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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Zoe

Number of Babies Named Zoe

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Zoe

Popular Baby Names in the Netherlands, 2016

According to data released by Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) in mid-January, the most popular baby names in the Netherlands in 2016 were Anna and Daan.

Here are the Netherlands’ top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Anna, 665 baby girls
2. Emma, 664 (tie)
2. Tess, 664 (tie)
4. Sophie, 644
5. Julia, 639
6. Zoë, 558
7. Evi, 557
8. Mila, 549
9. Sara, 542
10. Eva, 526

Boy Names
1. Daan, 681 baby boys
2. Noah, 679
3. Sem, 663
4. Lucas, 651
5. Jesse, 645
6. Finn, 640
7. Milan, 630
8. Max, 617
9. Levi, 597
10. Luuk, 595

On the girls’ list, Anna replaces Emma as the #1 name and Evi replaces Lotte in the top 10.

And on the boys’ list? All kinds of drama! Liam, which rose very quickly over the last few years to reach the top spot in 2015, not only lost that top spot to Daan, but dropped out of the top 10 entirely (!), replaced by Max. Liam now ranks unlucky 13th.

And what about unique names in the Netherlands? Here are a whole bunch, each used just once last year:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Aimée-Amélie
Alien
Alouette
Annephine
Anthillia
Aprilmoon
Aunorin
Ayudissa
Bardot
Bellefien
Berfu
Berilinci
Bixx
Blue-Ivy
Cacharell
Carovienne
Cephei
Cleodie
Coco-Chloè
Comfort
Cortana
Daxana
Daylite
Dimphey
Djoody
Dorka
Ecrin Ans
Egberdina
El’genneallèe
Eliflina
Emily-Vespii
Fairlychiona
Farangis
Faten
Faybe
Floore
Foxx
Frozan
Gigi-Ice
Gilviëntelly
Gynniva
Hillegonda
Indivancely
Ismini
Jochempje
Joomony
Kicky
Kricheliënne
Lammerdina
Lemon
Lilly-Phylou
Marryth
Medellín
Medusa
Meritxell
Nawprisca
Ot
Peggy-Sue
Pidoux
Pippilotta
Pluk
Ponyo
Quby
Quvenshané
Raidiënsheanix
Riva-Beaugeane
Ro-Quennety
Rover
Safrinza
Sensabelle
Seven
Sharvienshelly
Shomookh
Similiza
Ska
Smadar
Spogmay
Stin-cay
Swendelyn
Sybrecht
Tanzilla
Tippie-Tipper
Tulp
Umm
Utopia
Valexiane
Vellizar
Vilouella
Wesseldina
Xee’D
Yesmae
Yf
Ypie
Yucki
Zeltia
Zwanny
Aizeyosabor
Alain-Rainièr
Alaith
Alpcan
Amazing
Andrianiaina
Apache
Avestan
Bentivolio
Boef (“crook”)
Bonifacius
Bowdy
C-cayden
Casey-Chase
Chyrome
Cimarrón
Cornelis-Wilhelmus
Criff
D’Har-Chenoo
Daex
Dandy
Day-sravencio
Depp
Diablo
Digentley
Divinepraise
Djesco
Dubbele
Earlysean
Exegese
Ferdixon
Fince
Floki
G-Wendley
Gantulga
Ghevently
Ginuwine
Givenchy
Guevara
Guswently
Haliltalha
Heavenly-ion
Hunk
Iody
Jaap-Joost
Jacquill
Jill-Qiano
Jinx
Kainoa
Kiff
King-Maldive
Laiphanara
Largo
Marcus-Aurelius
Mcnelly
Mees-Senn
Motomichi
Mowgli
Mylox
Myway
Niamh
Ntsinzi
Oovy
Phat
Pit
Poppy
Pux
Q’ZHN
Quintyliano
Rafflow
Ridge
Rowinio
S’Lienio
Scato
Sergiovanni
Sicco
Solve
Splinther
Stork
Sunnery
T’cxzayneau
Tamonry
Taverdu
Thaividley
Trelawny
Typhoon
Vishnu
Wagdy
Wart
Xuze
Ymt
Yucca
Zbigniew
Zhyphienyoh
Zjurvendell
Zweder

At first I thought Sergiovanni might be an epic mash-up of Sergio and Giovanni, but then I found out that it’s just an Italian surname — Giovanni prefixed by ser, an occupational word for a notary.

