SILVER SPRING, Md., December 31, 2013 – Naming a baby is a huge responsibility. It is the verbal label of a person’s identity that he will carry with him for the rest of his life…most of the time. Many parents agonize over the decision of what to name their children, and every parent’s reason for the choice is personal. Regardless of what name you choose for your child, names fascinate us. We want to know what names are the most popular, the most unusual, and even the downright strange. Pop culture and celebrities influence our naming patterns, whether we like it or not, and the craziest names are always conversation starters. So, what were the top names for 2013?
While the official naming statistics for 2013 will not be released until the spring by the Social Security Administration, there are a handful of baby sites that take a stab at forming a list of the most popular names every year by polling their users who have babies in the designated time period. BabyCenter has the best track record. While their lists never line up exactly with the SSA list, they are usually not too far off, and their top picks usually come in the SSA’s top 10.
By looking at the top girls’ and boys’ list on BabyCenter, it looks like Americans have not changed their name preferences very much. Emma is number one again after having fallen from the top spot to Sophia for a handful of years, and Liam moved up to the top spot for boys after having spent the prior two years in number four. Rounding out the list of top ten repeaters for more than two years in a row are: Emma, Sophia, Olivia, Ava, Isabella and Mia for the girls; Liam, Noah, Ethan, Mason, Jacob, Jack, Lucas and Aiden for boys.
One trend that seems to be surfacing when you look at the complete list is for older, more traditional names. Names that were popular decades ago but have not been used much in more recent times seem to be making a comeback. Names like Charlotte, Amelia, and Ella even cracked the girls’ top 10. Others that made the list are Benjamin, Evelyn, Wyatt, Samuel, Lucy and Victoria.
Then there were the unique and memorable names that seem to be a hallmark of celebrity. Aside from North West, the daughter Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, there were quite a few other notable names in 2013. Actress Kristen Bell named her daughter Lincoln, and Holly Madison named her daughter Rainbow Aurora. No stranger to having an unusual first name, Busy Philips named her second daughter Cricket. Jessica Simpson and former football player fiancé Eric Johnson named their second child Ace Knute, while Fergie and Josh Duhamel named their son Axl Jack. Olympic Swimmer Amanda Beard named her daughter Doone Isla, and Kate Winslet named her newest son Bear.
While the celebrity names stand out, they are not the most unusual for 2013. Some of the most bizarre come to us from the United Kingdom this year. While Prince George may have been the baby to get the most attention, his name follows the tradition of the monarchy. However, according to the Bounty Parents’ Club survey of 370,000 baby names reported in the last year, the UK now has children named Nirvana, Pinky, Vogue, Pepsi, and Puppy.
Whatever you think of the names on this list, whether they are the most popular or the most unusual, remember someone thought they were perfect for their child.