Looking for a name that sounds worldly and sophisticated? You might want to try looking at a map or atlas. More parents than ever are picking finding baby name inspiration from mountains, countries and, especially, cities.
Here’s how popular city names have become: There are now more girls under the age of 18 named Madison in the U.S. than there are people living in the city of Madison, Wisconsin. That’s over 250,000 Madisons!
It’s never been clear, though, which cities have gotten the most love in the baby name arena — until now. Nameberry pored over baby name popularity data from the Social Security Administration to find the 51 city names that were given to the most babies in the year 2016, the most recent available.
Because many of these names are inherently unisex, we haven’t broken down the list by gender. But we did indicate names that were given almost exclusively to one gender by the color of the letters — pink is girls, blue is boys and orange is the truly unisex.
We had to make some tricky judgment calls on which names did or did not count — we excluded Petra, for instance, because it’s not a functioning city today, even though it was at one time. And we do realize that many parents who pick, say, Alexandria or Kobe, aren’t thinking of the cities. But if you think we missed something crucial, tell us in the comments! (Note: This blog was posted very briefly in April, before most of you got a chance to see it.)
The biggest news in this year’s most popular baby names in the US is that there’s a new boys’ name at the top of the list. Liam, the Irish short form of William, long used on its own, moves from second place to first.
For girls, Emma is Number 1 for the fourth time, while newcomers to the girl Top 10 list are Amelia and Evelyn. Oliver and Logan are the new boys in the Top 10, Oliver entering at Number 9 and Logan making a remarkable leap from 18 to 5. Evelyn broke back into the Top 10 for the first time since 1915!
Other big climbers in the Boy Top 50 are Wyatt, up 8 places, Mateo, up 17 and Lincoln up 9. Bella squeezed onto the Top 50, after being #78 in 2016. Other rising girls: Luna, thanks to diehard Harry Potter fans, rose 40 places to reach #37, Bella entered the Top 50 after being 78 last year, and Mila, Nora and Hazel also made substantial gains.
The Top 10 baby names for 2017 in the US, with comparisons to their standings in 2016, are:
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers and mothers-to-be out there. Today we give a shout-out to some outstanding moms of outstanding celebs, who happen to have—you guessed it—some outstanding names we love. Such as the distinctive Asalia (Zoe Saldana), Ata (Dwayne Johnson), Dellsena (Olivia Spencer), Delora (Vin Diesel, Gerda (Greta Gerwig), Lennis (Denzel Washington and Sarie (Margot Robbie). Here are some of the more wearable.
But not every vintage name deserves to be revived. We don’t predict the return of Hyman, for instance. Or Normal. Or Butler. Or Rube. Or Walburga. All these names were in use in 1918, given to at least five babies born that year, but are not used at all today.
They’re not alone. Nameberry analyzed Social Security data to discover over 5000 names that were given to babies a century ago but have now gone extinct.
Some of these names were obscure ethnic names, like Tsuyako and Mieczyslaw, that have faded from view as immigration patterns have shifted. Others are unusual variant spellings of names that have declined in popularity, like Ulysees and Lauraine. A few are usable, or even elegant.
But a lot of them are just plain funny to us now. We combed through the list to find the most hilarious of these extinct names from 1918 — and couldn’t whittle it down to fewer than 200. Here they are, in all their LOL-worthy glory, along with the number of sad children given each name in 1918:
Stars are not just like us when it comes to baby names. They’re nothing like us, in fact. They’re more innovative, coming up with wholly new names like Chicago, Suri and Rumi for their kids. They’re bolder, often picking names that are far outside the mainstream. And they really love using names with ties to Hollywood.
Case in point: On February 15, The Blast revealed that Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and his wife Lauren Parsekian had named their newborn daughter Story Annabelle. For almost any other couple, this would be a daring, even outrageous, name choice. Only 68 baby girls in the U.S. were named Story in 2016 — fewer than were named Aries, Timber or Yocheved. But in Hollywood, the land of storytelling, there’s nothing strange about naming a baby Story. At least two other celebrity couples beat the Pauls to the punch.
Story is far from alone. It’s just one of the many weird names that celebrities are obsessed with. Nameberry analyzed thousands of names in our database of celebrity kids names to identify those that were given to multiple Starbabies despite being relatively unpopular in the country at large. The 20 names below were each given to at least three children of celebrities but were not among the Top 300 baby names for either sex in 2016, the most recent year on record. That means that they’re all given to fewer than 1000 babies per year — often many fewer. Just 60 newborn girls in the entire country were named Coco in 2016, for example. But they’re definitely names to watch going forward — once a few celebrities use a name, there’s a good chance that civilians will follow.