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Baby Name Trends: View from the Peak

February 9, 2009 Pamela Redmond
Baby Name Trends

One of nameberry’s hidden wonders is its lists of names that peaked in every year from 1880 to 2007, the most recent one counted.  These lists, created by our brilliant yet anonymous (ironic, huh?) software engineer, give a snapshot not of the most popular but of the trendiest names at any given moment.

It’s possible to look at the peaking names and their variations to pinpoint trends current and future.  Some directions evident in the 2007 list include:

THE AD NAMES

In 2007, we see the peak of Addison: no surprise there.  Also peaking are Addisyn, Addyson, Adison, and Adyson.  A little further removed are Adalyn and Adelyn.  And from there it’s only a quick hop to Adrian and Adriel (and not such a stretch to include all the Aidens in this group).   Look for other Ad– names to follow: Ada, Adelaide, Adelia, Adeline, AdairAdolph, not so much.

THE EL NAMES

Heirs of Ellen and Elliot, we see Elias peaking for boys.  And the much longer girls’ list includes Elaina, Eliana, Elle, and Ellie.

THE DOUBLE L NAMES

Girls’ names with the lovely two-l sound peaking in 2007 include Layla and leyla,, Leilani, Lilah, Liliana in various spellings, plus Lily herself.  Lorelai and Lyla are also at their peak.

THE SOFT G NAMES

Two attractive celebrities, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and chef Giada De Laurentis, might be behind this trend. The most popular of this Latinate group is Gianna, but also included are Giana, Giuliana, and Giselle, plus Giovani and Giovanni for boys.  On deck: Gia and Giulia?

THE JAY NAMES

Every spelling you can imagine (well, maybe not every, but a lot of them) of Jayden, Jaylyn, and Jayda peaked in ’07.  This is one set of peaks due to begin its descent.

THE RY NAMES

Riley (or Rylee) started this trend, which now includes the peaking Ryder, Ryker, Rylan, Ryland, and Ryleigh.

SPIRITUAL NAMES: HEAVEN and EARTHLY

Spiritual names at their peak include Deacon, Genesis, Journey, Harmony, Haven, Messiah, Miracle, and Nevaeh, Serenity, Sincere, and Zion.  But on a less heavenly note, 2007 also saw the ascendance of Cannon, Gunner, and Maverick.

CELEBRITY INSPIRED NAMES PEAKING in 2007 include Audrina, Gael, Jolie, Kelis, Kimora, Leonardo, Maddox, Malia, Marley, Miley, Peyton, Presley, Reese, Rihanna, Scarlett, Shiloh, Sienna, and Tatum.

Coming up tomorrow: Names you’ll be hearing a lot more of.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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