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top 10 girls

By Linda Rosenkrantz

When you hear the phrase ‘Top 10 girls’ name,’ you might tend to think of classics like Mary and Elizabeth, or later long-running favorites Jennifer and Jessica, or the current Sophia.  But it certainly wouldn’t be Bertha—which in fact was in that golden group for twelve years– or Mildred, up there for close to a quarter of a century.

I became curious about what became of these once mega-popular appellations, whose top positions lasted from 37 years to being one-time-wonders (bearing in mind that they well might have been top-ranked for years before the SSA started keeping figures in 1880), particularly those that were once in the Top 10 but now reside outside the Top 500, thus eliminating evergreens like, yes, Mary and Elizabeth that have retained their popularity. You might find a few surprises here–unless you’ve known a lot of Tammys and Tracys in your life.

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1914alice

At the beginning of the year, we like to flip back the calendar a hundred years to see what the baby name landscape looked like a century ago. 1914 was a year in which World War I was in full swing, the year that President Wilson officially established Mother’s Day, Charlie Chaplin and Babe Ruth made their debuts, and saw the births of Dylan Thomas, Jonas Salk and Joe DiMaggio.But the babyname universe was relatively calm, as we can see by looking at the stable top dozen girls’ names. Here, they are, in order of their 1914 popularity, and what their status is today:

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posted by: Abby View all posts by this author
abby-pop

by Abby Sandel of  Appellation Mountain

I love unusual names.  I can defend the wackiest of celebrity appellations, from North to Pilot to Blue.

And yet some parents feel pressure to avoid a popular name – or even a name that might become popular.

If you grew up answering to Jennie S. or Mike T., you might worry that Logan and Mia will have to sign every piece of schoolwork with their last initial, too.  But it might be a mistake to discard your long-time favorite name just because others have discovered how great it is, too.

Here are Ten Good Reasons to call your baby Ethan or Emma, Ava or Jake.

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Pretty Girl Names

pretty girl names by Georgia Brizuela

by Pamela Redmond Satran

One of the search terms that sends a lot of people to Nameberry every day is “pretty girl names.”

Are they searching for names that are pretty, we wonder, or names that sound as if they belong to pretty girls?  Or maybe what people are after is names that mean pretty or beautiful?

Or probably, all of the above.

We do have a list called Pretty Girl Names, which is admittedly subjective, a compendium of names that carry the literal meaning as well as those that convey prettiness in our minds.

A selection of possibilities:

AmaraAmara is a Greek name that means “lovely forever” and is a fresh spin on — or almost a smoosh of — Mara or Amanda.

Angelina — The angel association along with the Angelina Jolie namesake makes this name suggest beauty without literally carrying the meaning.  Angelica works too.

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Top Girls’ Names of 2012

bebebands

Our tally of the 100 most popular girls’ names of 2012 on Nameberry is in, and we have a new Number 1: Katniss.

The predominance of Katniss is more a testament to the power of the Hunger Games franchise than to baby name trends.

Our Number 2 girls’ name Charlotte, which has been Nameberry’s most popular girls’ name every year until now, is more reflective of a name that will actually be chosen by parents.  Imogen, which has moved up from Number 6 to claim the Number 3 spot, is another choice we see on the rise in the real world, though it has yet to break into the U.S. Top 1000.

Katniss is also the girls’ name that has risen the furthest on our list, followed by Penelope, propelled upward by its choice as a Kardashian baby name.

The girls’ names that have risen the most places since our 2011 count are:

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