Category: most popular names of 2008
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:
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?
One of the downsides–admittedly a fairly minor one–to living in such a heavily populated country as the U.S. is that it takes the Social Security Administration five months to tally up the year’s baby name stats, while some states and other countries put out their results even before the New Year’s Eve ball drops on Times Square.
The full UK report will be arriving any day now, but in the interim, there’s a survey of 380,000 babies born in Britain in 2008 that can give us some strong clues. For girls, the Top 5 names are Olivia, Ruby, Grace, Emily, and Jessica, with a noteworthy number of nickname names further down–Evie, Katie, Ellie, Millie, Gracie, Rosie, Abbie and Tilly. Names hot over there that haven’t taken off to the same degree here: Freya, Poppy, Imogen, Niamh and Maisie. And those rising fastest? Isla, Summer and Ava.
For British boys, Jack is #1, as it has been for 14 years, followed by Oliver, Harry, Alfie and Charlie. Royal names–such as George, William and James–continue to rule, and nickname names, in addition to Alfie and Charlie, are popular with this gender too, as in Archie, Jamie, Freddie, Joe and Billy. The boys’ names heard more there than here: Lewis, Harvey and Kian. Theo was the fastest climber of the boys.
Scotland has released its official list, with Sophie, Emily, Olivia, Chloe and Emma, and Jack, Lewis, Daniel, Liam and James in the lead. Some traditional Scottish favorites continued to hold their own, including Isla, Logan, Cameron, Gregor, Kyle, Finlay , Ewan and Angus. To go somewhat farther afield, in New South Wales, the most populous part of Australia, the Top 5 for girls were Mia, Chloe, Isabella, Emily and Olivia; for boys it was Jack (fifth year in a row), William, Lachlan, Joshua and Cooper, while the starbaby influence was felt in the presence of names like Shiloh, Suri, Sunday, Honour (as it’s spelled there), and even Bronx. In Japan, the top girls’ names were Aoi, Yui and Rin; for boys Hiroto, Ren and Yuto.
One US state that has weighed in early is Arizona, where the top names were Anthony and Isabella. Several Hispanic names appeared on the boys’ list: Angel at #2, and Jose, Jesus and Luis in the Top 20. The registrar of Oakland County, Michigan, which includes several Detroit suburbs, is obviously a name buff. Among the groupings she noted in her area: Harmony and Melody; Hope, Faith, Charity and Unity; London, Paris, Phoenix, Aspen, Georgia, Austin, Savannah and Brooklyn; Zinnia, Rose, Lily, Ivy and Violet, and a contingent of ancients: Julius, Marcus, Cassius, Leonidas, Athena and Adonis.
We’ll keep you posted as more results come in.