Popular Baby Names


you're going to call me whatThe naming process! *Sigh* Need I say more?! It’s one decision that many labor over for many months to find just the right name. A name that will befit their family and child. When you are having multiples it adds to the complexity of the naming process. Parents of multiples are faced with trying to decide if they will give their twins names that match or compliment each other or be totally different.

When my husband and I were choosing names for our twin boys we decided on two totally different names. I thought that giving them unrelated names would help me avoid calling them by the wrong name. (FYI, I was wrong! I call them by the wrong name ALL the time!) Another factor we considered was the popularity of the name. We wanted a common name so that they didn’t have to spell it out every time someone needed to write it, but we didn’t want it to be so popular that there would be a bunch of other boys in their class with the same name.

From our generation we went to school with a bunch of Jessica’s and Jennifer’s (which held the #1 and #2 spot for sixteen years though the 80’s and 90’s) For the boys is was a bunch of Michael’s and Christopher’s (which held the #1 and #2 spot though that same period). It was confusing to keep track of which Jennifer or Michael someone was referring to. We didn’t want that to be an issue with our kids names.

So as we made our list of names and realized we didn’t really know anyone with our chosen names. We thought we did pretty good! But a few months later we found out one of our names (Ethan) landed the #2 spot for the most popular names given to a child that year. Wish I had known you could look that up during our naming process. (You can view the most popular names given to babies in the US at www.socialsecurtiy.com.) Ethan jumped onto the top 100 in 1989 and has been climbing ever since reaching the top 10 in 2002 to present.

2012 baby names

2013 Top 10 Baby Names

What influences the popularity of names parents give to their children? In times past people typically used family names. Today does pop culture have more to do with it? Or are there other social reasons behind naming children?

According to the list provided by the social security administration above, Liam is seen on the top 10 list for the first time this year. Does the rise in fame of Liam Neeson have something to do with it?

Major made the largest jump in popularity rising over 500 spots. Why the rise in popularity? Carolyn Colvin, acting Social Security commissioner, says “I have no doubt Major’s rising popularity as a boy’s name is in tribute to the brave members of the U.S. Military… “Maybe we’ll see more boys named General in the future.”

Arya was the runner up for most spots jumped (298) to the rise of popularity. The name of a character in the popular cable TV show “Game of Thrones” likely has something to do with it.

Ethan made the jump in 1989, perhaps because Ethan Hawke’s breakthrough role in the Dead Poet Society? Did the continue rise to fame have to do with Ethan Hunt, a character in the Mission Impossible film series? Who knows?!

Perhaps some of the popular names of the past also had to do with pop culture as well. Granted, many of the names on the list are still Biblical which never go out of style. But the recent trends show that parents want unique names for their kids as well. The top two names of 2000’s (Jacob and Emily) only account for about 490,000 babies named. In the 90’s the top two names (Michael and Jessica) accounted for 760,000 babies and the 80’s the top two names (Michael and Jessica… again) accounted for over one million babies. So even though the top two names for 2012 may be popular, the percentage of babies given those names will not be as many like it was in past decades.

So what did you consider when naming your children? Did you go traditional? Use family names? Biblical names? Use a unique spelling of a common name? Or choose “one of a kind” names? Tell us below!

You may be interested in this article about naming your twins as well:

Naming Your Multiples