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Top Unisex Names 2013

unisex baby names

Rowan maintains the Number One spot, as it has all year, on our list of Most Popular Unisex Names 2013.

Quinn and Kai are second and third.  Our two new entrants to the Top 20 are the celebrity-inspired North along with Arden at Number 16.

We define unisex names as names given to less than 90 percent of either gender in the U.S.  We include the gender split taken from the most recent Social Security figures, which you can view in more detail on the chart on our Unisex Baby Names home page.

Our popularity lists are tabulated by ranking the unique page views each name attracts out of the over 20 million total views of our baby name pages in 2013.  Starting in 2014, we’ll be able to calculate the number of views of our names by gender and so will rank names considered unisex with the overall girls’ and boys’ popularity lists.

One trend evident from this list is the unusual predominance of names that start with the letter R, a trend unique to unisex names, with E-starting names in second place.  Remy is the name most evenly divided in use between the sexes, with Marlowe the choice used most often for girls and Kai leaning furthest toward the male side.

Our Top 20 Unisex Names for 2013 are:

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This week for the Nameberry 9, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel takes a look at the shifting perceptions of boys’ baby names.

When we named our son Alexander in 2004, it was a no-brainer, a family name that my husband very much wanted to pass down.  Despite my baby name obsession, the choice was made without much thought.

I knew girls could answer to Alex as a tomboyish nickname for Alexandra.  Heck, it was the kind of name I’d craved as a child.  And I was fascinated by the medieval French Alix, the Italian Alessandra, the Russian Sasha.

The possibility of a girl Alex didn’t bother me a bit.

In fact, we proceeded to call our son the even more ambiguous Aly for his first six years on this Earth.

Then came first grade. Aly was a Girl Name, he announced.  From now on, he would be Alex.

The classmate who told him that his nickname was a gender bender?

His name is Delaney.

So what’s happening with boys’ names in 2013?  There’s pressure to choose a name that is clearly masculine, coupled with frustration that so many fresh possibilities for boys could easily be the next big thing for girls.  Parents will drop Elliot if they see it mentioned on a message board as a vague possibility for a girl.  Emerson has been ceded to Team Pink before she even cracks the Top 100 in the US.

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britflorence

Eleanor Nickerson, of the wonderful blog British Baby Names, offers her predictions of the names that will succeed today’s trendiest in England and Wales.

The Next Olivia

Olivia was the supreme queen of girls’ names in 2008, 2009 and 2010 in England and Wales, and was only marginally beaten by Amelia to the number 1 spot in 2011. It entered the Top 100 for the first time in the late 1980s, and has been in the Top 10 since 1999. Further down the ranks, Eliza stands at #62.  Like Olivia before, Eliza has not ranked in the Top 100 for a century, but is now steadily rising.

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There are some weeks when even name mavens like Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel  have to dig deep to find nine newsworthy names, but of course Abby always comes through. Here are The Nameberry Nine for this week.

It finally happened.  After weeks and weeks of effortlessly identifying nine newsworthy names, this week I was stuck.  There were two celebrity births, a nicely named girl and boy, but neither was the newsworthy delight I’d anticipated.

Suddenly I understood the laments of expectant parents everywhere: there are all of these names, nice enough names, but they’re not the right ones for us.  It was a Name Drought, a feeling of deprivation in the midst of plenty.  While waiting to learn our second child’s gender, I had a similar feeling.  We had a girl’s name all set, but if our daughter had been a second son?  We might still be calling him Baby.

Then I gave in to the siren song of the Gap Casting Call, and after wading through 763 pages of adorable kid pictures, I found floods of names to love, like boys called Leland, Thaddeus, and Giacomo.

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