Category: classic baby names
By Abby Sandel
The new US Top 1000 list is out, and while it’s easy to focus on the trendy and the novel – Saylor is up for girls, Baylor for boys, and Oakley for both! – plenty of classic baby names are also making a comeback.
Last year we looked at nine boy names and nine girl names that were both traditional and trending. Happily, it was easy to find eighteen more great baby names that were on the rise this year.
Cora, Ezra, and Theodore all broke into the US Top 100, and Benjamin is now in the boys’ Top Ten. But let’s consider the names a little farther down the list – traditional picks that aren’t super popular just yet. If you’re after a name that’s familiar, with history galore, and not too common, this is your list.
Read on for some great comeback classic baby names.
By Antonia Malchik
I was sitting at the lunch table in fifth grade when I decided that if I ever had a daughter I’d name her something normal.
I grew up mainly in two different towns in Montana. In the first, all my friends had names I coveted: Katie, Stacy, Tiffany, Angie. Their names were pretty, and, importantly for an early 1980s childhood, normal. My name was not. I was named “Antonia” for Willa Cather’s novel My Ántonia, “Louise” after my maternal grandmother, and “Evgenia” after my father’s cousin who still lived in the Soviet Union where my father had grown up. All of which got shortened to the decidedly unmusical and definitely not normal “Nia.”
My husband and I are expecting our third baby on February 7. We have decided that we won’t find out the gender. We’ve already used the two boy names we have always loved for our two sons: Henry Hiram (often called Hal) and Joseph Magnus. Both names carry personal and religious significance for us.
If this baby is a girl, we are considering Mary Grace. Whenever I tell people we’re thinking about the name Mary, they wince and seem to really not like it! They say it’s too common, even though my kids do not know one little girl with the name and very few people of any age with the name anymore. We also like Elizabeth and Lydia.
I have a gut instinct, however, that this next child will be another boy. My husband and I are so stuck! Nothing seems right.
I like Thomas, James, Patrick, John, or perhaps Charles. My husband doesn’t like any of these, and the name I love the most, Patrick, has been rejected because of the starfish on SpongeBob SquarePants. He has suggested Abraham called Bram, Sven, and Simon Peter – which seems very heavy to me. Ephraim is a possible middle name. We have ruled out Brigham, Phillip, Benjamin, Ezra, Judah, Caleb, and Theodore.
We tend to like more traditional first names with less conventional middles. All of a sudden, February 7th seems so close, and if this baby is a boy, he does not have a name at all!
The Name Sage replies:
By Abby Sandel
Here’s something that fascinates me: the difference between the names that we truly love, but don’t use, and the names that we actually bestow upon our children.
Carrie Underwood recently dished about the names that she and husband Mike Fisher considered for son Isaiah, and the reasons that they rejected some of their favorites. She sounded remarkably like almost every mom I’ve ever heard explain why certain names just couldn’t be The Name for their new arrival.
This week’s baby name news was all about the names that we choose and the names that we consider before moving on.
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A Nameberry reader recently asked: How long do baby names in the US Top 10 tend to remain in the Top 10?
Good question, we thought, and so with the help of our commando researcher Esmeralda Rocha, we did some investigation.
The short answer: It’s complicated. While girls’ names in the current Top 10 have been there fewer years on average – 12 years versus 14 for the boys – those numbers are skewed by the amazing durability of Emily at 24 years and, even more dramatically, Michael at 72. Take Emily and Michael out of the equation and the balance reverses, with girls’ names staying on top an average of 10 years versus only 7.5 for the boys!
But this doesn’t tell the whole story either, given that classic boys’ names such as William and James have been in the Top 10 for most of the 135-year history of the data, though they dipped out and returned only recently. And on the girls’ side, Elizabeth had been in the Top 10 most of those years, only to slip out in 2014.
Here, a closer look at the popularity durability of all the names of both genders in the current US Top 10.