How Creative Baby Name Spellings Mess With the Popularity Statistics

Whether you name your baby Addison or Adysyn, it all adds up to the same name. But unfortunately, baby name statistics don’t combine all those spellings when they determine the top 20 names—and so you could end up picking a name that’s much more popular than its current standing suggests. Several blogs have sussed the numbers on the current lists, and while it doesn’t change the top 5 girls’ names, it does change the top 5 for the boys—which now become Aiden, Jackson, Jayden, Jacob—and the official top name, Noah, moves to number 5.

But what’s even more interesting is to see which names move way up in the standings, thanks to the addition of all those creative spellings. Names like Layla, Madeline, Adeline, and Arianna soar on the list for girls—and each has nearly a half-dozen different ways they’re spelled. And for boys, don’t think you’re in the clear if you pick a variant of a name like Jace or Caden—Caden looks like a top 100 name, but the variant spellings—Kaiden, Caiden, Kaden, just to name a few—moved it into the top 10.

And based on the vast number of creatively spelled names on this year’s movers and shakers list, I think this problem is only going to continue. My advice? If you don’t want your son known as Aidan W. for his entire school career, think of all the different ways that people could spell a potential name, and make sure that none of those rank higher than you desire. And maybe think twice about picking one of those creative spellings, which don’t really make your child’s name different enough to avoid the Aidan W. syndrome.

Tell me: How worried are you about the popularity of a name when you picked it? Were you surprised at how popular your baby’s name actually was?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?

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X-Men Baby Names

Today, X-Men: Days of Future Past opens, with the story once again focusing on Dr. Charles Xavier and his band of merry mutants, who fight not only against some evil humans who are hellbent on erasing them from the planet, but some fellow mutants who don’t share their kinder, gentler, let’s-all-just-get-along outlook. I’m excited to see this one, which requires time travel to stop whatever massive danger the X-Men find themselves in.

If you’ve been living under a rock and know nothing about them, the X-Men generally go by some pretty funky names, based on their special powers—like Iceman, who can freeze things at will, or Magneto, who can control and warp anything metallic. But if you’re looking for a name in homage to your favorite X-Men character, here are a few that are worth considering.

Xavier is the surname of Charles Francis Xavier (AKA Professor X), the leader of the X-Men, who possesses powers of telepathy and can control the minds of others. (He’s played, at least in future time, by the always awesome Patrick Stewart.) Xavier is the 83rd most popular name in the U.S., and it means “bright.”

Wolverine is probably the most iconic X-Men character, with his adamantium-clad claws that spring out from his fingers. The name he goes by, Logan, has been in the top 20 names in the U.S. since 2006. It’s a Scottish name that means “hollow,” and while it’s generally used for the boys, it’s having some success as a girls’ name, too.

Rogue can steal memories and powers from other people through touch. Her name has been revealed as either Anna or Marie (or Anna Marie), depending on if you follow the comics or the movie. But I like Rogue itself as a word name. It may be a little daring in the first spot, but it would make a really cool middle name.

Mystique is one of the cooler dark-side mutants, with blue skin and the ability to shape shift into anyone. The fact that she’s been played recently by Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t hurt, either. Mystique’s real name is Raven, currently on a bit of an upswing toward the top 500 baby names.

Jean Grey possesses telekinetic, telepathic and empathic powers of incredible strength, surpassing even Professor X. While Jean’s a beautiful, old-school name, it’s dropped off the radar since the early 1990s, and last year only 61 girls sported the name. I’m liking Grey a bit more, as a cool and colorful middle name.

Tell me: Who’s your favorite X-Man? And would you name your kiddo in homage to a pop-culture hero?

Check out our Baby Name Finder or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com if you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect baby name. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

 

Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret

 

Image: Mystique courtesy of  Marvel & 20th Century Fox

 

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Celebrity Baby Names: Hank Baskett And Kendra Wilkinson’s New Daughter

Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett welcomed their second child earlier this week! Joining big brother Hank IV is a girl given a combo of an old school boy’s name and an old-school girl’s name: Alijah Mary.

Alijah is a variant on the popular Elijah, which means “Jehovah is God.” This spelling shift is near the top 500 baby names for boys, while Elijah is #11. Alijah is rarely used for girls—in fact, only 24 girls were given that name in the U.S. last year. Its most noted namesake was Elijah was an Old Testament prophet.

Mary, on the other hand, is about as traditional as you can get for a girl. Mary was the name for the mother of Jesus in the Bible, a number of British royals, and numerous other notable women. It was the most popular baby name for decades, but has now fallen off a bit, to the top 125.

What do you think of Alijah? Do you think it’s ready to cross the aisle for girls, or is it a boys’ only name? And is Mary ready for its comeback?

Check out our Baby Name Finder if you’re still on the hunt for the perfect baby name. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret

 

Image: Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett by Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

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Celebrity Baby Names: Ciara and Future’s Son

You knew that a guy who renamed himself Future (formerly known as Nayvadius D. Wilburn) wasn’t going to pick something like John or James for his son. And instead, rapper-producer Future and singer Ciara decided to give their new cutie a name that’s obviously dear to their hearts—Future! And they paired that with the middle name Zahir.

Future is obviously a word name, and one that hasn’t been extremely popular—only six boys were given it last year. It does give you that forward thinking vibe, though. Perhaps we’ll be seeing more Futures in, well, the future?

Zahir is an Arabic name that means “shining.” So maybe this boy has a bright future? (With two talented celebrity parents, that’s not a huge stretch!)

No word yet on what they’re planning to call him—will he go by Future Junior?

In all, it’s certainly not a name I’d pick for one of my kids, but it seems perfect for the baby of two very creative celebrities.

What do you think? Would you consider Future for your kid—or are there any other word names you’d pick instead?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check our Baby Name Finder—or head on over to our Baby Fame Name Generator to get a name perfect for the A list.

And of course, like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?

Image: Ciara by Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

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Cool Name of the Week: India

Place names are apparently all the rage, at least for girls—among the top movers and shakers, five place names jumped more than 100 spots in popularity. And one of the biggest jumpers was U.K. favorite India, which leaped 240 places and finally entered the top 1000 here in the U.S.

India is, of course, one of the most populous countries on the planet, with more than 1 billion people, one with a rich and interesting history and culture—and it gives this name a touch of its timeless grandeur. Thanks to its long-standing popularity in the U.K. (and the U.K.’s once-upon-a-time rule of the country), it also feels vaguely British, too.

It was the name of Ashley Wilkes’ disapproving sister in Gone With the Wind, but it’s likely India achieved its newfound popularity because Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky picked it for their eldest daughter. Celebs like singer Sarah McLachlan and Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein also favored it for their daughters.

India needs a special middle name—no Jane or Anne for this one. Chris and Elsa paired it with Rose, Harvey picked Pearl, both of which would be lovely with it. I’d also like it with Jade, Scarlett, Violet, and Charlotte.

What do you think of the name India? Is it ready for the big time here in the U.S.?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Indian Baby Names
Indian Baby Names
Indian Baby Names

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