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Category: baby names 2013

popular baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

When the 2013 US Popular Baby Names list came out back in May, we ran Kelli Brady aka The Name Freak‘s wonderful Playground Analysis blog, with her count of the REAL Top 50 baby names. Kelli tallies all spelling variations of the top names to arrive at their actual rankings, which puts Aiden et al instead of Noah at Number 1 for boys, for instance, and bumps Jackson (and Jaxen, Jaxon, and Jaxson) up to Number 2.

Our focus is usually on which names are MORE popular than you’d think when you add in all their spelling variations.  The idea is that parents want to be forewarned when they’re likely to hear their favorite baby names far more often than they’d guess based on the official rankings.  Zoe and Aubrey, counting all spellings, are actually in the Top 10 for girls, for example, while Kayden and his many near-identical twins rank not at Number 93 but at Number 9.

But what about those baby names that are LESS popular than they seem judging by the official statistics?  Parents may veer away from some names, both classic and modern, that are actually somewhat more distinctive than they appear.  I’m not talking about names that are a couple of rungs further down the ladder, based on Kelli‘s analysis, but those that are significantly softer by our own subjective measure.

The point is: If you’re shying away from these baby names because you believe they’re too popular, maybe you owe them a second look.  They are:

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Noah's Ark - 2002 - 20x28 - Framed

Noah has unseated Jacob to become the new Number 1 name for boys – the first new top boys’ choice of the 21st century.

The boys’ side of the list claims all the hottest news, in a turnaround from the usual pattern in which girls’ names dominate the trend shifts.  Liam leapfrogs up to second place in only his second year on the Top 10, above father name William.  And the boys’ roster includes the only new entrant to the Top 10, longtime favorite Daniel, elbowing aside the trendier Aiden.

The girls’ Top 10 is comparatively stable, with Sophia and Emma maintaining their status of Number 1 and Number 2.  Olivia and Isabella switched places at 3 and 4, while Mia moved up and the traditional Emily and Abigail slid down.

The full Top 1000 baby names list for 2013, is now up on Nameberry here.

The focus on fashion changes for boys’ names with relative stability for girls is evidence of a larger shift in baby name style for both genders.  Boys are less often named for fathers and other family members and more often given names influenced by current styles and culture, while girls’ names are becoming more serious and more deeply rooted in tradition.  The result: Greater gender equality in baby names.

The 2013 US Top 10 baby names, announced exclusively on The Today Show this morning, are:

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True Name Confessions: What’s yours?

pinocchio

Here’s my true name confession: We almost named our youngest son Pike.

So sue me.

I still like it.  Sometimes, about as often as I miss that bright orange sweater I gave away in 1994, I wish we’d actually named him that.  We like fish!  In fact, little coulda-been-Pike grew into a boy who loves to fish!

But we chickened out, and Owen he became.

I could confess to other name indiscretions I contemplated but now it’s your turn to tell all.

Did you spell your name with an i at the end with a little heart drawn over it when you were 13?

Attempt to change your name to Sigourney when you were in college?

Did you contemplate a baby name crime: name-napping, perhaps, or….well, I can’t think of any other baby name crime, but maybe you can confess to one anyway.

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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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Our Top 100 Girl Names of 2013

baby girl names

There’s a new top girl in town, and her name is Imogen.

Imogen seized the crown from the Hunger Games-inspired Katniss as the Number One girls’ name on Nameberry for 2013.

Charlotte, which had been the most popular girls’ name in previous years, now stands at Number Two, while Harper, now officially classified as a girls’ name with over 90 percent of the baby Harpers female, is a new entrant to the list at Number Three.

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.

Major trends in girls’ names we see based on our 2013 Popularity List:

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