Category: baby name popularity
For a second year, I present the “real” Top 50 by combining the different spellings of each name. Because when you hear “Jacob!” on the playground, you have no idea how his name is spelled, but you know you hear the name a lot. Where does it really rank compared to other names?
Note: These are the combined spellings of the names in the Top 1000 only. The main name listed is the spelling given to the most babies in 2013 (SSA Rank is in parentheses). The others are in alphabetical order. Opinions vary on how different spellings are pronounced. I went with my best judgment.
Investors often rely on charts and technical analysis to decide whether to buy or sell a stock. That means they focus less on the fundamental qualities of the company (say, whether sales are growing or it has a good CEO), and instead concentrate on the movements of its share price. If the chart is displaying a certain pattern — one that has been historically shown to foreshadow a rise in value — the investor will buy the stock.
Having spent my career deciphering stock charts as a financial journalist, I suppose it seemed natural to apply the same techniques when coming up with baby names. After all, the popularity of names tends to move in hundred-year cycles, and the same patterns repeat over and over again. That means you can spot a good name based on its chart alone.
How far would you go to find a truly stand-out name for your child?
Good thing, too, because as of Saturday morning, the wisdom of crowds had Cthulhu All-Spark as the top choice.
The full list alternates between the silly – Unicorn, Moonpod, Sprinkles, Fluttershy, and the truly lovely – Alice, Isla, Aria, Iris, Adelaide, India, Caroline, Claire, Elsa. Odds are that baby McLaughlin will end up with quite the wearable name when she arrives in April.
In this year’s third-grade classes, teachers might have noticed an unusual number of Kaylas, Katies and Kyles. This follows an earlier bump for Alexes and Amandas, and other names that start with A. Why? One factor might be…the weather.
As part of our research on trends and how ideas catch on, my colleagues and I analyzed more than 125 years of data on the popularity of baby names. We found that names that begin with K increased 9 percent after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And names that start with A were 7 percent more common after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It wasn’t that people named their babies after the storms. (In fact, fewer people named their children Katrina and Andrew after each respective hurricane.) Rather, it was similar sounding names that spiked after particular storms. Predicting cultural trends is of great interest to companies, consumers and cultural critics. Will a new song be a hit or a flop? Will turquoise be the new black? Will a particular public policy idea catch on or fizzle fast? There are big stakes — big rewards — in being able to accurately forecast cultural trends.