Category: popular girl names
by Kara Blakley
Name trend watchers are no longer limiting themselves to the waxing and waning popularity of certain letters. Vowels are certainly having their moment on monogrammed onesies, but endings (particularly -o and -ett) and sounds are catching the attention of keen observers.
Recently, Brooke Cussans wrote about PERfect names: a wonderfully diverse list of names all sharing the PER syllable.I was inspired to create a list of VER names, and found that like PER, this sound leads to a diverse list of names that are fresh and vibrant. VER names are so plentiful, in fact, that the list is divided into girls and boys. This is the girls list; stay tuned for a boys version.
By now we’ve all heard about the most popular baby names of 2014, but what about the top names of 2015 and next year and beyond?
How can the intelligent baby namer find out which names will become even hotter — and maybe overheated — in the future?
Way back in 2011, we published a “secret popularity list” of girls’ names and boys’ names attracting the biggest jumps in views among our visitors. The result: An amazingly accurate look at baby names that would become much more popular over the coming years. Among the names we pegged as hot were Aria, Margot, and Vivian for girls; Cassius, Josiah, and Lennon for boys.
Our research intern Megan Garon pored over the US statistics to compile the following list of the top girls’ and top boys’ name for every letter from A to Z. Well, not every letter as it turns out there is no girls’ name starting with U in the Top 1000!
Other interesting facts that emerge when looking at the US popularity list through the alphabetical lens:
— Some letters (E, for instance) include names that are a lot closer to the top of the list than others (F, to cite a nearby example). This is hardly earth-shattering news and yet, the differences are notable.
— While there are plenty of traditional names heading their letter’s popularity rank, a remarkable number of the top names are new ones. Take H, for example, where Harper and Hunter trump classics Helen and Henry, or P, where Peyton and Parker dominate rather than Patricia and Paul.
— In a few cases, the top names for a letter for girls and boys are remarkable similar — Riley and Ryan, for instance, and Willow and William, and especially Quinn and Quinn! This is evidence of the trend toward boys’ and girls’ names taking their sound and style cues from each other.
Here, the most popular names for every letter in 2013 in the US, with overall standings for the names in parentheses.
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:
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: