Is it Paisley? Is it Hazel? Nope, it’s Haisley!

Since 2010, over 200 baby girls have been named Haisley.  In 2015, there were 62; up from 49 in 2014 and 2013, and 24 in 2012.  Following her lead are the spellings Haizley (used 29 times in 2015) and Hazley (15 times)  Haisley‘s trendiness seems to be inspired by similar-sounding Paisley‘s meteoric rise.  Paisley only entered the top 1000 in 2006, when 326 girls were given the name; but in 2015, Paisley was given to 5056 girls in the U.S. alone, ranking #45!

Still, correlation does not equal causation, and if Haisley is taking off there may be other factors.  Old-fashioned Hazel started making her comeback as early as the late Nineties, but she received a substantial boost from the 2014 movie The Fault in Our Stars.  The 2015 data shows that in terms of raw usage, Hazel‘s popularity has basically doubled since 2013 (2051 in 2013, 4270 in 2015).  In terms of rank, she has more than doubled.  Indeed, 2015 is the first year Hazel has fallen within the top 100 since 1936!  I predict she’ll enter the top 50 in 2016. 

Besides Paisley and Hazel, some other names that might influence Haisley‘s rise are Hadley, Eisley, Hayes, Hailey, and Ainsley.  They are stretches, though.  Hadley and Ainsley‘s popularity decreased from 2014 to 2015, whereas Haisley got more popular.  Eisley is trending upwards, but is probably pronounced more like the name Isla than like Hazel or Paisley.  The still-growing popularity of Hayes as a boys’ name makes me wonder if anyone’s treated Haisley as a feminine form, but the “ay” versus “ai” spelling makes me unsure.  Hailey raises an interesting question for me, because she’s still popular enough to be a top 100 name, but she also reached peak popularity a decade ago and has been falling ever since. 

Finally, I’ve been pondering on the qualities that might make Haisley a popular choice among parents, independent of similarities to Paisley or Hazel…other than being a rare alternative to extremely popular names, of course.  Google and Wikipedia are great places to look if I want to get a feel for a name in the real world. 

Based on my internet searches, I’ve found out:

  • Jamaica had an Olympic high jumper named Ernle Haisley, so I guess we can add it to lists of sports-related names?
  • It’s a real surname, not a modern creation by adventurous parents.  A user-submission on Behind the Name indicates that Haisley might be a variation on Hazley, which the submitter defines as meaning “hazel wood.”  Keep in mind that User-submissions aren’t always checked for accuracy, but Behind the Name is generally reliable and that’s the first place I usually to check for definitions.  
  • Michigan has an elementary school called Haisley.

Ultimately this is a very obscure name, but even the rarest names (and especially the rarest names) deserve to have a spotlight shown on them.  I don’t think Haisley will be a top 1000 name in 2016 or 2017, but I don’t think she’ll stop being trendy right away, either.

What do you think of Haisley?


Below the Top 1000, Part 31 (Girls)

Happy Tuesday! 

Before I get into the real content of this post (the names!), I’d like to note a few changes to this site.  First, I eliminated the tag cloud because a) it was mainly aesthetic and b) I don’t know if anyone actually used it…or the category list, for that matter.  If you do use either of those tools, please let me know.  Secondly, I added a blogroll, meaning that you can scroll down and find a list of links to other websites about names.  Some of them have very specific and fascinating specialties – check them out if you get the chance!  Finally, I’ve edited my contact and info pages.  What was previously “About” is now “Who am I?”  Hopefully, these alterations will make my blog more user-friendly for y’all!

Anyway…the names!  Part 31 of this series covers extremely rare girls’ names used only 14 or 15 times in 2015.  The data comes from the Social Security Administration, which publishes America’s most popular baby names every year, plus an extended set for enthusiasts and researchers.  The 2016 set doesn’t come out until May, so we’re still talking about 2015. 

Enjoy this very long list! 

  • 15: Abria, Addilynne, Adelai, Adelita, Adessa, Alanys, Almira, Amisha, Anani, Angeliyah, Anshika, Ashna, Audreyanna, Azalynn, Azrielle, Bela, Binta, Blessed, Bonita, Bowen, Breezy, Cabella, Calypso, Catie, Chrisley, Claribel, Connelly, Darleen, Devani, Dominika, Dusty, Elinore, Emmamae, Estephania, Fariha, Gabbanelli, Gail, Gibson, Girl, Harvest, Heiress, Ioanna, Izadora, Juvia, Kalii, Kamylah, Karishma, Kc, Kentley, Kia, Laylee, Lilygrace, Lincy, Luanna, Lyrical, Mabelle, Maebelle, Maevis, Makynleigh, Manahil, Marit, Marybeth, Mayrani, Minnah, Mio, Mitzy, Myangel, Naraly, Nefertari, Ngozi, Novia, Noya, Pacey, Peightyn, Qamar, Raphaella, Reighlyn, Rhylynn, Robbie, Roux, Saanvika, Scottlynn, Shasta, Shylynn, Sloka, Soliyana, Sreshta, Starlet, Taisley, Taqwa, Tasha, Toryn, Tracie, Viva, Whitleigh, Wrigley, Xolani, Yaneliz, Yaritzel, Yashika, Zeriah
  • 14: Adalay, Aemilia, Afomia, Ajwa, Aleta, Alyxandra, Amazin, Amazing, Ameliarose, Amoree, Amparo, Anise, Anjelica, Anouk, Apple, Aqsa, Arietta, Athziri, Augustina, Avis, Aviv, Ayame, Azula, Bellany, Bethania, Beulah, Bless, Brexley, Briarrose, Calani, Callaway, Carlisle, Chapel, Chenoa, Christabella, Coretta, Coumba, Dash, Davida, Denia, Dominica, Dreama, Dynver, Edelyn, Elmira, Esli, Faithann, Feather, Ghazal, Ginevra, Haleema, Hampton, Haset, Honour, Inioluwa, Iszabella, Jadence, Janalee, Janelis, Jasnoor, Jaxsyn, Jazz, Jessamine, Jissel, Joniyah, Kamauri, Karrigan, Katina, Kaylor, Keani, Kerstin, Ketzaly, Khalilah, Kiandra, Kimiko, Koralynn, Krimson, Krithika, Kylia, Laiyla, Lareina, Lashae, Latavia, Letizia, Leyre, Lida, Lizet, Lorraina, Lucilla, Lucrezia, Lumina, Madelina, Marvel, Meriam, Meyer, Modesty, My, Myelle, Myrical, Myrna, Nairobi, Oluwanifemi, Paz, Phinley, Pietra, Raeanne, Reba, Reverie, Rosalba, Shams, Smriti, Stacia, Tahirah, Tailor, Talula, Tamsyn, Tasmia, Tigerlily, Toleen, Tris, Tzivia, Vashti, Vedanshi, Vienne, Wallis, Xareni, Xavia, Zillah, Zo

