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posted by: NameFreak! View all posts by this author
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Kelli Brady, creator of NameFreak!, combined spelling variations to come up with the real top 50 names on the new US popularity list. Her results show some names vastly more popular than it seems and a new Number 1 and Number 2 for boys.

Some names might actually be more popular than the SSA list shows because it ranks each spelling of a name separately, rather than counting all spelling variations — Sophia and Sofia, for example — together. To see how popular a name actually is, I have gathered the various spellings of each name in the 2012 Top 1000 and come up with a new Top 50 for each gender!

Why do I call this the Playground Analysis? Well, when you are on the playground with your kids and you hear a name, you don’t know how it is spelled, but you do know how often you hear it.

For girls, the top 5 do not drastically change, but Zoey jumps from #20 to #7. Adalyn, Elena, Kaitlyn and Madelyn make huge gains after adding all of their various spellings.

Note: The main name listed is the spelling given to the most babies in 2012 (SSA Rank is in parentheses). The others are in alphabetical order. Opinions vary on how different spellings are pronounced. I went with my best judgment.

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Yesterday we did a rundown on the divide between the girls’ names that are stylish to the point where it feels like they must be popular and those that are actually, statistically widely used.  It’s especially hard to distinguish when it comes to the names we see appearing so often in berry posts and blogs.

So here we do a similar analysis for the boys, with some similarly surprising results, especially when it comes to those berry faves,…names such as Theo.  It’s easy to be fooled if you live in a place where there are more Atticuses than Aidens in your neighborhood playground.

Once again, the numbers in parentheses represent how many babies were given that name in the most recent U.S. Count.

Abner (162) is stylish, while Abraham (1,899) is popular

Ace (395) is cool; Chase (6,397) is hot

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