Category: most popular baby names
Our research intern Megan Garon pored over the US statistics to compile the following list of the top girls’ and top boys’ name for every letter from A to Z. Well, not every letter as it turns out there is no girls’ name starting with U in the Top 1000!
Other interesting facts that emerge when looking at the US popularity list through the alphabetical lens:
— Some letters (E, for instance) include names that are a lot closer to the top of the list than others (F, to cite a nearby example). This is hardly earth-shattering news and yet, the differences are notable.
— While there are plenty of traditional names heading their letter’s popularity rank, a remarkable number of the top names are new ones. Take H, for example, where Harper and Hunter trump classics Helen and Henry, or P, where Peyton and Parker dominate rather than Patricia and Paul.
— In a few cases, the top names for a letter for girls and boys are remarkable similar — Riley and Ryan, for instance, and Willow and William, and especially Quinn and Quinn! This is evidence of the trend toward boys’ and girls’ names taking their sound and style cues from each other.
Here, the most popular names for every letter in 2013 in the US, with overall standings for the names in parentheses.
Most of us know that the top names on the Social Security list aren’t given to as many babies as they once were. Here, data whiz Kelli shows how the Number 1 names have become less and less popular through the years, tracing the percentages of babies given the top name from 1880 to now.
For a second year, I present the “real” Top 50 by combining the different spellings of each name. Because when you hear “Jacob!” on the playground, you have no idea how his name is spelled, but you know you hear the name a lot. Where does it really rank compared to other names?
Note: These are the combined spellings of the names in the Top 1000 only. The main name listed is the spelling given to the most babies in 2013 (SSA Rank is in parentheses). The others are in alphabetical order. Opinions vary on how different spellings are pronounced. I went with my best judgment.
You should know that your mother and I spent the better part of both her pregnancies agonizing over your names. We did the bookstore thing. Surfed Nameberry til we fell asleep. Many nights. Had wayyy too much fun on NameVoyager and Nymbler. Talked to friends, made mental notes of names we heard shouted at playgrounds and malls.
We tested out hundreds of candidates to see how each sounded with our last name, what possible nicknames there were, teasing likelihood for each, whether we enjoyed alliterative names or hated them. And in the end, we happily selected Jacob and Sophia — or Jake and Sophie depending on whether or not you’re in trouble. And for that, we’re sorry.
Sophia, which took the crown as the Number 1 girls’ name last year, is a Greek name that means “wisdom.” It entered the Top 10 in 2006.
Arya and Major were the fastest-rising names for 2012. Arya’s popularity stems from the show and book Game of Thrones, while Major is a military name featured on reality TV show Home by Novogratz.
Second fastest-risers Gael and Perla are widely used by parents of Spanish descent.
The complete Top Ten are: