German Word Names


German flag

Word-names are very trendy in the U.S., but this category isn’t just limited to the English language.  The Social Security Administration‘s extended list of baby names from 2017 is full of words from other tongues!  Here are some entries from the German Wörterbuch (dictionary), from the most popular to the rarest.

  • Roman (noun) means “novel,” as in a fictional book or as in “Bildungsroman.”  4253 boys were given this name in 2017; it’s currently the #91st most popular boys’ name in the U.S.
  • Lila (adj.) refers to a lavender, lilac, or mauve shade of purple.  1456 girls were given this name in 2017, giving it a rank of #210.
  • Kaiser (n) means “emperor.”  A kaiser is also type of sandwich roll.  224 boys, with a rank of #929.
  • Adler (n) means “eagle.” 194 boys and 31 girls.
  • Keller (n) means “cellar” or “basement.”  123 boys.
  • Bauer (n) means “farmer.”  47 boys.
  • Eben (adjective) means “flat, smooth, even.”  It can also be an adverb.  As a name, Eben is nickname for Ebenezer.  37 boys.
  • Sommer (season) means “Summer.”  24 girls.
  • Rock (n) means “skirt,” as in the clothing item.  17 boys.
  • Eber (n) means “boar.”  16 boys.  Parents could use Eber as a nickname for ancient Eberhard, which means “brave boar.”
  • Reis (n) means “rice.”  An inadvertent word-name that probably started as a variant on Rhys / Reese.  16 boys.
  • Edel (adj.) means “noble.”  This is closely related to “adal,” which is the ancient Germanic root of names like Adeline and Albert.  15 boys.
  • Klein (adj.) means “short, little, small.”  15 boys.
  • Stark (adj.) means “strong.”  15 boys.
  • Bader (n) means “barber-surgeon.”  14 boys.
  • Juni (month) means “June.”  14 girls.
  • Gift (n) means “poison.”  This one could cause issues during international travel, however unintentional.  13 girls.
  • Ehren (verb) means “to honor, respect.”  12 boys.  I wonder if some parents use this as a variation on Aaron.
  • Oktober (month) means “October.”  12 girls.
  • Bergen (n) means “recovery, salvage” or can be a verb meaning “to salvage.”  Very similar to another word, “Berg,” which means “mountain.”  Bergen is also place name; one of its better-known spots is Bergen County, New Jersey.  10 girls, 7 boys.
  • Schneider (n) means “tailor.”  10 boys were named Schneider in 2017.
  • Alter (n) means “age.”  9 boys.
  • Juli (month) means “July.”  It’s pronounced like “you-lee.”  8 girls.
  • Richter (n) is an occupational word that means “judge.”  8 boys.
  • Edelweiss (n) is a flower that literally means “noble white.”  It’s also a famous folk song.  7 girls.
  • Ritter (n) means “knight.”  John Ritter was a famous actor.  7 boys.
  • Eisen (n) means “iron,” making it an elemental baby name.  6 boys.
  • Reise (n) means “vacation,” though in American usage it’s probably a variant of Reese.  6 girls.
  • Riese (n) means “giant,” as in the mythical creature.  This is also probably a variant of Reese.  6 girls.

There are also a few German words that have died out as baby names in the United States:

  • Dick (adj.) means “fat.”  Last appeared in 2005.
  • Ernst (adj.) means “serious.”  Last appeared in 2016.
  • Prinz (n) means “prince.”  Only appeared in 2015.

It’s evident to me that most of these are inadvertent word names, considering the Reese variations and other common surnames.  I think it’s also worth noting that – with one or two exceptions – these are not considered baby names in German-speaking countries.

Thoughts?  Can you think of any other German words that parents might be naming their children?  Let me know!


May Name Sightings

Here’s an eclectic selection of rare names I spotted throughout my community this month!

