Rare ‘A’ Names for Girls (Part 2)

screen-shot-2017-07-10-at-2-31-08-pm.pngAs promised, here is the second half of my list of rare girls’ names starting with the letter ‘A!’  You can read Part 1 here

If you’re just tuning in, this post is part of a larger series about rare American baby names!  The latest birth data from the Social Security Administration covers baby names from 2016.  For this series, I’m focusing on interesting rare names by letter of the alphabet. 

  • 10-14 usage range: Abrish, Adalynd, Adelyna, Ahitana, Ala, Alabama, Alaiia, Alira, Alishba, Alyrica*, Anishka, Anouk, Areeba, Arfa, Arielis, Asees, Avana, Averiana, Aanshi, Aaradhana, Aaralynn, Adalei, Adiba, Adriella, Aemillia, Aivy, Aizlynn, Akshita, Alika, Alitzel, Altair, Alyla, Amalee, Amarisa, Anamta, Ananda, Anavey, Anise, Ashna, Ashvika, Audi, Avira, Abcde, Aberdeen, Abisha, Abra, Adabella, Adelind, Adna, Adonai, Adrika, Afomia, Ailsa, Ajanae, Albina, Alianys, Alivea, Almas, Alonnie, Alveena, Alyria**, Alyzabeth, Anaveah, Anavi, Aneri, Anoushka, Aphrodite, Apolonia, Aquila, Artemisia, Ashari, Ashe, Aaylah, Afia, Afifa, Aideen, Amarachukwu, Amrutha, Anastasija, Anberlin, Aniko, Annalena, Annetta, Aoi, Apple, Arabel, Asal, Athziry, Avenly, Avilene, Aviv, Ayaka, Azel, Aashritha, Adesuwa, Africa, Afsheen, Ailis, Ajooni, Akhila, Akire, Allizon, Amanat, Amrita, Anuoluwapo, Apolline, Arlington, Arrington, Avanelle, Ayliana, Azora, Azula
  • 9 uses: Aarini, Aasha, Aashka, Abaigeal, Abiah, Absalat, Adamae, Aderinsola, Adrita, Adwoa, Airlie, Akela, Akshadha, Aleshka, Allaire, Alyena, Alyn, Amabel, Amberllina, Amberlin, Americus, Amerika, Amparo, Anani, Anastazja, Annlynn, Anthea, Aoki, Areni, Arrietty, Audianna, Avabelle, Avian, Axelle, Azarie
  • 8 uses: Abeer, Abelina, Adaleyza, Adanya, Adelisa, Aerie, Afra, Afreen, Ajna, Akanksha, Akyla, Alanoud, Alette, Aljawhara, Almendra, Almina, Alpha, Amazing, Ambry, Ameyalli, Anab, Ananiah, Anori, Anushree, Arlena, Asenat, Aseneth, Atlantis, Aulora, Aurore, Avis, Azmariah, Azori
  • 7 uses: Aagna, Abhigna, Abisola, Acsa, Addlynn, Admire, Advita, Afsa, Agape, Aichatou, Aishleen, Aisosa, Ajaya, Aketzaly, Aki, Akriti, Aksha, Alberta, Aleli, Alys, Alyssum, Amadea, Amirykal, Amunet, Anjalee, Annabellee, Anqi, Anta, Antonette, Aponi, Apphia, Aqua, Arena, Argelia, Arly, Armina, Asfia, Asherah, Aslan, Atari, Athanasia, Atia, Auroara, Avangelina, Avreet, Avryl, Avryn, Azadeh, Azaylee
  • 6 uses: Aamori, Adamarie, Adar, Adau, Adayla, Adlai, Adoniah, Adonis, Aeiress, Afsana, Aggie, Ahilyn, Ai, Aizza, Akshitha, Amalthea, Amata, Amatullah, Amazin, Ambriella, Ameliamae, Amoree, Amoriana, Amunique, Aneira, Angeliki, Angle, Antara, Anureet, Anushri, Anwen, Anwyn, Apsara, Aracelia, Aritzel, Arius, Aruna, Arvella, Aseret, Aset, Asfiya, Ashrita, Astin, Atlanta, Attica, Azelle, Azhani, Azriella
  • 5 uses: Aadriti, Aafiyah, Aashirya, Aazeen, Abdia, Abhirami, Acelee, Achol, Acie, Adannaya, Addisun, Adebola, Ador, Adorable, Adrijana, Adut, Aelia, Aenea, Aero, Afeni, Ahsoka, Aidaly, Aimen, Akali, Akiko, Akiva, Akosua, Akshada, Akur, Alchemy, Alder, Alencia, Alfonsina, Alhana, Allinson, Aloe, Alohilani, Altaira, Aluel, Alvie, Amabelle, Amaranta, Amaranth, Ambika, Amilliona, Amorae, Aneeksha, Aneres, Anezka, Anfal, Anivia, Anju, Anllely, Annapurna, Anneth, Anoop, Anshu, Anthonia, Aparna, Aquinnah, Aramis, Arbella, Ardis, Arleny, Artist, Arveen, Asiana, Asmara, Assia, Asta, Asteria, Athalie, Athenea, Athulya, Aureliana, Autry, Avabella, Avaia, Avemaria, Avett, Aviary, Awi, Ayak, Ayled, Ayomiposi, Azar, Azeriah, Azzahra

*Isn’t Alyrica a medication?  My google-fu suggests it might be a telecom, too…

**Additionally, a Google search for Alyria brings up a skin-care product.  Possible name for a twin sister to Aloe, also in this list?  

What do you think?  Are there any names that you love, hate, or otherwise stick out to you?  Let me know in the comments!  Stay tuned for the boys’ list. 🙂

 

Rare ‘A’ Names for Girls (Part 1)

Rare 'A' Girls Names 2016

Remember how much fun my “Below the Top 1000” lists were?  I miss writing them, and I miss the conversations they produced.  So, I’ve decided to revive them for the 2016 data set, but there’s a twist!  Rather than posting lists of names by frequency, I will post the 2016 lists alphabetically.  I will continue including usage ranges, but they aren’t the focus this time.  Hopefully these alphabetical selections will help any readers who want to give their children (or characters) names beginning with the same letter!

The letter ‘A’ is extremely common for names today – and especially for girls’ names!  To create the list of rare girls’ names beginning with ‘A,’ I had to pick out the most interesting ones out of nearly 3,000 unique entries below the U.S. top 1000!  That means sifting through hundreds of transliterations and alternate spellings. 

Anyway, because there are so many fascinating rare names available for the letter ‘A’, I’m splitting this first post into two parts (this won’t be the case for most letters).  I’d like to avoid repeating too many spellings of the same rare names unless said spellings are especially interesting!

Here is “Rare ‘A’ Names for Girls (Part 1)!”  Like the 2015’s Below the Top 1000 series, this series relies on publicly available data from the Social Security Administration.* 

  • 200-260 range: Abrielle, Akira, Aimee, Aminah, Amora, America, Arleth, Arlette, Agnes, Anais, August, Adalee, Araceli, Adela
  • 150-199: Annette, Ashton, Aida, Aveline, Ariadna, Anita, Araya**, Ananya, Ashanti, Amethyst, Avalon
  • 100-149: Artemis, Akshara, Arlene, Adina, Amal, Aditi, Arwen, Arabelle, Avril, Adalind, Alba, Anjali, Amberly, Annalisa, Arizona, Avia, Azul, Avigail, Anissa, Aviva, Aoife, Asma
  • 75-99: Aura, Alanis, Aeris, Amor, Abilene, Adelia, Austen, Amaria, Avelyn, Amiracle, Ashleigh, Aven, Acacia, Annora, Afton, Aminata, Avonlea, Adah, Adlee, Abella, Avary, Ahuva, Agatha
  • 50-74: Arina, Aziyah***, Advika, Aseel, Anja, Arrow, Anayeli, Aries, Adira, Antoinette, Ayat, Ainara, Amna, Azeneth, Alizabeth, Ahana, Andromeda, Angelia, Avelina, Aja, Azari, Adria, Aulani, Avni, Acelynn, Adara, Arlo, Anabia, Adora, Amairany, Anela, Ara, Allegra, Aziza, Alaska, Aashi, Amen, Annsley
  • 25-49: Aeryn, Ailee, Anari, Azuri, Adelaida, Amyiah, Aisling, Amaryllis, Analicia, Ainhoa, Amalie, Amore, Aletheia, Aline, Amena, Arbor, Adore, Aiyla, Amity, Averly, Azucena, Auden, Ayelen, Ami, Angeles, Aniela, Atley, Azura, Adamaris, Arsema, Atalia, Ahlam, Ailish, Akari, Alida, Arisha, Avila, Anaelle, Aishani, Amoura, Akshaya, Arantxa, Auburn, Acadia, Ailin, Akeelah, Aolani, Archer, Atarah, Ayelet, Aine, Amarachi, Amour, Anh, Arisbeth, Ameliana, Allura, Alvina, Amarissa, Anuhea, Aishwarya, Aleksa, Antonina, Adelaine, Aerith, Aissatou, Anagha, Ariam, Akasha, Aster, Akemi, Alix, Alva, Alysse, Angelic, Aolanis, Abisai, Aiko, Alahia, Augusta
  • 15-24: Adalida, Amada, Anvitha, Ayumi, Afnan, Alaisha, Alexie, Alley, Alyx, Aella, Alaijah, Anara, Anijah, Auset, Adabelle, Alaine, Anshika, Arietta, Astraea, Avnoor, Azrielle, Adair, Adelise, Alaila, Albany, Almira, Amylia, Amzie, Aurelie, Avantika, Aviella, Abria, Adama, Aeliana, Aixa, Ajla, Alazne, Alexiana, Aliciana, Amare, Analeia, Anusha, Anzal, Ashleen, Astoria, Astra, Ayeza, Ayomide, Aerial, Aibhlinn, Ailed, Anahita, Anaid, Anjelica, Anjolaoluwa, Asani, Asra, Abigaelle, Adelita, Adya, Ahava, Aidana, Ainslie, Alera, Alicja, Alis, Allure, Ambrosia, Amorette, Anaaya, Apollonia, Arcadia, Areen, Arial, Arista, Arlynn, Ashira, Astella, Augustina, Avital, Adaeze, Adel, Adelheid, Aditri, Agata, Ahmiyah, Aitiana, Ajwa, Akua, Ama, Amahia, Amulya, Anaika, Anjana, Anneke, Ariabella, Asenath, Ashby, Asmi, Athaliah, Aysel, Aza, Azarah, Azelie, Abeeha, Abrar, Abri, Adaira, Adaleah, Adileny, Airyanna, Alayjah, Alexianna, Aliani, Amar, Amel, Amra, Angelisse, Annakate, Annasophia, Aqsa, Ares, Arpi, Aryssa, Ashland, Athea, Avanthika, Aviendha

*My color-coding:

  • Magenta = Usage in 2016 / at last count was overwhelmingly (>90%) female
  • Blue = Usage in 2016 was overwhelmingly (>90%) male
  • Purple = Usage is somewhere in between / unisex

**I’m thinking that at least some of the girls named Araya (and other spellings) have the middle name SunshineAraya Sunshine, get it?  Only half-joking…

***Not sure whether Aziyah is a variant of “Asia” or a Biblical name; in other words, not sure whether it’s pronounced like Asia//Aja or uh-ZYE-uh.  Maybe either, depending on the user?

What do you think?  Are there any names here that pop out at you?  Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for Part 2 of the girls’ names! 

UPDATE: Part 2!

Battles as Baby Names: American Revolution Edition

Today is July 4th!  We celebrate today as the day that we officially declared our independence from an oppressive colonizer three-thousand miles across the sea.  Today was the day we said enough is enough, taunted the Mad King with our John Hancocks (literally), and set the theme for a Nicolas Cage movie in which Sean Bean doesn’t die!

404px-United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

Declaration of Independence copy.

For all the power of words, we must remember that ideas only stick when we’re willing to fight for them.  The American Revolutionary War had already begun when the Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed.  If we’d lost the war, would this treasured document hold any significance?  Today, we don’t just remember the words.  We remember that people died to ensure those words held meaning.

With this in mind, I decided to write a different sort of 4th of July post.  Last year, I wrote about interesting names among the Signers and American virtues.  For Independence Day 2017, I’ve looked to Revolutionary War battles for patriotic baby name inspiration!

You might be asking: are battle names even a thing?  The answer: Yes!  Gettysburg and Manila (Spanish-American War) are two examples of battles that translated to people’s names in the U.S.  Lorraine also counts as a battle name, though the name’s popularity jumped at the end of World War I (the Battle of Lorraine happened in 1914, before the U.S. entered that conflict).  Battle baby names are a rare and obscure topic in the 21st century, but 100+ years ago this was just another form of patriotic baby naming.

Here is a selection of Revolutionary War battle names and could-be names!

  • Lexington – Battles of Lexington and Concord (Massachusetts), April 19 1775.  77 girls and 46 boys were named Lexington in 2016.  Lexi and Lex are possible nicknames.
  • Ticonderoga – Capture of Fort Ticonderoga (New York), May 10 1775; Siege of Fort Ticonderoga (July 2-6 1777).  With a nickname like Connie or Derry, Ticonderoga comes across as strong as Boudicca!
  • ChelseaThe Battle of Chelsea Creek (Massachusetts), May 27-May 28 1775.  Chelsea ranks #353 out of 1000 in the U.S.; approximately 928 girls were given the name in 2016.  
  • Lindley – Battle of Lindley’s Fort (South Carolina), July 15 1776; Battle of Lindley’s Mill (North Carolina), Sep. 13 1781; 30 girls were named Lindley in 2016. 
  • Harlem – Battle of Harlem Heights (New York), Sept. 16 1776.  A unisex place, battle, and dance name, this was given to 183 boys and 93 girls in 2016.  Harlem barely missed the cut for the top 1000 boys’ list in 2015 when it peaked at 201 uses.  Its popularity among baby girls continues to increase. 
  • Trenton – Battle of Trenton (New Jersey), Dec. 26 1776; 2nd Battle of Trenton, Jan. 2 1777.  As a baby name, Trenton is falling fast.  He peaked at #178 in 2006, and now ranks at #389 (with approx. 815 boys). 
1200px-Washington_Crossing_the_Delaware_by_Emanuel_Leutze,_MMA-NYC,_1851.jpg

“Washington Crossing the Delaware,” Emanuel Leutze (1851)

  • Princeton – Battle of Princeton (New Jersey), Jan. 3 1777.  The university predates the battle by a few decades, but the name’s only been popular since 2011!  769 boys were named Princeton in 2016, ranking him at #413.  This name is still rising, though his acceleration appears to dim. 
  • Ridgefield – Battle of Ridgefield (Connecticut), April 27 1777.   We lost this battle, but a history buff could make this work with the nickname “Ridge.”
  • Bennington – Battle of Bennington (New York), Aug. 16 1777.  “Ben” for short?
  • Brandywine – Battle of Brandywine (Pennsylvania), Sep. 11 1777.  Although this was a British victory, I’d like to suggest Brandywine as a name (I’ve always thought it sounded pretty).  “Brandi” for short?
  • Saratoga – Battles of Saratoga (New York), Sept. 19 and Oct. 7 1777.  Call her Sara for short! 
  • Beaufort – Battle of Beaufort (South Carolina), Feb. 3 1779.  Funnily enough, the last time Beaufort made an appearance in the SSA birth data was 1976.  Beau makes for a strong nickname, but Biff might be problematic.
  • Paulus – Battle of Paulus Hook (New Jersey), Aug. 19 1779.  According to Behind the Name, Paulus is the Latin form of PaulPaul has always been the more common version by far; Paulus has only ever appeared three or four times in the SSA birth data.  The last time was 1987.
  • Camden – Battle of Camden (South Carolina), Aug. 16 1780.  Camden ranks #124 in the U.S., down from a peak of #99 in 2013.  Approximately 156 girls were named Camden in 2016 in addition to the 3,300-some boys who were, but don’t call it unisex just yet!  Hardly 5% of all Camden‘s born last year were girls.
  • King – Battle of Kings Mountain (South Carolina), Oct. 7 1780.  King ranks #152 in the U.S.  I have to say, this makes for the most ironically patriotic name on this list.  We won that battle, though!
  • Augusta – Siege of Augusta (Georgia), May 22 – June 6 1781.  25 girls and 7 boys were named Augusta in 2016. 
  • York – Siege of Yorktown (Virginia), Sep. 28 – Oct. 19 1781.  12 boys were named York in 2016.

I also gave some thought to Bunker and Cowpens, but I think they’re bad ideas for baby names.  Bunker Hill was an important battle, but the name Bunker makes me think of Archie Bunker (bigoted TV character from the 1970s) and Enver Hoxha (the Albanian dictator who littered his tiny country with thousands of bunkers).  As for Cowpens…moo?

Do you like the idea of battle names, or do you prefer a different kind of patriotic baby naming (i.e., virtues)?  If you like the battle names, which would you use?  Are there any you think I should add to this list?  Let me know in the comments!

Most importantly, happy birthday America!

What is Your Name in a Different Year?

How about a fun little exercise?  Find out the popularity rank of your first name and middle name(s) in the year you were born. Then, take those numbers and find out what your name could have been in other years.  Maybe you’ll stumble upon a new favorite baby name!

You can do this by entering your name on the front page of the Social Security Administration’s Popular Baby Names page under the section “Popularity of a Name,” or just look for your birth year’s name stats under “Popular Names By Birth Year.”  I recommend choosing the option for Top 1000 popularity (the default is 20; just click on that and scroll down).  If you choose the “Popular Names by Birth Year” option, simply ctrl+f the lists to find your names.  Once you have the rank # for your names in that year, look at the lists for other years and see what names have those ranks then!

The year I was born, my first name ranked #9 and my middle name ranked #369 in the U.S.  Remember, that’s #369 in first names, since the SSA doesn’t publish data on middles.  Taking girls’ names ranked #9 and girls’ names ranked #369, here are all the combinations from 1985-2016:

  • 2016: Emily Kira.  Emily ranked #9 in 2016, and Kira #369. 
  • 2015: Charlotte Sage
  • 2014: Madison Sloane
  • 2013: Madison Kelly
  • 2012: Madison Tiffany
  • 2011: Mia Journey
  • 2010: Chloe Bethany
  • 2009: Chloe Londyn
  • 2008: Elizabeth Tatum
  • 2007: Hannah Kiley
  • 2006: Sophia Iris
  • 2005: Ava Violet
  • 2004: Samantha Christine
  • 2003: Elizabeth Jayda
  • 2002: Samantha Hailee
  • 2001: Elizabeth Jaqueline
  • 2000: Elizabeth Julissa
  • 1999: Jessica Addison
  • 1998: Madison Martha
  • 1997: Elizabeth Cassie
  • 1996: Rachel Kailey
  • 1995: Amanda Melody
  • 1994: Elizabeth Jane
  • 1993: Elizabeth Jane
  • 1992: Elizabeth Maya
  • 1991: Elizabeth Kaila
  • 1990: Elizabeth Alana
  • 1989: Lauren Jazmin
  • 1988: Nicole Traci
  • 1987: Heather Ruby
  • 1986: Heather Elena
  • 1985: Elizabeth Tanisha

I actually completed this exercise going all the way back to 1880, which is as far back as the SSA’s birth data extends (though it honestly isn’t very accurate before 1937-1940; I did this for fun!).  Here are some of my favorite combos from earlier years:

  • 1959: Deborah Leigh
  • 1946: Judith Ginger
  • 1938: Margaret Lottie
  • 1934: Helen Virgie
  • 1918: Elizabeth Roxie
  • 1916: Frances Maudie – adorable!
  • 1914: Frances Ramona
  • 1908: Alice Philomena
  • 1904: Mildred Vada
  • 1903: Ethel Rae
  • 1887: Florence George

Shirley Margarita (1931) was an interesting combo.  It sounds like a cocktail!

Next, I did the boys’ names.  Here are all the combinations from 1985-2016:

  • 2016: Elijah Solomon
  • 2015: Michael Aden
  • 2014: James Atticus
  • 2013: Jayden Cohen
  • 2012: Alexander Knox
  • 2011: Aiden Braydon – Ouch.  This reminds me of Marcy Darcy from the show “Married With Children,” and also of someone else I recently met whose first name was the same as her married name!
  • 2010: Aiden Braylen – Not much better than Aiden Braydon, but at least only the first half of the names rhyme! 
  • 2009: Noah Colt
  • 2008: Christopher Keaton
  • 2007: Matthew Nickolas
  • 2006: Anthony Hugo
  • 2005: Joseph Walker
  • 2004: Joseph Carl
  • 2003: Christopher Charlie
  • 2002: Nicholas Rodney
  • 2001: Daniel Roger
  • 2000: Daniel Zackery
  • 1999: Daniel Malachi
  • 1998: Andrew Guillermo
  • 1997: Austin Grayson
  • 1996: Austin Steve
  • 1995: Daniel Marquise
  • 1994: Daniel Leonard
  • 1993: Jacob Eugene
  • 1992: James Alvin
  • 1991: Joseph Graham
  • 1990: Justin Elliot
  • 1989: James Jarred
  • 1988: James Elias
  • 1987: Justin Tyrell
  • 1986: Robert Jamar
  • 1985: John Rickey

Favorite combinations from earlier years:

  • 1984: Robert Noel
  • 1982: Robert Graham
  • 1977: Matthew Levi
  • 1973: William Blake
  • 1956: Thomas Rufus
  • 1955: Mark Alfonso
  • 1953: Charles Aubrey
  • 1933: Joseph Wiley
  • 1931: Joseph Randolph
  • 1904: Edward Arlie
  • 1898: Edward Jennings
  • 1895: Henry Archibald – swoon!
  • 1894: Henry Dallas
  • 1885: Robert Granville
  • 1880: Henry Loren

Obligatory snarky comment: the men’s combination for 1954, Gary Royce, sounds like the start to a serial killer’s name.  Just add a surname?

What do you think?  Some of the first-middle name combinations this exercise generated sound like people’s real first and middle names.  And I’d love to hear any interesting combinations that completing this exercise gives you!

These Names are Gems

These names are gems – literally!  Gem-names enjoy mostly feminine usage, but they’re increasingly unisex or even masculine.  Let’s take a look at how popular these baby names were in 2016, according to Social Security Administration data!

Gems:

  • Amber – Current rank: #374 and falling.  Amber‘s current stint in the top 1000 started after the publication of Forever Amber.  From what I understand, that book is the World War II generation’s 50 Shades of Gray.
  • Amethyst – 159 girls in 2016, up from 125 in 2015. 
  • Coral – 199 girls, down from 201.
  • Diamond – 226 girls, down from 262; 33 boys, down from 35.
  • Emerald – 219 girls, up from 194; 13 boys, up from 6.  A couple weeks ago, I watched the original Twin Peaks and got a kick out of the names from the fictional soap opera within.  “Invitation to Love” has twin characters named Emerald and Jade.
  • Garnet – 15 girls, up from 7; 6 boys (reentry).  A couple years ago I was reading something in the paper about a local family, and one of their young sons was named GarnetGarnet was a mildly popular girls’ name in the early 20th century, though it’s almost always enjoyed use amidst both genders.
  • Heliodor / Heliodore – Golden beryl.  Although Heliodore is unrecorded in the SSA data, Heliodoro is.
  • Jacinth – Not currently in use, but there are male and female Jacinths.
  • Jade – #117, up from #126.  Even though Madison and Ashley were supposedly way more popular than Jade when I was growing up, I feel like Jade was more popular locally.  I knew several. 
  • Jasper – #209 and still rising.  Jasper‘s never been out of the top 1000, though the Twilight series gave him a boost. 
  • Obsidian – As far as I can tell, Obsidian has only charted once in the SSA stats (5 boys were given the name in 2013).  I’m really surprised it isn’t a more popular baby name…it sounds so cool!
  • Onyx – Increasingly popular unisex gem name!  Onyx was given to 172 boys and 56 girls in 2016, up from 118 boys and 38 girls in 2015.  I personally wonder if we’re going to see this in the top 1000 in 2017 or 2018; for a boys’ name to rank, it currently needs at least 202 boys to rank.  Onyx isn’t far off that mark!
  • Opal – 256 girls, up from 231.  Do you think this will return to the top 1000 in 2017?  The current usage threshold for girls’ names is in the 260-270 range.
  • Pearl – #567, up from #627.  Pearl was relatively popular for both genders at the advent of the 20th century, but especially for girls.  There was a male writer called Zane Grey (1872-1939) whose first name was Pearl.
  • Ruby – #71, and the most popular gem name.  Ruby hasn’t been this popular since World War II!
  • Sapphire – 165, up from 147.

    Logan Sapphire

    The name Sapphire is more popular in 2016 than 2015, but still rare.

  • Topaz – 6 girls (reentry).  Topaz is the name of the stepmom in I Capture the Castle, so there’s some literary prestige here!
  • Turquoise – Not currently in use; most of the women named Turquoise were born in the late 70s or in the 80s.  

Names with gem meanings or associations:

  • Beryl – 9 girls (stable).  Beryl is a mineral: emeralds, aquamarine, and heliodor are all considered beryls.  As far as namesakes go, I think of the early aviatrix Beryl Markham, who wrote West with the Night
  • Crystal – #572, down from #554.  Crystal hit the U.S. top 10 in 1982, but it’s been downwards ever since.
  • Esmeralda – #377, down from #370; Spanish for “emerald.”  Esmeralda spiked in the two years after Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame came out.
  • Gem – 14 girls, up from 8.
  • Giada – 178 girls, down from 203.  Italian for “Jade”
  • Gemma – #247 and rising.  Italian name meaning “gem.”  Growing up, I actually knew a Gemma.  She was born a good while before her name ever cracked the top 1000.
  • Jewel – #924, down from #886.
  • Margaret – #139 and rising.  A classic English name deriving from a Greek name that means “pearl.”  I can’t tell you how happy I am that Margaret is making a comeback!
  • Sapphira – 50 girls, up from 45.  Greek name, Biblical character.

Gems that aren’t already names but probably should be:

Gems

Not your stereotypical gems, except for Ruby and Amethyst

  • Agate – I could see this as a nickname for Agatha.
  • AquamarineAqua is a spunky nickname, though it may lead to spontaneous a capella renditions of “Barbie Girl.”  For more subdued nicknames, try Marie or Marina.
  • Chrysocolla – might be a little unwieldy without a nickname.  “Chris?”
  • Lapis – from Lapis Lazuli
  • PeridotPerry or Dot for short?  Dottie?
  • Quartz – I’m surprised that I can’t find this in the SSA stats.  Quartz would work especially well as a boys’ name. 
  • Tourmaline
  • Zircon / Zirconia – I’m not sure how I’d feel if I were named after a synthetic gem stone, but Zirconia sounds kind of pretty and Zircon sounds cool. 

One last note – If you like the idea of a timely, seasonal name, look to the birthstones!  Most of these work better for girls, but there are plenty of gem-names that can go either way. 

  1. JanuaryGarnet
  2. February – Amethyst
  3. March – Aquamarine / Bloodstone.  Jasper also used to be a March stone.
  4. AprilDiamond
  5. MayEmerald
  6. JunePearl / Moonstone / Alexandrite
  7. JulyRuby
  8. August – Peridot / Spinel
  9. SeptemberSapphire
  10. OctoberOpal / Tourmaline
  11. NovemberTopaz / Citrine
  12. DecemberTurquoise / Zircon / Tanzanite

What is your favorite gem name?

Royalty-Inspired Baby Names

What is up with all the royalty-inspired baby names that are suddenly popular?  For a country without a royal family or inherited aristocracy, you’d think Americans are suddenly obsessed!  Royalty and Reign both debuted in the top 1000 in 2016, and other names like Royal, Prince, and Princess also rose in the charts.

Here is a list of not-so-traditional royal baby names American parents chose in 2016!  Rare names are listed by number of uses, while popular names are listed by rank.

Tapisserie de Bayeux - Scène 1 : le roi Édouard le Confesseur

In 2016, King (#152) was a more popular name for baby boys than Edward (#163), a traditional royalty-inspired name.

Titles:

  • Emperor – 5 boys in 2016, down from 10.
  • Empress – 95 girls, up from 66. 
  • King – #152, up from #163.  This is a common surname and fairly old-fashioned baby name.  Before King‘s 2006 return to the top 1000, the name hadn’t appeared since 1964. 
  • Queen – 197 girls, up from 148.
  • Prince – #343, up from #388.  This name has been rising for several years, but received a large boost from the mononymous singer’s death last year. 
  • Princess – #767, up from #999.  Prince’s death might have caused the boost to Princess too.  I’d also wager that a very few Princesses were named after Leia
  • Duke – #556, up from #602.  Already rising, this is a name that makes people think of college sports, jazz, and John Wayne.
  • Duchess – 14 girls, up from 10 in 2015.
  • Marquis – #943, down from #927.
  • Earl – 109 boys, down from 128.
  • Baron – 134 boys, up from 133.  Another spelling, Barron, rose because of Barron Trump. 

If you lived elsewhere in the English-speaking world, there’s a decent chance that most of these title names would be banned.  Just look at New Zealand.  Strangely, I don’t think the United Kingdom has titled name restrictions; in 2007, the BBC reported that the U.K. only prohibits offensive names.  What’s more, the latest England/Wales data indicates that were 72 girls named Princess, 28 boys named Duke, and 20 boys named King.

Titles in other languages:

  • Kaiser – 202 boys, up from 140.  German word for “emperor,” English word for a royally delicious sandwich roll.  5 girls also received this name in 2016, so I’d like to point out that the German word for “Empress” is “Kaiserin.”  Kaiserin could be a very pretty name, actually.  Would you call her Kai, Erin, or by her full name?  Anyway, Kaiser should have been in the top 1000 but four other boys’ names were used 202 times and three of them preceded Kaiser in alphabetical order.  We usually don’t rank names below the top 1000, but Kaiser currently ranks #1001.
  • Reina – #853, up from #954.  Reina is Spanish for “queen.”  Other variants are Reyna (#666, up from #711), Rayna (#675, up from #722), and Raina (#835, up from #926.  I think Star Wars is at least partly responsible for the gains, since these names look and sound so close to “Rey.”  However, Reyna, Rayna, and Raina also gained between 2014 and 2015 (but not Reina)…
  • Reine – 12 girls (up from 8 in 2015).  French for “queen.”  Other spellings Raine (97 girls and 10 boys) and Rayne (#941, +42 boys), along with the first reappearance of Lareine (6 girls – literally “the queen”) in the birth data since the early 1930s.  Rayne reentered the top 1000 in 2015!  This time, I think both Star Wars and the popularity of the name Reign (see below) are responsible.
  • Rex – #632, up from #681.  Latin word for “king.”
  • Regina – #437, up from #517.  Latin and Italian word for “queen.”  This name is a classic and has never been out of the top 1000, though she’s rebounded in the last few years.  I initially assumed ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” was the reason for the revival, but apparently the name started returning the year before the show started.
  • Rey – #868 (up from #904), 63 girls.  Spanish word for “king.”  Thanks to the popularity of the character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 2016 is the first year on record that Rey has been used as a girls’ name.  It also rose as a boys’ name.
  • Raja – 13 boys, down from 15 boys and 9 girls.  Sanskrit for “king.”
  • Contessa – 16 girls, down from 17.  Italian for “countess.”
  • Sultan – 97 boys, up from 69.  Arabic for “king.”
  • Marquise – 110 boys, down from 136.  Although Marquise is a feminine word in French, the name is strictly masculine.

Garments:

  • Crown – 6 boys.  Data debut!
  • Tiara – 108 girls, down from 112.
  • Taj – 163 boys and 11 girls, down from 200 and 18.  Taj means “crown” in Arabic.

Palaces or Castles:

  • Kensington – 261 girls and 12 boys.  Kensington ranked #962 in 2015, but surprisingly fell out of the top 1000 in 2016.
  • Windsor – 35 girls and 14 boys, up from 32 girls and 11 boys in 2015.   
  • Versailles – 5 uses; data debut!  As far as we know, this name was never used (i.e., wasn’t a name) before 2016.  The show Versailles might be the influencing factor.

