June 25, 2015

Freshly Picked Baby Names of 2014: New Names in the top 100s and 200s

When the 2014 names stats were released, I was thrilled...and busy. So when I finally got to sneak in some time to delve into the names, I was determined to write up a quick post on a few finds. The results are fantastic, fresh names that are showing tons of promise. It doesn't get more inspiring than that!

America has spoken—these top names are the latest picks worthy of the top 100 and the top 200. They range in style from pioneer-era favorites (Alice) to modern inventions (Ryder), but there's such a rich sample here that one or two is bound to entice you. To put it simply: these are red-hot names to watch in the next coming years.

Baby Names New to the Top 100

    New Top 100 Girls' Names
    • Eleanor
    • Alice
    • Vivian
    • Hadley

    New Top 100 Boys' Names

    • Asher
    • Ryder
    • Leo
    This group of names does have a few things in common. Eleanor, Vivian, and Leo are choices popular in the 1910s and 20s, demonstrating that our taste for "old fashioned" is starting to move beyond pioneer times. Alice, however, is a perfect example of the hold that those Victorian-era names continue to have over us. Hadley and Ryder could be a perfect little sibling set, as they are both modern choices new to the naming scene. Asher is a newly discovered biblical favorite, with little use in America before the 21st century.

    Baby Names New to the Top 200

      New Top 200 Girls' Names
      • Emilia
      • Arabella
      • Everly
      • Callie
      • Alina
      • Rose
      • Athena
      • Emerson
      • Adelyn

      New Top 200 Boys' Names

      • Luca
      • Karter
      • Graham
      • Jayceon
      This group is really going places! They are all on a sharp upward trend, as parents look for names that aren't overdone, but aren't unfamiliar.

      You can put a check in the old-fashioned column next to Callie, Rose, and Graham, but for the most part, these names reflect a more modern style. Some are a twist on wildly popular old-fashioned favorites with Emilia (Amelia), Adelyn (Madeline), and Karter (Carter). Truly modern choices are Everly, Emerson, and Jayceon. Luca is an Italian classic, while the girls have a flowing trio of multisyllabic "a" names with Arabella, Alina, and Athena.

      You May Also Like...
      The Names of 2014 ~ Pioneer Baby Names ~ Vintage Baby Names

      June 22, 2015

      Celebrity Baby Names of 2015: Spring Season

      Listed are the baby's birthday, parents' names and the baby's first and middle name (if available). Announcements are still trickling in, and as they do I will update this list. A few words of commentary—in the form of celebrity name awards—are below!

      Baby Girls

      March 23, Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent: Poppy

      March 25, Molly Sims and Scott Stuber: Scarlett May

      March 28, Coco Rocha and James Conran: Ioni James

      April 1, Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich: Dashiel Edan

      April 1: Jason Mewes and Jordan Monsanto: Logan Lee

      April 13, Dylan Lauren and Paul Arrouet: TWINS Cooper Blue (boy) and Kingsley Rainbow (girl)

      April 23, Donald Faison and CaCee Cobb: Wilder Frances

      April 24, Owain Yeoman and Gigi Yallouz Yeoman: Ever Belle

      May 11, Haylie Duff and Matt Rosenberg: Ryan Ava

      May 27, Kim Spradlin Wolfe: August Jane

      May 27, Andrea Canning and Tony Bancroft: Elle Corbin

      May 30, Maci Bookout: Jayde Carter

      June 4, Ludacris and Eudoxie Mbouguiyengue: Cadence Gaƫlle

      June 13, Lisa and Jack Osbourne: Andy Rose

      Baby Boys

      March 24, Sam Worthington and Lara Bingle: Rocket Zot

      March 31, Elspeth and Reid Scott: Conrad

      April 2, Kelly Stables and Kurt Patino: Kellen William

      April 4, Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies: Theodore Vigo Sullivan

      April 11, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel: Silas Randall

      April 14, Kimora Lee Simmons and Tim Leissner: Wolfe

      April 13, Dylan Lauren and Paul Arrouet: TWINS Cooper Blue (boy) and Kingsley Rainbow (girl)

      April 14, Donovan Leitch and Libby Mintz: Donovan Evers

      May, Miranda and Terrence Howard: Qirin Love Howard

      May 15, Claire Coffee and Chris Thile: Calvin Eugene

      May 18, Bode Miller and Morgan Beck Miller: Nash Skan

      May 18, Samantha and Kyle Busch: Brexton Locke

      May 23, Scott Porter and Kelsey Mayfield Porter: McCoy Lee

      May 29, Marisa Miller and Griffin Guess: Grayson Lee Bazyl

      April 30, Alfonso and Angela Ribeiro: Anders Reyn

      June 1, Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks: Tobias

      June 8, Theo Rossi and Meghan McDermott: Kane Alexander

      June 17, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin: Rafael Thomas

      Spring 2015

      Top Stereotypical Celebrity Name
      Names that give celebs a reputation for using wild or odd names.

