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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Gavin

Number of Babies Named Gavin

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Gavin

Five-Name Friday: Celtic or Traditional Boy Name

five name friday, boy name

While out running errands, you stop at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. Ahead of you in line is a friendly woman who happens to be pregnant. The two of you chat for a few minutes and she mentions that she still can’t think of a name for the baby. She asks:

What are some Celtic or fairly traditional boys’ names that go well with older brother Gavin’s name? Prefer that they not begin with D, G or J.

As a name-lover you could potentially offer her dozens of suggestions on the spot. But she’s next in line to pick up her order, and the person ahead of her is almost finished, so you only have time to give her five baby name suggestions before it’s her turn with the pharmacist.

But here’s the fun part: Instead of blurting out the first five names you come up with (which is what you’d be forced to do in real life) you get to press a magical “pause” button, brainstorm for a bit, and then “unpause” the scenario to offer her the best five names you can think of.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you brainstorm:

  • Be independent. Decide on your five names before looking at anyone else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Would you honestly suggest these particular baby names out loud to a stranger at the pharmacy?
  • Five names only! I will replace all names beyond the first five in your comment with nonsense words.

Finally, here’s the request again:

What are some Celtic or fairly traditional boys’ names that go well with older brother Gavin’s name? Prefer that they not begin with D, G or J.

So which five baby names are you going to suggest?

[To send in your own 2-sentence baby name request, here are the directions, and here’s the contact form.]


Names in the News: Dutch, Christina, Tillman

Some recent baby name stories from the U.S.:

  • Dutch: In February of 2016, a baby boy born to California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife was named Dutch after the town of Dutch Flat, “where Newsom spent much of his childhood at his father’s home.” (They also have a daughter named Montana, after the state where they got married.)
  • Christina: In February of 2016, a baby girl born to a woman on a New York-bound Amtrak train was named Trinity Christina — middle name in honor of a fellow train passenger who assisted during the birth.
  • Tillman: After Army Ranger Patrick Daniel “Pat” Tillman — formerly a star football player at Arizona State University — was killed in Afghanistan in 2004, several babies were named after him, including these three from Arizona specifically:
    • Tillman Jackson Cummings, born in July of 2004.
    • Tillman James Cunningham, born in October of 2006.
    • Tillman Bruce Okrepkie, born in November of 2015.

Here are three earlier name stories also from the U.S.

Sources: Gavin Newsom’s new baby named after town of Dutch Flat, Woman Delivers Baby on a Train, Across Arizona, Parents Name Children After Pat Tillman

The Earliest Celebrity Baby Name Debuts

When a major celebrity chooses an uncommon baby name, there’s a good chance that name will become trendy.

Seems like this might be a modern phenomenon, right? Maybe tied to the rise of the Internet?

Nope. In fact, I bet you’ll be surprised at just how far back it goes.

Let’s take a look at celebrity baby names through the decades, focusing on those that inspired debuts on the SSA’s baby name list. (To debut, a rare names needs to be given to at least 5 babies of one gender or the other in a single year.)

1940s

Jerilyn Jessel
Lois Andrews and baby Jerilyn
Which baby name was the very first to debut on the charts thanks to a celebrity baby?

The answer depends on how strict you want to be about spelling.

If you exact-spelling debuts are what you want, the first I know of doesn’t appear until the late ’40s.

If variant-spelling debuts are okay, though, there’s a celebrity baby name from the early ’40s that inspired at whopping six of them:

Jerilyn

In October of 1941, actor/comedian George Jessel (43 years old) and showgirl Lois Andrews (17) welcomed a baby girl named Jerilyn.

The name Jerilyn itself had already been on the list for a few years, but usage rose significantly in both 1941 and 1942:

  • 1943: 182 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 558th]
  • 1942: 325 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 397th]
  • 1941: 135 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 608th]
  • 1940: 10 baby girls named Jerilyn

The popularity of similar names like Jerrilyn and Jerelyn also increased, and six other variants appeared on the national list for the very first time in either 1941 or 1942 (asterisks denote debuts):

Name 1940 1941 1942 1943
Jerilynn x 56* 162 58
Jerrilynn x 9* 38 19
Gerilyn x x 15* 5
Jerilynne x x 7* x
Jarilyn x x 6* x
Geralynn x x 5* x

In fact, Jerilynn and Gerilyn were the top baby name debuts of 1941 and 1942, respectively.

