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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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Cool Boy Names: The Nameberry 9

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Just in case you’ve been agonizing about the lack of good names for boys, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel presents the case for cool boy names in this week’s The Nameberry 9.

Convinced there are no great names for boys?

Spend a few minutes on message boards and you’ll hear the laments.  “There are so many girls’ names I love, but nothing feels right for our son.”  “Girls keep stealing all of the good names!”

This week’s baby name news proves that parents are discovering plenty of great names for boys.  There’s no need to choose anything as outlandish as Rebel or as obscure as Theodule to find a stand out name for your son.

You will have to do your homework.  In a New York Daily News article announcing that Isabella and Jayden remained the top names in the Big Apple, one mom said that they’d landed on Jayden for their 2011 baby because they “were trying to do something that was different.”

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Celebrity baby names are in the spotlight this week in Appellation Mountain’s Abby Sandel’s Nameberrty Nine round-up .

The Sundance Film Festival just wrapped up in Utah yesterday.  Indie films are a great resource for unexpected baby names – they’re inventive, original, often rich with significance, and yet they’re usually not blockbusters.  Choosing a name from a great but somewhat obscure movie is different than calling your daughter Neytiri or your son Anakin – there’s less instant, unavoidable connection to the character.

Last week also brought us a string of celebrity birth announcements too intriguing to ignore.  A handful of Sundance-inspired appellations, like Merrily, Beatrice, Clarke, Spring, and Beau, exited the list to make room for a few newsworthy baby names.

Let’s start with a few from the Festival:

TulipCatherine Zeta-Jones’ character in upcoming crime caper Lay the Favorite answers to this botanical rarity.  Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell used it as an extra middle for their daughter Charlie Tamara Tulip.  She shares the same vowel sound as Ruby and LucyWill we start to see Tulip in bloom?

Zibby – The youngest Olsen sister, Elizabeth, plays Zibby in coming-of-age flick Liberal Arts.  Surely it isn’t the character’s given name.  Maybe Zibby is a creative short form of Elizabeth, or it could be a novel nickname for Isabella.

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11 Most Notable Names of 2011

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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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High-Energy Names

bouncingbypatdavid

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted a name with a lot of energy, for reasons that seem insane from the perspective of having raised three kids. But I didn’t anticipate that a high-energy toddler might run me ragged; I just knew I wanted my little boy or girl to be active, outgoing, not hobbled by the shyness and insecurities I felt had plagued my own childhood.

Well, I got my wish. Rory burst into the world, all 9 pounds, 5 ounces of her, with a shock of jet black hair and a voice that woke the whole maternity ward. At two weeks old, she was able to stand on my husband’s lap and sing along with him. As she grew, she starred in all the school plays and dominated on the lacrosse field.

The search for a high-energy name was part of the inspiration for our first name book. It was so difficult to sift through all the conventional name dictionaries on the market at the time and try to find names that sounded energetic (and Irish and that meant red, two of my other criteria). There should be a name book that put all the energetic-sounding names in one place, I thought, along with all the names that sounded smart and stylish, that were good for redheads or popular in the 1920s. That’s the thinking I brought to the first Beyond Jennifer & Jason (Linda, meanwhile, a friend and fellow writer, had conceived the same idea from a different direction), now grown up to Beyond Ava & Aiden.

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