Names Searched Right Now:

Category: popular baby names

Archives

Categories

Thinking Outside the Popularity Box

posted by: Callmecalliope View all posts by this author
names outside the box

By Jackie at Namesplash

Have you ever been frustrated to find that a name you’ve loved for years is actually more popular than you thought?

When I was ten or so, I remember thinking the names Piper and Cooper were adorable and unique. While my personal tastes have changed quite bit in the last fifteen years, I still tend to steer clear of names I deem “too popular.” Both of my “unique” choices are now in the SSA Top 100, and I can only watch helplessly as many of the baby names I’ve loved for years trend tragically upwards.

Read More

Baby Names From Ordinary to Out-There

popular or unusual?

By Abby Sandel

Everybody loves Eackma. It’s tops in the US, huge in France, big in Italy and Ireland, loved by the Dutch, and a favorite in Spain and Scandinavia, too. This week, we learned that Emma is Number 1 in Switzerland, favored by parents who speak Italian, French, and German.

At the same time, plenty of parents are working to choose a name that’s less popular. Some avoid the Top Ten, but stick with Top 100 choices like Piper or Stella. Others worry that Esme and Magnolia are too popular now that they’ve cracked the Top 1000.

Many of the baby names in the news this week are rare – in some cases, nearly one-of-one choices.

Read More

Classic Baby Names Reborn

classic baby names

Every year, new baby names vault onto the US Top 1000, some of them (hello, Zendaya!) for the very first time and others making a return appearance.

But what about those names that have been off the list for a decade or longer — sometimes more than half a century! — and are now making a comeback?

There were only 13 such reborn names on the Top 1000 for 2014.  It may be questionable to call some of them classics as they only entered widespread use in the 1970s or 80s.  But many of these names were hugely popular 100 or more years ago and are true classic names once again spreading their wings.

Read More

posted by: karacavazos View all posts by this author
popular boy names

By Kara @ The Art of Naming

For those parents who may secretly like the sound of the top names but hate their popularity, I’ve created a list of alternative options to the Top 10 names for boys. The names may be similar in sound, syllables, initial letter, meaning, origin or a combination of those. None of the alternate names below rank on the SSA’s Top 1000 most popular names chart in 2014.

1. Noah —> Nahum
Nahum is the best alternative to Noah because it is also a biblical Hebrew name and it has a similar meaning. Noah means “rest, comfort” and Nahum means “comforter”. It starts with the same letter, has the same number of syllables and they’re both very vowel heavy. While Noah ranked at #1, Nahum sits nicely at #2076. Perfectly suitable to take Noah‘s place!  Other options: Noam, Enoch, Jonah, Nolan

2. Liam —> Calum
Calum is a fun choice because it has the same ending sound as Liam and they both have Celtic roots with Liam being Irish and Calum being Scottish. Calum is a form of Columba, a Latin, saintly name meaning “dove”. While Calum ranked down at #2452 last year, it does have a slightly more popular brother, Callum, that ranks at #729. Both are still much less popular than Liam at #2!  Other options: Alec, Leland, Noam, Willem

3. Mason —> Pierson
Mason is an occupational surname that refers to a stoneworker. What better alternative than a surname name referring to a rock? Pierson comes from the medieval name Piers which is a variant of Peter. Both of these names end with -son and they both come from Old French roots. Pierson is cool and unusual and the perfect uncommon alternative since it ranked way down at #1301 in 2014. Other options: Cason, Colson, Stetson, Thatcher

4. Jacob —> Javan
Jacob was the #1 name for many years only to begin its descent in 2013 when Noah took over. Javan has never even cracked the Top 1000, receiving only 52 births in 2014. Both 5-letter J-names are Hebrew but clearly have opposite popularities which makes Javan an interesting alternative to JacobOther options: Coby, Israel, Jaime, Séamus

5. William —> Bertram

This was a tough choice. In the end, Bertram has similar, appealing qualities to William. Both names are derived from Germanic elements and both end with -am. While William has Will, Bertram has Bert. Though Bert isn’t as fashionable as Will at the moment, there’s potential for it to come back and rank as well as it did in the 1920s. With barely 7 births last year, I find Bertram a handsome and truly rare alternative. Other options: Alaric, Edmund, Luther, Wilson

