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Category: baby names of 2008

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UPDATE!! Check out our final list of top baby names 2010 for girls.

Nameberry’s top baby names 2010 for girls are a mix of choices — Olivia, Sophia, Elizabeth, Ava, Isabella — that are also popular on the national count and more adventurous names, from Isla to Imogen to Iris, that are favored by visitors to nameberry.

The top baby names 2010 for boys also are a blend of the expected and the surprising.

Here then are the 100 top baby names 2010 so far for girls:

1. CHARLOTTE

2. SERAPHINA

3. OLIVIA

4. ELIZABETH

5. ISLA

6. SOPHIA

7. ALICE

8. VIOLET

9. LUCY

10. AVA

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babykissingmirror


Unusual baby names are more, well, common these days than ever before, according to a new study.

This is not really news, and you don’t need to be a name researcher or statistician to realize it. Anyone who’s spent any time around children in the last few decades knows that you hear unusual names from Tatum to Trenton, from Delilah to D’Shawn around a lot more than you used to.

What’s surprising is the reason the San Diego State author of the latest study gives for the rise of unusual baby names since the 1940s, with the biggest rise in the 1990s. The theory: Higher narcissism among Baby Boom parents inspired the increase in unusual names.  We’re not so sure.

Jean Tweng, the author of the unusual names study, is also the author of two books on narcissism, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement (Free Press, 2009) and Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled and –More Miserable Than Ever Before (Free Press, 2007).

We hate to be too, well, narcissistic about this, but we think the rise in unusual names is mostly because of us.

Our first book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, came out in 1988.  We called it Beyond Jennifer & Jason because its whole point was to encourage parents to move beyond the expected names — Jennifer and Jason, Jessica and John — that were epidemic at the time and choose something more distinctive and, yes, unusual.

That book changed the way a new generation of parents thought about baby names.  It was our book, we maintain, that propelled the shift in naming trends, not the new generation of parents.

And we have proof.

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nyc

The New York City Health Department released its list of most popular names of 2008 today–at last–with some pretty interesting results.  (It reminded me of the old Jennifer & Jason days–before the Social Security Administration was compiling a national list, when Pam and I used to have to contact –and sometimes plead with–the Health Departments of all fifty  states for their figures and laboriously construct our own master list–and I recall that New York State and City were always the last to straggle in.)

For a long time–and especially considering the City’s hip reputation–New York‘s list was surprisingly conservative, with Michael, Ashley and Emily lounging in the top spots year after year.  That changed somewhat in 2007, when Isabella and Sophia tied for Number One.  This year, the more modern Jayden joined Sophia at the head of the list, bringing New York finally and  fully into the 21st century.

Here are the Top Ten names for both genders:

GIRLS

SOPHIA

ISABELLA

EMILY

OLIVIA

SARAH

MADISON

ASHLEY

MIA

SAMANTHA

EMMA

BOYS

JAYDEN

DANIEL

MICHAEL

MATTHEW

DAVID

JOSHUA

JUSTIN

ANTHONY

CHRISTOPHER

ETHAN/RYAN

But what is most intriguing about NYC is that it’s one of the few localities to break down its findings into separate ethnic lists for Hispanics, Blacks, Whites, and Asian & Pacific Islanders, revealing their extremely wide disparities.  For example, the only group to have the overall No. 1 girls’ name, Sophia, at the top is the Asian; the other three each had different girls’ names–Ashley, Hispanic; Madison, Black; and Olivia, White.  A few somewhat unusal choices included Melanie and Genesis on the Hispanic list;  Nevaeh, Destiny and Imani on the Black; Esther (#2!), Chaya and Miriam on the White; and Tiffany, Fiona, Angela, and Vivian on the Asian.

The Top 5 for each group are:

HISPANIC

ASHLEY

ISABELLA

EMILY

BRIANNA

MIA

BLACK

MADISON

KAYLA

MAKAYLA

NEVAEH

JADA

WHITE

OLIVIA

ESTHER

SARAH

SOPHIA

RACHEL

ASIAN

SOPHIA

CHLOE

EMILY

TIFFANY

FIONA

When it comes to the boys, a more conservative picture emerges.  Four of the top names were repeats of last years.  Jayden was #1 for Hispanic and Black boys, Daniel for Caucasian and Ryan the top choice for Asian parents, who have long had a penchant for Irish names.  There weren’t very many unexpected selections here, except possibly for Angel (Hispanic), Elijah, Jeremiah and Isaiah (Black), and Eric, Ivan and Vincent (Asian).

The top choices for each boy group were:

HISPANIC

JAYDEN

JUSTIN

ANGEL

ANTHONY

CHRISTOPHER

BLACK

JAYDEN

JOSHUA

ELIJAH

JEREMIAH

CHRISTIAN

WHITE

DANIEL

JOSEPH

MICHAEL

DAVID

MATTHEW

ASIAN

RYAN

ERIC

JASON/MATTHEW

DANIEL

ETHAN

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Top English Boys’ Names

baby name Jack

Yesterday we took a look at the long-delayed UK Office for National Statistics’ list of most popular girls’ names in England and Wales for 2008–and now it’s the boys’ turn.  We see many similar patterns across the gender divide, though perhaps even more names in the boy’ column that are less familiar in the US.

The top ten names are:

1. JACK–#1 for the 13th consecutive year

2. OLIVER*

3. THOMAS

4. HARRY– relecting the popularity of both the younger prince + Harry Potter

5. JOSHUA

6. ALFIE–the name of a perpetually popular BBC TV character

7. CHARLIE

8. DANIEL

9. JAMES

10. WILLIAM

*Note must be made though, that the ONS, like our Social Security Administration, ranks each spelling of a name separately, and if all the spellings of the name Mohammed were totalled, that name would rank in second place, reflecting Britain‘s growing ethnic diversity.

As with their sisters, there are a number of male baby names in the UK top 100 that don’t even appear in the US top 1000 at all.  These include:

ALFIE
ARCHIE
HARVEY
THEO
FREDDIE
LOUIE
EWAN
ZAK

Here again, an astonishing number of nickname names–60%! — a couple of which it’s difficult to imagine catching a Virgin trans-Atlantic flight and landing over here–certainly true in the case of Louie.  Another that pops out is Harvey, an upscale Brit favorite rarely considered in the US (except, of course, by some bold nameberryites).

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unionjackgirk

At the beginning of this year, the UK ‘s Office for National Statistics let it be known that they wouldn’t be issuing their annual lists of most popular names due to recessional budget cuts, and a collective moan was heard across the name-o-sphere.  (Can you imagine what would happen if our Social Security list didn’t appear one Mother’s Day?)

Well, I don’t know what happened–maybe the uproar was too deafening–but suddenly,  nine months later, their lists of top 100 boys and 100 girls names  in England and Wales have now materialized.  Definitely a case of better late than never.

Once upon a time I used to think that, since we share the same language, the Yanks and the Brits would have similar taste in names.  That was before I married a Brit myself and it came to naming our daughter, when I saw just how different our perceptions of most names were.  And though things have evened out to some degree with the rise of the Internet and the international sharing of opinions, looking at the top English girls’ names today (we’ll take up the boys’ next week), we can see that there is still quite a divide. 

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