  • Bosley (m, deceased)
  • Urcell (f, deceased) – This lady was around 100 years old…and while I can’t find Urcell in Social Security Administration birth data around the World War I era (or ever, for that matter) the spelling Ursel appeared for both genders around that time.  Is it related to Ursula, or is it some extinct name everybody’s long forgotten?
  • Jobie (f, young adult) – Jobie appears in SSA birth data far more often for boys than it does for girls (it’s probably meant as a pet form of Job), but sometimes there’s a blip on the girls’ side.  It last appeared in SSA birth data in 2016 for boys and 2009 for girls.
  • Margaux – This is an interesting variation on Margot, which is a French short form of MargueriteMargaux is a Bordeaux village associated with some of the world’s finest wines.  138 girls were named Margaux in 2017.
  • Caolan (m) – sort-of Anglicized version of the Irish name Caolán.  Caolan last appeared in SSA data in 2006.
  • Darcy (baby girl) – 183 girls and 13 boys were named Darcy in the U.S. last year.
  • Tripton (child) – this name first appeared in SSA data c. 2007, and last appeared in 2016.  It’d make a nice way to spruce up the name Tripp.
  • Axie (elderly woman) – last appeared in SSA birth data in 1942.  I’m surprised Axie isn’t more common today…the “ax” element is trendy, and it’s fairly similar to popular nicknames like Evie.
  • Rufina – the feminine form of Rufinus, rare Rufina peaked in the 1920s.  Her last appearance in SSA birth data was in 2016.

What do you think of these names?  Have you spotted any interesting names in your community this month?  Let me know!

Earlier rare name round-ups in 2018:

Boys’ Names Popular in Only One State in 2017

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 4.17.16 PMSome baby names are popular everywhere; others are local favorites.  Here is a list of boys’ names that were in the top 100 for just one U.S. state or Washington, D.C. in 2017!  I’ve also posted a list of girls’ names like this.

Alaska: Conrad, Paul

Arizona: Francisco

Arkansas: Kaden

California: Matteo

Connecticut: Jake

District of Columbia: Jeremy, Oscar

Florida: Bryan

Hawaii: Kaimana, Kainalu, Kainoa, Kaleo

Maine: Colby

Michigan: Ali

Mississippi: Braylen, Dallas, Kaleb, Princeton

Montana: Augustus, Warren

Nebraska: Barrett

New Jersey: Chaim, Yosef

New Mexico: Andres, Marcos

New York: Abraham, Muhammad

North Dakota: Mohamed

Rhode Island: Enzo

South Dakota: Briggs, Edward, Jax, Lane

Texas: Emmanuel

Utah: Benson, Boston, Milo, Porter

Vermont: Asa, Charlie, Finley

West Virginia: Clayton, Gunner

Wyoming: Conner, Damien, Dean, Gideon, Grant, Jaxton, Killian, Kyle, Tanner


  • Every name that was only popular in Hawaii last year is also rare in the U.S.
  • Every name on this list that was rare last year nationally was a top 100 name in Hawaii.
  • Compare to the 2016 list.

Thoughts?  Surprises?  Let me know in the comments!

Popular Boys’ Names in 1917 *and* 2017

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Do you want to give your baby a name from 100 years ago that’s still usable today?  Here is a list of all the boys’ names that were popular (i.e. in the U.S. top 1000) in both 2017 and 1917!  You can also read my list of popular girls’ names from both years.

A: Aaron, Abel, Abraham, Abram, Adam, Adrian, Alan, Albert, Alberto, Alden, Aldo, Alec*, Alex, Alexander, Alfonso, Alfred, Alfredo, Allan, Allen, Alonzo, Alvin, Amos, Anderson, Andres, Andrew, Andy, Angel, Angelo, Anthony, Anton, Antonio, Arlo, Armando, Aron, Arthur, Arturo*, Asa, August, Augustine, Augustus, Austin, Avery

B: Ben, Benjamin, Bennett, Benson, Benton, Billy, Blaine, Bobby, Bradley, Brady, Brooks, Bruce, Bruno, Bryan, Bryant, Byron

C: Caleb*, Calvin, Carl, Carlos, Carmelo, Carson, Carter, Charles, Charlie, Chris, Christian, Christopher, Clark, Clay, Clayton, Clyde, Coleman, Conrad, Craig, Curtis, Cyrus

D: Dallas, Dalton, Daniel, Danny, Dante, Darrell, Darwin, David, Davis, Dayton, Dean, Dennis, Denver, Dexter, Dominic, Dominick, Donald, Douglas, Duncan

E: Eddie, Edgar, Edison, Edward, Edwin, Eli, Elias, Elijah, Elisha, Elliot, Elliott, Ellis, Emanuel, Emerson, Emery, Emilio, Emmet, Emmett, Emmitt, Emory, Enoch, Enrique, Eric, Ernest, Ernesto, Eugene, Evan, Everett, Ezekiel, Ezra

F: Felipe, Felix, Fernando, Finley*, Fletcher, Ford, Forrest, Foster, Francis, Francisco, Frank, Frankie*, Franklin, Frederick

G: Gabriel, Garrett, Gary, George, Gerald, Gordon, Grady, Graham, Grant, Gregory

H: Harlan, Harley, Harold, Harrison, Harry, Harvey, Hayden, Hayes*, Hector, Henry, Hezekiah*, Houston, Howard, Hudson, Hugh, Hugo, Hunter

I: Ignacio*, Ira, Isaac, Isaiah, Israel, Ivan

J: Jack, Jackson, Jacob, Jake, James, Jason, Jasper, Jay, Jefferson, Jeremiah, Jerome, Jerry, Jesse, Jessie, Jesus, Jimmy, Joe, Joel, John, Johnny, Jonas, Jonathan, Jordan*, Jose, Joseph, Joshua, Juan, Judson, Julian, Julio, Julius, Junior, Justin

K: Keith, Kendall, Kenneth, King, Kyle

L: Lamar, Larry, Lawrence, Lawson, Lee, Leland, Leo, Leon, Leonard, Leroy, Levi, Lewis, Lincoln, Lionel, Logan, Lorenzo, Louie, Louis, Lucian, Luis, Luke, Lyle

M: Mack, Major, Malcolm, Manuel, Marcel, Marcus, Mario, Mark, Marshall, Martin, Marvin, Mason, Mathew, Matt, Matthew, Maurice, Max, Maxwell, Melvin, Michael, Micheal, Miguel, Mike*, Milan, Miles, Miller, Milo, Mitchell, Morgan, Moses, Myles

N: Nathan, Nathaniel, Neil, Nelson, Nicholas, Nickolas, Nicolas*, Noah, Noel, Nolan

O: Oakley*, Oliver, Omar, Orlando, Oscar, Otis, Otto, Owen

P: Pablo, Parker, Patrick, Paul, Pedro, Peter, Philip, Phillip, Pierce, Porter, Preston, Prince

Q: Quentin, Quincy

R: Rafael, Ramon, Randall*, Raphael, Raul, Ray, Raymond, Reed, Reese, Reginald, Reid*, Rene, Reuben, Rex, Ricardo*, Richard, Riley, Robert, Roberto, Rodney, Roger, Rocco, Roland, Roman, Romeo, Ronald, Roy, Royal, Royce, Ruben, Rudy, Russell

S: Salvador, Salvatore, Sam, Samuel, Santiago, Santos, Saul, Scott, Sebastian, Seth, Silas, Simon, Solomon, Spencer, Stanley, Stephen, Sterling, Steven

T: Taylor, Terry, Thaddeus, Theo, Theodore, Thomas, Timothy, Tomas, Tommy, Tony, Travis, Troy

V: Van, Vance, Vaughn, Victor, Vincent, Vincenzo*

W: Wade, Walker, Walter, Warren, Wayne, Wesley, Weston, Will, William, Willie, Wilson, Winston, Wyatt


  • *Alec, Arturo, Caleb, Finley, Hayes, Hezekiah, Ignacio, Jordan, Nicolas, Oakley, Quincy, Reid, Ricardo, and Vincenzo were new and/or returning in 1917.  Frankie, Mike, and Randall returned to the top 1000 in 2017.
  • 379 (37.9%) of the 1000 most popular boys’ names in 2017 were also popular in 1917.
  • The initials with the greatest percentage of shared boys’ names between 1917 and 2017:
    1. O: 72.72%
    2. P: 70.59%
    3. W: 68.42%
    4. H: 65.38%
    5. E: 65.22%
  • And the initials with the smallest percentage of boys’ names shared between the 1917 and 2017 lists:
    1. U/X/Y/Z: 0%; no shared names between 1917 and 2017
    2. K: 6.94%
    3. B: 25%
    4. C: 26.92%
    5. D: 30.65%

Thoughts?  Are you surprised by any of these?  For me, it’s interesting to see how archaic many of these so-called modern baby names (especially the surnames) actually are.

Girls’ Names Popular in Only One State in 2017

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The state-by-state baby name data is out!  Every year, there are dozens of names that reach the top 100 in just one state or Washington, D.C.  While any name in the U.S. top 1000 is considered popular nationally, a name generally has to be in a state’s top 100 to be considered popular at that level.  Additionally, just because a name is popular at the state-level doesn’t mean it’s popular throughout the whole country (unless said name is popular in California or Texas). 