Miscellany:

  • Royalty – #532, 39 boys.  Celebrity baby name!  Chris Brown has a daughter Royalty, who was born in 2015.  Later that same year, he named an album after her. 
  • Royal – #460 for boys, #628 for girls.  Royal is a top 100 girls’ name in Washington D.C.   
  • Reign – #829, 158 boys.  Top 1000 debut!  From what I can tell, most of the namesakes coming from celebrity babies are boys!  This includes a Kardashian kid born in late 2014.  When I’ve seen Reign for girls, it always seems to be a middle name.  There’s also a TV show called “Reign” about Mary, Queen of Scots.
  • Sovereign – 9 boys (up from 7), 7 girls (reentry).  Sovereign is rightly unisex, since both kings and queens can rule in their own right. 
  • Noble – 140 boys, 15 girls.  Noble was a top 1000 boys’ name until 1954.
  • Jubilee – 223 girls.  A jubilee is a kind of anniversary celebration that usually refers to royalty.  2017 is the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s sapphire jubilee (65 years on the throne). 
  • Castle – 15 boys, down from 27.  Are they named after the TV show?
  • Kingdom – 28 boys, up from 16 in 2015. 
  • Majesty – 136 girls (up from 91) and 44 (up from 33).
  • Yamajesty – 5 boys (in 2016 and 2015).  Not “Your majesty,” but his sarcastic brother.
  • Sirking – 6 boys in 2016. (doesn’t appear in 2015 data).  Between Yamajesty and Sirking, I can tell you this is definitely *not* how you address a royal.

Of course, you can always go with the traditional method of naming after royalty – using their names!  Which style do you prefer?

Ultimately, I don’t think Americans are suddenly royalty-crazy…at least, not anymore than we already are.  I think this “trend” is serendipity; several factors converged in 2015 to give these names some serious appeal for 2016.  The question is: will these names continue to rise in 2017 or is this a curious blip?   What do you think?

#1 Names by State

The national baby name data came out last Friday, but the state data was only released today!  The #1 most popular names nationally are Noah and Emma, but they aren’t the #1 names in all 50 states + DC.  Let’s take a look. 

  1. Alabama: William and Ava (no change)
  2. Alaska: Liam and EmmaOlivia was #1 in 2015.
  3. Arizona: Liam and Emma.  2015: Noah and Sophia
  4. Arkansas: Elijah and Ava.  2015: William and Emma
  5. California: Noah and MiaSophia was #1 in 2015.
  6. Colorado: Liam and OliviaEmma was #1 in 2015.
  7. Connecticut: Noah and OliviaSophia was #1 in 2015.
  8. Delaware: Liam and AvaMason was #1 in 2015.
  9. District of Columbia: William and AvaGenesis was the #1 girls’ name in 2015.
  10. Florida: Liam and Isabella.  No change.
  11. Georgia: William and Ava.  No change.
  12. Hawaii: Noah and OliviaMia was #1 in 2015.
  13. Idaho: Oliver and EmmaLiam and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  14. Illinois: Noah and Olivia.  No change.
  15. Indiana: Oliver and EmmaLiam was #1 in 2015.
  16. Iowa: Oliver and Olivia.  Owen is #2.  Liam and Emma were #1 in 2015. 
  17. Kansas: Benjamin and EmmaLiam was #1 in 2015.
  18. Kentucky: William and Emma.  No change.
  19. Louisiana: Liam and AvaNoah was #1 in 2015.
  20. Maine: Liam and Emma.  No change.
  21. Maryland: Noah and AvaOlivia was #1 in 2015.
  22. Massachusetts: Benjamin and Olivia.  No change.
  23. Michigan: Noah and AvaOlivia was #1 in 2015.
  24. Minnesota: Henry and EvelynOlivia was #1 in 2015.
  25. Mississippi: William and Ava.  No change.
  26. Missouri: William and OliviaLiam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  27. Montana: James and HarperWilliam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  28. Nebraska: Liam and EmmaHenry and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  29. Nevada: Liam and MiaSophia was #1 in 2015.
  30. New Hampshire: Noah and CharlotteJackson and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  31. New Jersey: Liam and MiaEmma was #1 in 2015.
  32. New Mexico: Elijah and MiaNoah was #1 in 2015.
  33. New York: Liam and Olivia.  No change.
  34. North Carolina: William and Ava.  No change.
  35. North Dakota: Oliver and HarperLiam and Ava were #1 in 2015.
  36. Ohio: Liam and Emma.  No change. 
  37. Oklahoma: Liam and EmmaElijah was #1 in 2015.
  38. Oregon: Oliver and OliviaLiam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  39. Pennsylvania: Noah and EmmaMason and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  40. Rhode Island: Liam and OliviaNoah was #1 in 2015.
  41. South Carolina: William and Ava.  No change
  42. South Dakota: Oliver and EmmaHarper was #1 in 2015.
  43. Tennessee: William and Emma.  No change.
  44. Texas: Noah and Emma.  No change.
  45. Utah: Oliver and OliviaWilliam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  46. Vermont: Owen and HarperLiam and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  47. Virginia: William and OliviaEmma was #1 in 2015.
  48. Washington: Liam and Emma.  Oliver and Olivia were #1 in 2015.
  49. West Virginia: Mason and HarperNoah and Emma were #1 in 2015.
  50. Wisconsin: Oliver and OliviaEmma was #1 in 2015.
  51. Wyoming: Wyatt and EmmaLiam was #1 in 2015.  

The #1 boys’ names of 2016 by frequency:

  • Liam (15x)
  • William (10x)
  • Noah (9x)
  • Oliver (8x)
  • Benjamin (2x)
  • Elijah (2x)
  • Henry
  • James
  • Mason
  • Owen
  • Wyatt

Compared to 2015, when they were:

  • Liam (16x)
  • Noah (13x)
  • William (12x)
  • Oliver (3x)
  • Henry (2x)
  • Mason (2x)
  • Benjamin
  • Jackson
  • Elijah

The #1 girls’ names by frequency:

  • Emma (16x)
  • Olivia (13x)
  • Ava (11x)
  • Harper (4x)
  • Mia (4x)
  • Charlotte
  • Evelyn
  • Isabella

Compared to 2015, when they were:

  • Emma (22x)
  • Olivia (12x)
  • Ava (8x)
  • Sophia (4x)
  • Mia (2x)
  • Genesis
  • Harper
  • Isabella

How is it possible for Noah to be the #1 name nationally without being the most frequent name among the states?  Answer: Noah is #1 where it matters most – California and Texas. 

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Visualization of #1 name frequency

Thoughts?  Are you surprised by anything?  Let me know in the comments!  

Bonus points!  The #1 names in Puerto Rico are Sebastian and ValentinaVictoria was #1 in 2015.

Top 1000 Entries and Exits in 2016

Here are all the names that entered and left the U.S. top 1000 in 2016!  There are 45 new girls’ names and 42 new boys’ names.  Remember, the top 1000 is America’s threshold for popularity.  Baby names below the top 1000 are considered rare.  

