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Category: popular names for girls

Top Girls’ Names: Transformed!

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This week, Nameberry Style columnist Elisabeth Wilborn, of You Can’t Call It It and The Itsy Factor, waves her magic wand over the girls’ top 100 list and transforms overly-popular names with chic new alternatives.

The list of top girls’ names is brimming with gorgeousness. After all, the top girls’ names got that way because people love them.

But if you seek a more rare, chic alternative for your little one, play this game with me. Ask yourself, is it the sound that makes you fall in love with a name? Is it the fact that it honors your heritage? Perhaps it’s the meaning? Whatever the names’ deepest appeal, there may be another, less popular option that will satisfy you.

I had fun with this list, maybe even more so than with the boys’ names because there are just so many viable options to choose from.

How would you amp up the style of the girls’ names from the top of the chart, and are there any that you’re too in love with to change?

1) Isabella–>Mirabella
2) Sophia–>Louisa
3) Emma–>Alice
4) Olivia–>Ottilie
5) Ava–>Rita
6) Emily–>Cecily
7) Abigail–>Tabitha

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baby rider

So you think you’ve found a secret baby name.  One that nobody has ever discovered before.  Or a sleeping gem neglected by other baby namers.

And maybe you have.  But the distressing news is that a lot of the names that parents think are secret finds are really being scoped out at the same time by a lot of other parents.

How do we know? Because we’ve analyzed which names are spiking the highest in nameberry views at the start of 2011 compared with 2010, and among the biggest risers are obscure picks and long-neglected classics.

What makes these names suddenly so hot?  For the most part, it’s hard to say.  All we can tell you for sure is that they are hot — a lot hotter than you might guess.

Here, the 50 hottest obscure names and how high their traffic has jumped:

Girls

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Unusual Names for Girls: Below the Top 1000

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Go straight to lists of unusual names for girls.

Often I’ll look up a name I think is attractive or stylish – or even trendy — on Nameberry, and find myself shocked to discover it doesn’t rank in the Top 1000.  How is it possible that a name du jour like Esme or Clementine, Tallulah or Wren doesn’t make it into the 1000 most popular names, I wonder, when it seems to me that every other baby girl I meet has one of these names?

But then I remember that I dwell in the relatively rarified world of Nameberry, where people’s taste in names tends to be pretty sophisticated.  Plus, some of these names seem poised for a big leap upward – or maybe that’s just my imagination?  I’ve marked those I expect to hit the Top 1000 any year now with an asterisk.

The really good news for the moment, though, is that all these names feel eminently stylish without actually being very popular.  Top name Bree was given to 262 girls last year; bottom name Louise just 100.  (I’ll deal with fashionable names given to fewer than 100 girls in another post soon.)  So while, if you live in a nameberry kind of neighborhood, it may seem as if all 108 baby Tallulahs were born within three blocks of you, the statistics confirm that it’s a highly unusual name nationwide.

That number on the left represents its rank in the complete U.S. tally.

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replacement

UPDATE!! Check out our final list of top baby names 2010 for girls.

Nameberry’s top baby names 2010 for girls are a mix of choices — Olivia, Sophia, Elizabeth, Ava, Isabella — that are also popular on the national count and more adventurous names, from Isla to Imogen to Iris, that are favored by visitors to nameberry.

The top baby names 2010 for boys also are a blend of the expected and the surprising.

Here then are the 100 top baby names 2010 so far for girls:

1. CHARLOTTE

2. SERAPHINA

3. OLIVIA

4. ELIZABETH

5. ISLA

6. SOPHIA

7. ALICE

8. VIOLET

9. LUCY

10. AVA

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triplets

What are the most popular girls’ names in the U.S.?  If you consult the official Social Security list, or most of the state lists, you’ll get one version.  With each name counted individually by spelling — Sophia and Sofia are counted separately, in other words — the national list of most popular girls’ names (I’m going to include the Top 15, for reasons that will become evident) is:

1. EMMA

2. ISABELLA

3. EMILY

4. MADISON

5. AVA

6. OLIVIA

7. SOPHIA

8.ABIGAIL

9.ELIZABETH

10.CHLOE

11.SAMANTHA

12.ADDISON

13.NATALIE

14.MIA

15.ALEXIS

But to Katharine Hales — aka nameberry’s k_lareese — this didn’t look quite right.  Hales, an attorney who is studying to be a law librarian, wanted to name her first child Lillian, with the nickname Lily.  But when researching the name, she noticed that both Lily and Lillian were in the Top 30.  If you added all the spelling and variations of the name together, she wondered, mightn’t you end up with a true popularity number that was significantly higher?

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