top baby namesWe here at Mommyish are obsessed with baby names. But then, aren’t all parents? I mean, I have yet to meet an expectant mom who hasn’t obsessed over what to name her little bundle. That explains our fascination with the latest baby-name list released this morning by the Social Security Administration. It includes the top 1,000 baby names for 2011 and, let me tell you, I could analyze it for days.

For starters, Mason has moved into the No. 2 slot for boys, which in large part can be attributed to Kourtney Kardashian. The reality TV star, currently pregs with her second, named her son Mason back in 2009. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it just goes to show how much pull celebrities have when it comes to baby names (now more than ever). But Jacob still tops the list, which show that classic, Biblical names are still very much on trend. That said, it’s interesting to see the juxtaposition of Jacob with other names on the Top 10 list, like Aiden and its rhyming cousin Jayden.

When it comes to girls, feminine old-school names top the list (think Sophia, Isabella, Emma). In the past few months, a whack of celebrities have hopped on this trend, only their chosen names (Mabel, Pearl, Ethel) have yet to make it into the Top 10 (though let’s revisit that in another decade or two).

Here’s the Social Security Administration’s Top 10 list:

BOYS

1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. William
4. Jayden
5. Noah
6. Michael
7. Ethan
8. Alexander
9. Aiden
10. Daniel

GIRLS

1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Emma
4. Olivia
5. Ava
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Madison
9. Mia
10. Chloe

What’s really cool about the site is that you can type in any year (beginning with 1880) and view the most popular names at the time (I typed in my birth year and wasn’t surprised to see names like Jennifer, Michelle and Michael topping the list). You can also type in any random name and see if it landed in the top 100 in any given year.

I also can’t get enough of the “change in popularity” function, which shows how names have changed in popularity from 2010 to 2011. It’s pretty much an indicator of what’s to come. Here’s the SSA’s list (we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 for both boys and girls, but you can view the full list here):

BOYS

1. Brantley
2. Iker
3. Maximiliano
4. Zaiden
5. Kamden
6. Barrett
7. Archer
8. Declan
9. Atticus
10. Nico

GIRLS

1. Briella
2. Angelique
3. Aria
4. Mila
5. Elsie
6. Nylah
7. Raelynn
8. Brynlee
9. Olive
10. June

As I pore through these lists, I’m reminded that it’s hard to be original when it comes to baby names. Even within my own children’s classrooms, there are many repeat names, some of them classic and others newer, trendier names that are now considered mainstream.

Anyway, if you’re anything like me – and every other mother I know – you’ll have lots of fun sifting through this latest list of baby names. It’s inspirational, that’s for sure, but it also reveals so much about pop culture. It also makes me wonder what the this list will look like in 20 years from now when our own children are trying to pick out an original baby name. I can only imagine what names will be on that list when the times comes (Maxwell for a girl?).

(Photo: Ronald Sumners/Shutterstock)