5 Struggles People With Common Names Face That Are Oh So Real


My name is Heather and I was born in 1980. Oh, you too? I’m not surprised. Apparently, nearly everyone born in the early 80s is named Heather.


The phenomenon lasted only a few years, just long enough to make my life difficult, and then nobody was named Heather ever again. Maybe it was just trendy. Maybe it ended because a movie came out where Christian Slater murdered a bunch of bitches named Heather. We may never know.

But now no one is named Heather, except for absolutely everyone born during that short period of time. Basically, if you are named Heather, you are almost certainly a Xennial – and if you are a Xennial, there’s a good chance you are named Heather.

It’s not just Heathers, though. I see you, Jennifers. Hi there, Sarahs. Hello, Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie, and Stephanie. Common names are, well, common.

My name is Heather and I was born in 1980. Oh, you too? I’m not surprised. Apparently, nearly everyone born in the early 80s is named Heather. Here are 5 struggles of having a common name. #commonname #filterfreeparents #momlife #funny

And having a common name sucks. Here are a few reasons why:

Okay, maybe the common names don’t suck as much as being named something “yooneek” like Ahleckxhandrrr or Spatula, but there is a very definite set of problems that comes with growing up with a common name.

You can never get store-bought personalized stuff

Wait, isn’t it the opposite? No, Florence, and let me tell you why. In theory, those of us with the most popular names could walk into Toys R Us (RIP), rotate that shelf of awesome, grab a toothbrush with our name on it, say “Suck it!” to little Calico-Tabitha on the way to the checkout, and walk out of the store tits-high like the boss bitches we were.

In reality, seventeen other common-name boss bitches had already done this, so all we ever got was a little cardboard place-holder where our fucking toothbrush should be. Shut up, Calico.

There was always someone with the same name in your class

You lucked out if you had a name like Christopher. “Who wants to be Chris, who wants to be Christopher?” Done. Elizabeths had a whole myriad of options. Not us Heathers! I was Heather J. every damn year until university when we all became numbers anyway. And then there was the year there was another Heather J. and I got to be Heather Jo. for the year. Fuck you, other Heather J.

You don’t know who people are talking to

You start ignoring it when you hear your name yelled at the mall or over a loud speaker. “Heather, your car is on fire.” *Shrug*. Probably not for me. Oh look, Scrunchies are on sale.

My name is Heather and I was born in 1980. Oh, you too? I’m not surprised. Apparently, nearly everyone born in the early 80s is named Heather. Here are 5 struggles of having a common name. #commonname #filterfreeparents #momlife #funny

Your name inevitably becomes a stereotype

If like me, your name is super popular, but only for a short time, it will become synonymous with a certain character or character trait. What did Heather become? A great big slut. But not just any slut, a brainless slut.

Now, I have no problem with women who have a lot of sex partners. I think slut-shaming is awful. And that’s why this stereotype sucks. It’s not that these women were promiscuous, it’s that they were two-dimensional and objectified.

For an entire decade, no one said my name on TV except teenage boys and men in their 20s, who said it drawn out while nodding slowly and smirking knowingly. “Heatherrrrrrrr.”

Also, a moment of silence for Chads. It might be possible you aren’t all rich assholes who love to ski.

Everyone knows how old you are

This is particularly true if that window of popularity was pretty small like mine was. Heather is going to eventually become like Agnes and Bertha. My grandchildren are going to talk about how old-fashioned my name is.

Instead of florescent mini-skirts and hoop earrings, it’s going to become associated with canes and grey hair put up in a bun. Meh, Chad will probably still want to fuck me.

So remember when you are naming your children these trendy, popular names, that they come with a price. Listen to the Lisas and the Amandas and the Heathers. Nobody likes sold-out toothbrushes.


  1. Haha!! Amanda here ????? Loved this article! Frickin hilarious!! I hate HATE that I can’t ever buy a gas station keychain with my name on it because there’s never any left!! ??? The struggle is so real.

  2. You forgot Jessica. I was born in 1982 and for the 80s, Jessica was far and away the most popular girls name. The highest Heather got in popularity was #3 in 1975. It was in the single digits in popularity from 1972 to 1987 (except for 1981 and 1982). While Jessica was actually #1 or #2 from 1981 through 1995 …..and stayed in the single digits until 1999. It was my first name but I never went by it, thank the Lord. Check out https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/ for statistics, they are pretty interesting.

  3. I am also a heather born in 1990 and I had 2 other friends named heather. I went through my life of middle school and high school as my last name because there was always somehow another heather friend in my classes. Hahaha

  4. You’ve barely scratched the surface. Go back to the 50s-early 60s. Almost ALL names, regardless of actually ending, were converted to end with a long “E”. Sandy, Tammy, Vickie, Debbie. Jimmy, Bobby, Johnny, Timmy. There were at least 2 names in every class that had to be sorted out.

    I’m a Debra. Why couldn’t teachers have gone with Debra, Deb, & Debbie? No. We had Debby Jo, Debbie Sue, & Debbie Kay (me). I had to finally start snarling at ppl when I was in h.s. to get them to drop that horrid, infantilizing name. We even had 2 Victorias, who naturally became Vickie Jo & Vickie Lynn. Plus Tammy, Roxy, Sandy, Mary and one very lucky Carla.

