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Artemis, Italy and Eve: Vowel Names

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The Nameberry Nine by Abby Sandel

Let’s talk about vowels.

The letter A is wildly popular, #1 for girls and #2 for boys according to the most recent analysis at Nancy’s Baby Names. As I looked through this week’s birth announcements and baby name news, it seemed like the letter A is everywhere.

E trails a few places behind A, fifth overall for girls and eighth for boys.

It wasn’t always like this. Look at the data for the 1920s or 1950s. None of the Top Ten names for either gender start with a vowel. But in recent years, names like Andrew, Ethan, Emma, Olivia, Abigail, and Isabella have dominated the lists of most common names.

A has a strong lead, with Alexander, Ava, and Aiden in the current Top Ten. Our affection isn’t limited to the first letter of the alphabet.Owen, Eli, Isaiah, and Easton are all rapidly rising favorites for our sons.  For daughters, there’s Eva and Ella, plus lots of names with the Ev- and El- sound, and up-and-comers like Isla and Olive.

The vowel-centric names in the baby name news last week included:

Italy – Parents continue to search the map for meaningful, attractive place names for their children. Italy is an intriguing option. She’s part-Avery, part-Isabelle, and very much a destination with a positive vibe. For Real Baby Names spotted a birth announcement for Italy Margie Anne, but I think this is a gender neutral possibility.

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