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Category: hot baby names

Nicole Richie and Lionel Richie in Los Angeles, CA

The year before Nicole Richie, who’s mainly famous for being famous, named her first child Harlow Winter Kate, that Golden Age of Hollywood first name was given to only 28 baby girls.

In 2008, the year Richie gave birth in January, that number shot up to 133, more than doubling again the following year to enter the official Top 1000, rising to Number 778 in 2010 when 349 baby girls were named Harlow.

Celebrities have the power to catapult not only their own names to stardom, as they have in recent years for choices ranging from Scarlett to Jude, but the names they choose for their babies. Celebrity baby name choices can breathe life into a forgotten name like Matilda or Violet, add new luster to a vintage Hollywood appellation as with Harlow or Ava, even switch a name’s gender identity.

For a celebrity baby name to make it big seems to take a combination of parental star power and intrinsic name appeal: Reese Witherspoon’s Ava caught on in a major way, for instance, while son Deacon’s name may be just too quirky or religious for widespread use.

The most influential celebrity baby names right now:

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The new Nameberry message boards are up and running! Check them out and tell us what you think!

Last week we brought you our hottest baby names of 2011: Those choices, from Pippa to Asher to Arlo and Adelaide, that were gaining the most views on Nameberry in the first half of this year.

Now we bring you our full list of Top Names 2011, the 100 most popular for girls and boys as well as the 25 most-searched unisex names, based on Nameberry’s figures for the first six months of the year.

Remember, these are the names that are getting looked at the most on Nameberry, not yet the names people are using the most for their babies. The Social Security Most Popular Names list comes out in May and is based on births the year before, so the most recent data is for 2010.

With our 2011 list, we’re gauging the names that are attracting the most interest right now, which we believe will translate into actual name choices over the coming years. Consider this list a predictor of future baby name trends.

Warning: These lists are really long. But we know the Berries can never get enough.

Here are the Top 100 for girls and boys and the Top 25 unisex names:

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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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baby rider

So you think you’ve found a secret baby name.  One that nobody has ever discovered before.  Or a sleeping gem neglected by other baby namers.

And maybe you have.  But the distressing news is that a lot of the names that parents think are secret finds are really being scoped out at the same time by a lot of other parents.

How do we know? Because we’ve analyzed which names are spiking the highest in nameberry views at the start of 2011 compared with 2010, and among the biggest risers are obscure picks and long-neglected classics.

What makes these names suddenly so hot?  For the most part, it’s hard to say.  All we can tell you for sure is that they are hot — a lot hotter than you might guess.

Here, the 50 hottest obscure names and how high their traffic has jumped:

Girls

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Cool Baby Names: Which Are The Hottest?

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What are the cool baby names?

That’s the first question most people ask us when they hear we have the unlikely profession of baby name experts. We hear it so often, in fact, that we wrote a book called Cool Names for Babies.

Still, when people ask us the question, we find ourselves stuttering and stammering.

Why?  Mostly because cool is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder.

Certainly, the websites that have sprung up purporting to direct you to cool baby names do nothing of the sort.   They only pop up when you google cool baby names because they’re optimized for that popular search term (one of the hard facts of the rough-and-tumble baby name biz) and not because they know anything about cool….or even baby names, for that matter.

One way to identify cool baby names might be to look at what cool people are naming their babies.  For the most part, this dovetails nicely with the names that nameberry visitors like best — yes, of course we’re cool! — and that are most searched for on the site.  These tend to have traditional roots but an offbeat feel and include:

girls

ALICE

BEATRIX

DOROTHY

IMOGEN

IVY

MAISIE

MILLIE

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