    And while Heather may be *thought* a brainless slut, it doesn’t even begin to compare with “Debbie”:
    Debbie Does Dallas – famous 1978 hardcore porn film
    Debbie does Donuts – a topless donut shop
    And on & on. Evidently Debbie was always a bad, bad girl…

    My folks almost named me Keitha, after my dad Keith. But he didn’t like that name, as he said we’d never know who mom was yelling for (trust me, we would’ve). How I wish they would’ve. So I shortened it to Deb asap. Ppl STILL immed. ask, “Do you spell that with a y at the end, or ie?” Umm, neither. It’s DEB. I’ve been known to answer to Debra in formal settings, but to this very day (I’m 61) will NEVER answer to Debbie. I won’t even look around.

    Btw, I personally think the name Heather rose to huge popularity when it did bc of publication in 1972 of the first modern romance “bodice ripper”, The Flame and the Flower, & the heroine was… Heather. It was steamy/racy & sexually explicit. There is barely a woman my age who didn’t read that sometime as a teen!

  5. Him name is Heather and I was born in 1980 ? I was Heather H. On the bright side I’ve never had my name misspelled or misprounced

  6. That was cute! I will now steal your “tits high” and use it for the rest of my life! My 3 best friends were all Heathers btw. You forgot about us Michelle’s!

  7. I relate completely as someone named Shelly and born in the late 60s – obviously! And I didn’t even get to be Michelle and have Shelly as a chosen nickname, my parents decided it for me. Oh, and by the way, they told me that my name was going to be Heather but they changed their minds and decided on Shelly – lol!!

  8. Or, your parents could take a common-ish name like Alyssa and try to make it unique by changing the spelling so no one actually knows how to say your name. Try being Elissa and always having to pronounce it. It’s Melissa without the M. Yes, with a double s. I only found my name on anything once, purple stationary. My grandmother didn’t even hesitate and bought it. It literally felt like a personal victory. Thirty years later I still have the stationary-I was afraid to use it!

    • My name is Elissa. But, is pronounced Lisa with a long E. Lol!! I know the pain! Always said I’d never marry anyone who I had to spell my last name. Love won out and I spell my last name also. I can spell both my first and last name to the old Mickey Mouse song! ??

  9. Baaahaaahaaa – Spatula!!! So funny!!!! I can sort of relate to your lifelong name problems. Mine has never even been on a keychain. I don’t even bother to look anymore. Born in the early 60’s and no one had ever heard of anything other than plain old Lisa or perhaps a Melissa. Being an introvert meant horror for me when the teacher butchered my name, or struggled to sound it out then asked me, in front of the entire class, “How do you say your name?” You don’t. Just skip over me, please. I’ve been called Melissa sooooo many times. I just go ahead and answer. Then there’s also Meleeza, even Mel-ee-ay-suh. What’s that?? Thankfully with so many new spellings and pronunciations of names now days, people at least try with mine, and I’m not associated with anyone good or bad on tv and movies. So sorry for your struggle, Heathers. 🙁

  10. My name is jessica. Born in 1993. And i absolutely hate it.

    There was always atleast one other jessica that took my prefered nick name “jessi”. Everyone wants to call me jess. I hate every part of my plain name.

    And all because my father an mother couldnt agree on a name for me.
    My mom wanted to name me Isabella.
    BUT NO my dad didnt like it.

    And now both my mom dad an gran wanna give me shit about wanting to change my name.
    I have wanted to since i can remember.

    They act like its some personal insult for me to want to change the name they gave me when all i want is to feel like my name matches my soul.

    Jessica is NOT me.

  11. Um Melissa was like the 3rd most popular name in the 80’s. My mother claims she was “unaware” of its popularity even though she worked in a Children’s Hospital for the entire decade!
    In kindergarten I was Melissa Wi because there was another Melissa W….in kindergarten, it started my very first year of school!
    There is also no good nickname for Melissa. I HATED being called Mel and my mother hated people calling me Missy. (I told my teacher in 3rd grade to call me Missy so my mother had to listen to it all year and be punished for naming me this.)
    I would much rather my name be one of the “hot girl” stereotyped names. Melissa is now synonymous with bitch. Like Melissa, Stew’s girlfriend in The Hangover.
    Melissa is also one of those names no one named their kid after 1988.

  12. Hi, I’m Stephanie. No, not that one. No, not that one either. Oooohhhhh…. THAT one. Yeah. Luckily, I was the only Stephanie in my class until somewhere around 6th grade – small town, and someone was good at keeping one of each popular named kid per class, unless there were just too many. And, even though my mom stuck with the traditional spelling, even my brothers have issues remembering how it is spelled (ph-ie, damn it!) not to mention the poor schmucks at my local coffee place, or taco place… or anywhere else where they’ve decided it is good customer service to demand a name for an order. I guess I’m kinda stuck with it now, since my kids know my name. *sigh*

    • I named my daughter born in 2010 Ashley but people always try to add Lynn to the back. Her name is not Ashlynn! I’m happy there are no other Ashley’s her age.

  13. I feel the need to bring up the name I kept searching this list for. AMY!! There were always at least two other Amy’s. At one point someone wanted to call me Big Amy and I threw a fit. Call the other Amy little Amy and call the other Amy, Amy C (I was also Amy C) but like hell you’re calling me BIG AMY!! I won, and from that point on was simply called Amy, or by my full first and last name.


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