How popular is the baby name Emma in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Emma and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Emma.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Emma

Number of Babies Named Emma

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Emma

Popular Baby Names in Finland, 2016

According to data released in March by the Population Register Center of Finland (Väestörekisterikeskus), the most popular baby names in Finland in 2016 were Sofia and Onni.

Here are Finland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Sofia, 349 baby girls
2. Aino, 330
3. Eevi, 315
4. Venla, 311
5. Emma, 307
6. Aada, 281
7. Pihla, 279
8. Helmi, 276 (tie)
9. Ella, 276 (tie)
10. Emilia, 270

Boy Names
1. Onni, 400 baby boys
2. Elias, 390
3. Leo, 380
4. Väinö, 379
5. Oliver, 331
6. Eetu, 321
7. Eino, 301
8. Noel, 274
9. Leevi, 270
10. Niilo, 245

In the girls’ top 10, Pihla, which refers to the rowan tree (pihlaja), replaces Elsa (now 15th).

In the boys’ top 10, Noel replaces Daniel (now 24th).

Onni, which means “luck” or “fortune,” was last on top in 2013. The #1 names in 2015 were Venla and Leo.

Among the minority (approx. 6%) of Swedish speakers in Finland, the top baby names were Ellen and Adrian.

Sources: De populäraste förnamnen av finskspråkiga barn som föddes år 2016 (PDF), Onni Means ‘Happiness’ And Is the Most Popular Finnish First Name For Boys in 2016 – Sofia For Girls, Nordic Names Wiki


Popular Baby Names in North Dakota

According to data released earlier this year by the North Dakota Department of Health, the most popular baby names in the state in 2016 were Harper & Olivia (tie) and Oliver.

Here are North Dakota’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Harper, 65 baby girls (2-way tie)
2. Olivia, 65 (2-way tie)
3. Emma, 63
4. Evelyn, 59
5. Amelia, 45 (2-way tie)
6. Charlotte, 45 (2-way tie)
7. Ella, 43
8. Nora, 42
9. Addison, 39
10. Ava, 38

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 74 baby boys
2. William, 64
3. Easton, 54
4. Owen, 52
5. Liam, 51
6. Mason, 49
7. James, 46
8. Henry, 45
9. Wyatt, 44
10. Hudson, 43

In the girls’ top 10, Evelyn, Amelia, Ella, and Addison replace Sophia, Avery, Paisley, and Aubrey.

In the boys’ top 10, James and Hudson replace Carter and Noah.

In 2015, the top names were Emma (now 3rd) and Liam (now 5th).

Interestingly, North Dakota is the only state where Easton is a top-five boy name. Switching over to the SSA data, we can track the rise of Easton in ND:

  • 2016: Easton ranked 3rd in ND
  • 2015: Easton ranked 9th in ND
  • 2014: Easton ranked 6th in ND
  • 2013: Easton ranked 5th in ND
  • 2012: Easton ranked 29th in ND
  • 2011: Easton ranked 9th in ND
  • 2010: Easton ranked 23rd in ND
  • 2009: Easton ranked 47th in ND
  • 2008: Easton ranked 42nd in ND
  • 2007: Easton ranked 64th in ND (first time in top 100)

In the four states that share a border with North Dakota — Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Minnesota — the name Easton ranked 52nd, 11th, 31st, and 35th (respectively) in 2016.

Sources: North Dakota Fast Facts 2016 (pdf), Popular Names by State

Popular Baby Names in Alberta, 2016

According to data released on June 16th by the government of Alberta, the most popular baby names in the province in 2016 were (again) Olivia and Liam.

Here are Alberta’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 292 baby girls
2. Emma, 249
3. Sophia, 215
4. Ava, 207
5. Emily, 187
6. Charlotte, 180
7. Amelia, 172
8. Abigail, 171
9. Chloe, 166
10. Aria, 137

Boy Names
1. Liam, 277 baby boys
2. Benjamin, 252
3. Lucas, 247
4. Oliver, 230
5. Noah, 228
6. William, 213
7. Ethan, 205
8. Jack, 197
9. Lincoln, 192
10. Owen, 189

In the girls’ top 10, Aria replaces Ella and Avery (there was a tie for 7th in 2015).

In the boys’ top 10, Jack, Lincoln, and Owen replace Mason, Logan, and Alexander.

And here’s a sampling of names from the other end of the list. Each of these was given to a single baby in Alberta last year:

  • Unique Girl Names: Airadessa, Bitel-Shishai, Caitlove, Deslie, Evadelle, Finity, Griffiella, Huldah, Ibex, Jananya, Kemdirim, Lobna, Mavie, Niniola, Olanna, Petrichor, Qudsia, Riversong, Savindee, Toscana, Ulanah, Valissa, Wesla, Xyryl, Yagana, Zedrina
  • Unique Boy Names: Addrick, Barristan, Cazzwell, Dino, Erasmus, Fifth, Grayer, Hansel, Igzy, Jonesy, Kayvence, Lenroy, Mahalaleel, Noyan, Orson, Penn, Quayde, Redsky, Salumu, Tinotenda, Umber, Vanden, Wally, Xanjoe, Yan, Zeaston

That’s the first time I’ve ever seen Petrichor used as a baby name! Petrichor is that pleasant, earthy scent associated with rainfall. The word was coined by Australian scientists in the ’60s by combining the ancient Greek words petra (“stone”) and ichor (the fluid that flowed in the veins of the gods).

I wonder if there’s any chance that Petrichor will become a trendy nature name one day. What do you think?

Sources: Frequency and Ranking of Baby Names by Year and Gender – Open Government (Alberta), Alberta’s top baby names for 2016

Popular Baby Names in Norway, 2016

According to data released back in January by Statistics Norway, the most popular baby names in Norway in 2016 were Nora/Norah and Lucas/Lukas.

Here are Norway’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

norway, girl names, 2016Girl Names
1. Nora/Norah/Noora, 551 baby girls
2. Emma, 410
3. Sara/Sarah/Zara, 379
4. Sofie/Sophie, 367
5. Sofia/Sophia, 340
6. Maja/Maia/Maya, 324
7. Olivia, 323
8. Ella, 313
9. Ingrid/Ingerid/Ingri, 310
10. Emilie, 309

Boy Names
1. William, 498 baby boys
2. Oskar/Oscar, 420
3. Lucas/Lukas, 408
4. Mathias/Matias, 397
5. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip, 396
6. Oliver, 385
7. Jakob/Jacob, 378
8. Emil, 369
9. Noah/Noa, 362
10. Aksel/Axel, 359

That image is a piece of a larger infographic showing the most popular baby names in each Norwegian county. In two counties, Oppland and Aust-Agder, the top girl name last year was the intriguing Tiril. Tiril seems to have no specific meaning; it may have been derived from the (nonsense?) word tirilil from the 19th century poem “Lokkende Toner” by Johan Sebastian Welhaven.

(A similar name we talked about recently was Tirrell.)

I forgot to post Norway’s 2015 rankings, but in 2014 the top names were Nora/Norah and Lucas/Lukas.

Sources: Navn – SSB, Tiril – Nordic Names

What’s Wrong with U? (7 Usable U-Names)

u names, ursa, upton, upson, umber, ukiah, unity, union

What’s wrong with U?

No, I don’t mean you. I mean the letter U.

If 1 is the loneliest number, then U is definitely the loneliest letter. Because, ever since I started looking at first letter frequency in baby names, U has always been the least-used.

Currently just four U-names are in in the boys’ top 1,000, and exactly zero are in the girls’ top 1,000. And those four boy names — Uriel, Uriah, Ulises, and Urijah — make up a sizable chunk of what little U-usage there happens to be.

