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‘A cabin full of Emersons’ and other not-so-unique girl names, according to a camp counselor

TikTok about popular girl names at summer camp
yayakamp/TikTok

Life comes at you pretty fast. One moment you may think you’re naming your kid something totally unique — and 10 years later, you realize she’s sharing her summer camp bunk with nine other girls with the same baby name you thought was special. A summer camp counselor named Yaya shared in a viral TikTok video some of her observations when it comes to popular girl names for tweens these days.

“I worked at an all-girl summer camp this summer,” she explained in the popular video, which has racked up thousands of comments and views. “These are the top 10 names of girls between the ages of 10 and 12.”

Before diving into the baby names, Yaya explains that she “loves name culture” and thinks the trends in naming are “super interesting,” but has noticed that a lot of the content around them is focused on newborn names.

“I think we don’t realize how common — how we’re all in the same train of thought, so by the time your kid hits kindergarten or summer camp, there’s like, 10 of the same kid, and I think this is exactly what happened with these ‘unique’ names — there end up being 15 of them at the same summer camp,” she says.

Without further ado, here are the names.

“Coming in at number 10 is Charlotte, or any nickname variation of that: Charlie, Lottie, Char, etc.”

Next on the list? Lilly, Mackenzie (with any and all spelling variations), Isabelle, Claire, and Audrey.

Coming in at number five is Elle.

“There were so many of these,” Yaya said. “Elle, Ella, Ellen, Elly. Elle was a big one.”

Next was Madison, and then at number two was Emma, but with the important caveat that it’s always short for Emerson — Yaya notes that her camp “literally had 14 girls whose names were Emerson.”

“I’m positive that one was on a blog like, 12 years ago called ‘Cool New Names for Your Little Girl,'” she jokes.

And finally, the top name.

“The most popular name by far was Zoe, spelled a lot of different ways,” Yaya says. “We had 18 Zoes this summer.”

Before signing off, Yaya offers some advice for parents who want to avoid accidentally giving their kids “unique” names that end up being less than unique: Compare your baby name to the census. If you have a name you love that’s popping up in census records a few years before you plan to use it, it’s a good indication that your child will share that name with a few other kids their age.