Category: popular baby names
Nameberry’s popularity lists are based on which names attracted the most views of the nearly 50 million views of our name pages in the past year.
Names that made the biggest slides down the list compared with last year are all emblematic of pop culture shifts. Flynn, popularized by last year’s television sensation Breaking Bad, lost 67 places, while Christian from Fifty Shades of Grey and Arlo of Justified were the second and third biggest losers. George, as in 2013’s little prince, dropped 36 spots.
The top 100 boys’ names of 2014 are:
But what about the names that are common in your little corner of the world? The names you seem to hear all the time in the neighborhood playground, at the pediatrician’s office, in the classroom?
What are the hottest baby names today, those zooming toward the top of the popularity list?
Identifying which names are moving fastest toward the top is an art, but there can also be some science to it. We asked the Wizard of Nameberry, our engineer Hugh Hunter, to plot the upward trajectory of 20 names that have been vaulting up the charts over the past decade. He crunched the numbers and came up with a Hotness Quotient: a number that plots each name’s relative hotness and stands for the number of places it will jump each year if it continues moving up the ranks at the same pace.
We tracked all the names on our list from 2001 through 2013; entering the Top 1000 more recently than that skews the HQ unfairly high. Eloise, which reentered the Top 1000 in 2009, for instance, has an HQ of 145, nearly three times as high as our Number 1 name Adeline, while newcomer Jax, which entered in 2005, stands at 96, twice as high as our top boys’ name Finn. But these names are unlikely to continue moving up at this velocity.
Here, our ten hottest girls’ and ten hottest boys’ choices., with their individual Hotness Quotients:
There’s a lot to be said for having a name that is familiar in many countries. It makes travel and working overseas just that little bit easier, and if you have a particular cultural background, it’s nice to know that relatives in your country of origin will easily be able to spell and pronounce your child’s name. Even if your child never leaves their native shores, we live in a global village, and they will most likely meet, study, and work with people from other countries.
To me, a name with high international recognition needed to be popular in as many regions as possible, so that as a mimimum, it needed to be Top 100 in the English-speaking countries of Australia, New Zealand, England/Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Canada, and the USA. It also needed to be popular in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia.
When the 2013 US Popular Baby Names list came out back in May, we ran Kelli Brady aka The Name Freak‘s wonderful Playground Analysis blog, with her count of the REAL Top 50 baby names. Kelli tallies all spelling variations of the top names to arrive at their actual rankings, which puts Aiden et al instead of Noah at Number 1 for boys, for instance, and bumps Jackson (and Jaxen, Jaxon, and Jaxson) up to Number 2.
Our focus is usually on which names are MORE popular than you’d think when you add in all their spelling variations. The idea is that parents want to be forewarned when they’re likely to hear their favorite baby names far more often than they’d guess based on the official rankings. Zoe and Aubrey, counting all spellings, are actually in the Top 10 for girls, for example, while Kayden and his many near-identical twins rank not at Number 93 but at Number 9.
But what about those baby names that are LESS popular than they seem judging by the official statistics? Parents may veer away from some names, both classic and modern, that are actually somewhat more distinctive than they appear. I’m not talking about names that are a couple of rungs further down the ladder, based on Kelli‘s analysis, but those that are significantly softer by our own subjective measure.
The point is: If you’re shying away from these baby names because you believe they’re too popular, maybe you owe them a second look. They are: