Category: Baby Names Popularity
Â There were dozens of stories in the baby name news last week, but they all shared a common theme: the Social Security Administrationâ€™s release of the 2012 baby name data
We talked about Titan and Briggs, Landry and Geraldine.Â About how Jacob remained number one, but only if you didnâ€™t tally up the many spellings of Aiden, Jackson, and Jayden.Â Televisionâ€™s influence was clear â€“ Arya and Aria, Litzy, Major, and Jase.Â Movies, sports, and music shaped our choices, too, as did faith.Â Nevaehâ€™s little brother might just be called Messiah.
But what about the quiet classics, the names that rise and fall, but still appear in nearly every generation?Â Hemlines change.Â We graduated from the party line to the iPhone, the horse to the Prius.Â And yet these names remain, worn by men and women, boys and girls of every age.
Hyperlocal is a word you hear a lot today. There’s hyperlocal news and hyperlocal food, hyperlocal weather and hyperlocal — yeah, baby names.
What are the name trends where you live? Which popular names ring through every playground and crowd every class list? What kinds of names are considered cool, and what names do you NEVER hear?
In my diverse liberal suburb of New York City, for instance, names that are ethnically distinctive and unconventional when it comes to gender identity are definitely cool. Names you hear a lot include Henry (there are three on my short block), Zoe, Izzy, and my younger son’s name, Owen.
Please tell us where you live to help put your hyperlocal baby names report in context. If you’re not comfortable revealing your exact locale, you can say “a gentrifying neighborhood of London” or “a prosperous town in Silicon Valley.” But something vaguer like “a conservative small town in New England” works too.
Last week we wanted to write about babies named Mitt Romney and Sandy, and as it happened, the world gave us both.Â Name nerds and regular folk alike respond to the idea that dramatic, world-changing events have an impact on what we name our children.
But while everyone else is confidently predicting an uptick in little girls called Sandra, berries know that the picture is far more complicated.Â Besides, wouldnâ€™t Sandrine or Alessandra be the more stylish option?
The truth is that the real shifts in names are rarely caused by a headline-grabbing event.Â While it was easy to be distracted by tales of Kenyan twin brothers given the names Barack and Mitt, last week was also rich with stories that show longer-term change in how we think about the names we give our children.
Last weekâ€™s nine biggest names in baby name news were:
Itâ€™s pretty obvious that some popular names start a daisy chain of cousins that become equally popular, as was seen most recently in the progression of a group of top girlsâ€™ names beginning with E.Â First there was Emily, which was the Number 1 name from 1996 to 2007. Â One year after that, Emma reached the top spot, only to be trailed by Ella, who has now been in the Top 20 since 2008.
Yet as recently as the 1980s, Ella wasnâ€™t even in the Top 1000, seen as a rather frumpy has-been, stuck in appellation limbo.Â Which leads us to wonder who will be next? Â Which two-syllable E-name will escape from the lower depths to follow in this progression?
The leading contenders: