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See all the girl names on Nameberry here.

by Pamela Redmond Satran

There’s a new girl in town, and her name is Imogen — the breakout Number 1 among girl names on Nameberry for the first half of 2013.

Imogen unseated longtime favorite Charlotte as our most-viewed girl name so far this year.  In third place we have another new entrant to the girl names list, Harper, which we’ve moved over from unisex given that over 90 percent of the babies named Harper are now female.

This list of Nameberry’s Top 100 girl names is based on over 8 million views of our name pages for the first half of 2013.

Compared with our own baby name popularity list for 2012, the girl names  moving up the fastest are Merida, Clementine, Elodie, Eloise, Francine, Everly, Beatrix, Frances, Kinsley, and Ada.

This list shows the influence of popular culture, news events, and celebrity on interest in names.  Merida was an animated film heroine, while Clementine and Everly were girl names chosen by celebrities and Francine and Frances may be inspired by the new Pope.

And we see names in the lower half of the list moving up on the coattails of their more popular sisters: Elodie and Eloise are rising behind Eleanor, for instance, while Mae and Maisie follow Maeve.  Ada is a new entrant at Number 92, and we predict will move up on the strength of the popular Ava, still strong at Number 12.

While many of the girl names popular with Nameberry visitors also rank high on the U.S. baby names popularity list, others are outliers.  Our top girl name Imogen, for instance, has never been on the U.S. Top 1000.

Here, Nameberry’s top girl names 2013….so far:

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girlhiding

You may know Nameberry’s most popular girls’ names 2011: from Top 3 Charlotte, Violet, and Amelia down to Molly, Maya, and Mary.

You may even know our hottest girls’ names 2011, which include such celebrity-influenced picks as Pippa and Mila.

But we’ve got a quieter, less obvious, but potentially more interesting list for you: those girls’ names that don’t make the Top 100 but that are attracting a dramatic rise in interest this summer over last.

Some of the names here bear a relationship to those on the most popular list: Aveline instead of Adeline, for instance, or Indigo rather than Scarlett, or Clover as opposed to Ivy or Poppy. While not all of these names are destined for future popularity, the baby namer in search of a name that will feel as fresh in ten years as it does today should take heed.

Our list of secretly popular girls’ names 2011 (look for the boys’ list next week):

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alphabet

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.

A

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

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triplets

What are the most popular girls’ names in the U.S.?  If you consult the official Social Security list, or most of the state lists, you’ll get one version.  With each name counted individually by spelling — Sophia and Sofia are counted separately, in other words — the national list of most popular girls’ names (I’m going to include the Top 15, for reasons that will become evident) is:

1. EMMA

2. ISABELLA

3. EMILY

4. MADISON

5. AVA

6. OLIVIA

7. SOPHIA

8.ABIGAIL

9.ELIZABETH

10.CHLOE

11.SAMANTHA

12.ADDISON

13.NATALIE

14.MIA

15.ALEXIS

But to Katharine Hales — aka nameberry’s k_lareese — this didn’t look quite right.  Hales, an attorney who is studying to be a law librarian, wanted to name her first child Lillian, with the nickname Lily.  But when researching the name, she noticed that both Lily and Lillian were in the Top 30.  If you added all the spelling and variations of the name together, she wondered, mightn’t you end up with a true popularity number that was significantly higher?

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