New:

  • Aadhya, Ailani, Alessia, Alianna, Alyvia, Amayah, Anniston, Antonella, Antonia, Ari, Aubri, Ayana, Belle, Bexley, Blaire, Calliope, Chandler, Davina, Ellianna, Emmie, Harleigh, Itzayana, Jana, Joelle, Kaylani, Kehlani, Louise, Maren, Mavis, Maxine, Maylee, Mercy, Nalani, Novalee, Poppy, Ramona, Rayne, Reign, Riya, Rosalyn, Royalty, Saoirse, Sylvie, Tinsley, Vada
  • Ahmir, Alistair, Benicio, Brayson, Bridger, Brysen, Eason, Eliezer, Creed, Foster, Fox, Greysen, Gus, Hakeem, Harris, Howard, Ira, Jad, Jair, Jamar, Jeremias, Jericho, Karim, Keanu, Khalid, Koda, Konner, Krish, Kylo, Leif, Lyle, Maddux, Merrick, Mikael, Ramiro, Ralph, Shepherd, Tadeo, Tristian, Wesson, Westley, Zyaire

Through data adjustment, Yisroel is new for both 2016 and 2015.

Yes, Kylo (like Kylo Ren) is a popular baby name now!  My mom didn’t react very well when I told her.

Royalty (581 girls) was the highest debut in the girls’ list, followed by Reign (344).  Fox (323) was the most popular entry to the boys’ list. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 6.29.07 PM

Royalty was the most popular debut, followed by Reign.

Exits:

  • Aimee, Alissa, Alisson, America, Aminah, Angeline, Avalyn, Asia, Aubrianna, Bryanna, Caitlin, Caitlyn, Charlize, Cordelia, Denise, Dixie, Emmalee, Giavanna, Ireland, Jaida, Janiya, Jaylin, Jenny, Jocelynn, Jordynn, Kaelynn, Katelynn, Kaitlynn, Kayden, Kensington, Kiley, Kimora, Kristen, Kyndall, Libby, Lindsay, Mollie, Natalee, Neriah, Sarahi, Saniyah, Sidney, Tara, Taya, Yaritza
  • Aaden, Aarush, Ayan, Aydan, Bishop, Boden, Brice, Camren, Chace, Chevy, Cristopher, Davin, Deangelo, Deshawn, Dilan, Ean, Frankie, Freddy, Haiden, Jadon, Jayvion, Jonael, Jordyn, Jovani, Juelz, Kaeden, Kamren, Kamron, Kylen, Malaki, Osvaldo, Quintin, Rashad, Reagan, Robin, Rodolfo, Todd, Triston, Truman, Tyrone, Yaakov, Yadiel

Due to data adjustment, Antoine is out of the top 1000 for both 2016 and 2015.

Reagan was used often enough to be in the top 1000, but was forced out by #1000 Jonathon.  When names are used equally, alphabetical order determines rank preference. 

Notice how all those spellings of Caitlin are suddenly rare?  The prevailing theory is that Caitlyn Jenner killed any popularity the name still had (which wasn’t a lot, admittedly).  I agree that this is why, but I wonder if last year’s “Kaitlyn spelled with Roman numerals” scare also turned some parents off the name. 

Thoughts?  What are your favorite entering names?  Are you disappointed that any left?  Finally, do you know any people with these names?

Personally:

  1. I’m impressed that my fellow Americans are using so heavily Irish a name as Saoirse and spelling it correctly! 
  2. Very happy that Calliope, Poppy, and Alistair are popular names now!  Davina is also a lovely surprise.  Sad to see Cordelia gone (again).   
  3. Over the years, I’ve met people named Antonella, Chandler (both genders), Gus, Lyle, Maren, and maybe Karim & Ramiro.  There was also supposed to be a Mercy in my 2nd grade class, but she never appeared. 😦  I did encounter a baby Saoirse last year, though!
  4. From the exiting names, I’ve known people called Aimee, Brice (female), Denise, Frankie (male), Lindsay, Natalee, and Todd.  I’ve also met too many Caitlin‘s (or Kaitlynn‘s, Kaitlin‘s, etc.) to count.

P.S. – You can check this list of entries and exits against my predictions

Source: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/index.html

Edit 5/15/17: Fox was actually the top boys’ name debut.

Overview of the Top 100 Baby Names, 2016 Edition

Now that I’m finally getting a chance to examine the new data more thoroughly, here is an overview of the Top 100 baby names, 2016 edition!  I’m so happy they’re here. 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 8.38.49 AM.png

Visualization of the 2016 Top 100.  The bigger the name, the more popular it is!

New to the top 100:

  • Adeline, Luna, Kinsley, Elena, Eliana, Willow
  • Bryson, Leonardo, Greyson, Roman

Left the top 100:

  • Ashley, Isabelle, Annabelle, Alexandra, Alyssa, Alexis
  • Nathaniel, Kayden, Ryder, Blake

Apparently due to data adjustment, Khloe is not only out of the 2016 top 100 but for 2015 too.  I predicted she’d leave, but not like this!

Also, that’s a lot of ‘A’ names that just left.  Every generation seems to have its trendy letters; did we just witness the start of another ‘A’ decline?   

Positive rank changes give us good sense of a name’s popularity, which is a comparative measure.  Here are the names that rose in the charts via rank:

  • Bryson (+40; new), Mateo (+26), Leo (+17), Lincoln (+16), Theodore (+16), Greyson (+15; new), Owen (+13), Easton (+12), Asher (+11) Sebastian (+11), Grayson (+10), Carson (+8), Leonardo (+ 8; new), Elias (+7), Ezra (+7), Henry (+7), Oliver (+7), Julian (+6), Nolan (+6), Benjamin (+4), Hudson (+4), Roman (+4; new), Aaron (+3), Jaxon (+3), Jose (+3), Thomas (+3), Elijah (+2), Isaiah (+2), Jack (+2), James (+2), Jason (+2), Jaxson (+2), Josiah (+2), Lucas (+2), Samuel (+2) William (+2), Xavier (+2), Connor (+1), Eli (+1), Joseph (+1), Michael (+1), Robert (+1), Wyatt (+1)
  • Adeline (+72; new), Luna (+33; new), Kinsley (+27; new), Eleanor (+19), Quinn (+18), Willow (+16; new), Riley (+13), Ruby (+12), Elena (+12; new), Hazel (+11), Camila (+10), Alice (+10), Claire (+9), Eliana (+9; new), Penelope (+7), Genesis (+7), Aria (+6), Stella (+6), Caroline (+6), Nora (+5), Mila (+5), Scarlett (+4), Ellie (+4), Maya (+4), Autumn (+4), Gianna (+4), Evelyn (+3), Violet (+3), Charlotte (+2), Eva (+2), Naomi (+2), Reagan (+2), Ava (+1), Amelia (+1), Ella (+1), Lily (+1), Skylar (+1), Sarah (+1), Cora (+1), Julia (+1)

