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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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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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The Baby Name Class of 1915

vintage baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

At the start of 2015, it’s interesting to look back a hundred years to see what was happening in the world of baby names.

The Baby Name Class of 1915 included several choices that are once again stylish: Evelyn, Alice, Florence, Lillian, and Rose for girls; William, James, Walter, Henry, and Harry for boys.

Other names in the 1915 Top 20 are starting to be rediscovered, notably Frances and Louise for girls, Raymond and Arthur for boys.

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popular baby names

By Lauren Johnson

My pregnant friend had settled on a name—Olive. And then she saw a baby announcement two weeks ago: “Meet Olive Louise,” it read. The announcement came from Facebook, and from a “friend” she has only seen once in 14 years, but she’s decided against the name for fear it will be too common, and is back to searching the Social Security lists for the year’s top baby names, and scouring the name blogs.

The web has opened our eyes to world-wide naming trends, and my generation of Jennifers, Laurens and Ashleys, who were disappointed to be one of five in our classrooms, feel a new sort of power: Our children will not suffer the same fate. I watch my friends register their children’s twitter handles and create their Gmail accounts before they’re born, and part of the naming process is considering whether the name’s domain is still available on GoDaddy.

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posted by: Abby View all posts by this author
royal baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Will and Kate are expecting a prince or princess in 2015, but there could be thousands of royal births in the coming year.

Confused?

Nameberry’s 2015 trend report started with Defining Names – names that create a clear and powerful identity.

A great many of those identities are clad in purple and ermine – tiny royals, with names to declare they rule.

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