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Top 100 Boys’ Names of 2013…so far

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By Pamela Redmond Satran

George vaulted halfway up our boys’ popularity list for 2013, thanks to the naming of the little British Prince George Alexander Louis.  George went from Number 92 for the first half of the year all the way up to Number 56 at the year’s three-quarter mark.

At the same point last year, George did not even rank in the Top 100.

The other boys’ name in the news making a strong showing on our list is Kieran, which attracted some controversy after it was chosen for the newly-adopted African-American grandson of Mitt Romney. The Irish Kieran means “little dark one.”

But most names make our popularity list thanks to the interest of parents considering them for their babies. The list tallies which boys’ names attracted the most views among the 14 million visits to our name pages for the first nine months of 2013.

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Top Boy Names 2012

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Finn has taken over as Nameberry’s top boy name for 2012, claiming the Number 1 spot held last year by Asher.  Former most popular boys’ name Henry drops to Number 3.

The names on our boys’  Top 10 remain the same as last year, except that Owen and Felix have switched places at Numbers 10 and 11.

Biblical Simon is the name that’s risen furthest on the Nameberry list, up 43 places.  The boys’ names moving the most places up the ladder are:

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Why is Alexandra up but Alexis down?

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Linda and I have spent a lot of time over the years tracking the ups and downs of baby names and making sense of the movements.  Often, it’s possible to divine trends in the popularity lists: Girls’ names that end in a are marching up the ladder in seeming unison, for instance, while New Testament names for boys are moving down.

But sometimes, the patterns are not so easy to discern.  Sometimes, in fact, the shifts seem downright contradictory, undercutting any attempt to identify a trend.

Sure, sometimes you can credit a celebrity for a name’s rise or blame a slide on the fact that a name has been around so long that people have gotten tired of it and are turning to a new flavor.  We do get, for instance, that Britain‘s newest royal is responsible for the predominance of Kate over Katherine, and that Oliver is simply a fresher name than the long-popular Christopher.

Still, even with those examples, the rise of one name at the same time another, very similar name drops can be amusing.  Some notable pairings from this year’s list:

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Alexandra is up, but Alexis is down

Aria is up, but Cadence is down

Bella is up, but Isabelle is down

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