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Category: top baby names

popular baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

When the 2013 US Popular Baby Names list came out back in May, we ran Kelli Brady aka The Name Freak‘s wonderful Playground Analysis blog, with her count of the REAL Top 50 baby names. Kelli tallies all spelling variations of the top names to arrive at their actual rankings, which puts Aiden et al instead of Noah at Number 1 for boys, for instance, and bumps Jackson (and Jaxen, Jaxon, and Jaxson) up to Number 2.

Our focus is usually on which names are MORE popular than you’d think when you add in all their spelling variations.  The idea is that parents want to be forewarned when they’re likely to hear their favorite baby names far more often than they’d guess based on the official rankings.  Zoe and Aubrey, counting all spellings, are actually in the Top 10 for girls, for example, while Kayden and his many near-identical twins rank not at Number 93 but at Number 9.

But what about those baby names that are LESS popular than they seem judging by the official statistics?  Parents may veer away from some names, both classic and modern, that are actually somewhat more distinctive than they appear.  I’m not talking about names that are a couple of rungs further down the ladder, based on Kelli‘s analysis, but those that are significantly softer by our own subjective measure.

The point is: If you’re shying away from these baby names because you believe they’re too popular, maybe you owe them a second look.  They are:

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What’s your newest name love?

new baby names

There are names I loved when I was a kid: Sandy and Lisa, Michael and David (yes, really).

And then there were names I loved when I was naming my babies: Eliza and Henry, Ned and Daisy.

Now there are names that I’ve only come to love recently, for a range of reasons.  Leonora, for instance, and Ozias.  Raymond, and Rosamund.

What are your newfound baby name loves?

I mean names that you either didn’t like or that weren’t even on your radar before.  Names that sound better (much better) to you now than they used to, either because styles have changed or your tastes have.

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girl-boy

One thing we’re finding really mesmerizing about our gorgeous new Top 1000 U.S. names page is how easy it is to read across each line and compare the names of each gender that have the same rank.  Some of the pairs seems perfectly matched — Sarah and Henry at Number 43, for instance, or Cadence and Skyler at Number 290 — whereas other equally-ranked pairs feel discordant.

We can’t help thinking, as we survey the list, which pair we’d pick if we had a baby girl and a baby boy and had to choose their names from the same line.

Annabella and Lorenzo sound pretty great together, we think.   Or maybe Lilah and Beau, or Camilla and Zachariah.

But we’re really more interested in finding out which pair you’d pick, if you had to choose names for your only daughter and only son from the same popularity rank?  And why?  Do you really like both names equally, or do you simply think they make the most balanced set?

Here’s the link again to the new Top 1000 page: http://nameberry.com/search/popular_names

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What name do you hear waaaaaay too often?

a-lot-of-babies

I love the name Henry.

If our first child had been a boy, she would have been named Henry.

Then, by the time we did have a boy, I decided I really wanted to use a family name — Joseph, if you’re curious — instead.

And when we had our third child and second son, it seemed I knew too many Henrys.

There’s a Henry my youngest son’s age who lives across the street from us.  One a little older down the street.  And one a bit younger, a friend of my son’s, around the corner.

I still love the name, a strong yet stylish classic.  And yet while I feel that it’s a favorite that got away, I wouldn’t use it for a baby now because it seems there are too many Henrys in my neighborhood, my town, my life.

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Blue Jean Baby Names

bluejeans

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Maybe it’s because I used to be a fashion editor, but I’ve often thought that names were like clothes: coming into and going out of style, some choices enduring through the ages while others are momentary trends, everywhere for a season and then sinking from sight.

But the other day I started thinking that names are like clothes in a different way.  Some names, I decided, are like magnificent couture ballgowns – gorgeous, luxurious, distinctive, dramatic, but a bit grand for everyday use.  This may be the factor that keeps parents from choosing names like Raffaela and Orlando, Atticus and Anastasia, lovely as they may be.

More comfy and cozy, better suited to real modern life, may be the blue jean baby names.  Down-to-earth and easy to wear, these blue jean names are popular but not trendy, attractive but never showy.  With these names, you register the person first and the name second….or maybe fifth.

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