Here are all the girls’ names that made it into the top 100 of just one state or D.C.:

Alaska: Alana, Diana, Noelle

California: Alina, Amy

Colorado: Sloane

Delaware: Lia

District of Columbia: Amina, Amira, Dakota, Egypt, Helen, Nyla, Zara, Zuri

Florida: Nicole

Hawaii: Alexandria, Anela, Journey, Kaia, Kailani, Kaiya, Kalea, Kalena, Kira, Leia, Leila, Mahina, Maia, Moana

Idaho: Lola

Iowa: Brinley

Louisiana: Amari, Camille, Kali

Maine: Gracelyn

Maryland: Logan

Michigan: Payton

Minnesota: Aisha, Lucille

Mississippi: Heaven, Kayleigh, Kennedi, Laila, Makenzie, Malaysia, Paris, Raelyn

Montana: Emberly, Freya, Greta

Nebraska: Adelyn

New Hampshire: Paige

New Mexico: Selena

North Dakota: Adley, Alayna, Gemma, Hayden, Kinley

Rhode Island: Alanna, Rosalie

South Dakota: Hattie

Texas: Daniela

Utah: Adelaide, Annie, June, Millie, Navy

Vermont: Beatrice, Brynn, Lena, Lila, Mira, Octavia

West Virginia: Arabella, Gracelynn, Kendall, Maci, Mckenna

Wyoming: Charleigh, Harley, Kimber, Maggie, Sierra


  • Names popular in a single state that are rare nationally: Anela, Kalea, Kalena, Mahina, Moana, Navy
  • Moana is up nationally because of the movie
  • Egypt (D.C.), Emberly (Montana), and Octavia (Vermont) were new to the U.S. Top 1000 in 2017.
  • Compare to the 2016 list.  Very few of these names stayed uniquely popular in the same state over two years.

What do you think?  Are you surprised by any of these?  Let me know, and stay tuned for the boys’ list!

Popular Girls’ Names in 1917 *and* 2017

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With the new Social Security Administration name data available, I thought it would be fun to compare today’s popular baby names to popular names from 100 years ago.  So, here is a list of girls’ names that were in the top 1000 lists for both 1917 and 2017!

A: Ada, Adaline, Adelaide, Adele, Adelina, Adeline, Adrienne, Aileen, Alice, Alicia, Allie, Alma, Amalia, Amanda, Amelia, Amy, Ana*, Anastasia, Andrea, Angela, Angelina, Angie, Anna, Annabel, Annabelle, Anne, Annie, Audrey, Aurelia, Aurora, Ava

B: Barbara, Beatrice, Bella, Belle, Bonnie, Bridget

C: Callie, Camilla, Camille, Carmen, Carolina, Caroline, Carolyn, Catherine, Cecelia, Celeste, Celia, Charlie, Charlotte, Chloe, Christina, Christine, Claire, Clara, Clare, Clarissa, Claudia, Clementine, Cora, Corinne, Crystal, Cynthia

D: Daisy, Dana*, Daphne, Deborah, Delilah, Diana, Dorothy

E: Edith, Eileen, Elaine, Eleanor, Elena, Elisabeth, Elisa, Elise, Eliza, Elizabeth, Ella, Ellen, Ellie, Elsa, Elsie, Eloise, Emelia, Emilia, Emily, Emma, Emmie, Esperanza, Estella, Estelle, Esther, Eva, Evalyn, Evangeline, Eve, Evelyn, Evie

F: Faith, Faye, Florence*, Frances, Frankie

G: Genevieve, Georgia, Gloria, Grace, Gracie, Greta, Guadalupe, Gwen, Gwendolyn

H: Hallie, Hannah, Hattie, Hazel, Helen, Helena, Hope

I: Irene, Iris, Isabel, Isabella, Isabelle, Ivy

J: Jacqueline, Jane, Jenny*, Jessica, Jessie, Jewel, Joanna, Johanna, Josephine, Josie, Joy, Joyce, Judith, Julia, Juliana, Julie, Juliet, Juliette, June

K: Kate, Katherine, Kathleen, Kathryn, Katie

L: Laura, Laurel*, Lea, Leah, Leila, Lena, Leona, Leslie, Lila, Lilian, Lillian, Lillie, Lilly, Lily, Lina, Linda, Lola, Louisa, Louise, Lucia, Lucille, Lucy, Luella*, Lydia, Lyla

