Baby Names 2010: What Names Are Heading This Way?
What will baby names 2010 (and 2011, 2012, and onward) look like? We can get a lot of clues from which names are moving up fastest on the Social Security most popular names list of 2009.
While we reported the major news from the list earlier this week – Isabella climbing to number one for girls, with Ethan rising to number two for boys while longtime favorites Christopher and Matthew fell off the Top Ten – today we look deeper into the list to identify less obvious but perhaps more important trends in baby names 2010.
What we see:
THE RISE OF THE QUIRKY CLASSIC GIRLS’ NAME
We wouldn’t presume to claim sole responsibility, but the list does show that many of the nameberry-loved quirky classic girls’ names are clearly on the rise. (A few of these, such as Charlotte and Penelope, are cited in the celebrity section.) These include, in order of popularity (with 2008 popularity figures in parentheses):
EVELYN 39 (from 54)
AMELIA 55 (from 68)
ELEANOR 218 (from 256)
NORA 197 (from 216)
ANNABELLE 156 (from 188)
ELIZA 278 (from 328)
GENEVIEVE 288 (from 325)
CORA 303 (from 322)
JOSIE 294 (from 314)
IRIS 317 (from 341)
JULIET 319 (from 451)
ADA 573 (from 598)
EVE 562 (from 655)
JUNE 662 (from 863)
THE INFLUENCE OF GLOBALIZATION
Many names on the rise for girls, and a few for boys, point to a European influence, particularly Latinate and Irish. Prime examples:
Some of the biggest risers show a clear celebrity influence, either because they’re attached to stars, to the characters they play, or to their children. Jacob and Isabella, the number one names, both have a Twilight connection – though we suspect Stephenie Meyer picked the names for their popularity rather than their popularity being (overly) influenced by Twilight. The fastest-rising name for boys, Cullen, is taken directly from Twilight.
Celebrity Baby Names
ALSO LEAPING UP THE LIST
Not easy to classify, but also moving up are these names for boys:
Check out our trend predictions for 2011!
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on May 12th, 2010 at 8:24 am
As I’m about five to eight years away from having kids, I hate that all my favorites are rising in popularity!
on May 12th, 2010 at 8:27 am
Excellent analysis! I had a baby last December and named her Cora, so I’m part of the first trend. 🙂
on May 12th, 2010 at 8:31 am
Of my list only two are rising in popularity. Harper and Elliot. I really love them but I don’t like the trendy aspect of Harper and the fact that Elliot might be going to the girls. Oh well, we don’t plan on a baby till next year so I’ll be more interested in the list then! Enjoyed the blog thanks!
on May 12th, 2010 at 9:16 am
Both my boys names are on the up and coming list! That is what I was trying to avoid when I chose unique names.
on May 12th, 2010 at 10:06 am
There were exactly 7 more Ada’s born in 2009 than there were in ’08. The number of Josie’s born actually went down by 95, from 1129 to 1034.
on May 12th, 2010 at 10:12 am
Hmm, Isla was at the top of my list. I wasn’t expecting it to make such a jump. =/ Still, I suppose the actual percentage of babies with that name is not that great.
on May 12th, 2010 at 10:40 am
Phew, only two of my favorites are on this list.
Stella (my online chosen name)
Everett (my grandfathers name, I really like the idea of changing the spelling for a girl: Everet)
on May 12th, 2010 at 10:58 am
All of my names are on the rise. I guess my quirky picks are trendier than I thought…
on May 12th, 2010 at 11:12 am
I submitted a straightforward comment at 10:06. My comment questioned the inclusion of Ada and Josie in the up-and-coming list. Three other comments have passed moderation in the meantime. What gives?
on May 12th, 2010 at 11:12 am
Seeing Eliza climb up that list makes me sad, so very sad…
Pamela Redmond Satran Said
on May 12th, 2010 at 11:22 am
Dorabell, comments by people who are commenting for the first time need to be approved manually which means that a human being needs to wrap up her phone call and meet her deadline, perhaps, before she can read the comment and press okay.
on May 12th, 2010 at 12:30 pm
Colt may be related to Colt McCoy, who got enough coverage as his last year as Texas’ quarterback that his name was heard even by non-football-watchers like some of my uber-geeky friends.
As for Cullen jumping: Phooey on Twilight. I liked Cullen for a male hero (I write stories) long before I ever heard of the Twilight books. Of course, now I can’t use it any more without connecting it with THE Cullens.