I was skeptical about this one for a while, as I’d never heard of George Jessel before. Was he really high-profile enough for his baby to have that sort influence? Turns out he was indeed a popular entertainer from the ’20s until at least the ’50s. He’s the one responsible for the “Garland” part of Judy Garland’s stage name, and some sources even claim he invented the Bloody Mary.

Even more variants of Jerilyn (e.g., Gerilynn) debuted during the ’40s and early ’50s, when young Jerilyn was being mentioned in newspaper articles and appearing on TV and in films with her father. Here’s a fundraising film from 1953, for instance, featuring both George and Jerilyn.

Jerilyn Jessel’s influence on the U.S baby names was impressive, but, technically speaking, she didn’t put “Jerilyn” on the map.

Yasmin

The first exact-spelling celebrity baby name debut was Yasmin, which appeared on the list in 1949.

In December of 1949, actor Rita Hayworth and her husband Prince Aly Khan welcomed a baby girl named Yasmin. The same year, the baby name Yasmin appeared on the SSA’s list for the very first time.

(The name Yasmin was late addition to the post. Thank you, Becca!)

1950s

Elizabeth Taylor and daughter Liza on the cover of LIFE in 1957
Liz & Liza in 1957 © LIFE
At least four of the baby names that debuted during the 1950s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Romina

In October of 1951, actors Tyrone Power and Linda Christian welcomed a baby girl named Romina. The same year, the baby name Romina appeared on the SSA’s list for the very first time.

Taryn

In September of 1953, Power and Christian welcomed their second baby girl, Taryn, whose name was likely inspired by “Tyrone.” The same year, the baby name Taryn debuted on the list.

Seneca

In November of 1956, boxer Floyd Patterson and his wife Sandra welcomed a baby girl named Seneca. The same year, the traditionally male name Seneca debuted on the list as a female name. Patterson said the name was inspired by a street sign.

Monsita

In October of 1958, actor/singer Rosemary Clooney and actor José Ferrer welcomed a baby girl named Monsita — their fifth child. The same year, Monsita debuted. It fell off the list the very next year, though, making it a one-hit wonder.

Honorable mentions from the ’50s include:

  • Liza, which became more popular after Liz Taylor named her daughter Liza in 1957.
  • Tyrone, which became more popular after Tyrone Power named his third child Tyrone in 1959. The increased usage could also have been influenced by the death of the actor himself the same year, though.

1960s

Casey & Timolin Cole in 1963
Casey & Timolin Cole in 1963 © Ebony
At least four of the baby names that debuted during the 1960s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Timolin

In September of 1961, singer of Nat King Cole and his wife Maria welcomed identical twin baby girls named Timolin and Casey. The same year, the baby name Timolin debuted on the list.

Xan

In September of 1965, actor/director John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands welcomed a baby girl named Alexandra “Xan” Cassavetes. The same year, the baby name Xan debuted on the list.

Maryum

In June of 1968, boxer Muhammad Ali and his wife Belinda welcomed a baby girl named Maryum. The same year, the baby name Maryum debuted on the list.

Chastity

In March of 1969, singers Cher and Sonny Bono, welcomed a baby girl named Chastity. The same year, the baby name Chastity debuted on the list. In May of 2010, Chastity legally changed genders and adopted the name Chaz.

1970s

Rasheda & Jamillah Ali in 1971
The Alis and babies Rasheda & Jamillah in 1971 © Ebony
At least eight of the baby names that debuted during the 1970s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Rasheda

In August of 1970, boxer Muhammad Ali and his wife Belinda welcomed twin baby girls named Rasheda and Jamillah. The same year, the baby name Rasheda debuted on the list.

(An Ebony article from 1971 misspelled her name “Reeshemah.” The same year, there was a spike in the usage of Reeshemah and a dip in the usage of Rasheda.)

Ayanna

In 1971, comedian/activist Dick Gregory and his wife Lillian welcomed a baby girl named Ayanna. The same year, the baby name Ayanna debuted on the list.

Yohance

In July of 1973, Dick Gregory and Lillian welcomed a baby boy named Yohance. The same year, the baby name Yohance debuted on the list.

(I wrote more about baby names in the Gregory family a few years ago.)

