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Category: Linda Rosenkrantz

Best of Our Best Baby Names

bonnet8

We’re heading into the home stretch for taking advantage of our pay-what-you-want offer to access our big, juicy, comprehensive compendium of names for girls and boys, The Nameberry Guide to the Very Best Baby Names for a price you set yourself. Here are just a few examples of the varied kinds of names you’ll find among the 1200+ we’ve picked as the best on our site, from classic to the current.

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zola

By Linda Rosenkrantz

I’ve long loved Lola, and lately I’ve been crushing on Viola and Finola–which inspired me to take a look at what other ola names there are, and was pleased to find that there are lots of options, coming from several different ethnicities. As opposed to the diminutive ina-ending, ola‘s long o-sound gives her a certain strength combined with femininity that is really appealing. So here come the ola girls:

AmapolaThis rarely heard name is of Arabic origin and means ‘poppy’—in fact there was a hugely popular Big Band-era hit song called ‘Amapola, my pretty little poppy.”  The Greek name Anatola is related to the ancient Turkish place name Anatolia.

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memorial14x

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The holiday we’re celebrating—originally called Decoration Day—was first commemorated in 1868, not long after the end of the Civil  War, the bitter, bloody battle between the North and the South that ripped the country apart.

Over the course of the war, more than a thousand soldiers reached the rank of general, six of whom, including Ulysses (born Hiram) S. Grant, went on to become U. S. presidents. And for our purposes, they provide us with a fascinating range of period names.

In addition to the expected profusion of Johns, Jameses, Williams and Thomases, we find many Latinate appellations such as Augustus, CassiusMarcellus, Gustavus and Theopholus; word names like Strong and Pleasant, and surnames Sullivan, Johnson and Jones.

From this cornucopia of intriguing choices, we pick 15 of the best:

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U.S.A. Map by Johnny Yanok (johnnyyanok.com)

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Now that Social Security has released the top names for every state, we can move beyond the broad nationwide picture and delve into the more regional patterns.  As you’ll see below, far from every state was on board with newly crowned Noah—in fact he topped the lists of only three states. Also it’s interesting to see how various favorites spill over shared borders, such as which names were common primarily in New England (Benjamin!), the South (Brooklyn!) and the West (Harper!), as well as such idiosyncrasies as Paisley being a Top 5 name in Wyoming, Lincoln in the Utah Top 10 and Aria a top name in Hawaii.

TOP 5 GIRLS

Though Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella and Ava were the Top 5 nationwide, Sophia was at the top of the list in only 11 states, while Emma ruled in 27, Olivia in seven, Ava in three and Isabella in two.  The one outlier? Charlotte was in the lead in the District of Columbia.

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newnames-daleyza

One of the most interesting things to check out when a new Social Security list appears each year is which names have cracked the Top 1000 for the first time, and this edition saw quite a few particularly cool examples. Some, not surprisingly, popped on via a pop culture/celebrity  connection, some reflect some more widespread trends, while others are the inevitable spelling variations (yes, you, Jurnee and Kamdyn) that might prove to be one-time wonders. Here are 12 new names most likely to have staying power:

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