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Imogen widened her lead over Charlotte as the most popular girls’ name on Nameberry for the first nine months of the year.  Imogen edged past Charlotte to claim the Number 1 spot for the first time at the 2013 half year mark, leading by fewer than 500 names out of a cumulative 50,000 page views.

But now Imogen is leading by nearly 10,000 page views of over 100,000 for the two names, leaving longtime favorite Charlotte in a distant second.  Third place Harper trails by fewer than 1000 views.

Though popular in Britain, Imogen has never made the U.S. Top 1000. In 2012, it was given to only 111 baby girls in the U.S., the same number as were named Love and Laken, though its popularity on Nameberry indicates it could squeak onto the Top 1000 for 2013 or 2014.

Nameberry measures the most-viewed names among the nearly 50,000 choices on our site.

Maisie is the name that has moved the most number of places up the girls’ chart this quarter, at 19.  Names that start with vowels continue to be strong for girls, with half of the dozen names moving fastest up our charts starting with vowels: Amelia, Evelyn, Evangeline, Ivy, Everly, and Ada.  Names making significant shifts upward are marked with an asterisk.

The Top 100 girls’ names on Nameberry so far this year 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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