Kidada

In March of 1974, musician/producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton welcomed a baby girl named Kidada. The same year, the baby name Kidada debuted on the list.

Taryll

In August of 1975, singer Tito Jackson (of The Jackson 5) and his wife Dee Dee welcomed a baby boy named Taryll. The same year, the baby name Taryll debuted on the list.

Turkessa

In April of 1975, singer Mary Wilson (of The Supremes) and her husband Pedro welcomed a baby girl named Turkessa. The same year, the baby name Turkessa debuted on the list. Turkessa was just 3 babies away from being the top baby name debut of the year. Here’s how Mary came up with the name:

Pedro brought me a beautiful plant. I asked him was it was called. “Turquesa,” he replied, “Spanish for turquoise.” So we named our daughter Turkessa.

Chudney

In November of 1975, singer Diana Ross (also of The Supremes) and her husband Robert welcomed a baby girl named Chudney. The next year, the baby name Chudney debuted on the list. Here’s how Diana came up with the name:

Friends kept suggesting popular names like Courtney, but so many girl babies were getting that. I suddenly thought of something I liked very much — chutney. Only I didn’t know how to spell it — I put a ‘d’ where the ‘t’ should have been on the birth certificate. And that’s how my little girl became Chudney!

Katiria

In 1978, Puerto Rican dancer/singer Iris Chacón and her husband Junno welcomed a baby girl named Katiria. The same year, the baby name Katiria debuted on the list. Most of these babies were born in New York.

1980s

Condola Rashad in 1987
The Rashads and baby Condola
© Ebony
At least three of the baby names that debuted during the 1980s were inspired by celebrity babies, and at least one was inspired by a celebrity grandbaby:

Rishawn

In September of 1984, singer Gladys Knight didn’t have a baby, but her son James (b. 1962) and his wife Michelene did. They welcomed a boy named Rishawn. The next year, the baby name Rishawn debuted on the list.

Shakari

In November of 1986, football player Willie Gault and his wife Dainnese welcomed a baby girl named Shakari. The next year, the baby name Shakari debuted on the list.

Condola

I wrote about Condola a few months ago, but here’s a recap: In December of 1986, actress Phylicia Rashad and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad welcomed a baby girl named Condola. The next year, the baby name Condola debuted on the list.

Satchel

In December of 1987, filmmaker/actor Woody Allen and actress Mia Farrow welcomed a baby boy named Satchel. The next year, the baby name Satchel debuted on the list. He now goes by Ronan, and rumor has it that he is *possibly* the biological son of Frank Sinatra.

1990s

Demi, pre-Scout, on cover of Vanity Fair, August 1991
Demi Moore and baby Scout (kinda)
© Vanity Fair
At least three of the baby names the debuted during the 1990s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Scout

In July of 1991, actors Demi Moore and Bruce Willis welcomed a baby girl named Scout. (And in August, that famous image of 7-months-pregnant Demi ran on the cover of Vanity Fair.) The next year, the baby name Scout debuted on the list, for both genders.

Aquinnah

In February of 1995, actor Michael J. Fox and his wife Tracy welcomed twin baby girls named Aquinnah and Schuyler. The same year, the baby name Aquinnah debuted on the list. (I wrote more about the name Aquinnah a few years ago.)

Sailor

In July of 1998, model Christie Brinkley and her husband Peter welcomed a baby girl named Sailor. The same year, the baby name Sailor debuted on the list as a girl name. It had debuted as a boy name the year before.

Honorable mentions from the ’90s include:

  • Seven, which became more popular after Erykah Badu named her son Seven in 1997.
  • Zion, which became more popular after Lauryn Hill named her son Zion in 1997.
  • Selah, which became more popular after Lauryn Hill named her daughter Selah in 1998.

2000s

Angelina and Maddox Jolie in 2002
Angelina Jolie and baby Maddox
© People
At least five of the baby names that debuted during the 2000s (the decade) were inspired by celebrity babies:

Eja

In August of 2001, singer Shania Twain and her husband Robert welcomed a baby boy named Eja. The same year, the baby name Eja debuted on the list (as a girl name).

Xen

In August of 2001, actors Tisha Campbell-Martin and Duane Martin welcomed a baby boy named Xen. The same year, the baby name Xen debuted on the list.

Diezel

In March of 2003, singer Toni Braxton and musician Keri Lewis welcomed a baby boy named Diezel. The same year, the baby name Diezel debuted on the list.

Moxie

In June of 2005, magician Penn Jillette and his wife Emily welcomed a baby girl named Moxie (middle name CrimeFighter). The next year, the baby name Moxie debuted on the list.

Dannielynn

In September of 2006, model Anna Nicole Smith and her partner Larry Birkhead welcomed a baby girl named Dannielynn. The next year, the baby name Dannielynn debuted on the list.

Honorable mentions from the ’00s include:

  • Massai, which became more popular after Nia Long named her son Massai in 2000.
  • Rocco, which became more popular after Madonna and Guy Ritchie named their son Rocco in 2000.
  • Denim, which became more popular after Toni Braxton named her son Denim in 2001.
  • Maddox, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie named her adopted son Maddox in 2002.
  • Carys, which became more popular after Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas named their daughter Carys in 2003.
  • Stellan, which became more popular after Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany named their son Stellan in 2003.
  • Apple, which became more popular after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their daughter Apple in 2004.
  • Coco, which became more popular after Courtney Cox and David Arquette named their daughter Coco in 2004.
  • Zahara, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie named her adopted daughter Zahara in 2005.
  • Moses, which became more popular after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their son Moses in 2006.
  • Kingston, which became more popular after Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their son Kingston in 2006.
  • Suri, which became more popular after Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes named their daughter Suri in 2006.
  • Shiloh, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their daughter Shiloh in 2006.
  • Pax, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their adopted son Pax in 2007.
  • Harlow, which became more popular after Nicole Richie and Joel Madden named their daughter Harlow in 2008.
  • Knox & Vivienne, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their twins Knox and Vivienne in 2008.
  • Honor, which became more popular after Jessica Alba named her daughter Honor in 2008.
  • Nahla, which became more popular after Halle Berry named her daughter Nahla in 2008.
  • Bronx, which became more popular after Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz named their son Bronx in 2008.

*

The 2010s are only half over and already we’ve seen more celebrity baby-inspired debuts than in any other decade — Naleigh, Aleph (for boys), Locklyn, Aaradhya, Sebella, Sparrow (for boys), Viaan, Naiovy, Eisele, and no doubt others I’ve missed. Follow along as we uncover more year by year in the Pop Culture Baby Names 2010s category.

Sources:

  • Manners, Dorothy. “Off the Grapevine.” Toledo Blade 14 Feb. 1977: P-3.
  • Wilson, Mary and Patricia Romanowski. Supreme Faith. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.

Popular Boy Names: Biblical vs. Non-Biblical

How has the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names changed over time (if at all) among the most popular baby names in the U.S.?

This question popped into my head recently, so I thought I’d take a look at the data. We’ll do boy names today and girl names tomorrow.

First, let’s set some parameters. For these posts, “Biblical” names are personal names (belonging to either humans or archangels) mentioned in the Bible, plus all derivatives of these names, plus any other name with a specifically Biblical origin (e.g., Jordan, Sharon, Genesis). The “most popular” names are the top 20, and “over time” is the span of a century.

For boy names, the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names has basically flipped over the last 100 years. Here’s a visual — Biblical names are in the yellow cells, non-Biblical names are in the green cells, and a borderline name (which I counted as non-Biblical) is in the orange cell:

Popular boy names: Biblical vs. non-Biblical, from Nancy's Baby Names.
Popular boy names over time: Biblical (yellow) vs. non-Biblical. Click to enlarge.
  • Biblical names: Adam, Alexander, Andrew, Austin (via Augustus), Benjamin, Daniel, David, Elijah, Ethan, Jack (via John), Jackson (via John), Jacob, James, Jason, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Joshua, Justin (via Justus), Lucas, Mark, Matthew, Michael, Nathan, Nicholas, Noah, Paul, Stephen, Steven, Thomas, Timothy, Zachary
  • Non-Biblical names: Aiden, Albert, Anthony, Arthur, Billy, Brandon, Brian, Charles, Christopher, Dennis, Donald, Dylan, Edward, Eric, Frank, Gary, George, Harold, Harry, Henry, Jayden, Jeffrey, Kenneth, Kevin, Larry, Liam, Logan, Louis, Mason, Raymond, Richard, Robert, Ronald, Ryan, Scott, Tyler, Walter, William
  • Borderline name: Jerry (can be based on the Biblical name Jeremy/Jeremiah or on the non-Biblical names Jerome, Gerald, Gerard)
    • It felt strange putting an overtly Christian name like Christopher in the non-Biblical category, but it doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible, so…that’s where it goes.

      Here are the year-by-year tallies:

      Year Top 20 names
      given to…
      # Biblical # Non-Biblical
      1914 40% of baby boys 5 (25%) 15 (75%)
      1924 43% of baby boys 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
      1934 43% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1944 47% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1954 46% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1964 42% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1974 38% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1984 36% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      1994 27% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2004 19% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2014 14% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)

      But there’s a huge difference between sample sizes of 40% and 14%, so let’s also take a look at the 2014 top 100, which covers 42% of male births.

      By my count, last year’s top 100 boy names were half Biblical, half non-Biblical:

      Biblical names (49) Non-Biblical names (51)
      Noah, Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, James, Daniel, Elijah, Benjamin, Matthew, Jackson (via John), David, Lucas, Joseph, Andrew, Samuel, Gabriel, Joshua, John, Luke, Isaac, Caleb, Nathan, Jack (via John), Jonathan, Levi, Jaxon (via John), Julian (via Julius), Isaiah, Eli, Aaron, Thomas, Jordan, Jeremiah, Nicholas, Evan, Josiah, Austin (via Augustus), Jace (via Jason), Jason, Jose, Ian, Adam, Zachary, Jaxson (via John), Asher, Nathaniel, Justin (via Justus), Juan Liam, Mason, William, Logan, Aiden, Jayden, Anthony, Carter, Dylan, Christopher, Oliver, Henry, Sebastian, Owen, Ryan, Wyatt, Hunter, Christian, Landon, Charles, Connor, Cameron, Adrian, Gavin, Robert, Brayden, Grayson, Colton, Angel, Dominic, Kevin, Brandon, Tyler, Parker, Ayden, Chase, Hudson, Nolan, Easton, Blake, Cooper, Lincoln, Xavier, Bentley, Kayden, Carson, Brody, Ryder, Leo, Luis, Camden

      (Christian, Angel, Xavier, Dominic…all technically non-Biblical, despite having strong ties to Christianity.)

      50%-50% isn’t quite as extreme as 70%-30%, but it’s still noticeably more Biblical than 1914’s 25%-75%.

      Do any of these results surprise you?

Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity, 2014

Which boy names increased and decreased the most in popularity from 2013 to 2014?

Below are two versions of each list. My version looks at raw number differences and takes all 13,977 boy names on the 2014 list into account. The SSA’s version looks at ranking differences and covers the top 1,000 boy names (roughly).

Biggest Increases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Oliver, +2,116 babies (7,249 to 9,365)
  2. Sebastian, +1,707 (7,530 to 9,237)
  3. Logan, +1,256 (12,323 to 13,579)
  4. Carter, +1,044 (9,555 to 10,599)
  5. Grayson, +996 (5,536 to 6,532)
  6. Noah, +965 (18,179 to 19,144)
  7. Karter, +929 (1,174 to 2,103)
  8. Luke, +885 (9,546 to 10,431)
  9. James, +799 (13,502 to 14,301)
  10. Theodore, +778 (2,413 to 3,191)
  1. Bode, +645 spots (1,428th to 783rd)
  2. Axl, +624 (1,474th to 850th)
  3. Gannon, +426 (839th to 413th)
  4. Bodie, +333 (1,314th to 981st)
  5. Royal, +327 (900th to 573rd)
  6. Coen, +290 (1,188th to 898th)
  7. Anakin, +281 (1,238th to 957th)
  8. Killian, +250 (766th to 516th)
  9. Reyansh, +226 (1,221st to 995th)
  10. Ronin, +219 (773rd to 554th)

Here’s what the SSA says about the rise of Bode: “[It] might have had something to do with the Winter Olympics in early 2014, where Bode Miller continued his outstanding alpine skiing career by collecting his sixth Olympic medal.”

And on the rise of Axl: “[It’s] a nod to both rock legend Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses and Axl Jack Duhamel, son of Stacy Ann “Fergie” Ferguson and Josh Duhamel.”

Biggest Decreases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Jayden, -1,834 babies (14,712 to 12,878)
  2. Jacob, -1,360 (18,072 to 16,712)
  3. Joshua, -997 (11,761 to 10,764)
  4. Christian, -905 (9,293 to 8,388)
  5. Brayden, -873 (7,412 to 6,539)
  6. Justin, -858 (4,849 to 3,991)
  7. Tyler, -833 (6,618 to 5,785)
  8. Jase, -826 (4,545 to 3,719)
  9. Ryan, -824 (9,850 to 9,026)
  10. Gavin, -820 (7,402 to 6,582)
  1. Bently, -289 spots (902nd to 1,191st)
  2. Damion, -262 (856th to 1,118th)
  3. Amare, -239 (601st to 840th)
  4. Isiah, -234 (824th to 1,058th)
  5. Xavi, -198 (930th to 1,128th)
  6. Sidney, -187 (958th to 1,145th)
  7. Deegan, -180 (961st to 1,141st)
  8. Jair, -174 (820th to 994th)
  9. Juelz, -165 (908th to 1,073rd)
  10. Corban, -156 (979th to 1,135th)

Jase, last year’s biggest raw number increase, is now 8th on the list of decreases. Mason, which topped the list of raw number increases two years in a row (2010 and 2011), is now 18th on the list of decreases. (It was 3rd in 2013.) And Jayden, the trendy name that shot up the charts to become the 4th most popular baby name in the nation in 2010 and 2011, has since fallen to 15th.

Finally, here are the big winners and losers from the last few years:

  • 2013: Jase/Jayceon (biggest increases) and Ethan/Austyn (biggest decreases)
  • 2012: Liam/Major (biggest increases) and Jacob/Braeden (biggest decreases)
  • 2011: Mason (biggest increase) and Jacob (biggest decrease)
  • 2010: Mason (biggest increase) and Joshua (biggest decrease)

Sources: Change in Popularity from 2013 to 2014, Noah and Emma Top Social Security’s List of Most Popular Baby Names for 2014

U.S. Baby Names 2014: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths

Most Popular U.S. Baby Names of 2014

Emma and Noah were the most popular baby names in the United States in 2014.

Here’s the top 10:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma, 20799 baby girls
2. Olivia, 19674
3. Sophia, 18490
4. Isabella, 16950
5. Ava, 15586
6. Mia, 13442
7. Emily, 12562
8. Abigail, 11985
9. Madison, 10247
10. Charlotte, 10048
1. Noah, 19144 baby boys
2. Liam, 18342
3. Mason, 17092
4. Jacob, 16712
5. William, 16687
6. Ethan, 15619
7. Michael, 15323
8. Alexander, 15293
9. James, 14301
10. Daniel, 13829

Noah remains the #1 boy name, and Emma replaces Sophia as the #1 girl name.

On the girls’ side, Charlotte replaces Elizabeth (now 14th). Elizabeth hasn’t dipped this low since the late 1970s.

On the boys’ side, James replaces Jayden (now 15th). James was last in the top 10 in the early 1990s.

Here’s the rest of the top 50:

Girl Names Boy Names
11. Harper, 9564
12. Sofia, 9542
13. Avery, 9517
14. Elizabeth, 9492
15. Amelia, 8727
16. Evelyn, 8692
17. Ella, 8489
18. Chloe, 8469
19. Victoria, 7955
20. Aubrey, 7589
21. Grace, 7554
22. Zoey, 7358
23. Natalie, 7061
24. Addison, 6950
25. Lillian, 6869
26. Brooklyn, 6767
27. Lily, 6727
28. Hannah, 6512
29. Layla, 6428
30. Scarlett, 5965
31. Aria, 5893
32. Zoe, 5828
33. Samantha, 5680
34. Anna, 5639
35. Leah, 5563
36. Audrey, 5531
37. Ariana, 5461
38. Allison, 5440
39. Savannah, 5433
40. Arianna, 5240
41. Camila, 5194
42. Penelope, 5062
43. Gabriella, 5051
44. Claire, 4991
45. Aaliyah, 4850
46. Sadie, 4823
47. Riley, 4761
48. Skylar, 4732
49. Nora, 4708
50. Sarah, 4647
11. Elijah, 13694
12. Benjamin, 13687
13. Logan, 13579
14. Aiden, 13296
15. Jayden, 12878
16. Matthew, 12809
17. Jackson, 12121
18. David, 12078
19. Lucas, 12078
20. Joseph, 11995
21. Anthony, 11490
22. Andrew, 11069
23. Samuel, 10859
24. Gabriel, 10826
25. Joshua, 10764
26. John, 10600
27. Carter, 10599
28. Luke, 10431
29. Dylan, 10350
30. Christopher, 10278
31. Isaac, 9868
32. Oliver, 9365
33. Henry, 9350
34. Sebastian, 9237
35. Caleb, 9143
36. Owen, 9100
37. Ryan, 9026
38. Nathan, 8902
39. Wyatt, 8812
40. Hunter, 8759
41. Jack, 8685
42. Christian, 8388
43. Landon, 8180
44. Jonathan, 8035
45. Levi, 7958
46. Jaxon, 7635
47. Julian, 7611
48. Isaiah, 7530
49. Eli, 7428
50. Aaron, 7334

