Popular baby names go through cycles: They rise to the top, but then in a year or a decade, most fall away to be replaced by….
Well, by new names that are often pretty darn similar to the old ones.Β In the 80s, Jennifer was number one, until it was replaced by Jessica.Β Emily held the top spot for several years, and then was supplanted by Emma.
The reason for this same-but-different pattern is so simple and logical it hardly bears stating — but we’ll do so anyway.Β Popular baby names, by definition, are those that are favored by a wide range of people.Β Except once they become too popular for too long, parents donβt want to choose them, no matter how much they may still like them.
So they look for names that are the same, but different.Β That have some twist that makes them new, while retaining the appeal of the originals.
Many of the most popular baby names today have close cousins waiting in the wings, ready to move up and replace the well-liked but overused favorites of today.
If you love one of the Top 10 names but think it’s just too popular, you can consider using one of these substitutes in its place.Β The risk, of course, is that in time the substitute name will become overpopular too, though it’s arguably better to be ahead of the popularity curve than to be smack in the middle of it.
Here are the Top 10 names today and the substitute names we might envision filling their shoes in the future.
- IsabellaΒ –>Β Arabella
- Emma –> Ella
- Olivia –> Olive
- Sophia –> Savannah
- Ava –> Avery
- Emily –> Amelia
- Madison –> Addison or Madelyn
- Abigail –> Aubrey
- Chloe –> Zoe
- Mia –> Maya
- Jacob –> Jack
- Ethan –> Asher
- Michael –> Micah
- Alexander –> Sebastian (different sound, same feel)
- William –> Liam
- Joshua –> Elijah
- Daniel –> Landon
- Jayden –> Aiden
- Noah –> Owen
- Anthony –> Nathan
Or maybe some of you have some other, better ideas?Β Weβd love to hear them!