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Monday, August 12th, 2013
Britain and the U.S. may have a lot in common, but the top baby names aren’t one of them! In the UK, the top baby names are Harry and Amelia, yet again—names that aren’t anywhere near the top of the charts here in the U.S. (Harry’s at #718, while Amelia does rank higher, at #23.)
Some other interesting notes:
1. Nicknames are more popular than the formal names in the UK. Their top 20 includes Sophie, Charlie, Alfie, Evie, Max and Harry (which is actually a nickname for Henry).
2. Some of our most popular names don’t rank high in the UK. U.S. #2 Mason is #31 in the UK, and #2 Emma is #50 in the UK.
3. The British big climbers are Hugo (up 51 spots), and Ivy (up 80 spots). Ivy’s pretty big here, too, thanks to Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter.
4. I’m loving that most of the top 10 British baby names would make stellar sib sets—Jack and Jessica, for instance, or Thomas and Ava.
5. They have some lovely name choices that I’d suggest we steal: I’m loving Alfie, Archie, Arthur, Rory and George for boys; Isla, Poppy, Freya, Maisie and Tillie for girls.
Here’s the top 10 British names, for those keeping score at home.
1. Harry and Amelia
2. Oliver and Olivia
3. Jack and Jessica
4. Charlie and Emily
5. Jacob and Lily
6. Thomas and Ava
7. Alfie and Mia
8. Riley and Isla
9. William and Sophie
10. James and Isabella
You can check out the full top 100 here. What names do you love from it?
Don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the latest in baby names!
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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Could your baby’s name impact his future success? High-end recruiter The Ladders crunched some numbers around its members, and came up with some interesting insights into first names and future income or success. Their overarching theory, based on their 6 million members? The shorter the name, the better! People who went by three-letter monikers (like Bob, Tom and Rob) made the most money—and every additional letter in your name cost you $3,600 in annual salary. And that held true for both men and women—as most of the top earning names in the ladies’ category were short and sweet, like Lynn, Dana and Cathy. One notable exception for the ladies was Christine, which ranked as the top C-level executive name for women, and was also on the top 5 high earners. (Maybe those ladies went informally by Chris when actually addressed at work?)
Another interesting insight was that informal nicknames trumped their more formal roots—so going by Bill instead of William, or Debbie instead of Deborah could help you earn more cash. My thought? Short, one-syllable names like Rob, Marc and Lynn are easy to pronounce, simple and straightforward. And who wouldn’t want a colleague (or leader), who was straightforward?
Admittedly, some of the names among the top earners, especially on the ladies’ list, felt a little less-than-fresh. Denise, for instance, is on a steep trajectory out of the top 1,000 names, and Cindy is following on Denise’s heels. On the boys’ side, Wayne recently had a sharp spike in popularity, but it’s still near the bottom of the top 1,000 names for boys.
Though of course, you’ll have to take all of this number crunching with a grain of salt. The pool of people in their sample is skewed toward high-level business folks (I’m sure there are plenty of Denises and Robs who have less than 6-figure salaries), and I can say with authority that despite our short-and-sweet names, my husband and I aren’t C-level executives.
But maybe this is food for thought as you pick your baby’s name. Look for names that are short and sweet, or that can be lopped off to a simple nickname.
What do you think? Could your name (or your baby’s name) be holding you back?
(Want to keep up with the latest in baby names? Follow In Name Only on Facebook for the latest!)
Image: Baby names by Amir Ridhwan/Shutterstock.com
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Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
I’ve been thinking about the latest spate of celebrity baby names, and I’ve noticed a trend—the celebs who have more unique names themselves gave their kids very traditional names (i.e. actress Shiri Appleby and her daughter, Natalie), while ones who have more common names themselves went offbeat for their babies (see Holly Madison and her daughter, Rainbow Aurora, and Kristen Bell and her daughter, Lincoln Bell Shepard).
So are we all looking to give our kids the names we wish we had? I know I didn’t like that my name was super popular and had no nickname possibilities, and so I gave my girls names that weren’t super common (Katharine and Margaret), and came with a slew of nickname possibilities. And I’ve seen that with some of my friends—one who loathed the fact that her name, Katherine, was always shortened to a nickname, gave her sons names that can’t really be shortened. Another who disliked the offbeat spelling of her name gave her kids names with classic spellings.
I think it’s only natural that we’d want to give our kids names in the style we wish we’d been named. But does that mean that my daughters are going to pick short and sweet names for their kids? Or that all the Olivias and Jacobs from this generation are going to rebel and give their kids offbeat names like Wheat and Amaryllis?
Let me know if my theory’s totally bunk! In the comments, let me know what you would have changed about your own name—and if you picked names for your kids don’t have that particular issue.
Image: Babies by Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com
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Thursday, March 28th, 2013
It’s a girl for Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard—and with an offbeat name that tends more toward dad Dax (a French place name that’s near the bottom of the top 1000 for boys) than mom’s conventional Kristen (currently number 661, after a long run in the top 10 baby names for girls). Their new daughter? Welcome Lincoln Bell Shepard.
Lincoln has Presidential links, thanks to the Great Emancipator himself (perhaps the couple loved the recent flick). But it’s a name that’s almost always been used for boys—and I’ve never seen it mentioned for a girl. It’s currently on an upswing for boys, in the top 200 baby names, and given the recent movie, I don’t expect to see it take a downturn any time soon. Which means that this girly Lincoln may just have a boyfriend with the same name one day.
Lincoln is usually shortened to “Linc,” but for a girl, I’d go with Lin or Callie as a nickname. Or perhaps even Libby—Kristen appears to go by “KB” with her friends, as evidenced by the recent Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign. Maybe they planned the name so little Lincoln can go by her initials as well.
Bell is obviously her mom’s surname, but it’s also been relatively popular for girls—especially in that middle spot.
I love the name if they’d have a son, but I’m not so convinced that Lincoln works for a girl. (Of course, that all depends on what kind of girl she is—and if she’s as funny and sassy as her mom, perhaps it really will work for her.) Still I expected something offbeat and cool from this duo, and they definitely delivered.
What do you think? Does Lincoln work for the ladies? Or is it a boys’ only name? Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.
Image: Kristen Bell by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
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Thursday, February 28th, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, we featured Connie and her search for a short but sweet boys’ name. In addition to my suggestions, you guys came out in full force, with tons of potential baby names. So Connie and her fiancé, Travis, had plenty to work with when choosing the perfect baby name. Here’s what she had to say:
I made a list of 107 names consisting of your suggestions, the reader suggestions, and other names I came across, and Travis crossed off all but 7…it was a start. Last Wednesday morning I had to have an emergency c-section, and 48 hours later we finally picked a name. Wade Lee!! Short and sweet, not too common and not too weird.
I think Connie and Travis made a fantastic choice! Wade is an English name that means river crossing (it’s also a word that means walking out into water). It reached its peak in popularity in the 1960s, but is still reasonably popular now – it’s currently in the top 500 baby names for boys. It’s a short one-syllable name that has no nickname, which was one of Travis’s deal breakers for baby names. It looks like one of our readers, Suzanne, came closest to picking the perfect name for Connie and Travis’s son– she suggested the more modern cousin of Wade, Cade.
Lee is also an English name, and it means meadow. It’s less popular than Wade as a first name, but Lee is one of the most popular middle names around.
What do you think of Connie and Travis’s choice? Is it a baby name you would pick for your child? And how concerned are you about nicknames when you’re picking your child’s baby name?
Don’t forget: if you have a baby naming question, send it to me at LAMilbrand@Gmail.com.
Photo: Question mark by PZ Designs / Shutterstock.com
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