Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why You Can Do Better Than a TOP TEN BABY NAME

There are totally certain subjects smart bloggers should never touch with a ten foot pole... And this is definitely one of them! So why am I poking this topic with a 1" stick? Because no one ever said I was a smart blogger... DUH! ALSO, this is my 100th blog post- therefore I decided a little controversy was in order... to keep things jazzy!

The guys over at Wait But Why wrote an amazing piece on baby naming a couple months back that had me giddy and giggling the entire time I read it... They NAILED IT. And everyone I know read it and agreed with its awesomeness. This post will be much less statistical and much more opinion oriented- I'm not trying to compete with perfection!

In order to give it some validity (and share the blame for pissing so many people off)... I have wrangled in my BFF, my bestie, my road dawg in life. We've been friends for something like 15 years and in that time she has proved to be the only other person (ok, there's you Karissa) who I know loves the process of baby naming as much as I do. SO- I introduce to you... Kelsey Anderson! She will be helping me with my name lists- don't get too attached, you might hate us both by the end ;)

Aren't we cute?
A few weeks after reading the Wait But Why post my three year old daughter and I had an amazing conversation- sealing the deal on this post. I asked her about a girl in her class, who I'd noticed she'd been playing with a lot (I will guard this precious child's name with my life- mainly for fear that her parents might find me and have me killed.) Anyway, I said to her, "Birdie- Are you becoming good friends with _______?" And without skipping a beat she said to me, "Which _______?! There's too many of them in my class!" Of course at first I lol'd like any good mother with an ironic sense of humor would (because even my three year old knows when a name has hit Top 10!!)... And then I really started thinking about names and why people get so stuck on certain ones.

I mean- NAMES... they're like... A BIG DEAL! I have personally loved names since as long as I can remember. I vividly remember having twin dolls as a young kid and giving them the names Zoe & Chloe (I've always been a trendsetter- what can I say?)

I love "helping" expectant mother's find names (and with a whopping 6 friends currently pregnant right now- I'm throwing ideas out and annoying every one of them!). I love learning the reasons behind a chosen name and I love Googling the meaning of a name. But there is nothing that I love more than finding out the ranking of a name. Yes- ranking. As in- I want to know just how popular/trendy a name is. Usually when I hear a name I know right away if it's within the top 100. That's easy. In this post we're going to dissect the trendy ones and alert you to the up & comers... How fun!

Before we get in to our "stats" let us assure/warn you: WE ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS! I (Kenna) personally don't even know how people gather actual statistical data therefore this is all mainly our own opinions gathered via the internet as well as what we are hearing all around us in our kid's classrooms and park dates (Kenna in California/Kelsey in Wisconsin- and don't forget the Facebook birth announcements!) This info should only be taken seriously if you like us, and even then only if you yourselves dislike trendy names.


The Overtly Trendy Name
You've always loved the name, I know. I had some names I loved as a child too... But miraculously I was able to find another one when it came to naming my child. Let me assure you of something, you can find another one too. You don't have to go with the name you've loved since you were 10- just because you've loved it since you were 10! A lot of new names have appeared- it's a new world for names as a matter of fact! While we're at it... Just stay away from the top 20 okay? Do us all a favor and branch out.

Of course no one (but us) is going to disagree with you when you shout it to the world you're naming your son Aiden, Jack or Noah (the 3 I hear the most)-  everyone's heard them so many times at this point they're par for the course. But have you thought about the fact that it might be more awesome to think of a name that your child can claim all to themselves- at least in their classroom?

Now in case you're really not in the name game at all- this is what we're humbly recommending you NOT name your baby in 2014 and on (there shall be a gag order given to these names until maybe 2030ish) unless you REALLY enjoy the thought of your child always having their last name initial attached to that lovely first name... Carrying it in to adulthood... "Hi, this is Bella! Bella Smith. No... No, the one with blond hair. Short blond hair.... YES! That one! Hi, how are you?"

  • Noah
  • Liam
  • Jacob
  • Mason
  • William
  • Ethan
  • Michael
  • Alexander
  • Jayden/Jaden
  • Daniel
  • Elijah
  • Aiden
  • James
  • Benjamin
  • Matthew
  • Jackson
  • Logan
  • David
  • Anthony
  • Joseph

  • Sophia/Sofia
  • Emma
  • Olivia
  • Isabella/Bella
  • Ava
  • Mia
  • Emily
  • Abigail
  • Madison
  • Elizabeth
  • Charlotte
  • Avery
  • Chloe
  • Ella
  • Harper
  • Aubrey
  • Amelia
  • Addison
  • Evelyn
  • Grace

The Sneaky Trendy Name
These are the names ranging from rankings 30-100 (or that are rising at warp speed into the Top 100). They might not be in your face right now but good lord on high they are coming to a baby near you soon. Example from years past: the name Madison. Have you ever met a Madison's mom who swears they'd never heard the name and then their baby hit Kinder and was in a sea of Madison's (or it's more popular alias: Maddie)? This genuinely happened to that name in 1997. At record speed in went from the ranking of 50 (1995) to Top 10 (1997). SO BE AWARE! That's all we're saying! Don't just think you're the only person in the world with a name idea... RESEARCH! (This isn't the 90's where you actually had to put in a big effort to find out if a name was popular!)

Another sneaker name was Grayson. I remember a mom-to-be actually telling me that she "made the name up". Ya. You and every other mom in LA County in 2008.

You might know this list like the back of your hand based on filling out your kid's Valentine cards last year... But just in case- currently, this is what we're looking at (in random order fyi)...

