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The Playground Analysis of the Real Most Popular Names

With combined spellings, Sophia and Jackson are #1 in 2014!

posted by: NameFreak! View all posts by this author

By Kelli Brady, The Name Freak!

Now that the 2014 SSA list has been released, I can present the “real” Top 50 to you! By combining the different spellings of each name, we can determine which name is truly more popular. Because when you hear “Sophia!” on the playground, you have no idea how her name is spelled, but you know you hear the name a lot. Where does it really rank compared to other names?

Note: These are the combined spellings of the names in the Top 1000 only. When the numbers from the entire list are added, positions could change. The main name listed is the spelling given to the most babies in 2014 (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.

GIRLS

With the 2014 list, we had a very surprising new #1 in Emma. But as you can see below, Sophia is still on top when you also take the alternate spelling Sofia into consideration. Emma was pushed down to #3 after the variants of Olivia were also included. The rest of the list varies as well, sometimes greatly. The largest jumps are by Adalynn (#128 to #22), Elena (#121 to #43), and Madelyn (#59 to #12)

  1. Sophia (3) – Sofia
  2. Olivia (2) – Alivia, Alyvia
  3. Emma (1)
  4. Isabella (4) – Isabela, Izabella
  5. Ava (5) – Avah, Ayva
  6. Emily (7) – Emely, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee
  7. Mia (6) – Miah
  8. Zoey (22) – Zoe, Zoie
  9. Aubrey (20) – Aubree, Aubri, Aubrie
  10. Madison (9) – Maddison, Madisyn, Madyson
  11. Abigail (8) – Abbigail
  12. Madelyn (59) – Madalyn, Madalynn, Madeleine, Madeline, Madelynn, Madilyn, Madilynn
  13. Chloe (18) – Khloe
  14. Ariana (37) – Arianna, Aryana, Aryanna
  15. Layla (29) – Laila, Lailah, Laylah, Leila, Leyla
  16. Amelia (15) – Emelia, Emilia
  17. Avery (13) – Averi, Averie
  18. Riley (47) – Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie
  19. Charlotte (10)
  20. Elizabeth (14) – Elisabeth
  21. Lily (27) – Lillie, Lilly
  22. Evelyn (16) – Evalyn, Evelynn
  23. Adalynn (128) – Adalyn, Addilyn, Addilynn, Adeline, Adelyn, Adelynn
  24. Harper (11)
  25. Brooklyn (26) – Brooklynn
  26. Natalie (23) – Natalee, Nataly, Nathalie, Nathaly
  27. Ella (17)
  28. Aria (31) – Ariah, Ariya, Ariyah, Arya
  29. Addison (24) – Addisyn, Addyson
  30. Allison (38) – Alison, Alisson, Allyson, Alyson
  31. Mackenzie (69) – Makenzie, Mckenzie
  32. Victoria (19)
  33. Kaylee (52) – Caylee, Kailee, Kailey, Kayleigh, Kaylie
  34. Hailey (51) – Hailee, Haley, Haylee, Hayley
  35. Grace (21)
  36. Hannah (28) – Hana, Hanna
  37. Lillian (25) – Lilian
  38. Leah (35) – Lea, Leia, Lia
  39. Maya (74) – Maia, Miya, Mya, Myah
  40. Peyton (56) – Paityn, Payton
  41. Anna (34) – Ana
  42. Scarlett (30) – Scarlet, Scarlette
  43. Elena (121) – Alaina, Alayna, Elaina
  44. Kylie (73) – Kiley, Kylee, Kyleigh
  45. Camila (41) – Camilla, Kamila
  46. Nora (49) – Norah
  47. Katherine (83) – Catherine, Kathryn
  48. Sarah (50) – Sara
  49. Gabriella (43) – Gabriela
  50. Annabelle (57) – Anabel, Anabelle, Annabel, Annabell

If we were to compare this year’s Playground Analysis with last year’s, the following names entered the Top 50 in 2014: Annabelle, Nora, and Scarlett; the following names fell out of the Top 50: Aaliyah, Kaitlyn, and Samantha.

Another interesting tidbit: the most popular spelling of Ariana changed from Arianna in 2013 to Ariana in 2014.

BOYS

While the 2014 list had no major changes to the Top 5, except for Jacob and Mason switching places (Mason moving up to #3 and Jacob moving down to #4), a comparison of the Playground Analyses show a change in the #1 name… Jackson has overtaken Aiden for the top spot! Jayden falls from #3 to #7 and Liam jumps from #7 to #4. The biggest movers, again, were Kayden (#90 to #9) and Jace (#68 to #20). Grayson also makes a big move up from #63 to #37.

  1. Jackson (17) – Jaxen, Jaxon, Jaxson
  2. Aiden (14) – Aaden, Adan, Aden, Aidan, Aidyn, Aydan, Ayden, Aydin
  3. Noah (1) – Noe
  4. Liam (2)
  5. Mason (3) – Maison, Mayson
  6. Jacob (4) – Jakob, Jaycob
  7. Jayden (15) – Jaden, Jadon, Jaiden, Jaydon
  8. William (5)
  9. Kayden (90) – Caden, Caiden, Cayden, Kaden, Kaeden, Kaiden
  10. Ethan (6)
  11. Alexander (8) – Alexzander
  12. Michael (7) – Micheal
  13. James (9)
  14. Elijah (11) – Alijah
  15. Daniel (10)
  16. Lucas (19) – Lukas
  17. Benjamin (12)
  18. Logan (13)
  19. Matthew (16) – Mathew
  20. Jace (68) – Jase, Jayce, Jayse
  21. Carter (27) – Karter
  22. David (18)
  23. Joseph (20)
  24. Caleb (35) – Kaleb
  25. Anthony (21)
  26. Dylan (29) – Dilan, Dillon
  27. Andrew (22)
  28. John (26) – Jon
  29. Christopher (30) – Cristopher, Kristopher
  30. Samuel (23)
  31. Gabriel (24)
  32. Joshua (25)
  33. Luke (28)
  34. Isaac (31) – Issac
  35. Christian (42) – Cristian, Kristian
  36. Landon (43) – Landen, Landyn
  37. Grayson (63) – Graysen, Greyson
  38. Connor (52) – Conner, Conor, Konner, Konnor
  39. Jonathan (44) – Johnathan, Johnathon, Jonathon
  40. Nicholas (57) – Nickolas, Nicolas, Nikolas
  41. Oliver (32)
  42. Henry (33)
  43. Cameron (53) – Camren, Camron, Kameron, Kamron, Kamryn
  44. Sebastian (34)
  45. Owen (36)
  46. Ryan (37)
  47. Nathan (38)
  48. Wyatt (39)
  49. Hunter (40)
  50. Jack (41)

If we were to compare this year’s Playground Analysis with last year’s, the following names entered the Top 50 in 2014: Grayson, Oliver and Sebastian; the following names fell out of the Top 50: Brayden, Dominic, and Isaiah.

So what do you think? Does this reflect what you are hearing out there?

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About the author

NameFreak!

Kelli Brady is a stay at home mom of two who needed an outlet for her name obsession. She found it at NameFreak!, a blog dedicated to a wide variety of name-related whims and fancies. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Her eBook, Name-alytics, is a look at the history of the Top 100 names in the United States. Check it out at https://gumroad.com/l/name-alytics!
View all of NameFreak!'s articles View all Berry Juice Bloggers

comments

11 Responses to “The Playground Analysis of the Real Most Popular Names”

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dindlee Says:

May 11th, 2015 at 5:05 am

Oh, my sweet Emma. The numbers put you back at number 3. I can handle 3.

nicknamer Says:

May 11th, 2015 at 7:21 am

This is great, and confirms by impression that I encounter more Jacks and Sophias than anything else. But would someone really use Maison (French for house and pronounced totally differently) as a Mason variant? I guess one can never discount Americans ability to spell things creatively.

(Ditto for Noe, which makes me think of Noe Valley rather than an ark builder.)

Penguinkin Says:

May 11th, 2015 at 7:29 am

I love these analyses of real popularity. As the author notes, there is no way of knowing how each name is spelt when you hear it shouted out in the playground. I think more parents should take notice of this when they are trying to give their children names with unique spellings and common sounds – Lily, Lilly, Lilie, Lillie, Lylle, Lylie etc. Personally I prefer names that have a clear historical reason for spelling variations or pronouciation difference that causes a change in spelling. I think more people should spend time around play areas while they are pregnant to get an idea of real world popularity in their area before producing the ‘unknown gem’ name currently shared by 5 potential classmates of the future!

ElsaAnne Says:

May 11th, 2015 at 11:53 am

What’s the other spelling of Liam?

rachelbrein Says:

May 11th, 2015 at 1:08 pm

I love these analysis’. Really helps have a more real world understanding. On the SS list all 4 of my kids are in the top 100, which seemed weird to me, I’ve rarely ran into others with my kids names. But in this list, only 2 of them are on it and they dropped in popularity, which feels more accurate. (their names are Seth, Leah, Isaac, and Ruby)

krisscouture Says:

May 16th, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Actually, quite a lot of this list is still incorrect. What are your methods of getting the real numbers?
I crunch my own numbers every year and I am VERY thorough. I make videos on youtube and plan on doing the REAL real top 1000- if anyone is interested my channel is Krisscouture. Haven’t quite finished it’s very time consuming but if you want to check it out it’ll be up soon hopefully!

What I Learned in May {2015} | KendraNicole.net Says:

June 1st, 2015 at 9:59 am

[…] Isabella, and Ava held the top spots. However, if the various spellings of names were combined, these top-5 lists would look a bit different: Sophia/Sofia would hold the top spot for girls, while Jackson/Jaxen/Jaxon would be the top boys’ […]

Name Sage: Is This Name Too Popular? – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

July 14th, 2015 at 10:48 pm

[…] aces the Playground Analysis. There’s really only one way to spell Ezra, and that matters so much when it comes to […]

Favorite Baby Names of the 21st Century – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

July 23rd, 2015 at 11:05 pm

[…] Jaxon and Jaxson – Number 46 Jaxon and Number 85 Jaxson are both respellings of artistic, presidential, place name Jackson. They’re definitely new baby names, and combined with the original, make this name the more popular than Number 1 Noah. […]

Bye, bye Brayden, adios Aiden! – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

June 7th, 2016 at 10:53 pm

[…] Aidan and its spelling alternatives were the #1 name in the country. But they lost top-billing in 2014 when Jackson and its spelling alternatives took over. The most recent Playground Analysis for 2015 […]

Pretty Baby Names: 9 Kinds of Names for Girls – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

May 6th, 2017 at 8:47 pm

[…] One of their new arrivals is Sofia, the most popular name for girls in the US based on our Playground Analysis, and perhaps the most popular girls’ name […]

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