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I now have a full year of baby-name experience under my belt—doing everything from analyzing celebrity baby name choices to helping readers like you with their baby name dilemmas (if you have one, feel free to write me at with the scoop). And a few months ago, I tried to put some of my baby naming skills to work, picking 10 hot names to watch in the coming year. So how did I fare? Check out the results below:


Atticus This red-hot Romanesque name (most famous for the upstanding lawyer/dad in To Kill a Mockingbird) is still on the rise, climbing nearly 50 places in 2012—where it's about to break into the top 400.

Brantley This surname-name jumped around 175 places, and is now angling for the top 100 names in the country. (Looks like -ley names are falling out of favor for girls, but gaining favor for boys!)

Briella A mashup of Brian and Ella leaped 125 spots on the latest list. I expect it and sister name Brielle to make big strides this year, thanks to the fierce warrior Brielle on Game of Thrones. 

Camden I think I went a little too early on this one—it only rose four spots last year. But the celeb push this name received came all in the latter part of the year, with a pair of fall babies. Expect the name to make a bigger leap this year.

Carter was another modest mover—only up four slots. But it's still squarely in the top 50 names in the country. I'll be intrigued to see where it lands in some parts of the Midwest/Mountain areas, where the name was making big headway last year (it was tops in Iowa).

Declan moved up another 30 spots, after moving nearly 100 places between 2011 and 2012. I think as the -den names start to lose favor, this will move in to take the spot.

Olive got a big boost up about 50 spots on the charts, likely thanks to the influence of Drew Barrymore—and the fact that it's a less-popular variation on the uberpopular Olivia.

Penelope moved nearly 50 points itself—I still credit Tina Fey's baby naming prowess for this classic's resurgence!


Angelique looked like it was poised for a continued rise, but it actually dipped nine points over the course of 2012.

Merida I guess it isn't a Brave new world for baby names—the feisty princess's moniker didn't crack the top 1000, as I had predicted. There's always next year, though, right?

What names are you predicting to rise this year?