Category: most popular girls names
This week, Nameberry Style columnist Elisabeth Wilborn, of You Can’t Call It It and The Itsy Factor, waves her magic wand over the girls’ top 100 list and transforms overly-popular names with chic new alternatives.
But if you seek a more rare, chic alternative for your little one, play this game with me. Ask yourself, is it the sound that makes you fall in love with a name? Is it the fact that it honors your heritage? Perhaps it’s the meaning? Whatever the names’ deepest appeal, there may be another, less popular option that will satisfy you.
I had fun with this list, maybe even more so than with the boys’ names because there are just so many viable options to choose from.
How would you amp up the style of the girls’ names from the top of the chart, and are there any that you’re too in love with to change?
We often look at the name stats of the most popular girls’ names for a year, or even a decade, but sometimes it’s enlightening to take a longer view. Our ever resourceful and creative contributor Nephele has taken on the task of tabulating what the highest numbers of names were given to babies for each letter of the alphabet over the 130 year-period from 1880 to 2009. (Whew!– 1,430,841 Lindas! 592,450 Pamelas!)
There are some interesting surprises– even taking into consideration how the percentages for top names has changed over the years—such as the fact that there have been twice as many Annas as Anns (ethnic impact), that Bertha tops Beatrice, that Ida squeaks past Isabella (though probably not for much longer), that half of the top K names relate to Katherine, and that Ashley is the second highest ‘A’ name over the whole period. And of course, with lesser used letters, you’ll find some highly unusual choices on the list: 352 Uyens were enough to push their name into the Top 10.
So here, for your perusal, the Top 10 most popular girls’ names for every letter of the alphabet, followed by the total number given over that entire period. Boys will follow tomorrow.
1. Anna 844,721
2. Ashley 810,539
3. Amanda 775,095
4. Amy 673,333
5. Angela 650,496
6. Alice 536,538
7. Ann 466,050
8. Andrea 407,937
9. Amber 361,061
10. Annie 341,551
If I were a cookbook writer, I think my first title would be: “100 Ways to Dice and Slice the Social Security List.” There is so much information to be found embedded in it and so many ways to look at it, that there seems to be no end of different and intriguing ways to parse the data.
Pam will be writing later about the startling number of names that have been in the Top 1000 consistently—which is to say every single year– since score-keeping began in1880. Today I’ll take a look at the patterns followed by the names that have moved in and out of fashion.
First, the girls, grouped by the decades they first came into favor, followed by the specific years when they were included in the Top 100. (This does not include names that have been up there every single year.)
You may be surprised at when some of the names initially appeared—sometimes earlier, sometimes later than you might have guessed. Zoe and Chloe, for example, were both strong in the 19th century, as were Savannah and Samantha. Alexis was already up there in the 1940s, but Alexa didn’t break through till the 70s; Kayla was there as early as the fifties, while—and this may not be such a surprise– Kaitlyn, Katelyn, Kaylee and Makayla all broke through as a group in the eighties, along with Hailey and Bailey.
1880s-90s (and possibly earlier)
- Abigail: 1880-1897, 1901-1903, 1906, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1949-2009
- Andrea: 1880-1881, 1884-1887, 1889, 1901-1904, 1907-2009
- Ava: 1880-1972, 1974-1975, 1984, 1986-2009
- Bella: 1880-1931, 2000-2009
- Chloe: 1880-1943, 1982-2009
- Ella: 1880-1983, 1988, 1990-2009
- Faith: 1880-1882, 1884-1886, 1888-2009
- Isabella: 1880-1948, 1990-2009
- Isabelle: 1880-1954, 1957, 1991-2009
- Jessica: 1880-1893, 1895, 1898-1900, 1903-1912, 1914-1918, 1935, 1937, 1939-2009
- Lily: 1880-1964, 1966, 1970, 1972, 1976, 1979-2009
- Madelyn: 1893, 1895-1965, 1986-2009
- Mariah: 1880-1908, 1910-1911, 1913, 1973, 1975-2009
- Melanie: 1886, 1938-2009
- Samantha: 1880-1902, 1907, 1964-2009
- Savannah: 1880-1922, 1924-1925, 1928, 1983-2009
- Sofia: 1881, 1881, 1886, 1888-1889, 1891-1892, 1895, 1898, 1900-1901, 1906-1914, 1916-1917, 1920-1925, 1927-1931, 1935, 1969, 1971-2009
- Sophie: 1880-1955, 1984-2009
- Sydney: 1886, 1905, 1932-1957, 1959-1961, 1963-1967, 1981-2009
- Valeria: 1881-1944, 1946-1976, 1983, 1985-2009
- Zoe: 1880-1912, 1914-1926, 1928-1929, 1931-1941, 1951-1955, 1957-1961, 1966, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1983-2009
Baby names 2010, nameberry style, are a fascinating collection, with Charlotte still at the top of the list for girls. Seraphina and Olivia follow at numbers 2 and 3, as they did at the end of the first quarter.
Names making the biggest leap up the list for girls are Harper, Jane, Quinn (influenced, no doubt, by Glee), Clara, Clementine, Ivy (a new entrant to the Top 100), and Bryn. Other names new to the girls’ list are Juliet, Jillian, and Pearl.
Names falling the fastest are Willa, Lydia, Piper, and Lauren. Off the Top 100 this quarter are Bella, Beatrix, Maya, Mila, and Yvaine (though we confess to having to idea how that made it to the most-searched roster last time around).
Our Baby Names 2010 Top 100 list is compiled from the most-viewed names on nameberry for the first half of the year. The up and down arrows represent movement up or down the list compared with the first quarter of this year; an equal sign means the name is in the same position as it was first quarter. Double arrows indicate movement of more than fifteen places up or down.
Don‘t, however, take the meaning of the arrows too much to heart. Often they represent movement of only a place or two, and a name’s movement over a single quarter can be influenced by a host of small factors unrelated to a true shift in popularity.
Of course, this list is vastly different than the official list of Most Popular Names in the U.S. The Social Security list is based on all actual births and name choices in the country, while the nameberry list measures which names our relatively style-conscious visitors are most curious about. Plus the nameberry list is up-to-the-minute, while the most recent Social Security list is for 2009.
Consider this, then, a look at which names will be more popular in the months and years ahead. We got some flack when we issued the quarterly list for calling these “elite” names, but we stand by that characterization. On the premise that nameberry’s visitors are better informed about names and have more discerning name taste than the general population (you do, don’t you?), we see these as names favored by parents who are looking for names with style, class, and staying power.
Can a small number of people searching repeatedly for a specific name skew the results? No. We can see not only how many times a name was searched but by how many unique individuals, so to those of you who tried to game our system by searching for Pervis and Gomer: We’re on to you.
Here, the Top 100 girls’ names for the first half of 2010. Tomorrow we’ll bring you the boys.
1. CHARLOTTE =
2. SERAPHINA =
3. OLIVIA =
4. VIOLET up
The Social Security Administration has just released its list of Top Names of 2009, and, as predicted by many nameberryites, Isabella has dethroned Emma for first place. Jacob remains the top name for boys, as it has been since 1999. One of the ayden boys has finally cracked the Top 10, with Jayden in at number eight, and Noah is also new in the golden circle at #9. For girls, the newcomer was Mia, moving up from #14 to #10.
More coming, but in the meantime, here is the official press release from the SSA which has a link to the Top 1000. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/baby-names2009-pr-alt.pdf
In the meantime, we’ve been wildly impressed with the astute comments you’ve been posting on the blog and hope everyone is following them!!