Category: Boy Names

popular names by state

Quick: What were the most popular boys’ and girls’ names of 2016? Emma and Noah, you say? Wrong — at least unless you live in Pennsylvania or Texas.

True, Emma and Noah came out on top when the Social Security Administration released its annual list of the most popular baby names of the year last week. But today, they came out with a follow-up that broke down baby name popularity by state. And this more detailed list revealed major differences in baby name popularity from state to state.

Only in Pennsylvania and Texas did Emma and Noah both rank Number 1. In the other 48 states, plus the District of Columbia, another name took the top spot for boys, girls or both.

The most striking trend — as with the past few years — was the sharp divide between the Deep South and the rest of the country. In most of the Dixie states, Ava was the top girls’ name and William was the top boys’ name.

The twin names of Olivia and Oliver also posted strong showings, especially in the northwest quadrant of the country. They were the most popular boys’ and girls’ names in Oregon, Utah, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Mia and Harper both took the top slot for girls’ in multiple states, while Charlotte, Isabella and Evelyn each hit Number 1 in one state.

On the boys’ side, Liam, the Number 2 name overall in the U.S., had another strong year, coming in first in states from Alaska to Florida. Benjamin and Elijah both took the prize in two states, and James, Henry, Wyatt, Mason and Owen all reigned supreme in one state.

Perhaps the most unusual state for baby names in 2016 was Minnesota. Neither of its two winners, Evelyn and Henry, was the top name in any other state or even in the national Top 10.

What names were Number 1 in your state? Click through to see the maps.

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B Boy Baby Names: Billy and Bear

By Abby Sandel

Last week’s baby name news was brought to us by the letter B.

1D’s Liam Payne and Cheryl Cole revealed their new son is called Bear. Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel’s moving remarks on his late night talk show introduced his sweet son Billy.

At first glance, Billy and Bear don’t have much in common. One belongs with bold word names, the kind of choice guaranteed to make headlines. The other is delightfully retro, rare on birth certificates circa 2017, but instantly familiar to all.

What unites them? The letter B.

It’s a go-to for boys, from the 1950s Bruce to the 1970s Brian to today’s Top Ten Benjamin.

As of 2015, B ranked eighth for first letters of boys’ names, behind J, A, C, M, L, E, and D, but ahead of K and R.

Now there’s a new generation of B boy names coming. Here’s a dozen of the best.

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By Meredith Testa, namenculture

French names are perennially popular in the US, but there is still a host of undiscovered gems on the French popularity list. So today, the boys follow the girls we looked at the other day: 10 of the best possibilities for an unusual name taken from the popular names of France—all in the Top 100, including some imported from other cultures.

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15+ Nifty N Names for Boys

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Yes, Noah is the Number One name for boys, and N is probably the most popular ending for boy names, but—aside from the Nicholas nexus and Nathaniel/Nathan—N is among the least used first initials. And yet, if you’re looking for an N-starting name for your baby boy, there are quite a few unique baby names that make greatly appealing options.

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Vintage Boy Names: Grover and Friends

By Abby Sandel

Spoiler alert: we’re talking about the final season of Girls below!

Ready for a cardinal rule of baby naming? Names go in and out of style. Every few years, something old feels new again. And a name that was once all the rage teeters on the edge of extinction. Good-bye, Gary. Hello, Otis.

The Girls series finale gave us a baby name that might signal the next new wave for boys. While it’s not a neat formula, there are plenty of examples of once-dated names that feel current today.

Twenty years ago, Jasper and Felix made few shortlists. Otis had tumbled out of the US Top 1000 entirely. Now Jasper and Felix feel like mainstream favorites, and Otis is shifting from daring hipster pick to an alternative to mega-popular Oliver.

Pop culture plays an important role in helping parents re-consider long neglected names, so the Girls name could prove influential. And the fact that Lena Dunham and her fellow writers chose it? I suspect names like this are trending in their own lives.

Let’s take a closer look at Girls’ Grover, along with some other so-far-out that they might – just might – be ready to be back in – names for boys. None of these appear in the current US Top 1000, but there’s good reason to think a younger generation of parents could cautiously consider them.

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