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Category: popular girl names

photo by Elena Kalis

The big news in baby names this week has been the Most Popular Names 2012: Top 1, Top 10, Top 100, Top 1000.

But swimming just below the surface — not quite on the radar but not truly off, either — are dozens of more unusual baby names poised to find wider favor….or dropping from view.

Many Nameberry favorites exist in this limbo of baby names, including choices such as Aurelia and Wren for girls that missed making it into the Top 1000 by a single point.

Of course, that may bring relief rather than disappointment to many parents.  If you want to name your baby Magnolia or Clementine, Bishop or Langston — or already have — you may tremble on surveying the new Top 1000, hoping your favorites stay off the list.

We looked below the Top 1000 for girls and boys and found those names within 50 points of the cutoff that we felt were heading back into style, along with those sailing off into the sunset.

In raw numbers, 251 girls received the Number 1000 name Katalina while 197 boys were named Number 1000 boys’ name Dangelo.  The numbers after each name below represent the number of children given that name in 2012.

One note on the names we say are Heading Out: Some of these may appeal to parents in search of a name with Geek Chic or an unusual classic.  Hello, baby Ralph!  Or….dare I suggest….baby Pamela?

Here, the names just under the Top 1000 coming into style and heading out:

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popular names 2012

The most popular baby names of 2012 are officially here, with Sophia and Jacob holding onto their Number 1 spots.

Jacob remains the most popular name for boys for the 14th year in a row.  An Old Testament name that means “supplanter” and a cousin of JamesJacob has been in the Top Ten for nearly two decades.

Sophia, which took the crown as the Number 1 girls’ name last year, is a Greek name that means “wisdom.”  It entered the Top 10 in 2006.

Arya and Major were the fastest-rising names for 2012.  Arya’s popularity stems from the show and book Game of Thrones, while Major is a military name featured on reality TV show Home by Novogratz.

Second fastest-risers Gael and Perla are widely used by parents of Spanish descent.

The Social Security Administration announced the 2012 Most Popular Baby Names on their website this afternoon.

The complete Top Ten are:

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Popular Baby Names: The next top names

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Popular baby names aren’t always replaced at the top by similar names, though sometimes it feels that way.  Emily moves down, Emma moves up.  Jason slips, while Jacob and Mason rise.

With the new US popularity list due out in less than a month, we thought it would be fun to look at today’s most popular baby names and guess which similar choices might move in to replace them — if not at the next tally, then at some point in the future.  Our picks:

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SophiaSister names that might theoretically replace the gorgeous classic Sophia include her cuter, more irreverent French cousin Sophie, which has risen from obscurity over the past 30 years to reach Number 51, and Seraphina, which has never been in the Top 1000 but is finding favor thanks to its choice by Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck.

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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.

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Popular Baby Names: What’s your favorite?

popular baby names

Popular baby names get a bad rap, especially — okay, we admit it — here on Nameberry.

But popular baby names are popular for a reason: A lot of people like them for a lot of good reasons. Popular names often have a sound and feel that’s right in step with the times, they’re fresh but also have meaningful roots, they appeal to a wide range of different kinds of parents.

Right now, in fact, the popular baby names hold more intrinsic appeal than ever. Time-honored, noble names for girls; strong, classic names for boys — there’s more to like than to not like.

How are we defining popular? If you can pick from the Top 10, great, but any baby name in the Top 100 is fair game.

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