      Australian power couple Sam Worthington, actor best known for the lead in Avatar, and his wife,  model Lara Bingle, went bold with their baby's name. Very bold. It's the kind of name I picture on a friendly cartoon alien designed by Disney. The combination of the first and middle name is what puts this one over the edge for me, into the realm of, well, outer space. There were 13 boys given the name Rocket last year, so maybe I just need to broaden my horizons...I crack myself up.
      WINNER: Rocket Zot

      Top Trendy Names 
      Names that are becoming a hit with celebs and not-so-famous parents alike.
      WINNERS: ScarlettGrayson

      Most Classic Name
      Classic names that no one pays attention to because they aren't wild enough.
      Funny story. Usually finding a classic name is very easy—I simply look for names that have the most consistent use over time. This season, there are a few that may feel like classics but are actually closer to what I'd describe as trendy or a period-revival name...in short, there's not a classic name in sight.
      WINNERS: Traditional names Theodore and Tobias are as close as it comes!

      Best Intriguing Name
      A name that is a little surprising, in a nice way. 
      The Scandinavian form of Andrew, Anders has a trend-worthy sound even though it's just barely begun to get some attention. It may be rare, but it's not unfamiliar, making it a pleasant little surprise.
      WINNER: Anders

      Newest Celebrity Trend
      An interesting trend showing up in this season's names, whether or not it's a trend on a large scale.
      This season happens to highlight traditionally male-leaning names in the girls' section.
      WINNERS: Dashiel, Logan, KingsleyWilder, Ryan, August, Andy
      Honorable Mention: girls' middle names James, Corbin, and Carter

      Personal Favorite  
      My own choice for best names. What's yours?
      WINNER: Theodore Vigo Sullivan

      Share Your Thoughts
      No matter what the style, we all love dishing about the name choices of the rich and famous. Please share your opinions in the comments!

      You may also like: Celebrity Baby Names of 2015: Winter Season

      May 13, 2015

      The Names of 2014: Names America Loved and Left

      I'm as thrilled as that little girl (and that's saying something!), because the moment has come for name enthusiasts and curious people everywhere—the 2014 stats have been released by the Social Security Administration. Here's a quick summary of the names the US has loved and, well, left over the past year.

      2014's Most Popular Names

      The top 10 for boys and girls is a list I love. Seriously! The new top 10 is looking very tasteful and charming.

      While there isn't usually much change in the top 10, I have to brag just a bit as I predicted Charlotte would continue its upward climb and reach top-10 status. Here's what life at the top looks like for boys and girls.

      1. Noah
      2. Liam
      3. Mason
      4. Jacob
      5. William
      6. Ethan
      7. Michael
      8. Alexander
      9. James
      10. Daniel
      1. Emma
      2. Olivia
      3. Sophia
      4. Isabella
      5. Ava
      6. Mia
      7. Emily
      8. Abigail
      9. Madison
      10. Charlotte
      All in all, there's a lot to love in these top 20 names, which are loaded with classics and vintage charmers. The boys' traditional name James (appropriately) usurped Jayden, while Charlotte replaced Elizabeth.

      For more details on names that are on the rise, try my post Freshly Picked Baby Names of 2014. But for some, the more intriguing stories are the names that made strides in the span of one year.

      2014's Fastest Rising Names

      These are names that gained more popularity over last year. But keep in mind that none of these names are even close to the top 100 and no one is deeming these "popular"...just more popular than they used to be. They are names we may have already been drawn to, but for a lot of them, a celebrity or reality star is what put these names over the edge.

      1. Bode
      2. Axl
      3. Gannon
      4. Bodie
      5. Royal
      6. Coen
      7. Anakin
      8. Killian
      9. Reyansh
      10. Ronin
      1. Aranza
      2. Montserrat
      3. Monserrat
      4. Maisie
      5. Zendaya
      6. Karter
      7. Ariadne
      8. Daleyza
      9. Thea
      10. Remington
      For boys, the number one spot is awarded to Bode Miller, who took home a bronze in the super-G event during the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Celebrity baby Axl, son of Josh and Fergie Duhamel, gets credit for the upswing for his rock-n-roll inspired name. We can thank the TV show Once Upon a Time for single-handedly inspiring the momentum behind Killian (an anglicized spelling of the Irish name Cillian), where it's Captain Hook's first name. Anakin is soaring higher as Star Wars excitement brews and many are connecting with the on-trend sound of the name. Actor and dancer Kunwar Amar starred in India's teen dance drama as a character named Reyansh, while the movie 47 Ronin sparked interest in the samurai group with a super cool name.

      For girls, the names Aranza and Montserrat/Monserrat were inspired by characters on telenovelas, while Ariadne is the star actress on the telenovela hit La Malquerida. The no-surname-required teen actress and dancer Zendaya piqued interest in her name as she starred in a Disney original movie. English teen actress Maisie Williams has brought her sweet name across the pond, and Thea gained some attention via a character on Arrow.

      Overall, I'm most excited about: Maisie and Thea.

