The Baby Namers’ Alphabet
A was the most popular first initial for girls’ names in 2009, the last year for which there are official US statistics, and the most popular first letter overall, with one in eight babies getting a name that starts with A.
Boys’ names were led by J names, starting with the Number 1 Jacob.
C or K? A lot of parents see these initials as interchangeable, with names from the classic (Cate or Kate) to the trendy (Kaylee or Caleigh) . And of course, international variations of certain names may make the first initial C in some cases — Christopher, for instance — but K is others, as with the Dutch or German Kristof.
Kids with names that start with D do worse in school than those whose start with A, B, and C, according to one study.
Edward is one classic name that got new life thanks to Twilight.
F is the formerly frumpy first letter of three of the most fashionable new celebrity babies: Flynn (son of Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr), Faith (daughter of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban), and Ford (son of Owen Wilson).
Girls’ names are getting, well, girlier, with all Top 5 names ending in the feminine a and six of the Top 10 having three or more syllables.
Need help choosing a name? Check out the nameberry message boards, where the fabulous berries dispense excellent advice 24/7.
Isabella took over as the number one girls’ name in the U.S. last year.
Beyond Jennifer & Jason, our very first baby name book, morphed over time into Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana and, most recently, Beyond Ava & Aiden — though we considered calling it Beyond Jessica & Jacob. Find out more on our books page.
Nia is a name that signals African-American pride, as one of the days of Kwanzaa.
Quinn is among the fastest rising girls’ names, thanks to TV’s Glee.
Ruby, name of the red birthstone for the month of July, is the Number 2 name in England and Wales as well as New Zealand and a Top 25 name throughout most of the rest of the English-speaking world, though not yet in the Top 100 in the U.S.
U was the least popular letter for baby names in 2009.
Xavier, an unlikely hottie, is now in the Top 100.
Yooneek spellings, such as Peighton to Krysteenah, are one of our pet peeves. But parents can’t seem to stop inventing them.