In 2014 I featured a series of blog posts introducing you to 2,014 names. For the most part they were names that were brand new to me as well. Some names may be more familiar but I found the meaning or origin or some other aspect of the name made it worthy of inclusion here. You may love some of the names, you may hate some, but hopefully you enjoy learning about all of them.

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Look at the Top 50 Names of 2014

A very quick look. Not much changed. Names fell or rose only a little. Only 2 boy names entered the top 50. 56 more little Aarons were born in 2014 than in 2013, which resulted in pushing Aaron from 51 up to 50. Oliver joined the top 50 and is the biggest news for this portion of the SSA list. As for names that fell, none fell much. A few dropped 7 places, names such as Nathan and Ryan. After Oliver, which had been ranked 52 and jumped to 32, Sebastian gained the most ground in the top 50, going from 45 to 34.

The girls' names are a different story. Victoria didn't move many spots, but what she did do was enter the top 20, going from 25 to 19. That's 7,184 Victorias versus 7,955, a difference of nearly 800 more babies with the name.

Only 3 new names joined the top 50 girl names in 2014: Penelope, Nora, and Skylar.

Penelope - rose to 42 from 56 - (14 spots)
Nora - rose to 49 from 82 (33 spots!)
Skylar - rose to 48 from 73 (25 spots!)

Obviously, Nora is the biggest news in the top 50, on either the boys' or girls' side.

Other names to note:

Aria -   rose to 31 from 40 last year. That's 5,104 Arias in 2013 and 5,893 in 2014. 789 more Arias last year. I'm sure Aria will overtake Victoria in no time.

Scarlett rose just one place higher than Aria, to 30 and came farther, well, by a couple spots, she was ranked 42 in 2013. In real numbers, that's 5047 versus 5965. That's 918 more Scarletts in 2014 than in 2013. Another name I expect will overtake Victoria. Will she stay ahead of Aria?

Aria might just be part of an 'ari' trend (in which case, I wonder if Victoria didn't start it all with her 'oria' ending, with Aria and other similar names now being used as a less common alternative). Arianna only rose 4 spots in 2014, from 44 to 40. But Ariana entered the top 50, rising from 54 to 37, 17 spots. The most movement this high on the list. In real numbers, that's 4396 Arianas in 2013 and 5461 in 2014. More than 1,000 more Arianas. Ariannas and Arianas combined numbered 10,701 in 2014 and only 9,378 the year before. Over two years, that's 20,079 Arianas/Ariannas that were born in the U.S.

Some names fell a bit.  Aaliyah went from 37 to 45. But some names dropped out of the top 50 altogether. Alexis dropped to 64 from 46 (18 spots!)  and Nevaeh stuck with her, going from 47 to 65 (18 spots). Sarah stayed with us, by the skin of her teeth, going from 48 to 50.

Friday, May 8, 2015

We've talked top 10, Now let's talk top 20

The top 20 names on the SSA list of the most popular names given to babies in 2014 for boys and girls:

RankMale name
Female name

Names that improved their ranking this year from last :

Mason, James, Benjamin, Logan, Emma, Olivia, Charlotte, Harper, Sofia, Amelia, Evelyn
Victoria returns to the top 20 this year, after a 14 year absence.
Lucas is brand new to the top 20 this year

Names that fell in the rankings from last year:

Sophia, Elizabeth, Avery, Chloe, Ella, Aubrey
Jacob, Aiden, Matthew, Jackson, Logan
Aubrey and Anthony both dropped out of the top 20

Not too many changes. I think some are due to people choosing different spellings more and more, so names like Jackson, Aiden, Jayden, and Sophia haven't actually become less popular. People are just choosing to spell them differently. This can be seen in the rest of the list, by the number of spots taken up, essentially, by one name. Jackson is a great example. Falling from 16th place to 17th isn't the whole picture. Because Jaxon ranked 46th. Together they represent 20,056 baby boys with the same name (but different spellings). Jaxson was ranked 85th, with 4900 births. Added to the previous total that's 24,956, and we're just getting started. There are a LOT of different ways people have spelled Jackson. Not one name in America was used that many times, at least, using only one spelling of the name. Since 2005. This explains why you can hear of or meet a lot of babies or children with the name even though the name fell on the SSA list. Just that spelling of the name fell. The name itself could be even more popular. 

Celebration and Ecstasy! The 2014 Top Baby Names Are Here!

The Social Security Administration released today, in honor of Mother's Day, the top names given to babies in 2014. You can view the whole list by clicking here. We will examine the list in a series of posts over the next year. Let's begin with the exciting, and, in my book, best news.

