How Popular Are A-Endings for Girl Names?

Did you notice that all five of the five most popular girl names in the nation right now have a-endings?

  1. Isabella
  2. Sophia
  3. Emma
  4. Olivia
  5. Ava

Just how trendy is this end-sound? (I say “sound” to cover names like Hannah and Nevaeh, which don’t end with a, but sound like they do.) Looking at SSA data for 2010, here’s what I came up with:

Ending Names Babies
-a 7,210 670,605
-ah 1,720 93,358
-eh 23 6,649
-e 3 147
-agh 1 6
TOTAL: 8,956 770,765

These 770,765 babies represent 43.8% of all the babies on the SSA’s 2010 list. (The a-endings alone represent 38.1%.)

Let’s compare this with, say, 80 years ago. Why 80? Because whenever I think of a-endings, I’m reminded of my grandmother’s family — 9 siblings total, 8 of which were girls, only one of whom had a name that ended with an a-sound (Priscilla). Most of them were born in the 1920s and 1930s, so let’s look at 1930:

Ending Names Babies
-a 2,034 288,291
-ah 37 6,459
-eh 0 0
-eh 0 0
-agh 0 0
TOTAL: 2,071 294,750

These 294,750 babies represent 26.2% of all the babies accounted for on the SSA’s 1930 list. (The a-endings by themselves represent 25.6%).

So, from 26.2% to 43.8% for the end-sound, and from 25.6% to 38.1% for a-endings specifically. Quite a difference between then and now.


5 thoughts on “How Popular Are A-Endings for Girl Names?

  1. The -a ending for girls is like the -n ending for boys – the “en vogue” ending sounds of the present times (with both representing more than a third of the babies for each respective gender).

  2. the -a ending for girls I dont think is nearly as popular as the -n ending for boys though. -a endings have always been popular for girls, but the -n ending trend for boys came out of nowhere and is SO dominant that I can see it fading away anytime soon. 50 years the -y ending names were the most common for boys but it wasn’t as overwhelmingly popular as -n endings are right now.

  3. My daughter has 3 daughters born between 1984 and 1989: all 3 have names ending in ‘a’. In her subsequent marriage she had another daughter (half-sister to the three older girls) in 1995 and gave her a name ending in ‘a’ too. Years later her husband remarried and he and his wife now have 2 toddler/baby daughters together: their names also end in ‘a’. Of these six end-in-a names, three are in the 2010 top 5, but two of those names weren’t even in the Top 100 when these girls were born in 1989 and 1995. This all came about because the first girl was given an ‘end in a’ name, and the parents just kept going with that in order to link all the girls’ names together.

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