Sources: De populairste kindernamen, Daan and Anna top the list of most popular Dutch baby names


Popular Baby Names in Victoria, 2016

According to data released on January 11th by the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the most popular baby names in Victoria, Australia, in 2016 were Charlotte and Oliver.

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

Girl Names
1. Charlotte, 453 baby girls
2. Olivia, 413
3. Mia, 364
4. Amelia, 355
5. Ava, 324
6. Isla, 323
7. Zoe, 304
8. Evie, 301
9. Grace, 278
10. Chloe, 273

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 516 baby boys
2. Jack, 435
3. William, 405
4. Noah, 373
5. James, 333
6. Ethan, 325
7. Thomas, 320
8. Max, 282
9. Mason, 263
10. Alexander, 262

Charlotte replaces Olivia as the #1 name for girls. In the girls’ top 10, Isla and Grace replace Sophie and Emily.

In the boys’ top 10, Mason and Alexander replace Lucas and Charlie.

Here are the 2015 rankings.

Source: Search popular names – Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria, The most popular baby names in Victoria for 2016

Five-Name Friday: Girl Name Between Anastasia and Zoe

five name friday, girl names

Not only is it Friday the 13th, but you tripped over your black cat this morning, fell into a wall, and the resulting thump knocked a framed mirror onto the floor, breaking it.

So now you’re at a home goods store picking out a replacement. The saleswoman, who has been very helpful, is also very pregnant. And as she rings up your purchase, she mentions that she and her partner just can’t agree on a baby name. Here’s what they’re looking for:

I like names like Zoe and Brynn, but my partner likes names like Anastasia and Victoria. What are some girl names that are in between?

“Do you have any suggestions?”

You’re a name-lover, and you could potentially give her dozens of suggestions. But you’re eager to get home before all your bad luck starts kicking in, so you only have time to give her five baby name suggestions before heading off.

But here’s the fun part: Instead of blurting out the first five names you come up with, 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 in a store?
  • Five names only! All names beyond the first five in your comment will be either deleted or replaced with nonsense words.

Finally, here’s the request again:

I like names like Zoe and Brynn, but my partner likes names like Anastasia and Victoria. What are some girl names that are in between?

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.]

Popular Baby Names in ACT, 2016

According to data released recently by the ACT government, the most popular baby names in Canberra in 2016 were Charlotte and William.

Here are the Australian Capital Territory’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Charlotte
2. Amelia
3. Ava
4. Zoe
5. Grace
6. Evelyn
7. Mia
8. Abigail
9. Audrey
10. Lily

Boy Names
1. William
2. Lachlan
3. Thomas
4. Jack
5. Oliver
6. Liam
7. James
8. Alexander
9. Leo
10. Ethan

The two #1 names are the same as they were in 2015.

In the girls’ top ten, Evelyn, Abigail, Audrey and Lily replace Olivia (the former #2 name), Sophie, Chloe, and Emily.

In the boys’ top 10, Liam, Leo, and Ethan replace Henry, Charlie and Oscar.

For more Australia-specific baby name rankings, check out the Australia & New Zealand name rankings subcategory.

Source: Charlotte and William: Canberra’s top baby names for 2016

The Top Baby Names in Maryland in 2011?

Maryland’s Open Data website includes a single table of Maryland baby name rankings (2011) broken down by race/ethnic group. This is cool because New York City does the exact same breakdown, and we happen to have the equivalent NYC baby name rankings (2011). So we ought to be able to compare and contrast the two sets of rankings, right?

