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Most Popular Baby Names, A to Z

popular baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

We were so entranced with the blog Eleanor Nickerson–aka Elea– did for us on most popular British baby names by letter that we decided to recreate it using the American popularity list.

Our research intern Megan Garon pored over the US statistics to compile the following list of the top girls’ and top boys’ name for every letter from A to Z.   Well, not every letter as it turns out there is no girls’ name starting with U in the Top 1000!

Other interesting facts that emerge when looking at the US popularity list through the alphabetical lens:

— Some letters (E, for instance) include names that are a lot closer to the top of the list than others (F, to cite a nearby example).  This is hardly earth-shattering news and yet, the differences are notable.

— While there are plenty of traditional names heading their letter’s popularity rank, a remarkable number of the top names are new ones.  Take H, for example, where Harper and Hunter trump classics Helen and Henry, or P, where Peyton and Parker dominate rather than Patricia and Paul.

— In a few cases, the top names for a letter for girls and boys are remarkable similar — Riley and Ryan, for instance, and Willow and William, and especially Quinn and Quinn!  This is evidence of the trend toward boys’ and girls’ names taking their sound and style cues from each other.

— When you look at most popular names this way, a few really unusual choices come to the fore by leading their little pack.  We’re looking at you, Ximena, Yaretzi, and Yahir.

Here, the most popular names for every letter in 2013 in the US, with overall standings for the names in parentheses.

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classic boys' names

Last week we asked you to name your favorite classic name for girls; now it’s the boys’ turn.

What’s your favorite classic boys’ name?  Do you prefer one of the classic classics such as James or William or a fashionable classic such as Henry or (thanks to England‘s young prince) George?

There are quiet classic boys’ names such as Robert and Richard and John, no longer quite in style yet undeniably classics.  And then there are trendy names such as Noah and Sebastian that may or may not qualify as classics in your book.

What’s your very favorite classic boys’ name?  And yes, sure, you can mention more than one.

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snow baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz/Nameberry

Our friends over at Today Parents asked us to write about names for babies born during the massive blizzard in the Northeast US this week.  If you’re expecting a baby during the current Snowpocalypse – or are just thinking you might put those snow days to good use in trying for one – you may want to find baby naming inspiration in one of these snow-themed choices.  

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deja vu names

By Abby Sandel, AppellationMountain

I know that Hollywood isn’t one great big playdate, with A-list moms and reality starlets alike pushing their designer strollers through the park together. There’s no reason to think that Blue Ivy Carter and Tennessee Toth will attend the same preschool, or that Tori Spelling and Angelina Jolie are trading tips on managing big families.

Which is a long way of saying that of course sometimes one set of high-profile parents will choose the same name that some other headline-worthy couple chose.

To spectators, those repeats can seem significant. Tabloids accuse Blake Lively of stealing a Garner-Affleck baby name. We declare names The Next Big Thing if it pops up on lots of celeb birth announcements.

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Blonde Baby Names, from Aurelia to Xanthe

blondebabynames

If there’s a strong strain of fair hair in your family, you may be thinking about choosing a name that would have meaning for a prospective blondie. Some of these might have originated via one early bearer—see Boyd—just as Rufus originated as a nickname for red-haired King William. But the names on this list? They’re all golden.

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