What Were The Hottest Sounds of 2023?

What Were The Hottest Sounds of 2023?

In May, the Social Security Administration of the United States published the list of the country’s most popular baby names for 2023!

Analyzing this data reveals not only which individual names are rising and falling in popularity, but also what overarching trends are growing, declining, or staying stable.

Note that due to the way the data is released, this analysis works solely with the top 1000 names for each sex, so realistically many of the percentages would be slightly higher.

As the naming pool expands and parents get increasingly creative, the number of babies receiving popular names decreases. For this reason, the percentage of babies receiving top 10 names has been decreasing steadily — however, it actually increased for boys this year! In 2023, 6.54% of girls and 7.23% of boys received a top 10 name. In 2022, these numbers were 6.75% and 7.15%, respectively.

Boy Names Ending in S

One trend undeniably on the rise is boys’ names ending in an S sound. 8.66% of boys received names ending in this sound in 2023 (including spellings like Jace and Chase), up from 7.55% in 2022.

Top S-Ending Boy Names

Some of the biggest risers include Rhodes (up 214 places from last year!), as well as Amias, Kayce, and Atreus, all of which 127 places. Hollis also returned to the top 1000 this year for the first time since falling off in the early 1970s, and classics like James, Lucas, Elias, Thomas, and Miles are holding onto their top 50 standing.

More Rising Boy Names Ending in S

Boy Names Ending in O

O-ending boys’ names are also big at the moment, as seen through Mateo’s big leap from #11 into the 6th place spot. O took over as the most popular vowel ending for boys in 2022, and in 2023 these names went to 5.98% of boys.

Top O-Ending Boy Names

Many of these names work in multiple languages and are internationally popular, like top-twenty choice Leo, which is a highly-ranking name in dozens of geographically and linguistically distinct countries. A large number also have Spanish origins, reflecting the growing Spanish-speaking population in the US, though they are used by parents of all backgrounds.

Big O ending risers include Elio (+229), Kyro (+150), and Aurelio (+100).

More Rising Boy Names Ending in O

Boy Names Ending in N

On the other hand, the long-standing popularity of boys’ names ending in an N sound is starting to wane.

Top Boy Names Ending in N

Back in 2019, over a quarter of boys received names ending in the N sound, at 25.38%. In the 2023 data, this number is down to 22.43%.

Some of the biggest fallers in this category are Kannon and Nixon, each down 153 places, Leighton (-143), and Darren (-133). This is also reflected in the fact that for the first time since 2001, none of the names in the masculine top 10 end in N.

Falling N-Ending Boy Names

Girl Names Ending in -Ley and -Lyn

For girls, the -ley and -lyn ending trends are continuing to fall out of fashion.

Top Girl Names Ending in -ley and -lyn

In 2023, 6.12% of girls received -ley names and 2.84% received -lyn names. These percentages have been decreasing each year, and include all spellings of each ending.

Interestingly, Wrenley (+109) and Lakelynn (+189) were both big risers this year, but in general, most names in these categories decreased in popularity, with some of the largest drops including Marleigh (-212), Hayley (-140), Kensley (-139), and Ashlynn (-134).

Fast Falling -lyn and -ley Names

Girl Names Ending in -ee

However, while -ley endings are decreasing in popularity, feminine names ending in the “ee” sound overall are on the rise.

Top Girl Names Ending in -ee

They cover all sorts of styles: from warm nicknames like Lainey and Sunny (up 150 and 147 spots, respectively), to laid-back unisex choices like Navy (+119), Murphy (+147), and Scottie (+304), to cool new -i endings (see Azari, debuting at #695!), to vintage and retro revivals, like Nancy (+51) and Dorothy (+21). 16.37% of girls received names ending in the “ee” sound last year – and that doesn’t include the many more who go by “ee” ending nicknames.

Rising Girl Names Ending in -ee

Other Vowel Ending Girl Names

Though even with the rise in “ee” endings, the “a” ending sound remains on top of the feminine list. 29.23% of girls received names ending in the letter A or the A sound (like Hannah, etc). The top girl names ending in A are still Olivia, Emma, Amelia, and Sophia.

And while O endings are certainly seeming more popular, they only went to 0.74% of baby girls (and that percentage includes all spellings, like Willow and Margot). Other rising girl names with this ending include Cleo, Harlow, Juno, and Halo.

Word Names

Finally, word names remain big with nearly 1 in every 10 children receiving word names for both sexes.

Top Word Names for Girls

Top Word Names for Boys

Taking creative spellings like Kannon and Jream into account, 11.26% of girls and 9.58% of boys received English word names last year. This is slightly higher than in 2022, but 2022 was slightly lower than 2021, indicating that overall these names are staying relatively stable with slight fluctuation between the years.

Nature and occupational names remain popular, like Harper at #11 and Violet at #16 for girls and Mason at #29 for boys. Title and virtue names are also popular, as are names related to music.

More analysis of the 2023 SSA data can be found on the forums! Are there any trends you noticed? Trends you predicted, or alternatively, trends that surprised you? Let me know!