10/07/2009 09:28 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Totally Honest Guide To Baby Names: Popular Names And 10 Reasons To Avoid Them

As promised last week, fellow baby-name obsessives, this week's column is all about the most popular baby names and why it could be a good idea to avoid them.

First off, for those of you who don't have it pinned to your wall / the inside of your eyelids here are the current Top Ten lists of most popular names.

Boys Top Ten

  1. Jack
  2. Oliver
  3. Thomas
  4. Harry
  5. Alfie
  6. Charlie
  7. Daniel
  8. Joshua
  9. James
  10. William
Girls Top Ten

  1. Grace
  2. Olivia
  3. Ruby
  4. Sophie
  5. Emily
  6. Lily
  7. Jessica
  8. Chloe
  9. Mia
  10. Charlotte

And now, in the spirit of Top Ten lists, here are 10 reasons why to give them a miss, purely my opinion and mostly controversial I imagine. Ah well, this is the brutally honest guide to baby names.

  1. As someone who grew up with the most popular name ever, Sarah, I can personally guarantee that calling a child the same as virtually every other will do nothing to help them feel special or stand out in a crowd.
  2. There's a risk they will compensate for their common name by developing less common personality traits and life choices. Do you really want him / her to become a purple-haired fire-eating Shirley Bassy impressionist?
  3. Controversy alert: if you're picking one of these names because you think it sounds a bit posh and will give your little one a headstart in life, then think about it. By proxy of being popular, there will be a squillion little Olivias and not all of them will have trust funds.
  4. You can pretty much bet that some names have made it on to the most popular list because a certain celebrity is called it (Daniel Craig, Jessica Alba, Josh Hartnett, Lily Allen...) or has named their kid it. And do you really want to make like a celebrity but without the money?
  5. Richard and Judy called their kids Jack and Chloe. And yes, that is a reason to avoid them.
  6. At least three Royal names are in there. And yes, that's also a reason to avoid them.
  7. Your child won't thank you as an adult, when after many years together they are still in their boyfriend's mobile phone as "Grace Blonde Hair Smith" because he has so many other Graces on his speed dial already.
  8. They'll have to lie about their name if they ever go online dating. It's simply too depressing to be the 53rd Jessica to date Mr GSOH.
  9. They will just about never be referred to by their first name only. To differentiate me from the other five hundred Sarahs that they know, my usual friends' shout-out goes something like this: Gemma, Delia, Sarah Powell, Amanda, Frankie, Johnny, Tom, Dick, Harry.
  10. If they have a common surname too, they will absolutely never be found on Facebook or Friends Reunited (dread the thought), and just think of the problems they'll have trying to get a Google Mail account in 2025; is available. Gee, thanks Mum and Dad, you try fitting that on a business card.

Go on, admit it, have you given your child one of the Top Ten most popular baby names? Leave a comment here.