Category: Baby names 2012

Popular Boys’ Names: Top 100 Makeover

boys' names

by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz

 It was the Case of the Great Missing Baby Names Blog.

One of our most-read blogs of all time, a makeover of the top 100 most popular boys’ names, disappeared from our archive.  We didn’t even notice it was gone until a Berry wrote wondering where it was.  The girls’ makeover, also written by Elisabeth Wilborn of You Can’t Call It It, is still there.  But the boys’: stolen, zapped, vanished into thin air.

So we set out to fashion a new version, using the current popular boys’ names list of 2012.

These are our suggestions of similar-but-different names you might substitute if you like the original boys’ name, but it’s just too popular.

Read More

NameFreak! Berry Juice profile image

Names on the Cusp

posted by: NameFreak! View all posts by this author

By Kelli Brady at NameFreak!

The 2012 Popular Baby Names list was released in May to a lot of excited name enthusiasts. Of course we were all interested in the Top 10 and Top 100, but I also loved seeing what fell out of and what made its way into the Top 1000. What’s the new name on the block? Finding out was like Christmas in May.

On my blog back in January, I made my own predictions and suggested 6 girl names and 6 boy names that would crack into the Top 1000. It’s always hard to say what will make the jump into the published list and what will not. In 2011, for example, Hattie reentered the Top 1000 at #993 with 253 births, up from 157 births in 2010 (which would have put it at #1444). It could take a lot of births, or just a few depending on the activity of the other thousand names throughout the year. To help me make these predictions, I went through the 100 names below the Top 1000 to see what jumped out at me.

Read More

posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author

by Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

Once upon a time, most parents would have never imagined naming their children Arya, Iker or Major. Now these are some of the fastest rising baby names in the U.S. With formerly unusual names hitting the mainstream, some parents are left wondering where to find under-the-radar names.

The trick is to stop looking for unusual names. That’s right. Instead of resorting to increasingly offbeat choices, consider some names that are right under your nose.

There are many names that seem on-trend yet remain under-the-radar, and many are familiar. Here are some names that are uncommon (most are outside the U.S. Social Security Administration’s top 1000 baby names for 2012) but don’t seem all that unusual. Next to each name is the number of babies given the name last year.


Aida – 164

Calista – 195

Cassia – 45

Flora – 124

Lavinia – 52

Lucinda – 181

Marcella – 166

Oona – 39

Ramona – 197

Rhea – 224

Sally – 205

Soleil – 177

Susanna – 183 / Susannah – 104

Sybella – 11

Sylvie – 169

Vada – 157

Viola – 162



Clive – 65

Conan – 54

Ewan – 140

Fritz – 30

Gordon – 194

Guy – 138

Murray – 42

Niles – 44

Olin – 80

Orson – 31

Tobin – 138

Viggo – 29



Arden – 221 girls / 76 boys

Darby – 117 girls / 39 boys

Kelby – 32 girls / 59 boys

Remy – 195 girls / 233 boys

Name trends can be inexplicable and unpredictable, otherwise most of these names would show up on more parents’ baby name lists.

Okay, so at first glance some of these names, like Viggo, may come across as eccentric. But when compared to other names on the rise, Viggo isn’t that eccentric. Consider that another Norwegian name, Soren, has recently crept into the top 1000 and seems to be trending upwards, and Viggo has the trendy o-suffix. When these things are considered, Viggo seems like it should have been given to more than 29 newborn boys last year.

Another name that may appear eccentric at first is Soleil. And maybe thirty years ago, when a young Soleil Moon Frye entertained children as Punky Brewster, the child star’s name, the French word for “sun,” was unfamiliar and difficult to say. Fast-forward to 2013, however, and celestial names like Luna and Stella are taking off, and thanks to the actress, the name is no longer unfamiliar.

And maybe Fritz, Murray, and Oona aren’t for everyone, but each has a quirky-vintage style popular with some contemporary parents. Yet each of these names were given to fewer than 50 babies in 2012.

Most of these names seem like they should have caught on by now. But they haven’t. This is good news for anyone seeking that elusive different but not too different name.

Angela created Upswing Baby Names to help parents find that different but not too different name. She muses about names on their way in and on their way out in her book, The Top 22 in 2022.  She is also an avid runner, wannabe foodie, and devoted mom of two.


Read More

Nearly Unique Baby Names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

The mythical secret vault of truly unique baby names is real, but only the US government holds the key. 

To protect privacy, the Social Security Administration doesn’t release names given to only one child, drawing the line at five or more. So the names given to five babies are the most unique we’re able to learn about.  Most of those on that rarefied level are tortured spellings of more familiar names: Mikeila and Scarlotte, Masun and Stanlee. And there are truly terrible names at the depths of the extended list too, as detailed in our recent blog.

But then there are those nearly unique baby names that are eminently usable, ripe for the picking for the parent who truly wants a distinctive choice.  These are not for everybody, but we found over 50 excellent choices that were used for just five children each in 2012.  Among them are names that are among our all-time favorites, such as Petal and Tiernan for girls, O’Brien and Poe for boys.

Our favorite nearly-unique (given to just five children) baby names:






Read More

Baby Names 2012: The Best of the New

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Every year, a small number of new names manages to move onto the Top 1000 list for the first time ever.  Sometimes this marks the beginning of a climb up the ladder, other times it’s a name that will linger in the nether regions, and sometimes it might prove to be a one-shot wonder—perhaps an eccentric spelling picked up by just enough parents  to make the grade.

In 2011, for instance, we saw the debuts of such nouveau names as Elliot for girls, Aviana, Blakely, Juniper, Liv, and Temperance; Bowen, Brecken, Flynn, the musical Crosby and Hendrix, the presidential Nixon and the Ivy League Princeton.

But how about the recently released list?  Of the forty-five possibilities, here are the Nameberry Picks for the twelve most promising newbies of 2012.


AzaleaThough there were fewer than three hundred baby girls given this name in 2012, it has now definitely crossed over from the wilder fringes into the main flower garden.  Azalea embodies a delightful combination of the fragrant floral with a shot of z-infused energy.

Read More