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Future Top 10 names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

We’re just days away from the new year!  As 2014 draws to a close, plenty of websites and hospital systems have released their top baby names for the past twelve months.

At Nameberry, Asher, Declan, and Atticus topped the boys’ list, while Imogen, Khaleesi, and Charlotte were favorites for girls.

The official 2014 US data doesn’t come out until May 2015.  But this early information lets us read the tea leaves and guess – or hope! – which names might come out on top when we see the official numbers in a few months.

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Unless you follow every reality series on the Oxygen and Style networks, Spanish soccer, country music and the contemporary cartoons, you might be hard pressed to figure out the sources behind some of the names that are suddenly rising in popularity. Yes, you may know that Number 2 boys’ name Mason is Kardashian-related, and that the Beckhams gave girls’ name Harper a big boost, but what’s with Iker? Brantley and Briella, Archer and Angelique?  Here’s a guide to the probable sources of the success of these surprising names on the rise.

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11 Most Notable Names of 2011


What were the names that most commanded our attention this year?  Our notable names of 2011 are inspired by heroes and heroines real and imagined, contemporary and historic, all grown up and newborn.  Their names are zooming into focus and disappearing from view, newly-minted and freshly revived.

The most notable names of 2011, one of them perhaps right for your brand new baby, are:

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Have you noticed the sudden pop in popularity of girls’ names starting with the happy-go-lucky syllable ‘Ha’—some on them shamelessly stolen from the boys?  Caught in the spotlight by two recent high-profile starbabies, Harper Seven Beckham and Jessica Alba’s Haven Warren, this is among the baby name trends that seem to be spreading like wildfire both inside and outside the celebrity sphere.

So it’s ta-ta to Haley, Hayley, Hailee, Hailey and Hallie—and hello to:

Harper. Originally a Scottish family name, this is the biggest hit of all, now Number 119 on the girls’ list, after just arriving in 2004, and jumping more than fifty places in the last year.  It was inspired at least in part by America’s romance with the much-loved classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper (born Nelle) Lee, the book that has also propelled the name Atticus for boys.  Harper’s cred was then reinforced by the character of Harper Finkle on The Wizards of Waverly Place, introduced in 2007 and to a lesser extent by a more minor one in Gossip Girl. Though Harper is still used for boys, most of the many recent starbaby Harpers—from Lisa Marie Presley’s to Neil Patrick Harris’s, have been girls.  Trivia note: During fashionista Posh Beckham’s pregnancy, there were some snide rumors that her future daughter’s possible name was inspired by Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

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