 most popular girl name in the U.S.) is now. Or it may be that the St- (reminiscent of Stephanie and Stacy and less-used currently) will keep it from rising too high, and it'll find its level at around #50, or #100, or #75, or even dropping back down to #150, and never get any higher than that.
If it DOES get significantly more popular, your girl will still be ahead of that group: her class will have the same percentage of Stellas in it as the year you gave her the name. But if you're looking for something that will stay as uncommon as the name Kinsey, I don't think Stella is a safe bet: it hits the current name preferences too solidly, and it's already so far ahead.
But you both love it, you agree on it even though you can't find others you agree on---you may want to go with the name that's a little more common than you'd like, rather than choosing one you like less. It depends on how important the uncommonness is for you, and what you're willing to trade to get it.
You could also consider naming her Stella Rose but calling her Rose, as you call your son Hank: Joseph is #16 and Hank is #970; Stella is #126 and Rose is #352. Hank and Rose is an adorable sibling pair.
Name update! Kinsey writes:
i wrote in to you way back in april about whether or not the name we loved for our little girl was too popular or not...well, after MUCH consideration and NO luck finding anything we loved as much, we stuck with our first choice and sweet Stella Rose was born on July 15th! even though we might run into another Stella eventually, I LOVE her name too much to care! And my mom is thrilled that she is carrying on her maiden name, Rose, as well. Thanks for your help!