Shannon Stewart Said
on May 12th, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Interesting article! I selfishly hope Eleanor, Luna, and Evangeline don’t climb any further; Jack is my favorite boy’s name and you already hear one on every corner. I’d hate for a daughter to also be one of 5 in her class.
I wonder if the growing popularity of Desmond has anything to do with the name also belonging to one of the most beloved characters on Lost.
on May 12th, 2010 at 3:20 pm
salome– ditto about Eliza; I’m probably five years from babies, but Eliza has by far been my favorite name for ages. Although, it has family meaning for me, so maybe the popularity isn’t quite as much of an issue.
on May 12th, 2010 at 4:02 pm
I found a website that adds up names based on the different spelling variations, this gives a more accurate account of what names are ranking. Here is the website link:
on May 12th, 2010 at 4:30 pm
The thing we who are currently working on names for our upcoming babies is that a lot of these fabulous names, while they may be climbing, might still be below the top 100. That’s what I had to remind myself when my current fave jumped up. There are at least 100 names more popular than the one I like.
on May 12th, 2010 at 5:23 pm
I know two boys named Cullen who were born ages before the Twilight series was even thought of. They are fourteen and twelve.
on May 12th, 2010 at 6:36 pm
It seems like a lot of the boy’s names that are rising rapidly are very masculine, like Gunner, Ace and Colt. Also, what is up with Jax? I’ve never heard that name before and now it’s suddenly rising 250 places?
on May 12th, 2010 at 6:53 pm
For those not expecting children for a few years; the popular names are trending — meaning they could go up or down. For example, my oldest (who’s five now) was named for her great-grandmother. The year she was born, her name (a classic) was #35 on the list, this year it’s #60. I don’t expect the name to really drop out of the top 100, but the list does fluctuate. Don’t despair if your favorite name has had a sudden jump in popularity, chances are, five years from now, it might be back down again…. then again, it could be the next Aiden or Isabella, you just never really know. 😉
(That’s what makes the list fun to analyze – it’s all the guessing!)
Truly, when it comes to actually naming your children, I say throw out the list, and go with what you love!
on May 12th, 2010 at 7:15 pm
Penelope is really both a celebrity baby name (Taylor Hanson) and a celebrity name (Penelope Cruz). Everett is also a celebrity baby name used by Isaac Hanson. I think there is definitely a contingent of people who follow that family for great baby names!
Pamela Redmond Satran Said
on May 12th, 2010 at 7:57 pm
Lucy, you’re right about there being a lot of crossover, and also about the Hansons picking great baby names! I interviewed Natalie Hanson, Taylor’s wife, when they named number 4 Viggo, and she is really thoughtful about names and as big a name nerd as any of the berries — and I know she’d be proud to be called that!
Thanks to all of you who pointed out celebrity or character connections we may have missed. I’m sure you’re absolutely right!
on May 13th, 2010 at 3:23 pm
Without combined spellings, I am unsure just how much the Social Security list really reflects true popularity. I know for a fact that there are tons of Isabellas and Jacobs, as I have met too many to count, but there are probably a lot more Aidans (as reflected in the namenerd list), Jadens and Cadens. I know other popularity lists in other countries tend to combine all the spellings and put them under one ranking.
on May 14th, 2010 at 1:34 pm
the name “Ever” is still unique currently, but left out of the celeb baby names. Mila Jovovich’s baby’s name.
on May 15th, 2010 at 6:46 am
Jax is the lead character in Sons of Anarchy, perhaps that’s why it’s on the rise? Being British it’s really fascinating to see the lists for the US as I always find them so different to our lists! Thankfully only 2 of my names are on the rise according to your lists (Atticus and Iris)!
on June 22nd, 2010 at 1:22 am
I love that quirky classic girls names are coming back in fashion! I love Eleanora for a girl, she is classic and has so many excellent nn possibilities! And I adore Eve. I love pretty much everything on that list! I just hope they don’t become too trendy. Good thing is at least mothers who choose those names don’t seem to be butchering the spelling – you don’t see many Amyleigha’s or Ellinohre’s yet 😀
My only name choice leaping up the popularity stakes is Asher… I love it and don’t want my child to be among 5 Ashers in his class 🙁
on December 1st, 2010 at 12:49 pm
“Jax” is up more than 250 places because it is the lead character in a tv-series called “Sons of Anarchy” which is every bit as dangerous and wild as it sounds.
I laughed out loud when I read this.
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