On the girls’ side, Ariana, Penelope, Skylar and Nora (previously ranked 54th, 56th, 73rd and 82nd) are new to the top 50. They replace Hailey, Kaylee, Alexis and Nevaeh (now ranked 51st, 52nd, 64th and 65th).

On the boys’s side, Oliver and Aaron (previously ranked 52nd and 51st) are new to the top 50. They replace Brayden and Gavin (now ranked 62nd and 60th).

The biggest jumps within the top 50 were Scarlett (+12 spots), Sebastian (+11) and Aria (+9).

The biggest drops within the top 50 were Aaliyah (-10), Christian (-7), Ryan (-7) and Nathan (-7).

Here are the announcement posts for 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

U.S. Baby Names 2014: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths

40 Pairs of Baby Names for Girl-Boy Twins

girl-boy twins

A few weeks ago, The Stir posted a list of 20 pairs of baby names for girl-boy twins.

The problem with their list? Each matchy-matchy name-pair started with the same first letter.

Yes, most parents gravitate toward patterns when it comes to naming twins. This has been confirmed by at least one study and is easy to see when you peruse the (now discontinued) lists of popular twin names.

But should they?

No. Child development experts say twins should have dissimilar first names.

So I thought I’d improve upon their list by separating the pairings and giving each of the 40 names a new, non-matchy partner — different first letter, different ending, different number of syllables.

Too Matchy? Much Better!
Hazel & Hugo
Emma & Evan
Madison & Mason
Taylor & Tyler
Vivienne & Val
Ava & Alexander
Chloe & Caleb
Sophia & Samuel
Eva & Ethan
Penelope & Pax
Savannah & Sebastian
Lily & Luke
Dylan & Dean
Naomi & Noah
Imogen & Isaac
Juliette & James
Christina & Christian
Grace & Gavin
Avery & Aiden
Claire & Clive
Hazel & Benjamin
Emma & Charles
Madison & Liam
Taylor & Grant
Vivienne & Phillip
Ava & Carl
Chloe & Gabriel
Sophia & Owen
Eva & Jack
Penelope & Duncan
Savannah & Zane
Lily & Cash
Dylan & Matthias
Naomi & Joseph
Imogen & Grey
Juliette & Simon
Christina & Thomas
Grace & Dominic
Avery & Beau
Claire & Julian
Hugo & Adelaide
Evan & Sabrina
Mason & Aria
Tyler & Addison
Val & Edie
Alexander & Daphne
Caleb & Lydia
Samuel & Hannah
Ethan & Amelia
Pax & Kira
Sebastian & Gemma
Luke & Maya
Dean & Harper
Noah & Abigail
Isaac & Johanna
James & Tabitha
Christian & Veronica
Gavin & Bree
Aiden & Katrina
Clive & Odette

Not only are the pairs in the middle and on the right smarter choices in terms of child development, but they’re also less likely to cause embarrassment and/or confusion. Unlike, say, Christina and Christian.

What are your favorite non-matchy baby names for girl-boy twins?

P.S. Hate to nit-pick, but…the Stir post also included several bogus definitions. Caleb means “devotion to God”? Nope, Caleb means dog.

Source: 20 Pairs of Baby Names for Twins of the Opposite Sex
Image: Adapted from Kinley and Liam Photos (18) by love_K_photo under CC BY 2.0.