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Most Popular Baby Names, A to Z

popular baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

We were so entranced with the blog Eleanor Nickerson–aka Elea– did for us on most popular British baby names by letter that we decided to recreate it using the American popularity list.

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.

— When you look at most popular names this way, a few really unusual choices come to the fore by leading their little pack.  We’re looking at you, Ximena, Yaretzi, and Yahir.

Here, the most popular names for every letter in 2013 in the US, with overall standings for the names in parentheses.

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Top 100 Boy Names of 2014

top boy names

Asher and Declan retained their Number 1 and 2 spots at the top of Nameberry’s most popular list of boys’ names for 2014.

The big news with boys’ names focuses on the new names moving up the ladder.  Four names are new to the Top 10 this year: Silas, Jasper, Milo, and Ezra.

The boys’ names that made the biggest leaps up the list are Knox, up 60 places, flowed by Archer up 45 and Ryker up 44.  Bodhi, Soren, and Beau also made big gains.

Nameberry’s popularity lists are based on which names attracted the most views of the nearly 50 million views of our name pages in the past year.

Names that made the biggest slides down the list compared with last year are all emblematic of pop culture shifts.  Flynn, popularized by last year’s television sensation Breaking Bad, lost 67 places, while Christian from Fifty Shades of Grey and Arlo of Justified were the second and third biggest losers.  George, as in 2013’s little prince, dropped 36 spots.

The top 100 boys’ names of 2014 are:

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Your Top 5 Boy Names!

babyboyblue2

Last week was the girls’ turn; now, we’re going to invite you to list your Top 5 boys’ names.

These can be names you’ve already used or are planning to use for a son, or just may be your five favorite names for boys.

If you can’t limit yourself to five, you can add runners up.  And tell us why you love these five names above all others, if you have the time and energy!

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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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