Yeah, that’s what I thought…until I started looking more closely at Maryland’s data.

According to the SSA, these were the top 10 boy names in Maryland in 2011:

  1. Mason
  2. Jacob
  3. Michael
  4. Ethan
  5. Ryan
  6. William
  7. Alexander
  8. Noah
  9. Daniel
  10. Aiden (tied for 10th)
  11. Jayden (tied for 10th)

But according to the state of Maryland, the top 10 boy names were quite different:

Rank OVERALL Asian &
Pacific Isl.
Black Hispanic White
1 Aiden Aiden Jaiden Christopher Lucas
2 Christopher Lucas Aiden Anthony Mason
3 Jayden Alexander Christopher John Jackson
4 Mason Muhammed Cameron Alexander Jacob
5 Lucas Ethan Elijah Daniel John
6 Jacob Nathan Jeremy Matthew Aiden
7 Alexander John Michael Brian Alexander
8 Nathan Andrew Isaiah Justin Liam
9 Michael Justin Mason Jaiden William
10 Ethan Jacob Caleb Kevin Ryan

It isn’t totally implausible that Aiden and Jayden might have ranked 1st and 3rd in 2011, but Christopher in 2nd? Maybe if this were a dataset from thirty years ago, but not five years ago. The SSA indicates that Christopher ranked closer to 18th in the state that year.

And what’s with the two different spellings of Jayden/Jaiden?

Plus there are some sizable raw number discrepancies, such as:

  • Aiden: 588 babies (MD data) vs. 281 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Christopher: 584 babies (MD data) vs. 256 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Jayden: 498 babies (MD data) vs. 281 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Mason: 463 babies (MD data) vs. 432 babies (SSA data for MD)

And now the girl names. According to the SSA, these were the top 10 girl names in Maryland in 2011:

  1. Sophia
  2. Olivia
  3. Isabella
  4. Madison
  5. Ava
  6. Emma
  7. Abigail
  8. Chloe
  9. Emily
  10. Elizabeth

According to the state of Maryland, though, the top 10 girl names in the state were these:

Rank OVERALL Asian &
Pacific Isl.
Black Hispanic White
1 Sophia Sophia Chloe Sophia Sophia
2 Isabel Chloe London Emily Isabel
3 Chloe Isabel Layla Allison Abigail
4 Ava Caitlin/Kate Madison Isabel Olivia
5 Madison Hannah Kennedy Ashley Ava
6 Olivia Olivia Aaliyah Angelina Riley
7 Emily Sara(h) McKenzie Natalie Madison
8 McKenzie Abigail Zoe(y) Genesis Emily
9 Abigail Emily Payton Gabrielle McKenzie
10 Riley Lillian/Lily Taylor Kimberly Chloe

Not only does Isabel magically replace Isabella in the Maryland data, but McKenzie and Riley rank 8th and 10th — even though the SSA says they should be closer to 77th (!) and 28th.

Not to mention the raw number discrepancies, such as:

  • Sophia: 503 babies (MD data) vs. 367 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • McKenzie: 325 babies (MD data) vs. 71 babies (SSA data for MD)
  • Riley: 298 babies (MD data) vs. 118 babies (SSA data for MD)

Intriguing parallels between the MD data and the NYC data do exist. In both locations, Elijah and Isaiah were in the top 10 for African-American boys only, and London, Aaliyah, and Taylor were in the top 10 for African-American girls only.

But if we can’t trust the data, we can’t draw any meaningful conclusions.

Labels like “Caitlin/Kate,” “Sara(h),” “Zoe(y)” and “Lillian/Lily” suggest that variant names were combined here and there. I suspect this is also what happened with Isabel/Isabella, Sophia/Sofia, Aiden, Jayden, MacKenzie, Riley, and maybe even Christopher (perhaps Maryland merged all the “Chris-” names). What are your thoughts on this?

