Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Popular Baby Names

With all the unusual baby names celebrities are giving their kids these days, you'd think it was a general trend. Well, not quite. According to the folks at Social Security, these were the most popular names for babies born in 2005. From most popular, to second most, and so on:

Boys: Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Matthew, Ethan, Andrew, Daniel, Anthony, Christopher, Joseph
Girls: Emily, Emma, Madison, Abigail, Olivia, Isabella, Hannah, Samantha, Ava, Ashley

That's not to say that unusual names aren't climbing up the chain. I read in the NY Times that the name Neveah is taking off for girls. From the article:
In 1999, there were only eight newborn American girls named Nevaeh. Last year, it was the 70th-most-popular name for baby girls, ahead of Sara, Vanessa and Amanda.

The spectacular rise of Nevaeh (commonly pronounced nah-VAY-uh) has little precedent, name experts say. They watched it break into the top 1,000 of girls' names in 2001 at No. 266, the third-highest debut ever. Four years later it cracked the top 100 with 4,457 newborn Nevaehs, having made the fastest climb among all names in more than a century, the entire period for which the Social Security Administration has such records.

Nevaeh is not in the Bible or any religious text. It is not from a foreign language. It is not the name of a celebrity, real or fictional.

Nevaeh is Heaven spelled backward.

The name has hit a cultural nerve with its religious overtones, creative twist and fashionable final "ah" sound. It has risen most quickly among blacks but is also popular with evangelical Christians, who have helped propel other religious names like Grace (ranked 14th) up the charts, experts say. By contrast, the name Heaven is ranked 245th.
Go figure.


junebee said...

Yeah, that thing about Nevaeh was in our paper too.

I avoided the trendy names, I mean, who wants to be in school with 4 other kids with the same name in your class? Also avoided names that rhyme with bad words, insulting words, made sure initials didn't spell a bad word for acronym, etc. The task was formidable, especially for boy's names. It just doesn't seem like there's a wide variety of boy's names available.

Anonymous said...

this whole reveals your inner aspirations to have a child. you cannot deny it. it is your id. have a kid. name it ravid.

p.s. mom made me do it