M: Mabel, Macie, Madalyn, Madeleine, Madeline, Madelyn, Mae, Magdalena*, Maggie, Magnolia, Margaret, Maria, Mariam, Marianna, Marie, Marilyn, Marjorie, Martha, Mary, Matilda, Mavis, Maxine, Melissa, Meredith, Millie, Mina, Miriam, Molly, Monica, Myra

N: Nancy, Naomi, Natalie, Nathalie, Nina, Nola, Nora, Nova

O: Octavia*, Olive, Olivia, Opal*, Ophelia

P: Patricia, Paula, Pearl, Phoebe, Priscilla

R: Rachel, Ramona, Rebecca, Regina, Renee*, Rhea, Rosa, Rosalie, Rosalyn, Rose, Roselyn, Rosemary, Rosie, Ruby, Ruth

S: Sadie, Sandra*, Sara, Sarah, Savannah, Serena*, Sofia, Sonia*, Sophia, Sophie, Stella, Stephanie, Susan, Sylvia

T: Teresa

V: Vada, Valeria, Valerie, Veda, Vera, Veronica, Victoria, Violet, Virginia, Vivian, Vivienne

W: Willa

Z: Zelda, Zoe

A total of 270 girls’ names in the 2017 top 1000 were also in the 1917 top 1000.

*Ana, Dana, Laurel, Sandra, and Serena were new/reentries in 1917.  Florence, Jenny, Luella, Magdalena, Octavia, Opal, Renee, and Sonia returned to the top 1000 in 2017.

The initials with the greatest percentage of shared names between 1917 and 2017 out of all the popular names with the initial in 2017:

  1. V – 73.33% of names in the 2017 top 1000 starting with ‘V’ were also in the 1917 top 1000
  2. O – 55.55%
  3. C – 46.56%
  4. F – 45.45%
  5. E – 43.66%

And the initials with the smallest percentage of 2017 names that were on the 1917 list:

  1. Q/U/X/Y – no shared names between the 1917 and 2017 lists
  2. T – 5%.  Just one shared name (Teresa) out of twenty ‘T’ names for girls
  3. K – 6.41%
  4. Z – 13.33%
  5. B – 15.79%

In terms of raw numbers, ‘A’ and ‘E’ are tied for the greatest amount of names on both lists (31).  ‘M’ follows at 30.

Thoughts?  Any surprises?  I’ll post the boys’ names later, so stay tuned.

The Top 1000 Baby Names of 2017: Entries and Exits

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New names in the U.S. top 1000

My favorite part of reading a new list of the top 1000 American baby names is finding out which names are in and out!  For reference, here are all the names that entered or exited the top 1000 in 2017, according to data from the Social Security Administration.  If they entered, they’re officially popular now; if they left, they’ve become rare.


Girls: Alisa, Alora, Aminah, Amora, Dream, Egypt, Emberly, Emerald, Ensley, Everlee, Florence, India, Jenny, Jurnee, Kimora, Legacy, Luella, Lyanna, Magdalena, Malani, Marlowe, Meilani*, Melania, Miley, Mylah, Oaklee, Oaklyn, Oaklynn, Octavia, Opal, Paisleigh, Raylee, Renee, Saanvi, Samira, Selene, Sonia, Spencer, Sunny, Tara, Treasure, Xiomara, Yara

Boys: Aaden, Alaric, Ayan, Bishop, Bjorn, Briar, Caspian, Colson, Decker, Dilan, Frankie, Gatlin, Gianluca, Jaxx, Jaxxon, Jovanni, Juelz, Kace, Kairo, Kaiser, Khari, Koa, Kylen, Kyng, Ledger, Mike, Nova, Randall, Rashad, Reign, Shepard, Shmuel, Simeon, Wells, Yadiel, Zahir, Zayd


Girls: Aislinn, Alianna, Ally, Alyvia, Amya, Anabella, Ann, Anniston, Antonia, Arden, Aryana, Aubri, Ayana, Azaria, Briley, Bryleigh, Chandler, Cherish, Ciara, Elin, Emilie, Farrah, Heather, Jasmin, Jaylynn, Julianne, Kaylynn, Kensington*, Lilia, Lilyanna, Madyson, Marisol, Mariyah, Maylee, Milania, Montserrat, Moriah, Nathaly, Sharon, Shayla, Tabitha, Wendy, Yasmin

Boys: Ahmir, Amare, Benicio, Bode, Braiden, Brantlee, Brent, Creed, Gauge, Gilbert, Giovani, Hakeem, Harris, Immanuel, Jair, Jamar, Jamarion, Jericho, Jonathon, Justus, Kamdyn, Karim, Kolby, Konner, Krish, Kylo, Kymani, Marquis, Menachem, Mikael, Neymar, Ralph, Riaan, Rolando, Steve, Turner, Urijah 