      2014's Fastest Falling Names

      The names that aren't doing so hot are often a great reflection of what and who has received negative press over the past year. They have to be a bit distinct, perhaps with a unique spelling, making it extra tough to get on board with these names in the face of a bad celebrity reputation.

      1. Bently
      2. Damion
      3. Amare
      4. Isiah
      5. Xavi
      6. Sidney
      7. Deegan
      8. Jair
      9. Juelz
      10. Corban
      1. Miley
      2. Karly
      3. Britney
      4. Kaya
      5. Nahla
      6. Rihanna
      7. Kaylyn
      8. Makena
      9. Karissa
      10. Sherlyn
      For the boys, alternative spellings rule the fast fallers. I'm looking at you, Bently (Bentley), Damion (Damian), and Corban (Corbin). Other fallers include a few fizzled celebrities. Amare (spelled Amar'e) is the name of a famed NY Knicks center whose injuries led to the team's return to the bottom. Juelz Santana is a rapper whose success has faded quickly, and Isiah Thomas is a retired basketball player who lost a sexual harassment case and went on to become the president of the WNBA's New York Liberty.

      On the girls' side, the demise of Miley is in the obvious wake of Miley Cyrus' fall from grace sanity over the last year and a half. Rihanna and Britney can be added to the less-than-wholesome group of pop singers who aren't inspiring namesakes. Nahla is the unique name of Halle Berry and model Gabriel Aubry's daughter, who is just a child, but is surrounded by the drama of her parents' court battles.

      Two Names The Entire Country Was Watching

      Elsa ~ Disney's Frozen came out in late 2013, making it hard to tell whether it would influence parents until 2014's stats were released. And the big news is that Frozen's reach has, as many predicted, easily extended to baby names. In 2013 the name Elsa was near the middle of the top 1,000 names, ranked at 528. But last year it jumped to 286 as parents embrace Elsa's irresistible simplicity and magical charms.

      Isis ~ While the terror group known as ISIS grabbed horrific headlines in 2014, parents began to drop this girls' name as quickly as possible. In 2013 the name Isis was (ironically) in a similar position to Elsa at a rank of 575, but the SSA now reports it's at 706. I predict that 2015 will reflect the same trend, until this name disappears from the top 1,000 altogether.

      You May Also Like...
      Freshly Picked Baby Names of 2014 ~ Pioneer Baby Names ~ Vintage Baby Names 

      May 4, 2015

      Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

      It's official! The Princess is here and her name is perfection. She's fourth in line to the throne and officially bears three names: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Let's break those three beautiful names down, shall we?

      Princess Charlotte's first name is in honor of her grandfather Charles, the Prince of Wales. It's the perfect way to honor him, it's elegant, darling, royal, and English (by way of French).  Go back in time with me to my original feature post on this name:
      The name Charlotte, a feminine form of the name Charles, gained fame in England after Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, brought the name to royal status. Queen Charlotte was a patron of the arts and supported both Bach, who was also her music teacher, and Mozart, who dedicated an opus to her. She was known for her art exhibitions and humanitarian efforts, and her name became a very attractive choice among parents in Great Britain and across Europe. In America, a city was named after her, and Charlotte is now the largest city in North Carolina.
      Her middle name, Elizabeth, is in honor of the Queen, Elizabeth II, the princess' great-grandmother. Elizabeth is also in honor of Kate's mother, Carole Elizabeth, who passed her middle name on to Kate as well. Using Elizabeth is a sweet family tradition for Kate, and she must have been proud to pass it on to her daughter. Here's a little more info from my original post on this name:
      Quite possibly the most classic female name of all time, Elizabeth has an impressive history with thousands of years of renown. It was the name of at least 14 different European queens, including the current Queen of England. It was the name of John the Baptist's mother in the Bible. It has represented princesses, empresses, and saints.
      The princess' second middle name, Diana, is in honor of her late grandmother, Diana, Princess of Wales. It's a name from ancient Roman mythology as the goddess of the moon and of hunting. Because she was also known to be the virgin goddess of women and childbirth, poets would use the goddess Diana in reference to the virgin Queen, Elizabeth I.

      In England, this name will be very well received. Even though new name stats are due out this week, I can say with confidence that in the US, we are all enamored with the Princess' full name as well.

      The name Charlotte is currently ranked at #11 and is rising in popularity.
      The name Elizabeth is  currently ranked at #10 and is holding steady in popularity.
      The name Diana is currently ranked at #270 and is falling in popularity.

      This is quite a bit different than the impression the name George left on us. The Princess' name is likely going to be a top 10 name in the US once new stats are revealed for 2014. It's very popular, and it will strike people as beautiful and classic.

      All three of the Princess' names are honor names. They are very sentimental, and while Diana in particular may be the least popular, it's probably the most touching. It doesn't take a name expert to declare that this little Princess' name is a big hit, and exactly the kind of name we were all hoping for.

      You May Also Like...
      Charlotte ~ Elizabeth ~ The Most Classic Girls' Names of All Time ~