Good Advice for Choosing an English Name

Apple, Chlorophyll, Icarus, Kinky, Melon, Omicron, Smacker, Swallow, Winsome, Yoyo…the English names chosen by (or assigned to) native Chinese speakers are often not so great.

And, in many cases, they’re later regretted. Here’s what a Hong Kong business student Fragile Chan had to say about his English name:

“I started using ‘Fragile’ when I was 14,” he says. “I first encountered the word in my English class and I chose it as my name because I liked how it’s pronounced.”

Chan says his name makes it easy for others to remember him and it’s an easy conversation-starter when he meets new people. But in his experience, having an uncommon name isn’t always pleasant.

“I am tired of explaining my name to others when I need to introduce myself. Some people even mock me for having a ‘fragile heart’,” he says. Now Chan has decided to change his name to Nathan. “I would like to be less weird in formal situations,” he says.

One U.S. entrepreneur has created a site called Best English Name, which helps Chinese students choose more appropriate English names. Site-suggested names include “Davis, Max, Eli, and Riley” for males and “Elody, Ava, Jolie, and Ellie” for females. These are a lot better than Kinky and Melon, and style-wise they’re fairly appropriate for current teenagers.

But I think the best advice out there comes from Philip Guo’s blog post How to choose an English name, because it can be applied to any age group.

His main recommendation? Go to the SSA’s website, find the top 100 names for your birth year, and choose one from the list for your gender. He says:

You must choose your name from one of these 100 names. Even if you randomly choose a name (for your gender, of course), then congratulations, I guarantee that you have chosen a better name than most of your friends who tried to be creative!

So a 15-year-old student (b. 2001) can choose from names like:

  • Isabel, Katie, Mia, Sophia, Zoe
  • Aidan, Chase, Isaiah, Jack, Noah

But a 40-year-old business-person (b. 1976) can choose from names that might be a better fit for his/her generation, such as:

  • Amy, Dana, Monica, Tina, Wendy
  • Chad, Dennis, Peter, Shane, Tony

Best of all, every top 100 list includes names appropriate for people of various ages. For example, these names were on both the 1976 and the 2001 lists:

  • Anna, Elizabeth, Michelle, Natalie, Sarah
  • Adam, David, John, Nathan, Victor

Guo’s other recommendations include ignoring name definitions entirely and sticking to the exact version of the name found in the top 100. He also suggests choosing a name that sounds somewhat like one’s birth name, e.g., the English name Shawn would work well for a Chinese man named Sheng.

Do you have any other good advice for people (Chinese people in particular) seeking English names?

Sources: Students with unusual names: ‘at least no one forgets us’, Laowai Entrepreneur Wants to Rid China of English “Stripper Names”, Popular Baby Names – SSA

Baby Names Approved & Rejected in Iceland Recently

So far this year, Iceland’s Personal Names Committee (Mannanafnanefnd) has reached a verdict on nearly three dozen first names:

Female names

  • Rejected: Adriana, Daniela, Dyljá (“disguise”), Gígí, Swanhildur, Zoe
  • Approved: Ára, Beata, Dalrún, Ísbjört, Jóhanndína, List, Mæja, Rósý, Silfra (“silver”), Susie, Yngveldur, ├×orbrá

Male names

  • Rejected: Einarr
  • Approved: Baui, Freymann, Gestar, Jötunn (“hulk”), Kinan, Líó, Lói, Manuel, Mummi, Olli, Raknar, Sæmar, Tobbi, Toddi, Ugluspegill*

*Ugluspegill ultimately comes from Till Eulenspiegel, the name of a character in German folklore and literature. Till Eulenspiegel was a peasant trickster whose jests and jokes were “broadly farcical, often brutal, sometimes obscene; but they [had] a serious theme.” The name Eulenspiegel is made up of Germanic elements meaning “owl” and “mirror.”

Sources: Yngveldur sam├żykkt en Swanhildi hafnað, Till Eulenspiegel – Britannica.com, Ugluspegill – Nordic Names