Thoughts?  Favorites?  Let me know in the comments. 

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While I don’t think Winchester will grace the top 1000 any time soon, it’s hard not to see the potential this ancient place name carries as a baby name.  According to SSA data, this debuted in 2014 as the first name of just 5 baby boys; 9 boys were named Winchester in 2015.  Expect to see even more in the 2016 set!


Winchester, Virginia

Winchester fits within several ongoing American trends.  As I’ve mentioned, Winchester is a place name.  Several cities and many more municipalities bear the name.  Personally, I consider these two locations the most important – Winchester (U.K.), an ancient city that boasts one of the largest cathedrals in Europe; and Winchester, Virginia (U.S.A.), which was an important spot in the Civil War and the hometown of musician Patsy Cline.  Geography always seems to inspire baby names, though the favorites change.  Some of the big cities like London and Paris are starting to seem like they’ve already hit their peaks as baby names, though other city-names like Memphis, Cairo, and Adelaide are still climbing the charts.

The appearance of Winchester in the SSA data probably has nothing to do with the cities that share its name, but with Winchester-branded rifles and shotguns.  Guns are “in” as baby names.  Remington is trendy for both genders, ranking #299 for boys and #621 for girls.  Wesson, like Winchester, debuted with only 5 boys – that was in 2004.  Now, over a decade later, Wesson is poised to make a top 1000 debut.  If the future is this bright for gun names, Winchester probably won’t be in single-digit usage much longer.

“Win” names themselves are apparently trendy.  Winston is making a comeback (though he never really left).  In the 1990s, Winslow was given to fewer than ten boys each year; now, it’s unisex!  Royal Windsor is also unisex, though increasingly female.  Even Winifred made huge gains in 2014 and 2015!   Will Winchester ride on the coattails of these other “winners” to establish himself?

Finally, Winchester has decent nickname potential.  You can call him Chester or Chet.  If Winchester eventually emulates other “win” names and goes unisex, you may encounter the nicknames Winnie and Winter too!

What do you think of the name Winchester?  Do you think Winchester has the ammunition to succeed like Remington and Wesson, or maybe via the impending success of other “winners” like Winston and Winifred?   Or, do you think Winchester will remain rare?

Below the Top 1000, Part 30 (Boys)

Hi everyone!  

Every so often, I post a selection of rare names used in the U.S.  The names you see below were given to just 14 or 15 boys in 2015, according to the Social Security Administration.  Why am I still talking about 2015 when it’s already 2017?  Answer: new popularity data for the U.S. is never released until May of the following year.  So, the 2015 data came out in May of 2016, and the 2016 data will come out in May of this year.

There are many extremely rare names in circulation.  Below, I’ve included a few of the more eye-catching ones.  Enjoy!

  • 15: Aiken, Antuan, Asaph, Avant, Ashe, Aviraj, Azzam, Barnabas, Brockton, Castor, Celestino, Chukwuebuka, Corinthian, Cruise, Elchonon, Emmerich, Eusebio, Ezariah, Franz, Gaius, Gennaro, Halo, Henrique, Huey, Isley, Ivo, Jazz, Jencarlo, Jenner, Jubal, Juvenal, Keahi, Kodiak, Konstantine, Lambert, Martino, Midas, Oswin, Peregrine, Philemon, Ralston, Righteous, Slayden, Tao, Tavish, Trooper, Turki, Tycho, Urias, Xzayvier, Xzayvion, Zoltan
  • 14: Alucard, Anchor, Archivaldo, Arjuna, Attikus, Avigdor, Avishai, Azaria, Azlaan, Baraka, Beauden, Betzalel, Bob, Brick, Bryn, Calogero, Chatham, Chip, Crockett, Esmond, Guthrie, Harsh, Helix, Jager, Keene, Kensington, Kirkland, Kirubel, Lando, Macarthur, Makoto, Massimiliano, Matisse, Maurizio, Melchizedek, Meshach, Montreal, Nels, Opie, Pharrell, Sherwin, Stafford, Thorsten, Tosh, Ulric, Victory, Wake, Warrick, Xerxes, Yehonatan

A couple of notes: 1) I wonder how many of the boys named Avant have “Garde” for a middle name and 2) Alucard is “Dracula” backwards.

Thoughts?  Favorites?  Least-favorites?  Let me know in the comments! 

Last five posts in this series: