Sophia and Jacob may be the most popular U.S. baby names overall, but they aren’t the top names in every state. In fact, Sophia only topped the charts in 17 states, and three names were actually tops in more states than Jacob. (Jacob ranked #1 in four states, while William, Liam and Mason all topped the charts in more states than that.)
But what’s even more interesting are some of the names that made the top 5 in some states, but aren’t even in the top 10 in the U.S. Washington DC had some unique girls’ names, Charlotte and Genesis. Harper was also #4 in Montana, Nebraska, Iowa and North Dakota, and #2 in South Dakota—I’m already predicting that it hits the top 10 next year. Some unique names in the number 5 spot include Aaliyah (New Mexico), Avery (Minnesota), Lily (Utah) and Ella (Vermont).
The boys’ names were even more varied. Henry’s making major inroads—it may be only #43 overall, but it hit the top 5 in Washington DC, Minnesota and Oregon. Logan was in the top five in Hawaii, Idaho, Vermont and Wyoming, while Wyatt continued to be red-hot in the West—it was #3 in Montana and #5 in Wyoming. Some other unique names included Gabriel (#4 in Alaska), Ryan (#3 in Massachusetts), Carter (#3 in Iowa and #5 in Michigan), and Bentley and Hunter, both in the top 5 in West Virginia.
Of course, if you take into account the variety of ways baby names can be spelled—like Sophia/Sofia, Aiden/Aidan/Ayden and other creative spellings, the top names may look pretty different across the board. (Take a look at this top baby girls’ names, compiled by listing all the variant spellings—and you’ll see a different picture of the top baby names.)
What baby names are you hearing a lot where you live? (Check out our Name Game to tell us what other names you love—or love to hate!)
The Social Security Administration just shared their compilation of the top baby names of 2012, and it looks like Sophia and Jacob continue their reign in the top slots again for the second year in a row! Sophia brings to mind classic actress Sophia Loren, while Jacob, a classic Biblical name, got a shot in the arm from the uberpopular Twilight movies.
There are subtle little shifts in the top ten lists: Isabella slots back down to number three and Emma moves up to take the number two spot, while William heads out of the top three names for boys—making it Jacob, Mason and Ethan as the top three most popular names for boys. New to the top 10 this year for boys are Liam a red-hot name which jumped from #15 in 2011 to #6 in 2012, and Elizabeth, which traded spots with Chloe.
And here’s the top 10 in all their glory! Keep watching all this week and next as I analyze the heck out of the lists and see what big changes have occurred over the past year. (Like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby name scoop!)
We still haven’t even gotten the official numbers on what names were popular here in the U.S. for 2012, but thanks to the power of the internet, we’re getting a sense of what might be hot for 2013. Our buddies over at Nameberry parsed their baby-name numbers, and came up with some surprising picks for 2013′s hot names—including old-school monikers like Mavis and Bruce, Nordic names like Thor and Linnea, and pop-culture picks like Christian (as in 50 Shades of Grey Christian) and Marnie (from the show Girls).
I’m intrigued that Nelly made their hot name list. I picked Penelope as a hot up-and-comer for this year, but it appears that a few people are skipping right to the nickname on this one (Nelly is also considered a nickname for Helen or Eleanor, along with Penelope). Maybe we’re finally ready to skip the formal name and go right for the nickname?
The other surprise from their list? The dramatic rise in interest in the name Wilder. According to the Nameberry folks, views of Wilder have leaped 200 percent in the first part of this year. It’s a surname name, associated with both Our Town playwright Thornton Wilder and beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Its associations give the name an all-American, wild-hearted vibe.
Of course, looking isn’t the same as choosing—and those parents looking at Linnea and Mavis may end up following the status quo and picking Olivia or Jacob. And there’s more than one baby-naming site out there—our numbers at Parents.com show different hot names—Irish names like Connor and Liam for boys, and sweet Lucia and Mia for girls.
What do you think of Nameberry’s top 13? Have you heard of anyone giving their kids one of their picks? Or do you have your very own little Marnie or Bruce?
Anyone else excited by the news that there’s a new Veronica Mars movie in the works? Apparently, quite a few people are—producer Rob Thomas went on Kickstarter earlier this week to try to raise the funds to bring the whip-smart girl detective to the big screen—and managed to score the full $2 mil he needed within a few hours. (Check out the very funny video they created to sell you on their idea.)
I adored the show, which ran from 2004-2007—it was a smart, funny and very modern take on a Nancy Drew type, and featured future stars galore—most notably one of our current favorite pregnant ladies, Kristen Bell, and Amanda Seyfried. (If you haven’t caught it, check it out on theWB.com, which is showing the entire series for free.)
But I also like some of the naming choices that Rob Thomas made when he created his characters—and apparently, so did a lot of other people, as many of these names have hit the big time over the past few years. Check out the cast of characters for a few options for your son or daughter.
Veronica is one of the few from the cast that actually dropped lower after its run. It means true, and currently sits at #284 on the list, after reaching the top 100 in the 1970s and 1980s. It comes with nicknames like Ronnie, but I like that she always used her name in full.
Logan is her on-again, off-again bad-boy boyfriend’s name, which means “small hollow.” It hit the top 20 in 2006, right as the show was ending. It’s still a huge hit, and a nice alternative to some of the other -an names out there.
Duncan is her other on-again, off-again boyfriend, who has a few dark secrets of his own. The name, which means dark warrior, is currently sitting right around the top 800 names.
Wallace, Veronica’s right hand man and best bud, hasn’t had his name in the top 1000 U.S. names since 1990. Maybe the Veronica Mars resurgence will bring it back around?
Lilly, Veronica’s former best bud and Duncan’s sister, was already dead when the series premiered, but Amanda Seyfried popped up to play her in flashbacks and visions well into season two. The more common Lily spelling was already near the top when the show hit the air, and it’s #15 on the list now.
Bad boy biker Eli had a name that’s seen the biggest upswing since the show began—it’s currently #58 on the list, and it means uplifted.
Let me know if you’ve put some money into the Kickstarter campaign—and if you’d consider any of these names for your child.
If you’re as big a fan of The Walking Dead as I am, last night’s ending was a big shocker. I won’t give too much away, in case it’s still stored in your DVR, but Andrea, one of the longest running characters on the show, ends up in a bit of a predicament—to put it mildly.
It’s been interesting to watch the metamorphosis of her character. She started out as a relatively weak person, one who nearly decided to simply give up and commit suicide early on. But through all the trials and dangers wrought by living through a zombie apocalypse, Andrea has become one tough chick—a sharpshooter and skilled zombie hunter, who still lives by a strong moral code. She is willing to put herself in harm’s way to save the lives of her friends—as she did in yesterday’s episode. I’m hoping she will live to fight on another season (only two episodes left to find out!).
Her name, Andrea, was originally the Italian take on Andrew, and was a boy’s name. It actually means strong and manly (actually not a bad choice for the bold and a bit tomboyish character), and has been a top 100 baby name for girls in the country for the past 40 years.
It’s still used for boys in Europe (think of amazing opera singer Andrea Bocelli), but here in the U.S., it’s for the girls, despite its manly meaning. (Besides Walking Dead‘s badass Andrea, it was also the name chosen for the adorably geeky original 90210 character, and the heroine of chick-lit classic The Devil Wears Prada.)
As for middle names to pair it with, I’d choose something with some interesting consonants to break up the vowel-heavy first name. I like it with Zoe, Beatrice, Pearl and Jade.
What do you think of the name Andrea? Too manly or too well loved for your taste? Or just the right choice for your daughter…or even your son?