6. Ethan —> Japheth
These two names take us from a popular biblical name to a rare one. Ethan may rank at #6 now but it wasn’t always popular–it wasn’t even regularly used in the US until 1911. Ethan gradually increased in usage through the 1970s until it exploded onto the scene in 1989 and zoomed up the charts, ranking as high as Number 2 in 2009 and 2010. Japheth was unheard of until 1970 and has slowly gained a handful of usage today with 43 births in 2014. Could it follow Ethan‘s pattern and someday be discovered in a big way?  Other options: Eben, Lathan, Ephraim, Irah

7. Michael —> Micaiah
These two biblical names sound similar enough to swap and still keep everyone happy. Michael has been hugely popular for a very long time; there are Mikes everywhere. However, Micaiah  is relatively obscure. It has only been in use in the US since 1973. 2014 was its best year yet with 133 male births and a rank of #1311. There were also 41 female births.  Other options: Melchoir, Mischa, Mitchell, Malcolm

8. Alexander —>  Lysander
Alexander is a big, strong Greek name that has been used very well all around the world. Lysander is also a Greek name but it has a more tame and whimsical feel to it. Both end with “ander” which makes the rare Lysander a good alternative to the popular Alexander. It only had 43 male births in 2014 for a low, low ranking of #2764. Are you sold yet? Other options: Evander, Ferdinand, Constantine, Augustus

9. James —> Ramsey

Without featuring a variant of James or a translation in another language, I wanted to find something uncommon that sounded similar. This one was very tough, especially since we also featured James‘ twin brother Jacob earlier. I settled on Ramsey. They have a similar sound because of the “am” and “s” that should satisfy that quota, and they also have a potentially cool, bad boy vibe in common. Ramsey only had 93 births in 2014 for a ranking of #1649.  Other options: HayesEllisHamish, Thiago

10. Daniel —> Dashiell

These two names sound very similar. Dashiell would work very well as an alternative choice for those who love Daniel but cannot use it. Daniel has always ranked well in the US but Dashiell has only been used in the US since 1979. It has never ranked in the Top 1000 and had only 123 births in 2014.  If you’re looking for unusual, Dashiell is it! Other options: Adriel, Uriel, Dane, Niall


What do you think of my choices? Would you choose different alternative names for any of these

Read More

Atticus Tops Baby Names 2015

baby names 2015

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Atticus makes major baby name news by topping Nameberry’s count of Most Popular Names for the first half of 2015, on the publication day of the new Harper Lee novel casting the inspirational namesake Atticus Finch as a racist.

The ancient Roman boys’ name Atticus, which indicates a person from the region around Athens, first came to notice in the US via Harper Lee‘s 1960 novel To Kill A Mockingbird and its hero attorney Atticus Finch, played the following year in the movie by Gregory Peck.

But it wasn’t until 25 years later that the name Atticus even registered on the Social Security roster of US baby names, given to a mere nine boys in 1986.   Atticus did not appear on the US Top 1000 until 2004, skyrocketing in the decade since then to an official Number 370.

And now Atticus is the Number 1 boys’ name on Nameberry, attracting the most searches by our visitors in the first half of 2015. It trumps Asher, our longtime Number 1, as well as Ezra, another Biblical favorite.

Charlotte is the Number 1 girls’ name on our 2015 half-year count, catapulted to the top by the newborn British princess.  In second place for girls is Amelia, Number 1 in England, with US favorite Olivia in third place.

The big question is whether Atticus can retain his popularity as a baby name in the light of the racist, ranting Atticus Finch portrayed in Go Set A Watchman, published today as the long-awaited followup to Mockingbird. In the original book, Atticus Finch is a sensitive single father who defends a black man against a trumped-up charge in a bigoted world, but this heroic image is shattered in the current work. How many baby namers enchanted with the name Atticus will choose the name anyway….or even be aware of the new negative portrayal of the once-saintly Atticus Finch?

To Kill A Mockingbird has been an unlikely influencer of baby names half a century after its publication, with not only Atticus but Harper rising up the popularity list.  Harper stands at Number 56 on the 2015 Nameberry list but all the way up at Number 11 on the official US popularity list for girls.

The Nameberry popularity list tallies the most-visited of the nearly 40 million views of our baby name pages since the beginning of 2015.  Rather than tracking names given to babies last year as the official US count does, it registers which baby names are attracting the most interest from expectant parents right now — which may translate to popular usage over the coming years.

The Top 100 baby names of 2015 on Nameberry are:

Read More