Category: baby name popularity

posted by: Aimee Tafreshi View all posts by this author

By Aimee Tafreshi

In our modern world, how do you determine the perfect baby name for your offspring? TV characters, nature words, place names, superheroes—not many inspirations are off-limits when it comes to thinking of names. Many parents cut through the slush pile by leaning on tradition or personal preference. Yet, not surprisingly, there are names that remain insanely popular each year, and the poured-your-heart-and-soul-into-it pick that sounded so original suddenly blends in like vanilla with the masses.

For those seeking a new twist, I have picked some of the most popular girls’ names from the Social Security Administration’s list and offered some alternatives that tend to be overlooked. . Some may share the same first letter or sound with the original name inspiration, while others may simply evoke a similar vibe or impression.

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Baby Names: Solving the Popularity Puzzle

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
the popularity puzzle

They’re looking for an unusual baby name for their son, and they’ve found a favorite. The only trouble? Their top name might be the next big thing. 

Shayna writes:        

I am due with a baby boy and one of the only baby names my husband and I agree on is Arlo.

I have two concerns with this name.

I keep reading that in 2016 it could be popular, because of Disney and Hollywood parents. I had a unique name growing up and loved it! I felt bad for all the Brittanys and Ashleys of my generation. I dread accidentally giving my son a trendy name, and having him go through life as Arlo H. We’re in Canada, so we’re looking for relevant statistics here.

Secondly, should I worry about a nickname? Will kids call him Arie (too feminine for my liking) or Ar? Low? Or is Arlo short enough that a nickname won’t be required.

His middle name will be John Wayne or Jonathan Wayne.


The Name Sage replies:

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Summer baby name

We are particularly pleased to reprint this article by the distinguished name scholar, Cleveland Evans; it originally appeared on

By Cleveland Evans

The weather bureau says summer starts June 1 — and temperatures in Omaha this June show they have a point. Astronomers say summer started when the sun reached its annual highest place in the sky at 5:34 p.m. Monday.

Summer” goes back millennia to “sem,” the word for summer in ancient Indo-European.  Though not as ancient, “winter” also goes back thousands of years, to a Germanic word which probably meant “wet season.”

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The Hottest O-Ending Boy Names

O-ending boy names

by Abby Sandel

Congratulations to Storybook’s most famous couple on the arrival of their second son. Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas welcomed Hugo Wilson last week. The Once Upon a Time stars are also parents to son Oliver Finlay, and with the arrival of Hugo, might be among the best boy namers in Hollywood.

Hugo is a name with history galore, and literary ties, too. It’s the Number One name in Spain, and it’s big in Scandinavia, Australia, and the UK. The new Goodwin-Dallas baby is in good company, all over the world.

But Hugo is also at the forefront of an important trend. O ending names for boys are fast becoming go-to choices for parents after something just a little different. The sound is stylish and unexpected, but many of the names feel vintage, even traditional. They also work beautifully to honor Spanish or Italian roots.

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a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
Escaping the Top 100

JAre there any great girl names that aren’t in the Top 100? The Name Sage assures an expectant mama that there are plenty of gorgeous names that aren’t heard everywhere.

Sydney writes:

I am due this August with boy-girl twins. They already have a big sister named Summer Emilia.

In looking for girl names, I absolutely fell in love with Violet and was utterly heartbroken when I learned Violet is popular. Both my husband and I grew up with common names and are very against naming our children a popular name. Nothing in the top 100!

For our son, we love the name Dawson Gage. Gage is after my grandfather and Dawson is because partly because we love the name and partly because my husband’s name is David and Dawson means “son of David.” Dawson is ranked 239 on the Nameberry top 1000 so it is unique enough for us.

So now we are looking for a name to go with Summer Emilia and Dawson Gage but it seems like every name we like is within the Top 20. Names we love that are too common include: Violet, Harper, Isabella, Charlotte, Scarlett, Madison, Olivia, and Mia.

We are convinced that girls’ names out of the top 100 do not exist anymore! All beautiful names we find end up being wildly popular.

The Name Sage replies:

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