Emma is the new #1 girl's name. I predicted Emma would overtake Sophia last year, but I was off by a year. Sophia dropped to number #3. The top 5 girl names (the royalty, so to speak) are:


I had also been thinking that Olivia was a firm favorite and despite its widespread use over more than a decade that it would hold its own. I did think Isabella would drop more, so it surprised me that she didn't.

The boy's list didn't change much at all.


Is it just me or could the next battle for #1 be between Mason and William? I predict next year Mason will rise even more as will William. But I can't decide whether or not to go so far as to say that Noah will be unseated (unseeded??) from his throne by one of the two. I don't see Liam as making it to #1, at least at this point. Noah could stay on top for a while.

The bottom half of the top 10 baby names didn't change much on the girl's side. Elizabeth was lost (boo!) but Charlotte took her place. With the new princess named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, I predict that next year Charlotte will rise even more (and Elizabeth might return to the top 10). Though, I think she would have regardless. But the best news of all I've saved for last. James is back in the top ten!!! Look folks, of childbearing age, the power lies in your hands. YOU could make the best name in the world a top 5 name. Nay, a # 1 name!!

I'm very happy with the boy's top ten, especially as the trade was an improvement - Jayden dropped back out. I can't decide if that will stick though. It is an overexposed name, but may be a new classic, so it might not drop much more than it has. It will be interesting to see. Here are the top ten names for boys and girls

Noah, Liam, Mason, Jacob, William, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, James, Daniel
Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Isabella, Ava, Mia, Emily, Abigail, Madison, Charlotte

Amazing how Madison is holding her own. I thought she was done in the top 10. I'm also surprised Emily and Abigail didn't drop more. Nice to see Daniel rounding off the bottom of the top 10. It's a solid name. And with my recent fascination with ancient Babylon and the insane levels of courage displayed by early Christians who faced death by lion and, well, there are probably 7 more obsessions I've been indulging that tie in very well to the story of diligent and daring Daniel.

What are your thoughts on the top 10 Baby names of 2014? (well, there are 20, 10 for each gender)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Charlotte of Cambridge

The royal baby has been named. I wouldn't have picked Charlotte for the first name, but it is a nice way to honor grandpa. What I DO love about the name Charlotte are all the possible nicknames.

Lottie (my favorite)
Charo (well, for teasing at least)
Shawl (yeah, one of those 'just at home with family' kind of nicknames)
well, heavens, Choo choo then too, if we're going to have goofy nicknames here.
Chel (or Shell)
she might even get 'car lot' once or twice in school, which won't be great in the way it would be meant there but it reminds me that I DO love Carlotta. Very pretty.
oh yes, Scarlett would be a decent nickname for Charlotte
Lotus (kinda digging this one right now)
Lotus reminds me of the Hindu name Kamala (KAH muh luh), which is very pretty in its own right, so, were she my niece, I'd take full advantage and call her that from time to time
Carrot!! How could I forget this! I think it's rather adorable

The princess' full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, which is very pretty. I approve. I like Diana much more than Charlotte, though. But then, I was a little girl when Princess Diana got married and had her babies and so I do have a bit of bias there.

Maybe Charlotte won't have any more brothers or sisters. But then again she might. And should she, well, and her brother George too, for that matter, here are some nice names to consider for their siblings:

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and

David - it's not a family name but it is a handsome name
Francis - yes, it's mostly a girl name lately, but if anyone can bring it back to being fully unisex, the royal child should be able to, right? I really do like it just as much for boys as for girls
Phillip - nothing wrong with namesakes, I say

Bianca - not so English, I guess, but so lovely and matches both George and Charlotte well
Thomasine - I'm realizing these names will all be butchered when actually said by the English. Bianca will sound like beaker or banker or something and Thomasine? something like Thompson, I guess. I'm only advocating the pronunciation I know. Otherwise, the deal's off!
Madeleine - despite its Frenchness. it's swell!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A New Princess

Since England has a new princess today, I thought it might be fun to rename one. This is another portrait I found of Queen Elizabeth II, when she was still a princess. I didn't post before Elizabeth's full name:

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary

The painting was done when Elizabeth was 7 years old. Before she was Queen, she was Princess of York. Her oldest son Charles is the grandpop of the newest little princess, who will be Princess of Cambridge. Charlie is the Prince of Wales and his son William is the Duke of Cambridge. But he is also a prince, so Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. His son is the Prince of Cambridge, George. So let's rename Elizabeth a few ways. Give her a wholly new name (first and two middle names), then additionally try using one of the names she currently bears as part of a name. Give her a name based entirely on people on her family tree (for instance, Georgiane, for her father, or Victoria, a little farther back on the tree). Lastly, come up with a name for the new princess that incorporates a tribute to Elizabeth in it.

Here are my ideas:

Julianne Ailsa Margery
Katherine Mary Ada
Victoria Anne Harriet

For the baby:

Adelia Elizabeth Gladys