Posts Tagged ‘
top baby names ’
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
It’s often hard to predict which pop culture names will inspire parents to choose them. I would have thought that Barack might have cracked the top 1000 after our 44th president, but no such luck. Only a handful of people have used Katniss or Peeta for their offspring, despite the Hunger Games’ popularity. And there’s really only one Beyonce—that name, created for the singer by her parents, still hasn’t cracked the top 1000.
But another celebrity catapulted her totally made up (and not even official) name into the baby name stratosphere—Miley Cyrus, who was born with the name Destiny Hope. Miley was her nickname because she was so “smiley” as a kid, and it became both her stage name and her alter ego’s name from Hannah Montana, too.
The year after the show Hannah Montana hit the airwaves, the name hit the big time, becoming the 278th most popular name in the country. Its popularity peaked in 2008, and it’s been on a slow and steady decline since then—in 2012, it ranked 335th.
I’m curious to see if it’s going to make a much sharper trajectory into the basement with all of Miley’s latest hijinks—maybe parents don’t want their kids named in honor of someone so controversial. My guess? It probably will take a huge nosedive. For reference, take a look at the trajectory of the name Lindsay (a la Lindsay Lohan), which took a big bump down starting with her first brushes with the law in 2006. And Lindsay is an actual name with a real meaning behind it, so it has that going over Miley’s name.
What do you think? Is Miley destined for a big drop in popularity? Or will parents still like that “smiley” message behind it?
If you’re still looking for a baby name, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Finder, and be sure to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names!
Image: Miley Cyrus by Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com
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Baby Name News, Celebrity Baby Names, Must Read
Monday, November 11th, 2013
We get pretty jazzed when someone from Parents.com welcomes a new baby into his or her family. And this week, we were thrilled to help Parents.com executive editor Michael Kress and his wife, Stephanie, welcome a brand new baby girl.
They chose names that are significant to their family for Sophia. Sophia (Tsofiya in Hebrew) was chosen to honor Stephanie’s late father, Tsvi. As any name nerds know, Sophia is currently the most popular name in the country, and it means wisdom. The most famous bearer of the name was movie star Sophia Loren.
The middle name, Devorah, is a Hebrew name that means “bee.” The Kresses chose it to honor Michael’s grandfather, David. Our friends over at Nameberry think it’s a fresh way to pay homage to a Deborah, too. It’s a name that hasn’t cracked the top 1000 here in the U.S., but I think it’s a lovely choice.
Congratulations to Michael and Stephanie! And we can’t wait to finally see some pictures of your beautiful little one.
Need help finding your perfect name? Try our Baby Name Finder!
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Image: Baby & stork by lineartestpilot/Shutterstock.com
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Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Were the 1970s long enough ago that the top names of the era deserve another look? Top girls’ names like Jennifer and Lisa may be a little too overdone to make a comeback now—and top boys’ names like Michael and Christopher never exactly go out of vogue. But the age of disco does have a few names in the top 100 that might be worth a second glance.
Kevin didn’t exactly drop too far from its pinnacle in the 1970s. It was #13 back then, but #67 now. The Irish name means handsome—and is a nice break from the Celtic Aidens and Dylans.
Jeremy, on the other hand, has fallen mightily from its peak in the 1970s—it was often a top 20 name, but now, this name that means “appointed by God,” is well below the top 100.
Gregory means vigilant—this #29 name in the 1970s has fallen to the top 300. I kind of like it in lieu of the equally classic Gabriel. Gregory’s a saint’s name and the name of legendary actor Gregory Peck.
Craig was the #56 baby name in the 1970s. But this name, which means “from the rocks,” has had a rocky time since then—it’s been on a precipitous fall from grace since the early 1990s. I like it in place of Caleb or Carter.
Shane is a real “cowboy” name, thanks to the film. It’s on a long, slow slide currently, after being the #60 name in the 1970s. Perhaps the fact that it’s been in a number of modern hits, including The Walking Dead, may give it a new lease on life.
Angela was red hot in the 1970s—a top 10 baby name all the way. I’m seeing it as an alternative to the uberpopular Amelia. What do you think?
I’m a little sad to see the name Tracy (the 1970s 24th most popular name) fall so far—my sister was given the variant spelling Tracey back in the 1970s. My mom seemed to know how to pick names at their pinnacle of popularity! Tracy’s now fallen completely out of the top 1000, though it could make a lovely name for a boy, too—think Tracy Morgan.
Dawn was the perfect popular name for the post-hippie 1970s—and it’s no wonder it was the 26th most popular name. It fell out of the top 1000 at the dawn of the century, but might make a sweet middle name, if nothing else.
Monica was the perfect name for the Friends character who seemed to run the whole group—it means advisor. It was in the top 45 back in the 1970s, but these days, it’s hanging around in the top 500.
Melanie means dark, and it’s held pretty steady in the bottom of the top 100 ever since it hit #56 in the 1970s. It’s most famous as the name of Scarlett O’Hara’s best friend/rival from the classic Gone With the Wind.
What do you think? Any of these 70 names worth a comeback? If you still haven’t found a baby name you love, email your question to me at email@example.com, or check out our Baby Name Finder for more help!
Image: Disco chick by Nemanya/Shutterstock.com
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In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
It’s time to take the baby name time machine back to the era of poodle skirts and young Elvis. And while the baby name Elvis reached its peak back in 1957 (it was #312 then), the most popular names were kind of what you’d expect—as they’re likely the names of your parents or grandparents. James and Mary topped the list, with Michael and Linda in second. James and Michael are still in the tops for boys, but Mary and Linda have fallen off considerably from their peaks.
Some of the names are probably too freshly popular to expect a comeback—names like Gary and Cheryl. But there might be a few gems worth resurrecting. Here are my picks from the top 100 1950s names:
I’ve been trying to resurrect the name Kenneth for a while now. It was #16 back in the 1950s, and has a really cool meaning—who wouldn’t want to call their kid handsome? It’s now in the top 200, but falling slowly.
Bruce, which means from the brushwood thicket, reached its pinnacle of popularity in the 1950s—#32 on the charts back then. With legends like Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Lee and Bruce Willis sporting the name, is it any wonder that it’s back on the map? (It’s risen over 100 places in the last two years alone!)
Dale was the 50th most popular name back in the 1950s, and it officially fell of the map for boys back in 2009. It means valley, and I like it in place of names like Cale and Caleb.
Leonard means brave lion, and it was the 88th most popular name back in the 1950s—today it’s just outside the top 700. It’s a nice way to get that trendy “Leo” nickname, but give your kid a classic name to go with it.
Kathleen is a variant of Caitlin and Katherine, and it has the same meaning—pure. It was #15 back in the 1950s, but today it’s fallen down to #667. It might be a fresh alternative to the now overplayed Caitlin.
Valerie ranked 84th back in the 1950s. It means strong, and it’s leveled off in the top 200 baby names for a while now. Maybe it’s time for a resurgence?
Pamela peaked in the 1950s, at #13—but it dropped out of the top 1000 last year. It’s a name that means “honey,” and maybe deserves another chance? I’m not loving Pam as a nickname, but could a case be made for the fresher “Millie” nickname from it?
Nancy peaked in the 1950s, but has been been taking a nosedive of late. It has a lovely meaning—grace—and that can-do detective Nancy Drew to recommend her. (Plus that spunky Fancy Nancy character is super cute!)
What do you think? Do any of the names suit you, or is there another retro classic you’re considering? If you’re still looking for baby names, try our Baby Name Finder, or keep up with the latest in baby names by liking In Name Only on Facebook!
Plus: See what’s written in the stars for you and Baby with our Mom and Baby Horoscope Finder. Also, be sure to check these must-dos off your Pregnancy To-Do List.
Image: 1950s woman by Yarygin/Shutterstock.com
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In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
The designers are returning to the 1980s, the era of neon, acid wash and big, big hair, for their inspiration. And even ABC is going back to the age of materialism, with the 1980s-set sitcom, The Goldbergs. So maybe it’s worth heading back in the time machine to find some vintage 1980s names, to search for hidden gems that aren’t quite so popular today.
Michael and Jessica topped the charts in the 1980s. Michael’s still a mainstay, currently at #8, while Jessica has not fared so well—it’s fallen to #138.
In fact, most of the top names for boys are still top choices—Matthew, James, Anthony, and Daniel wouldn’t seem out of place on the playground today. The girls haven’t fared as well. Names like Tiffany, Jennifer, Amber, Crystal and Stephanie, all in the top 20 back then, only belong to the moms on the playground now. (The one top 20 exception for girls? Elizabeth, which still in the top 10, now and seemingly forever!)
Still, there are some names on there that maybe deserve a second chance at the spotlight. Here are my picks for names that had their heyday in the 1980s:
Robert was a top 10 name back in the 1980s, but it’s fallen out of favor since and it’s now at #61. This is a time-honored classic with a cool meaning—famous—and a few cool nicknames. (We’ll pick Robb over the more dated Bob.)
Brian got lost in the rush toward other Celtic names like Connor, Aidan and Liam. But this lovely name, which means strong and virtuous, deserves another look. And since it has fallen from the top 20 to #139, you’re likely not to find another Brian on the playground.
Gregory was #45 in the 1980s, but is now slouching its way down below the top 300 mark. It’s a saint’s name, and won also worn by classic actor Gregory Peck and dancer/singer/actor Gregory Hines. Consider it in lieu of Gabriel.
Wesley means meadow, and it’s a lovely classic that’s been in the top 200 since 1880—though it hit its prime in the late 1970s and early 80s. A couple of cool characters—Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Wesley Crusher and Buffy/Angel‘s Wesley Wyndham-Pryce—sported the name, and the swashbuckling hero of The Princess Bride wore its soundalike cousin Westley.
Shane has a bit of cowboy cool, thanks to the classic Western flick—plus it was the name of a good-guy-gone-bad in red-hot series Walking Dead. But this variant of Sean has been on a downward slide since the 1980s. Is it ready for its comeback?
Amy seems to be the one Am or Em name that hasn’t made it to the top of the charts (though some could argue that this top 1980s name already had its day in the sun, and helped bring Emma, Emily and the like to everyone’s attention). Still, if you’re looking for something like Amelia, Emme or Emma, but less popular, this name may be just what you need.
Erica may mean “eternal ruler,” but the name is no longer lording over the popularity list. It was #36 back in the 1980s, and it’s now fallen below the top 500. Consider it in place of Kayley or Chloe.
The only reason I can come up with for the decline of the beautiful name Cynthia may be a hangup with the dated “Cindy” nickname. So skip Cindy in favor of Thea or Cici, and give this name, often connected with the Greek goddess Artemis, a chance.
I adore the name Veronica—think smart-ass girl detective Veronica Mars, Elvis Costello’s 1990s song “Veronica,” or even the Biblical wiper of Jesus’s brow. Veronica, which means “true image”—was the 70th most popular name back in the 1980s, but has since fallen to #316. I love the nickname Vivi for it, if Ronnie feels a little too 80s for you.
Diana was the 75th most popular name back in the 1980s, spurred in part by the glamorous new princess across the pond. But even if Princess Di is still a popular figure years after her death, her name hasn’t fared as well—it’s just fallen below the top 250. My money’s on a comeback for this goddess name that dates back to ancient Rome.
What do you think of these names? Are there any other 1980s names you think deserve a second shot at the top? If you need help finding the perfect name for your baby, check out Parents’ Baby Name Finder, or email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: 1980s girl, by eurobanks/Shutterstock.com
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