• Mon, May 14 2012

Top Baby Names Of 2011 Proves It’s Hard To Be Original

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)

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  • Cee

    Oh I have tons of “original” names in one of my schools…Bhychtohreah (Victoria), Joseph middle name Stalin…moms should really draw the line somewhere with their unique little snowflakes

  • Clodia

    We had the most difficult time coming up with a name for our second son, who was born last November. His older brother’s name was easy to pick, as my husband knew right away that he wanted to name him after his best friend, Hans (my husband is Dutch.) But we could not agree on anything for our second and it wasn’t until about 3 weeks until he was born that we even settled on a name, and a big part of that was his brother deciding that he liked the name. We wanted something that was unique but not too strange, although I think some people do think it’s strange. His name is “Ridder” and it’s Dutch and means “knight.” I love his name, but it’s definitely not on the top 1000 baby names list.

  • Katie

    Name originality always makes me think of a mother who had a daughter in Sage’s kinder class a few years back named Isabelle, another mother of the class had her second child, and named her Isla, Isabelle’s mother went NUTS ranting and raing about how “ISLA’S MOTHER STOLE MY DAUGHTERS NAME AND CUT OUT HALF THE LETTERS, I INVENTED THE NAME ISABELLE, ITS TWO NAMES, IZZY AND BELLE AND I PUT THEM TOEGETHER TO MAKE A WHOLE NEW NAME AND SHE STOLE IT”

    My favourite memory from when Sage was in kinder, the day this woman claimed to be the inventor of the name Isabelle, and accused another mother of stealing the name Isabelle by naming her daughter Isla.

    • LiteBrite

      Yikes. Isabelle is, I believe, the French version of Elizabeth. It’s been around for ages. The mother really thought she “invented” it? She doesn’t get out much, does she?

      My SIL was very protective of her baby’s name prior to birth. She refused to reveal it or even give a hint because she didn’t want anyone else to use it. What was this unique name, you ask? Emma. Yep, Emma. Now, Emma is a beautiful name, don’t get me wrong, but c’mon now. It’s #3 on the list. Trust me. It’s not like no one else would think of it.

    • Amy

      I thought Belle and Izzy were nicknames derived from the name Isabelle?

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  • Stephanie

    We named our daughter Olive and people often gave us the look like “are you insane?” even though it’s an actual old-fashioned name that used to be quite popular. Now it’s on the trending list. Go figure.

  • sefa

    Whoa – I was actually considering Mila, never thinking it would be all that popular. I also loved Sophia but didn’t want my daughter to forever be “Sophia N” in every class at school.

    The matter resolved itself when her great-grandmother passed away barely a month before she was born. Marion was christened in her honor with a name that hasn’t broken the top 1000 since 1997. (Generally considered a boy’s name, yes, but don’t tell that to Marion Ross AKA Mrs. Cunningham.)

  • Jessie

    Sadly, I don’t think the name “Jacob” being popular has anything to do with it being classic or Biblical anymore. It’s that insipid Twilight nonsense that’s making it popular, I’d bet anything (not to say that some people won’t still choose it because of its Biblical or just classic standing).

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