Thursday, May 9th, 2013
The top baby names of 2012 were released Thursday by the Social Security Administration, with Sophia and Jacob earning top rankings for the second year in a row.
Here are the top 10 names for each gender. Check out Parents.com’s In Name Only blog for analysis of the meanings of the top names, as well as what the changes in the list say about parents’ priorities and values.
Image: Baby name tag, via Shutterstock
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
The nation of New Zealand has a government agency dedicated to approving parents’ name choices for their newborns, and it has released an updated list of names that are barred in that country. The names, which include Lucifer, Christ, or Messiah, and the agency told CNN that acceptable names must not cause offense to a reasonable person, not be unreasonably long and should not resemble an official title and rank. More from CNN.com:
It’s no surprise then that the names nixed most often since 2001 are “Justice” (62 times) and “King” (31 times).
Some of the other entries scored points in the creativity department — but clearly didn’t take into account the lifetime of pain they’d bring.
“Mafia No Fear.” “4Real.” “Anal.”
Oh, come on!
Then there were the parents who preferred brevity through punctuation. The ones who picked ‘”*” (the asterisk) or ‘”.”(period).
Still, some quirky names do make it through.
In 2008, the country made made international news when the naming agency allowed a set of twins to be named ‘
“Benson” and “Hedges” — a popular cigarette brand — and OK’d the names “Violence” and “Number 16 Bus Shelter.”
Asked about those examples, Michael Mead of the Internal Affairs Department (under which the agency falls) said, “All names registered with the Department since 1995 have conformed to these rules.”
And what happens when parents don’t conform?
Four years ago, a 9-year-old girl was taken away from her parents by the state so that her name could be changed from “Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.”
Image: Name tag, via Shutterstock
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
Mohammed was the most popular baby boy name in England in 2011, making it the only name to retain either the top or second spot in the rankings for 6 consecutive years. CNN.com has more:
The government declared that Harry was the most popular boy’s name, but if you add up the five most popular different spellings of Mohammed, that name comes top.
Mohammed is also the most popular boy’s name of the past five years for England and Wales, ahead of Oliver and Jack. It came first or second every year since 2007, the only name to do so.
And it could become even more popular in 2012, given the adulation around long-distance runner Mo Farah, who won two gold medals for Britain at the Olympics.
The popularity of the name comes as Britain’s Muslim population is expected to double in the next 20 years.
The country, which was about 2% Muslim in 1990, grew to 4.6% Muslim in 2010, with nearly 2.9 million followers of the faith, according to analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
Image: Baby’s head, via Shutterstock
Monday, May 14th, 2012
The U.S. Social Security Administration has released its annual list of most popular baby names, with Sophia coming out as the top girl’s name, and Jacob as the top boy’s name. Here are the top 10 names for each gender:
Top Boys’ Names of 2011
Top Girls’ Names of 2011
For more, check out Parents.com’s In Name Only blog.
Image: Baby name blocks, via Shutterstock.
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Sherlock Holmes star Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan have welcomed a son!
Exton Elias was born Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. People.com reports that the babe was 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and 20 inches long. Downey has an older son, Indio, 18, from a previous marriage.
According to People.com, Susan was a tad upset when Downey shared the sex of the baby on national television last summer.
“I could never really stay mad at him, but I can tell you it genuinely wasn’t something we planned to reveal,” she said. As a result, Downey says he was extra careful to keep his lips zipped about the couple’s name pick before the baby arrived.
Image: Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr. via Shutterstock