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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Niall

Number of Babies Named Niall

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Niall

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Ireland’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a few days ago.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office, the most popular baby names are Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily
2. Emma
3. Sophie
4. Ella
5. Amelia
6. Aoife
7. Ava
8. Lucy
9. Grace
10. Sarah
11. Mia
12. Anna
13. Chloe
14. Hannah
15. Kate
16. Ruby
17. Lily
18. Katie
19. Caoimhe
20. Sophia
21. Lauren
22. Saoirse
23. Ellie
24. Holly
25. Leah
26. Amy
27. Olivia
28. Jessica
29. Ciara
30. Zoe
31. Isabelle
32. Niamh
33. Molly
34. Julia
35. Robyn
36. Erin
37. Roisin
38. Freya
39. Laura
40. Cara
41. Sofia
42. Eva
43. Rachel
44. Isabella
45. Kayla
46. Abbie
47. Charlotte [tie]
47. Millie [tie]
49. Faye
50. Clodagh
51. Aisling
52. Alice [tie]
52. Eabha [tie]
54. Abigail
55. Ellen
56. Lexi
57. Aoibhinn
58. Layla
59. Eve [tie]
59. Zara [tie]
61. Alannah
62. Aine
63. Maria [tie]
63. Megan [tie]
65. Rebecca
66. Nicole
67. Sadhbh
68. Clara
69. Elizabeth
70. Maya
71. Maja
72. Emilia
73. Caitlin
74. Rose
75. Isabel
76. Aoibheann
77. Sadie
78. Lena
79. Hollie
80. Sienna
81. Mary
82. Fiadh
83. Zuzanna
84. Aimee [tie]
84. Tara [tie]
86. Hanna [tie]
86. Katelyn [tie]
86. Lilly [tie]
86. Ruth [tie]
90. Alexandra [tie]
90. Poppy [tie]
92. Amber [tie]
92. Mollie [tie]
92. Victoria [tie]
95. Lara
96. Sara
97. Brooke
98. Aoibhe [tie]
98. Laoise [tie]
100. Kayleigh
1. Jack
2. James
3. Daniel
4. Conor
5. Sean
6. Adam
7. Ryan
8. Michael
9. Harry
10. Noah
11. Thomas
12. Alex
13. Luke
14. Oisin
15. Charlie
16. Patrick
17. Cian
18. Liam [tie]
18. Darragh [tie]
20. Dylan
21. Jamie
22. Matthew
23. Cillian
24. Aaron
25. Fionn
26. Jake
27. John
28. David
29. Ben
30. Finn
31. Nathan
32. Kyle
33. Samuel
34. Evan
35. Max
36. Ethan
37. Rian
38. Joseph
39. Alexander
40. Mason
41. Oliver
42. Joshua
43. William
44. Eoin
45. Jayden
46. Oscar
47. Callum
48. Aidan
49. Tom
50. Robert
51. Sam [tie]
51. Tadhg [tie]
53. Jacob
54. Cathal
55. Shane
56. Leon
57. Mark
58. Senan
59. Bobby
60. Ronan [tie]
60. Andrew [tie]
62. Eoghan
63. Leo
64. Lucas
65. Rory
66. Alfie
67. Tyler
68. Benjamin [tie]
68. Cormac [tie]
70. Scott
71. Christopher
72. Odhran
73. Kevin
74. Ciaran
75. Dara
76. Shay [tie]
76. Alan [tie]
78. Tommy
79. Logan [tie]
79. Anthony [tie]
81. Jakub
82. Rhys
83. Tomas
84. Donnacha
85. Kai
86. Stephen
87. Killian
88. Niall
89. Jason
90. Josh
91. Kayden
92. Martin [tie]
92. Ruairi [tie]
92. Brian [tie]
95. Isaac
96. Danny [tie]
96. Edward [tie]
98. Oran [tie]
98. Sebastian [tie]
98. Hugh [tie]

New to the top 100 are Sadie, Sienna, Fiadh and Poppy for girls and Kai and Kayden for boys.

(Names that were new on the 2012 list but that have since dropped out of the top 100 are Amelie, Evie and Maisie.)

Of all the girl names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Fiadh, +64 (146th to 82nd)
  2. Sadie, +62 (139th to 77th)
  3. Poppy, +46 (136th to 90th)
  4. Lexi, +33 (89th to 56th)
  5. Sienna, +32 (112th to 80th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Anna, +56 (296 babies to 352 babies)
  2. Lexi, +54 (127 babies to 73 babies)
  3. Sofia, +50 (155 babies to 105 babies)
  4. Sadie, +42 (84 babies to 42 babies)
  5. Fiadh, +39 (78 babies to 39 babies)

Of all the boy names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Kayden, +44 (135th to 91st)
  2. Shay, +27 (103rd to 76th)
  3. Kai, +24 (109th to 85th)
  4. Leo, +21 (84th to 63rd)
  5. Anthony, +20 (99th to 79th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Oliver, +44 (199 babies to 155 babies)
  2. Mason, +42 (201 babies to 159 babies)
  3. Alexander, +41 (202 babies to 161 babies)
  4. Leo, +35 (131 babies to 96 babies)
  5. Shay, +35 (104 babies to 69 babies)

Source: Irish Babies’ Names 2013
Image: Adapted from Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Ireland by Giuseppe Milo under CC BY 2.0.


Nope, Zebulon Wasn’t a “Hot” Baby Name in 2012

Not long ago I stumbled upon a post about baby names at the blog North Carolina Miscellany. It ended with this funny little footnote:

After seeing a baby-names website tout North Carolina’s most historically distinctive names, Zebulon and Zeb, as among 2012’s “hottest,” I was expecting to see them rise in the national rankings. Alas, no. How hot can a name be and still not crack the top 1,000?

Excellent question. Because, not only did Zebulon not make the top 1,000 in 2012, it sank from 25 baby boys in 2011 to a mere 19 in 2012. So, not “hot” at all.

The footnote linked to an earlier post at the same blog called Zebulon on the Rise, which reads:

The News and Observer reported yesterday that the name Zebulon is increasingly popular among parents today, and was listed on a website as one of the “14 hottest” names of the year.

(The post went on to talk about the many North Carolina babies that have been named after Zebulon Vance. But I digress…)

The News and Observer article on Zebulon revealed that the “14 hottest” list had been put out by Nameberry.com.

What were their 13 other “hot” names? Arya, Blue, Caia, Calix, Decimus, Django, Gatsby, Halcyon, Niall, Nova, Senna, Sybil and Theon.

Three of these names — Arya, Calix and Nova — did see big jumps in usage in 2012. But the rest either stayed about the same or were used less often. So, only 3 clear winners out of 14 guesses. Just 21% correct.

How could a site that specializes in baby names get it so wrong?

It has to do with metrics. Nameberry came up with that list by looking at their own website traffic, not by looking at any sort of genuine usage data (e.g., public records, birth announcements). The problem with this, of course, is that the names people search for online often have nothing to do with the names they use in real life. (How many of us like to look up weird celebrity baby names, for instance? *raises hand*)

Not that it matters. Most of the big baby name websites are guilty of using iffy data to compile lists of “top” or “hot” baby names. These lists garner plenty of media attention, but are they ever accurate?

I wish the baby name sites that release these lists would revisit them once the official data for their region is available and publicly assess how well their predictions stand up to the real thing.

Y’know, just to prove that the “experts” aren’t simply churning out link bait…

Most Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2012

Most popular baby names in Ireland, 2012
The most popular baby names in Ireland came out a few days ago.

According to the Central Statistics Office, the country’s top names are Jack for boys and Emily for girls.

Here are the top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Emily
2. Sophie
3. Emma
4. Grace
5. Lily
6. Mia
7. Ella
8. Ava
9. Lucy
10. Sarah
11. Aoife
12. Amelia
13. Hannah
14. Katie
15. Chloe
16. Caoimhe
17. Saoirse
18. Kate
19. Holly
20. Ruby
21. Sophia
22. Anna
23. Lauren
24. Leah
25. Amy
26. Isabelle
27. Molly
28. Ellie
29. Jessica
30. Olivia
31. Roisin
32. Ciara
33. Kayla
34. Julia [tie]
34. Zoe [tie]
36. Laura
37. Niamh
38. Abbie
39. Erin
40. Rachel
41. Robyn
42. Aisling
43. Faye
44. Rebecca
45. Eva [tie]
45. Layla [tie]
47. Ellen
48. Cara
49. Freya
50. Abigail [tie]
50. Eve [tie]
50. Isabella [tie]
53. Megan
54. Aine [tie]
54. Clodagh [tie]
56. Aoibhinn
57. Millie
58. Nicole
59. Aoibheann
60. Maja
61. Sadhbh
62. Eabha
63. Charlotte
64. Amber [tie]
64. Caitlin [tie]
64. Sofia [tie]
67. Alannah
68. Zara
69. Alice
70. Maria
71. Elizabeth [tie]
71. Lena [tie]
71. Mary [tie]
74. Emilia
75. Aimee [tie]
75. Lilly [tie]
77. Hollie
78. Aoibhe
79. Victoria
80. Eimear [tie]
80. Maya [tie]
82. Isabel [tie]
82. Orla [tie]
84. Evie
85. Kayleigh
86. Brooke [tie]
86. Clara [tie]
88. Meabh
89. Lexi
90. Tara
91. Daisy [tie]
91. Katelyn [tie]
93. Ailbhe [tie]
93. Amelie [tie]
93. Natalia [tie]
93. Sara [tie]
97. Hanna [tie]
97. Laoise [tie]
97. Ruth [tie]
100. Madison [tie]
100. Maeve [tie]
100. Maisie [tie]
100. Rose [tie]
1. Jack
2. James
3. Daniel
4. Sean
5. Conor
6. Adam
7. Harry
8. Ryan
9. Dylan
10. Michael
11. Luke
12. Charlie
13. Liam
14. Oisin
15. Cian
16. Jamie
17. Thomas
18. Alex
19. Noah
20. Darragh
21. Patrick
22. Aaron
23. Cillian
24. Matthew
25. John
26. Nathan
27. David [tie]
27. Fionn [tie]
29. Evan
30. Ethan
31. Jake
32. Kyle
33. Rian
34. Ben [tie]
34. Max [tie]
36. Eoin
37. Tadhg
38. Finn
39. Callum
40. Samuel
41. Joshua
42. Rory
43. Jayden
44. Joseph
45. Tyler
46. Sam
47. Shane
48. Mark [tie]
48. Robert [tie]
50. Aidan
51. William
52. Ronan
53. Eoghan
54. Alexander [tie]
54. Leon [tie]
56. Cathal
57. Mason
58. Tom
59. Oliver
60. Andrew
61. Oscar
62. Ciaran
63. Bobby
64. Jacob
65. Senan
66. Rhys
67. Scott
68. Benjamin [tie]
68. Cormac [tie]
70. Kevin
71. Lucas
72. Alan
73. Donnacha [tie]
73. Jakub [tie]
75. Christopher
76. Filip [tie]
76. Killian [tie]
78. Josh
79. Alfie
80. Tommy
81. Ruairi
82. Odhran
83. Oran
84. Leo
85. Isaac
86. Dara [tie]
86. Jason [tie]
88. Zach
89. Martin [tie]
89. Peter [tie]
91. Brian
92. Danny
93. Niall [tie]
93. Tomas [tie]
95. Edward [tie]
95. Stephen [tie]
97. Logan
98. Kacper
99. Anthony
100. Billy

New to the top 100 list are Isaac, Danny and Logan for boys and Evie, Amelie, Hanna, Maisie and Rose for girls.

Some of the specifically Irish names in the top 100 are…

  • Girls: Aoife, Caoime, Saoirse, Roisin, Ciara, Niamh, Aisling, Aine, Clodagh, Aoibhinn, Aoibheann, Sadhbh, Eabha, Aoibhe, Eimear, Meabh, Ailbhe, Laoise, Maeve
  • Boys: Liam, Oisin, Cian, Darragh, Cillian, Fionn, Rian, Eoin, Tadhg, Finn, Callum, Rory, Ronan, Eoghan, Cathal, Ciaran, Senan, Cormac, Donnacha, Ruairi, Odhran, Niall

Sources: Jack and Emily most popular baby names, Irish Babies’ Names – CSO

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2012

Here are the results of the 2012 pop culture baby name game!

Below are all the names we came up with and how they fared on the charts last year.

First up, the names that made the biggest gains. (Some of these were on their way up anyway, so I’ll leave it to you guys to interpret just how much each one was/was not helped along by pop culture events.)

Liam, +3286

  • 2012: 16687 baby boys named Liam
  • 2011: 13401 baby boys named Liam

Lincoln, +726

  • 2012: 2882 baby boys named Lincoln
  • 2011: 2156 baby boys named Lincoln

Dominic, +725

  • 2012: 6140 baby boys named Dominic
  • 2011: 5415 baby boys named Dominic

Penelope, +647

  • 2012: 2510 baby girls named Penelope
  • 2011: 1863 baby girls named Penelope

Ivy, +469

  • 2012: 1677 baby girls named Ivy
  • 2011: 1208 baby girls named Ivy

Arya, +367

  • 2012: 754 baby girls named Arya
  • 2011: 387 baby girls named Arya

Luna, +262

  • 2012: 1404 baby girls named Luna
  • 2011: 1142 baby girls named Luna

Louis, +132

  • 2012: 1049 baby boys named Louis
  • 2011: 917 baby boys named Louis

Trayvon, +123

  • 2012: 178 baby boys named Trayvon
  • 2011: 55 baby boys named Trayvon

Adele, +99

  • 2012: 559 baby girls named Adele
  • 2011: 460 baby girls named Adele

Olive, +87

  • 2012: 847 baby girls named Olive
  • 2011: 760 baby girls named Olive

Zayn, +83

  • 2012: 131 baby boys named Zayn
  • 2011: 48 baby boys named Zayn

Selena, +64

  • 2012: 1043 baby girls named Selena
  • 2011: 979 baby girls named Selena

Anastasia, +59

  • 2012: 918 baby girls named Anastasia
  • 2011: 859 baby girls named Anastasia

Grey, +59

  • 2012: 184 baby boys named Grey
  • 2011: 125 baby boys named Grey

Toby, +32 / +59

  • 2012: 93 baby girls and 349 baby boys named Toby
  • 2011: 61 baby girls and 290 baby boys named Toby

Melissa +57

  • 2012: 1761 baby girls named Melissa
  • 2011: 1704 baby girls named Melissa

Lorenzo,+54

  • 2012: 1081 baby boys named Lorenzo
  • 2011: 1027 baby boys named Lorenzo

Jubilee, +52

  • 2012: 155 baby girls named Jubilee
  • 2011: 103 baby girls named Jubilee

London, +22 / +32

  • 2012: 3179 baby girls and 482 baby boys named London
  • 2011: 3157 baby girls and 450 baby boys named London

Viola, +28

  • 2012: 162 baby girls named Viola
  • 2011: 134 baby girls named Viola

Renesmee, +26

  • 2012: 59 baby girls named Renesmee
  • 2011: 33 baby girls named Renesmee

Lovely, +26

  • 2012: 82 baby girls named Lovely
  • 2011: 56 baby girls named Lovely

Sarina, +26

  • 2012: 194 baby girls named Sarina
  • 2011: 168 baby girls named Sarina

McKayla, +25

  • 2012: 399 baby girls named McKayla
  • 2011: 374 baby girls named McKayla

Berenice, +20

  • 2012: 109 baby girls named Berenice
  • 2011: 129 baby girls named Berenice

Rue, +19

  • 2012: 32 baby girls named Rue
  • 2011: 13 baby girls named Rue

Selina, +18

  • 2012: 242 baby girls named Selina
  • 2011: 224 baby girls named Selina

Kateri, +16

  • 2012: 58 baby girls named Kateri
  • 2011: 42 baby girls named kateri

Merida, +15 at least

  • 2012: 19 baby girls named Merida [re-entered list]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Merida

Pepper, +15

  • 2012: 132 baby girls named Pepper
  • 2011: 117 baby girls named Pepper

Rooney (for girls), +15

  • 2012: 21 baby girls named Rooney
  • 2011: 6 baby girls named Rooney

Hugo, +13

  • 2012: 630 baby boys named Hugo
  • 2011: 617 baby boys named Hugo

Primrose, +12 at least

  • 2012: 16 baby girls named Primrose [re-entered list]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Primrose

Lisbeth, +11

  • 2012: 82 baby girls named Lisbeth
  • 2011: 71 baby girls named Lisbeth

Blue, +3 / +9

  • 2012: 10 baby girls and 20 baby boys named Blue
  • 2011: 7 baby girls and 11 baby boys named Blue

Romney, +9

  • 2012: 16 baby boys named Romney
  • 2011: 5 baby boys named Romney

Cassadee, +8

  • 2012: 13 baby girls named Cassadee
  • 2011: 5 baby girls named Cassadee

Katniss, +8 at least

  • 2012: 12 baby girls named Katniss [debut]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Katniss

Niall, +8

  • 2012: 42 baby boys named Niall
  • 2011: 34 baby boys named Niall

Octavia, +7

  • 2012: 79 baby girls named Octavia
  • 2011: 72 baby girls named Octavia

Arrietty, +6 at least

  • 2012: 10 baby girls named Arrietty [debut]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Arrietty

Loki, +6

  • 2012: 77 baby boys named Loki
  • 2011: 71 baby boys named Loki

Names that went up by 5 or fewer:

  • Beretta
  • Harry
  • Hawk (though Hawkeye debuted)
  • Joss (for boys)
  • Mavis
  • Maxwell (for girls)
  • Mitt
  • Tennessee

Names that went down:

  • Avila
  • Carly
  • Destinee
  • Django
  • Elizabeth
  • Felix
  • Gabrielle
  • Kindle
  • Missy
  • Ryan
  • Sparkle
  • Thor
  • Tony
  • Whitney

Names still not on the SSA’s list:

  • Altaluna
  • Azealia
  • Carlyrae
  • Dev (for girls)
  • Essined
  • Fury
  • Hildegard
  • Hulk
  • Lidislay
  • Quvenzhane
  • Shemekia
  • Stratos
  • Tika
  • Vanellope
  • Whedon
  • Yolo

Did any of these surprise you?

P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who played!

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name for Cian’s Little Brother

A reader named Jamie writes:

Cian Joseph is two years old, and will be welcoming a little brother in May. My husband is Irish, and so we’re sticking with names from that region. We know the middle name will be James, but we’re hitting a road block on first names. So far the only name we both like is Declan, but our super-Irish last name includes 2 K-sounds and ends in -lin. They sound a little funny together.

My first thoughts were Desmond and Diarmaid (Dermot), which are both similar to Declan. There’s also a saint named Donnan. Speaking of saints, how about:

Brendan
Brogan
Eoghan
Ernan
Faolan
Fergus
Fintan
Flannan
Finnian
Garbhan
Grellan
Loman
Manchan
Mel
Murtagh
Odhran
Ronan
Ruadhan
Senan
Ultan

Most of the above are spelled other ways as well, which is convenient (as some versions are easier to pronounce in English, while others are closer to the original Irish).

Historical Irish kings had names like Niall (Neil), Domnall (Donald) and Ruaidri (Rory).

Looking to surnames, there are options like Brady, Grady, Murphy and Nolan.

Do you think any of the above sound particularly good with James? What other names would you suggest?

Update, 6/07: Scroll down to the last comment to find out which name Jamie choseā€¦