  • There are 43 new girls names and 37 new boys names in the American top 1000.
  • Octavia is the highest ranking girls’ entry at #593 (with 502 girls).  This name’s newfound popularity is attributed to actress Octavia Spencer, who might also be partly responsible for the debut of Spencer (#975 with 266) as a girls’ name.
  • Colson is the highest ranking boys’ entry at #736 (with 321 boys).  I initially wondered if Colson was a variation on the Marvel character Agent Coulson’s name.  While Marvel may have a little influence on Colson, this particular spelling is associated with author Colson Whitehead.  His 2016 novel The Underground Railroad won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
  • R.I.P. Ann, Gilbert, and Steve.  They were in the top 1000 every year from 1880 to 2016, and now they’re gone.  Last year, 251 girls were named Ann (6 below the minimum 257 needed to join the top 1000 on the girls side), 194 boys were named Gilbert (7 below the minimum 201 for the boys’ side), and 186 boys were named Steve (15 below).
  • The #1000th most popular girls’ name was AloraBryleigh and Winnie were just as common for baby girls last year, but were prevented from entry by preference in alphabetical order.
  • The #1000th most popular boys’ name was JaxxKamdyn, Marquis, and Turner were just as common, but missed the cut.
  • Melania (#930 with 283 girls) replaced Milania (205 girls) as the standard spelling of that name, due familiarity with the First Lady.
  • Lyanna (#858 with 317 girls) and Yara (#987 with 262 girls) are character names from Game of Thrones.
  • *With the annual blessing of a new top 1000 also comes an annoying update to earlier years’ data sets that shifts a few names around (usually not by much, but enough for name researchers to notice).  Meilani was in the original 2016 top 1000, but in 2017 the updated top 1000 for 2016 shows Kensington instead.  They’ve swapped places again; for 2017, Meilani is considered a reentry and Kensington an exit.  Kensington wasn’t initially in the 2016 top 1000, but it is now.  This is confusing, I know.  I wish the Social Security Administration would provide a definite answer for why they do this…my guesses are that it’s to correct a) some parents’ failure to apply for Social Security within a certain time-frame, b) data-entry errors, and/or c) legal name changes.  Do my fellow name-writers have any other ideas?

Do you have any thoughts or questions about the new names in the top 1000, or the names that have left?  Favorites, least-favorites?  Are you happy or disappointed about some of the names?  Let me know!

The Top 100 Baby Names of 2017

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All the names in the 2017 Top 100

Now that we’ve gone over the top 10 most popular baby names of 2017, let’s go over some of the changes to the top 100!

As of yesterday, we know that the following names have entered the American top 100:


  • Emilia (#74)
  • Everly (#82)
  • Isabelle (#92) – Returning customer.  Isabelle has been in the top 100 a few times over the past 20 years.  Meanwhile, Isabella also ranked up (from #4 to #3).
  • Valentina (#94)
  • Nova (#95)


  • Ezekiel (#82)
  • Maverick (#85)
  • Santiago (#93)
  • Kayden (#98) – Reentry
  • Jameson (#100)

Besides Isabelle and Kayden, none of the other new top 100 names have ever been that popular before.  Some of them are quite old, however; for example, Valentina is Ancient Roman and Ezekiel is Biblical. 

And the following names left the top 100:


  • Katherine (#105) – This is the first time Katherine has been outside the top 100 since the 1930s, and the lowest this name has ever ranked in the U.S.
  • Taylor (#112)
  • Kylie (#114)
  • Faith (#119)
  • Brianna (#123)


  • Kevin (#101)
  • Bentley (#102)
  • Zachary (#103)
  • Tyler (#106)
  • Brandon (#114)

I’m also curious about the names whose rank changed the most within the top 100.  Here are the names that ranked up more than 10 places, excluding new entries:


  • Luna (+40 rank change; 2017 rank #37)
  • Bella (+28; #50)
  • Kinsley (+28; #59)
  • Elena (+27; #67)
  • Mila (+18; #30)
  • Aurora (+15; #51)
  • Willow (+15; #81)


  • Theodore (+20; 2017 rank #62)
  • Mateo (+17; #42)
  • Ezra (+16; #69)
  • Greyson (+16; #80)
  • Elias (+15; #78)
  • Leo (+13; #61)
  • Logan (+13; #5)
  • Asher (+12; #59)