Here are the negative rank changes, or the names that became less popular in 2016:

  • Brandon (-16), Parker (-15), Chase (-12), Gavin (-10), Kevin (-10), Tyler – 10, Colton – 9, Jonathan (-8), Jayden (-7), Caleb (-7), Landon (-7), Jordan (-7), Bentley (-7), Angel (-6), Anthony (-5), Dylan (-5), Nathan (-5), Ayden (-5), Ethan (-4), Logan (-4), Andrew (-4), Christopher (-4), Hunter (-4), Jeremiah (-4), Dominic (-4), Austin (-4), Jacob (-3), Aiden (-3), Alexander (-3), Gabriel (-3), Christian (-3), Brayden (-3), Sawyer (-3), Carter (-2), John (-2), Joshua (-2), Adrian (-2), Evan (-2), Adam (-2), Ian (-2), Cooper (-2), Zachary (-2), Mason (-1), Daniel (-1), David (-1), Luke (-1), Ryan (-1), Charles (-1), Cameron (-1), Nicholas (-1), Jace (-1)
  • Alexa (-18), Kylie (-17), Brianna (-16), Arianna (-13), Mackenzie (-12), Taylor (-12), Allison (-10), Faith (-9), Kaylee (-9), Peyton (-9), Ariana (-8), Sadie (-8), Anna (-7), Gabriella (-7), Katherine (-6), Aaliyah (-5), Addison (-5), Aubree (-5), Hannah (-5), Nevaeh (-5), Aubrey (-4), Bella (-4), Hailey (-4), Madison (-4), Natalie (-4), Samantha (-4), Brooklyn (-3), Chloe (-3), Madelyn (-3), Zoey (-3), Audrey (-2), Kennedy (-2), Lillian (-2), Zoe (-2), Abigail (-1), Clara (-1), Emily (-1), Leah (-1), Madeline (-1), Melanie (-1), Paisley (-1), Serenity (-1), Sophia (-1), Victoria (-1)

No rank change.  Consider these names steady (or a safe choice) for now:

  • Noah, Liam, Matthew, Jackson, Isaac, Levi
  • Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Mia, Harper, Elizabeth, Sofia, Avery, Grace, Layla, Savannah, Lucy, Piper, Lydia, Vivian

Next, I’ve looked at the raw usage for names.  Increasingly, I view raw usage as one way to measure how trendy names are.  It may also reflect a declining birth rate or diversifying pool of names.  To sort out attrition and distinguish the names that are indeed very trendy or not at all, I’m listing the names that went up or down at least 500 uses.

Biggest gains (+500 or more) in decreasing order:

  • Adeline*, Charlotte, Riley, Ava, Amelia, Luna*, Camila, Evelyn, Eleanor, Scarlett, Kinsley*, Quinn, Aria
  • Mateo, Oliver, Bryson*, Lincoln, Benjamin, Grayson, Theodore, Greyson, Leo, Owen, Sebastian, Lucas, Ezra

The asterisk (*) indicates that a name is new to the top 100.

Biggest losses (500 or more) in decreasing order:

  • Sophia, Alexa, Madison, Emma, Aubrey, Isabella, Emily, Kylie, Ashley (left top 100), Abigail, Arianna, Avery, Allison, Alyssa (left top 100), Kaylee, Sofia, Zoey, Mia
  • Logan, Jacob, Jayden, Mason, Ethan, Aiden, Alexander, Brandon, Blake (left top 100), Landon, Caleb, Gavin, Anthony, Christopher, Andrew, David, Parker, Colton, Hunter, Gabriel, Jonathan, Kevin, Tyler, Jordan, Nathan, Joshua, Carter, Daniel, Joseph, Dylan, Jackson, Christian, Noah, Brayden, Angel, Chase, Nicholas

Comments on the falling names:

  • The huge fall of the names Alexa, Alexis, and Alexander probably relates to the confusion surrounding the Alexa device.
  • When names like Emma or Sophia lose a lot of usage, it doesn’t always mean much rank-wise.  This year a lot of names grew more popular only because all the names around them experienced comparatively greater usage loss.
  • A huge usage drop is more significant for Brandon at the bottom of the top 100 than the #1 name Noah

Questions?  Favorite names?  Are you surprised by anything?  Let me know in the comments! 

They’re Here! The Top 10 Baby Names of 2016

Top 10 Baby Names of 2016.png

The Top 10 Baby Names of 2016

At around 9:15 AM, the Social Security Administration updated their website and released the data for the most popular baby names of 2016!  Believe me when I say that waiting for their arrival was more intense than being a kid and waking up on Christmas to see what Santa brought.  I’m so glad they’re here!!!

I’m also pleased to find out how on or off the mark my predictions were.  You can read and compare those here.

The 10 most popular baby girls’ names of 2016:

  1. Emma (0 rank change; usage fell)
  2. Olivia (0 change; usage fell)
  3. Ava (+1 rank change; usage fell)
  4. Sophia (-1 rank change; usage fell)
  5. Isabella (0 change; usage fell)
  6. Mia (0 change; usage fell)
  7. Charlotte (+2 change; usage rose)
  8. Abigail (-1 change; usage fell)
  9. Emily (-1 change; usage fell)
  10. Harper (0 change; usage rose)

The top 10 most popular baby boys’ names of 2016:

  1. Noah (0 rank change; usage fell)
  2. Liam (0 rank change; usage fell)
  3. William (+2 rank change; usage fell)
  4. Mason (-1 rank change; usage fell)
  5. James (+2 rank change; usage rose very slightly)
  6. Benjamin (+4 rank change; usage rose)
  7. Jacob (-3 rank change; usage fell)
  8. Michael (+1 rank change; usage fell)
  9. Elijah (new, +2 rank change; usage rose)
  10. Ethan (-4 rank change; usage fell)

The only name that left the top 10 for either gender was Alexander…wow.  I honestly thought it would be Michael!  Perhaps more surprising is that nothing entered or left the girls’ list.  That, and the boys’ top 10 is unusually volatile this year. 

The only names that rose usage-wise were Charlotte, Harper, Benjamin, Elijah, and James!  Everyone else fell, even if their ranks rose.

What are your favorite names in the top 10?  Let me know in the comments!  In the meantime, check back later for info on the top 100, top 1000, and beyond!