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Category: girl names 2011

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It’s easy to confuse popularity with stylishness.  Many baby names feel “popular” when they’re merely stylish: We’re hearing them a lot, they’re in step with the baby name fashions, and we worry that if we choose them, our little Matilda is going to be one of many.

And perhaps if you live in some edgy, baby-centric enclave – Park Slope, Brooklyn, say, or Bernal Heights in San Francisco – that will be true.  But for the most part, the numbers tell a different story, with many of the most stylish names used by very few parents.

One note: Names can be popular and stylish, so many of those in the popular column also qualify as stylish.

Looking just at girls’ names today, here’s a statistics-based reality check on what’s stylish vs. what’s truly popular.  (Numbers in parentheses represent how many babies were given that name in the most recent U.S. count.)

Allegra (114) is stylish, though Arianna (4,797) is popular

Aurelia (209) is stylish, but Amelia (5,417) is popular

Azalea (164) is stylish while Violet (2,531) is popular

Beatrix (123) is stylish while Alexa (5,012) is popular

Blake (240) is stylish, while Payton (3,561) is popular

Carter (158) is stylish while Kennedy (2,803) is popular

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You may know Nameberry’s most popular girls’ names 2011: from Top 3 Charlotte, Violet, and Amelia down to Molly, Maya, and Mary.

You may even know our hottest girls’ names 2011, which include such celebrity-influenced picks as Pippa and Mila.

But we’ve got a quieter, less obvious, but potentially more interesting list for you: those girls’ names that don’t make the Top 100 but that are attracting a dramatic rise in interest this summer over last.

Some of the names here bear a relationship to those on the most popular list: Aveline instead of Adeline, for instance, or Indigo rather than Scarlett, or Clover as opposed to Ivy or Poppy. While not all of these names are destined for future popularity, the baby namer in search of a name that will feel as fresh in ten years as it does today should take heed.

Our list of secretly popular girls’ names 2011 (look for the boys’ list next week):

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The Hottest Baby Names of 2011

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Click here for the Top 200 Baby Names of 2011

What are the hottest new baby names this year? Based on an analysis of over 23 million page views at Nameberry since January, we’ve pegged these choices as the Hottest Names of 2011.

It’s a surprising list, driven by unexpected celebrities, rediscovered classics, and the year’s most compelling events.

Nameberry’s Hottest Baby Names of 2011:

Pippa – It wasn’t only Pippa Middleton’s bottom that attracted widespread attention at the Royal Wedding; her name – both the familiar Pippa and the more formal Philippa – is the Number 1 hottest baby name of the year on Nameberry. Pippa ranks 35 on our most-searched list so far this year and did not appear at all among the 200 most popular girls’ names of 2010. While Kate is up too, it’s not nearly as hot.

Asher – The soft, Biblical Asher takes the Hottest Boys’ Name spot by virtue of having unseated Henry as the all-time Number 1 name for boys on Nameberry. For the first time in 2011, Asher has pulled ahead.

Elula – New celebrity baby name trend: Parents choose attention-getting name, then refuse to reveal the name they’ve picked, perhaps to heighten interest and publicity? This unusual choice of Isla Fisher and Sasha Baron Cohen for their second daughter was not even in our database last year – it’s a name drawn from the Hebrew calendar — and now is the Number 38 most-searched name on Nameberry.

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Want the hottest baby name trends for 2012? Check out our baby names 2012 story.

Baby names 2011 signal a new lighter feel in the air and more optimistic outlook for our offspring.   Here, our predictions for the top trends for baby names 2011.

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