Does this anti-U trend signify something about modern society, do you think?

We’re more individualistic than ever before — some say more narcissistic. And we do see this individualism reflected in the rise of unusual names, particularly ones that glorify the self, like Amazing, Awesome, Celebrity, Epic, Famous, Gorgeous, Handsome, King, Messiah, President, and Prodigy.

So is this individualism also being reflected in first the letters/sounds we choose? After all, a handful of I-names (Isabella/Isabelle/Isabel, Isla, Isaac, Isaiah) have become prominent lately. So have a pair of “me” names (Mia, Mila).

Meanwhile, the humble U remains at the bottom of the heap. Is it because no one wants to open a name with a letter that reminds them of “you”?

Hm…

If you’re interested in giving U-names a boost, here are 7 under-the-radar options to consider:

Ursa

We’re all familiar with Ursula. She’s a sea-witch, a Bond girl, and a Catholic saint. In other words, Ursula has some strong associations.

Not so with Ursa, the word upon which Ursula was based. Ursa doesn’t have any strong human/character associations — just a couple of celestial ones: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

Ursa is based on the Latin word ursus, meaning “bear.” (Bear is itself a trendy choice among celebs these days.) And even though four-letter, vowel-bounded girl names (like Emma, Ella, Aria, Isla, Ayla, and Elsa) are trendy right now, Ursa remains rare.

Upton & Upson

Many toponymic surnames — from Milton and Clifton 100 years ago to Easton and Ashton today — have gone on to become popular baby names. But not Upton and Upson, which are uncommon despite their optimistic sound (up!).

The surnames stem from any of several similar place names that, in most cases, can be traced back to a pair of Old English words meaning “upper, above” (in terms of either altitude or status) and “farm, settlement.”

The most famous Upton was muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair, whose best-known work, a 1906 exposé of the meatpacking industry called The Jungle, led to the passage of both the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act (which, eventually, gave rise to the FDA).

Umber

We all know an Amber. Maybe even an Ember. But how many of us know an Umber? Probably not many of us, as the name is so rare that it’s only appeared in the SSA data one time (in 1995, when 5 baby girls were named Umber).

You know how ombre hair color is fashionable right now? The words ombre and umber are related — both can be traced back to the Latin word umbra, meaning “shadow.”

Along with Ochre and Sienna, Umber is an “earth pigment” — a naturally occurring mineral used by humans since prehistoric times (i.e., for coloring cave walls, clothing, tools, even skin). The color ranges from brown to reddish-brown. Many famous historical artists, including Caravaggio and Rembrandt, used umber in their paintings.

Ukiah

(yoo-KYE-uh)

Uriah is a Biblical name. So are Josiah, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Obadiah, and many other names with that telltale “-iah” ending. Sounds like Ukiah should be part of this group, right? But it isn’t.

Ukiah is the name of a place in California. It’s based on Yokaya, which comes from Rancho Yokaya — the name of the mid-19th century Mexican land grant that encompassed what is now the Ukiah Valley. The word yokaya means “south valley” in the language of the Pomo people, the original inhabitants of the region.

In 1973, the California-based band The Doobie Brothers released a song about Ukiah.

Though Ukiah has always been rare as a baby name, usage has picked up slightly since the turn of the century.

Unity & Union

Unique is the most self-focused U-name I’m aware of. And now that thousands of people have been named Unique, well, the name just isn’t very unique anymore.

Want to really stand out in the world of baby names today? Choose a name that emphasizes the oneness of the whole as opposed to the oneness of the self.

The names Unity and Union could be seen as opposites of the name Unique. And yet all three are ultimately derived from the same Latin word: unus, meaning “one.”

Unity is given to a couple dozen baby girls per year these days, but Union hasn’t appeared in the SSA data since the 1920s.

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Do you like any of the U-names above? What other U-names would you recommend?

Sources: Upston – Surname DB, Ukiah, California – Wikipedia