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Category: baby name Rowan

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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Unisex Names 2013: The top 20 (so far)

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By Pamela Redmond Satran

Rowan has taken over from Quinn as the most popular unisex name on Nameberry.

Rowan attracted the most views of all the unisex names on the site, defined as names given to at least 10% of the minority gender. Rowan, a Scottish and Irish name meaning “little redhead,” is more evenly unisex than Quinn, ranking 455 for girls and 301 for boys on the U.S. popularity list.

The other big news on our unisex list is the appearance of North, thanks to little North West, daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. While North was used for only 12 boys and fewer than five girls according to the official U.S. tallies for 2012, the current interest is almost entirely as a girls’ name.

The unisex names ranking highest in the 14 million views of our name pages in the first nine months of the year are:

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Blonde, Brunette and Redhead Baby Names:

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Ever wonder how our names actually originated? A lot of them derived from the Latin or Greek word for the physical characteristic of a single individual—for example Cicero means ‘chick pea’ because of a wart on the nose of the first Cicero, and Claude’s meaning of ‘lame’ ditto. Several more are related to the bearer’s hair color or quality, such as the ones here. I’ll spare you poor Brendan, which means ‘stinking hair’ and the biblical Esau, meaning ‘hairy’.

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Baby Names That Mean Red

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by Pamela Redmond Satran

When I was having my first child, we had a boys’ name (Henry) picked out from the very beginning.  But when it began to occur to us eight months into the pregnancy that this baby might be a girl, we were stumped for a name.

My husband and I had very different ideas about stye in girls’ names.  Family names seem to create more problems than they solved, and so when we found a way to focus our search that we could both agree on, we were delighted.

Our mission: To find a name that meant red.  I loved the color red, my hair is reddish, and my last name is Redmond, so red incorporated a lot of potent symbols for me and helped balance the fact that our child would carry my husband’s surname.

We ended up naming our daughter Rory, but there are a lot of other wonderful names that mean red for both girls and boys.  If red is a meaning that catches fire with you, consider these scarlet-hued options:

Adam – Adam stands out on this list as a true classic boys’ name — Adam‘s meaning is “son of the red earth.”  Though a bit overused in recent years, Adam is still and forever a solid choice that remains in the Top 100.

Clancy – This Irish surname name meaning “red-haired warrior” can work for both boys and girls, but it’s got a masculine ring to us, perhaps thanks to the musical Clancy Brothers and author Tom.  Clancy is an unusual baby name for either gender, used for only 17 boys and five girls in the US in 2012.

Crimson – Love Scarlett but want a more distinctive alternative?  Then crisp and luscious Crimson might be the choice for you.  The word comes from the Old Spanish kermes, an insect whose shell created deep red dye.

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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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