And these names fell more than 10 places within the top 100:


  • Arianna (-16; 2017 rank #87)
  • Alexa (-14; #65) – The baby name Alexa hasn’t recovered from its association with the device.
  • Mackenzie (-14; #99)
  • Kaylee (-13; #84)
  • Ariana (-11; #66)
  • Madeline (-11; #100)
  • Piper (-11; #78)
  • Sadie (-11; #71)
  • Allison (-10; #60)
  • Autumn (-10; #75)
  • Samantha (-10; #54)


  • Gavin (-16; 2017 rank #96)
  • Evan (-15; #84)
  • Jace (-11; #87)


Thoughts?  If you’d like to read the entire top 100, check out the Social Security Administration’s website, or simply stare at the word cloud at the top of this post. 🙂

The Top 10 Baby Names of 2017

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They’re finally here!!!  At approximately 9 AM this morning, the Social Security Administration released its data on the most popular baby names of 2017.  Let’s take a look.

First off, these were the top 10 names of 2016:


  1. Emma
  2. Olivia
  3. Ava
  4. Sophia
  5. Isabella
  6. Mia
  7. Charlotte
  8. Abigail
  9. Emily
  10. Harper


  1. Noah
  2. Liam
  3. William
  4. Mason
  5. James
  6. Benjamin
  7. Jacob
  8. Michael
  9. Elijah
  10. Ethan

And here are the top 10 names of 2017!


  1. Emma (0 movement; stable)
  2. Olivia (0; stable)
  3. Ava (0; stable)
  4. Isabella (+1 rank change)
  5. Sophia (-1)
  6. Mia (0; stable)
  7. Charlotte (0; stable)
  8. Amelia (+3; NEW)
  9. Evelyn (+3; NEW)
  10. Abigail (-2)

Harper (#11; -1) and Emily (#12; -3) left the top 10.


  1. Liam (+1) – New top baby name!
  2. Noah (-1)
  3. William (0; stable)
  4. James (+1)
  5. Logan (+13; NEW) – the Wolverine movie came out in 2017, so that’s the ostensible explanation for such a huge jump in the top 20.
  6. Benjamin (0; stable)
  7. Mason (-3)
  8. Elijah (+1)
  9. Oliver (+3; NEW)
  10. Jacob (-3)

Michael (#12; -4) and Ethan (#14; -4) left the top 10.

Out of interest, compare this to my top 10 predictions from a month ago.  I thought Olivia would replace Emma as #1 (it didn’t), but I correctly guessed that Liam would usurp Noah‘s crown.  I also correctly predicted the entries of Amelia, Evelyn, and Oliver, and the exits of Ethan and Emily.  What I didn’t anticipate was Logan‘s meteoric rise (I figured there would be some increase, just not enough to breach the top 10…definitely not the top 5!) and Harper‘s exit.  Lucas didn’t replace Jacob, though Lucas now ranks #11 (just behind Jacob) and could overtake him in 2018.  Oh well…predictions are just for fun, after all!

What do you think…any surprises?  Stay tuned for more info on the top 100, 1000, and beyond!


Rare ‘Z’ Names

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 7.38.57 PMWe’re finally at the end of this series!  Over the past year, I’ve compiled alphabetically-organized selections of interesting rare baby names from 2016.  Now, we’re not only at letter 26, but we’re imminently expecting the next data release.  Tomorrow morning (May 11th), the Social Security Administration releases its data for the most popular baby names of 2017.  I’m so excited…are you? 🙂

Here are just some of the rare ‘Z’ names given to babies in the U.S. in 2016:


  • 150-218 named: Zoya, Zayla, Zola, Zaya, Zadie, Zahara, Zora, Zella, Zaina
  • 100-149: Zia, Ziva, Zinnia, Zuleyka, Zyana, Zayda, Zyla
  • 50-99: Zayna, Zelie, Zakiyah, Zipporah, Zarina, Zya, Zamora, Zamiyah, Zhuri, Zoelle, Zaliyah
  • 25-49: Zena, Zada, Zamya, Zenobia, Zeynep, Zari, Zoha, Zamaya, Zyra, Zoi, Zulema, Zuria, Zaelynn, Zahira, Zenaida, Zamira, Zoriah, Zahava, Zana, Zuzanna, Zalayah, Zunairah, Zahria, Zaidee, Zina, Zyanya, Zyasia, Zanylah, Zlata, Zuleika
  • 10-24: Zenia, Zeva, Ziona, Zowie, Zurisadai, Zamara, Zanna, Zelena, Zulay, Zelia, Zissy, Zoraya, Zakayla, Zareen, Zadaya, Zarielle, Zeenat, Zehra, Zoella, Zaia, Zalia, Zania, Zayana, Zosia, Zanovia, Zo, Zabrina, Zhara, Zillah, Zoila, Zully, Zamyra, Zarai, Zuzu, Zariana, Zenovia, Zetta, Ziara, Zala, Zayanna, Zeriah, Zhane, Zamzam, Zaylani, Zelina, Zita, Zykeria, Zaaliyah, Zelma, Zayleen, Zeeva, Zellie, Zeniya, Zabella, Zafirah, Zanae, Zaneta, Zannah, Zaray, Zariel, Zawadi, Zema, Zera, Zeta, Zimal, Zinachimdi, Zixi, Zylie
  • 9: Zea, Zehava, Zineb, Ziomara, Zohar, Zolie, Zona, Zoraida, Zriyah, Zula, Zulma, Zyann, Zyelle, Zylynn
  • 8: Zarahi, Zhia, Zniyah, Zoelys, Zorianna, Zsazsa, Zuleimy, Zyva
  • 7: Zabdi, Zareth, Zatanna, Zavia, Zeidy, Zephora, Zhoemi, Ziani, Zinaya, Zirwa, Zitlali, Zonnique
  • 6: Zamina, Zaveah, Zeda, Zephyra, Zeplyn, Ziqi, Zitong, Zoanna, Zuhur, Zurielle, Zyriana, Zyrie
  • 5: Zaelie, Zafiro, Zafreen, Zahida, Zahniyah, Zamiaya, Zanasia, Zariha, Zarlish, Zela, Zelaya, Zelene, Zerelda, Zhaniya, Zhen, Zianne, Zikra, Zing, Zixuan, Zizi, Zlaty, Zoa, Zoeigh, Zorrie, Zumra, Zynae


  • 100-186 named: Zahir, Zamir, Zev, Zakai, Zephaniah, Zavion, Zaylen, Zeus, Zephyr, Zabdiel, Zaden, Zakariya
  • 50-99: Zyler, Zacharias, Zen, Zeppelin, Zuriel, Zamari, Zade
  • 25-49: Zamarion, Zylen, Ziyad, Ziggy, Zidane, Zaki, Zacchaeus, Zaydin, Zayyan, Ziad, Zian, Zedekiah, Zaxton, Zekiel, Zohan, Zeb, Zeno, Zlatan, Zymere
  • 10-24: Zahid, Zebulon, Zubair, Zadok, Zamar, Zealand, Zadrian, Zaeem, Zarek, Zebediah, Zeth, Zadkiel, Zalen, Zebulun, Zaryan, Zebadiah, Zohaib, Zorawar, Zephan, Zalman, Zenon, Zoltan, Zoran, Zael, Zaviyar, Zani, Zaniel, Zarian, Zed, Zenith, Zigmund, Zvi, Zyden, Zyheir, Zymeir, Zadiel, Zaim, Zichen, Zyron, Zaccai, Zafir, Zende, Zinedine, Zorian, Zuko, Zyking, Zaquan, Zaylor, Zayon, Zebedee
  • 9: Zahran, Zai, Zairus, Zeal, Zeddicus, Zeeshan, Zeon, Zeph, Zihan, Zikora, Zyrell
  • 8: Zabriel, Zandon, Zavin, Zebastian, Zeven, Zimri, Zisha, Zyrion
  • 7: Zacharius, Zadquiel, Zahi, Zakyrie, Zarif, Zaron, Zaul, Zerek, Zishan, Ziv, Zixuan, Zoraiz, Zoraver, Zubin, Zuhaib
  • 6: Zae, Zale, Zam, Zantiago, Zarin, Zarrar, Zay, Zelig, Zevin, Zi, Ziheng, Zyquan
  • 5: Zaevon, Zafar, Zahkeem, Zakaiden, Zalan, Zamil, Zaxon, Zaymar, Zayshaun, Zedric, Zephyrus, Zethan, Zihao, Zimo, Zirui, Ziyang, Zoel, Zolton, Zurich

Do you have a favorite rare ‘Z’ name?  Let me know!  And thank you for following along this series of unusual baby names.