Whether you are going to be dad or a mom, picking a name for your baby is one of the most exciting — and at times — frustrating rituals a couple will face before the birth of their child. Trying to agree on one name is a big task, and narrowing it down to the “right” name is even harder. There is a joke that goes, “You never know how many people you dislike until you start to decide on a name for your baby!”
The Most Popular Baby Names Right Now
The U.S. Social Security Administration’s website is probably the most accurate source on the most popular baby names. The only downside is that they only update their results once a year on Mother’s Day, and that is for the previous year. However, it still gives us an idea on what is popular. Here are the top 10 baby names for boys and girls for 2012:
The top boy’s name, Jacob has a Jewish heritage and means “supplanter” or “substitute.” Sophia is Greek and means “wise.”
Popular Names from Years Past
Now, let’s contrast those results from the top 10 names between the years 1880-1890. The names Emma, William, John, Elizabeth and James are still fairly popular, but you would be hard pressed to find a newborn with the name Minnie, Ida or Bertha. (The second number represents where they rank today.)
- Mary (123)
- Anna (35)
- Emma (2)
- Elizabeth (10)
- Margaret (178)
- Clara (136)
- Alice (127)
- John (12)
- William (5)
- James (14)
- George (166)
- Charles (62)
- Frank (319)
- Joseph (20)
- Henry (43)
- Robert (61)
- Thomas (63)
*Not in the top 1000 names for any year of birth in the last 14 years
Another source for finding the most popular names, including 2013, is BabyCenter.com. Their data is pulled from over a half million parents who shared their baby’s name with them.
The Most Popular Baby Names for 2014
BabyNamesLog.com gives out a list every year on what they predict will be popular names for the year. They get these predictions by analyzing the Social Security Administration and taking note of the spikes in popularity of some names.
“Thorough analysis and careful synthesis is our scientific method that we use before we issue any kind of results for the popular baby names 2014 list,” says the website. “Looking only at a top 100 baby names list is not sufficient in order to spot themes of rising popularity of a name in the future. We are confident that the popular baby names 2014 list will help you to be ahead of the game and pick a name that will prove to become hot before everyone else!” Here are the names making the cut:
Boys (K’s are popular!):
What’s In a Name?
The Rev. Matthew Trewhella believes, as many Christians do, that we should take great care when giving names to our children. “The Israelites…took the choosing of names for their children very seriously. They wanted the name they chose to have special significance to the child,” he says on the Mercy Seat Christian Church website. Many name their children a certain name because it ‘sounds nice.’ Most do not know the meaning of their child’s name. Even when they do know the meaning of their child’s name, they usually chose it because they thought it was a ‘cool’ meaning. They don’t see it as relating to their child for any significant purpose.”
Trewhella goes on to explain that the Hebrews took naming a children seriously because they believe that a name you are given, declares your character. “When we name our children, we give them names which will express their character as we envision it from God.” No pressure.
How to Find the Perfect Name
Okay, so there’s not just one easy solution to go by, but here are a few suggestions to get you on your way.
Book: The “2014 Baby Names Almanac” by Emily Larson claims to be the “Most Up-to-Date Resource for Baby Names.”
Apps: Yes – there is an app for that – lots of them in fact, and most of them are free. The apps range from 25,000 – 50,000 baby names to choose from. Most feature options to search, sort and filter names and browsing capabilities to choose by origin or keyword search. You’ll find the bulk of them from the Apple Store.
Website: If the apps are not impressive enough, then turn your computer on and visit WhatsInAName.com. This free site features over 200,000 names, stats and origins of names.