Future Top Ten Names: Avery, Jaxon, and Hadley

December 28, 2014 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

We’re just days away from the new year!  As 2014 draws to a close, plenty of websites and hospital systems have released their top baby names for the past twelve months.

At Nameberry, Asher, Declan, and Atticus topped the boys’ list, while Imogen, Khaleesi, and Charlotte were favorites for girls.

The official 2014 US data doesn’t come out until May 2015.  But this early information lets us read the tea leaves and guess – or hope! – which names might come out on top when we see the official numbers in a few months.

Of course, just because a name is huge in Cedar Rapids doesn’t mean it will be a smash hit elsewhere in the US.  And international statistics are even less reliable indicators of what American parents might embrace.

But while we’re waiting for the official reports, it’s interesting to see what’s topping the lists across the country.  Just like hearing which names are big in your neighborhood, it can point towards the next Top Ten sensation – or maybe just a name that’s quietly catching on.

Here are some of the names topping various Top Ten lists around the US – and a few from farther afield:

Jaxon – In Wisconsin, WEAU reports that Jaxon – this spelling – was the #1 name at Sacred Heart Hospital.  Meanwhile, Jaxson is in the Top Ten elsewhere in Wisconsin.  The more conventional Jackson made it into a handful of state Top Tens in 2013, and ranked #16 nationally – meaning the surname name is more popular than the classic John.  Just like Kaitlyn eclipsed Caitlin and Zavier sailed past Xavier, will Jaxon replace Jackson as the preferred spelling?

Madelyn – Speaking of spellings, the Portland, Maine rankings put Madelyn in their Top Ten.  Madelyn is more popular than Madeline nationally, too – yet another case of an alternate spelling proving more popular.  The French Madeleine lags behind both.

Harper – In West Michigan, Harper makes the Top Ten list for one hospital system.  Could this be a sign of things to come?  With everyone from Shonda Rhimes to the Beckhams choosing this name, Harper has gone from literary obscurity to everyone’s favorite name in just a few years.  If Taylor and Madison can make the US Top Ten, why not Harper?

Hadley – It’s a surname name with a literary tie, thanks to Ernest Hemingway’s first wife.  Ever since the fictional story of the couple’s early days, The Paris Wife, hit bestseller lists in 2011, Hadley went from a fast-rising possibility to a true sensation.  In Cedar Rapids, Hadley just made it onto the St. Luke’s Hospital Top Ten list.  Chances are this name will see another big jump when the 2014 stats are released.

Lincoln – Back to Cedar Rapids, where Lincoln is a Top Ten choice for boys.  The presidential surname continues to gain.  With cool nickname Link and ties to an admirable historical figure, honest Lincoln could replace fading surname names like Cameron, Jordan, and Landon.  So far, though, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s decision to give the name to a daughter remains a pretty unusual choice.

Isaiah – Some hospitals keep a running Top Ten list.  Isaiah currently makes the cut at Cincinatti’s Good Samaritan TriHealth, besting other vowel-intensive choices like Elijah and Aiden.  And their #1 as of this weekened?  Benjamin.

Avery At Baylor Health, Avery is in the girls’ Top Five, system-wide, following go-to popular picks Emma, Ava, Mia, and Olivia.  But break it down by individual hospital and the results are different.  Elsewhere in Texas, Zoey and Autumn are favorites.  Harper cracks the Top Five in Dallas, while Ariana, Bella, and Cassidy are big in Fort Worth.

Liam – Let’s take a quick detour to Canada, where the #1 name in French-speaking Quebec is the Irish Liam.  This is one name that seems to be popular everywhere – #2 in the US, plus #7 in Sweden, #20 in the Netherlands, and, of course, #13 in Ireland in 2013, too.  Could Liam take the top spot in the US, too?  It’s too soon to say, but in 2013, there were 18,090 newborn Noahs, and 18,002 baby Liams.

Isla – Now for a name that’s still obscure ‘round here, but would fit in beautifully with Isabella and Mia – #4 in Scotland, the lovely Isla.  Isla was a big climber in the US in 2013, breaking into the Top 200.  Will this name continue to rise, or is Isla destined to be a favorite in Europe and relatively underused in the US?

Do you think any of these names are headed for the US Top Ten?  Do you prefer Jackson, Jaxon, or Jaxson?  And Madelyn, Madeline, or Madeleine?

About the author


Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at

View all of Abby's articles


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