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Category: trendy girl names

baby name Cataleya

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Trendy baby names have been around a lot longer Miley Cyrus or any of the famous Kardashians. From the dawn of recorded U.S. baby name history — aka 1880, when the federal government began keeping records — we’ve adopted names inspired by current events and popular people and culture, only to leave them behind for a new inspiration the next year.

The inspiration for name trends a century ago may have been politicians and war heroes rather than reality stars, but the definition of trendy baby names was the same: Names that spiked in popularity thanks to an outside influence, then sank from view along with its original bearer.

An organization called Flowing Data has calculated the trendiest names in US history, a fascinating look at which names burned the brightest only to fade the fastest.

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Baby Names: Once so hot, now so not

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The history of baby names is littered with former stars that burned brightly for a decade or two, only to fade from view.

It’s hard to believe, from this vantage point, that Gladys or Edna ever made the Top 20, that names such as Harold or Larry were ever popular enough to dominate an entire decade.

It’s difficult to see Irene and Albert as the Isabella and Alexander of their day, to view Tammy or Tiffany as the height of cool.

Many of these once-hot names are lovely, even classic.  They’re just not as stylish as they once were (although some, especially from the earlier decades, are on their way back in).

We looked at the Top 25 baby names for each decade of the 20th century to pick out choices that were hot back them, and are not today.  Included here are Old People Names like Bertha and Clarence, Baby Boomer names such as Karen and Gary, today’s mom and dad names such as Jennifer and Jason, and names like Taylor and Tyler that are beginning to be heard much more often on babysitters than on babies.

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Top Girls’ Names of 2012

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Our tally of the 100 most popular girls’ names of 2012 on Nameberry is in, and we have a new Number 1: Katniss.

The predominance of Katniss is more a testament to the power of the Hunger Games franchise than to baby name trends.

Our Number 2 girls’ name Charlotte, which has been Nameberry’s most popular girls’ name every year until now, is more reflective of a name that will actually be chosen by parents.  Imogen, which has moved up from Number 6 to claim the Number 3 spot, is another choice we see on the rise in the real world, though it has yet to break into the U.S. Top 1000.

Katniss is also the girls’ name that has risen the furthest on our list, followed by Penelope, propelled upward by its choice as a Kardashian baby name.

The girls’ names that have risen the most places since our 2011 count are:

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baby girl names

Around this time every year, we peek behind the Nameberry curtain to see which names are the most popular with our visitors.  This Top 100 for each gender, which reflects views of the name pages on our site, indicates which names have captured the most interest since the start of the year.

The girls’ list is evidence of both pop culture events along with future baby name trends.  Some analysis:

The Hunger Games is the obvious inspiration for Katniss at Number 1.  We don’t ever expect to see Katniss — or Primrose or Rue — in the U.S. Top 100 for real live baby girls.  But the appeal of the heroine inspires a great amount of curiosity about her unusual name.

Celebrities and their babies attract a lot of page views, which sometimes translate into baby name trends.  Names high on the Nameberry list thanks to celebrities and starbabies include Harper, Seraphine, Penelope, Violet, Isla, and Scarlett.  And these are all names that will continue to rise in the national name statistics as well, we predict.

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Click here for lots more classic names.

The whole idea of classic girls’ names that are hot right now might seem like a contradiction in terms: How can a name be both trendy and timeless?  It can if it’s an ancient name that’s been well and widely used over the centuries but that’s also enjoying the heat of attention right now.

The 12 classic girls’ names here qualify.  All have deep and illustrious roots yet are also listed by the official U.S. roster of names that were the fastest-rising in the past year.  That makes all of them excellent choices, offering both style and substance.

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