Category: popular names
Is there any easier way to judge our fellow parents than by their children’s names? A name is the first thing we learn about a person. It’s how they’re presented to the world. It’s the defining declaration a parent makes when labeling his or her child. Often, parents plan for months — sometimes even years — for the perfect name, and we either approve of it, disapprove of it, or, if we’re judgmental jerks (hand raised), make fun of it.
For anyone with even a passing interest in baby names, there’s no better fodder than the countless name lists, round-ups, and slideshows. Each one serves as an indictment in its own way.
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.
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?
Many parents are looking for baby names that are not too popular but not too unusual, not too trendy but also not too weird.
In search of names that strike this golden mean, we looked through the middle of the U.S. popularity lists, from Number 400 through 700 for both girls and boys.
What we found there was a trove of great names that are neither too hot nor too cold.
Here, our picks of the best names from the middle of the pack, with their 2012 standing included.