  • Asher/Ash
  • Eli
  • Ryder
  • Finn/Finley
  • Quinn
  • Elliot
  • Sebastian
  • Kaden/Caden
  • Declan
  • Bennett
  • Wyatt
  • Luke
  • Hunter
  • Max
  • Oliver
  • Jaxon (be aware of those crazy spellings only adding to the trendiness of a name!)
  • Carter
  • Everett
  • Cash
  • Silas
  • Landon
  • Emmett
  • Cade/Kade
  • Gavin
  • Levi
  • Hudson
  • Jude
  • Chase
  • Ryder
  • Easton
  • Weston
  • Zachary
  • Gabriel

  • Nora/Norah
  • Ruby
  • Violet
  • Finley/Finlee
  • Zoe/Zoey
  • Quinn
  • Gianna/Giana
  • Iris
  • Piper
  • Mila
  • Brooklyn
  • Scarlett
  • Hadley
  • Vivian
  • Ellie/Elle
  • Savannah
  • Penelope/Penny
  • Sadie
  • Alice
  • Paisley/Paislee
  • Aria
  • London/Londyn (enough with the 'Y' already, people!)
  • Reese/Reece/Rhys
  • Adelaide/Adaline/Adalyn
  • Hazel
  • Delilah
  • Eden
  • Olive
  • Stella

The Upcoming Trendy Name
In no way are we telling you to avoid these names- if you notice I have even placed my own daughter's name on the list. All we are doing is warning you- they are on the rise and have entered the top 1000 (or are set to this year). Don't think you're crazy original and go spouting off to all your friends how it came to you in some name vision. No- you actually saw it in People Magazine under the "Celebrity Births of the Week" section... (Or was that just me?) One thing we've learned in the last few years is that NO NAME IS SAFE. Even when I'd (Kenna) researched my kids names to infinity and beyond... I never thought Birdie would became an "up and coming" name on Baby Center (the most popular name-finding website). Because had I have known that- it would've broken my "No Top 1000" rule (which is on track to happen when the social security list for 2014 is released!) Fun fact: her real name is Roberta- so take that Top 1000!

Announcement by Hello Love
  • Braxton
  • Brixton
  • Sawyer
  • Rowan
  • Gunner
  • Stryker
  • Maverick
  • Axel
  • Archer
  • Memphis
  • Atlas
  • Gideon
  • Atticus
  • Allister
  • Dash
  • Phoenix
  • Rex
  • Ace
  • River
  • Enzo
  • Beckett
  • Seamus 
  • Luca/Lucca
  • Duke
  • Royal
  • Nixon
  • Cassius
  • Bo
  • Thatcher
  • Nash

  • Ellery
  • Ellody
  • Birdie
  • Farrah
  • Story
  • Romy
  • Tallulah
  • Isla
  • Greta
  • Braelyn/Braelynn
  • Luna
  • Eve/Evie
  • Lilia
  • Gwyneth/Gwendolyn/Gwen
  • India 
  • Indie
  • Collins
  • Karis
  • Magnolia
  • Pearl
  • Teagan
  • Hattie
  • Lux/Luxx
  • Freya
  • Willow
  • Phoebe
  • Fiona
  • Ivory
  • Juniper
  • Poppy 
  • Wren
  • Clementine

The I'm-Going-With-a-Classic-and-I-Don't-Care Name
You're dead set on the name George. I mean if it's good enough for the Princess, it's good enough for you. Hey... You know what? Bless it. One of Cormac's best friend's name is William and his mom acknowledges his classically popular name with pride. Just be sure that you can own the fact that it's not only a classic... But most likely very trendy too. And can ya do us just one favor? Get a little crazy with the middle name... Huh? Can ya?

This years 3 "Big Classics":

  • Charlie
  • Samuel
  • Henry
  • Anna
  • Lucy
  • Caroline

The Celeb-Kid-Name-Gone-Trendy-That-Will-Conjure-Up-Image-of-Celeb-Kid-Every-Time 
Look- if The Pitts have named their kid something- they won, you loose- find something else. I (Kelsey) was actually very interested in the name Pax until Angie got her hands on it... I moved on!

Every time I hear the name Maddox this is what I think of.
  • Jayden
  • Maddox
  • Matilda
  • Knox
  • Apple
  • Kingston
  • Coco
  • Moses
  • Everly
  • Shiloh
Hello baby girl Maxwell Drew! We didn't see that one coming.
The Boy Name as Girl Name
This trend has been around for awhile. I mean my parents got my name (Kelsey) out of the boy section of the baby name book. But more recently this trend rocketed into popularity when model/actress Jaime King started going by James. Now I find myself asking my kids, "Which Ryan? Boy Ryan or girl Ryann?" This is also a big one that parents think they made up, then encounter 3 other "girl Jameses" in play group.

Here are a few we've heard this year...
  • Charlie/Charlee
  • Elliott
  • Emerson
  • Michael
  • Ashton
  • Rowan
  • Ace
  • Presley/Preslee
  • Austin
  • Cash/Kash
  • Landon/Landyn 
  • Axel/Axyl/Axl
  • Luca/Lucca
  • Maverick
  • Nico
  • Jameson
  • James
  • Ryan/Ryann
  • Maxwell
  • Brett/Brette
  • Wyatt

How to Thoroughly Research a Name...
You didn't think we were just going to bitch and moan about a bunch of names and then not provide you with resources for finding names we like more, did you? No way! Of course there are plenty of great books out there I'm sure- but at this point I think it's pretty safe to say that what's in the books is on the internet...

Here are our favorite naming websites...

Researching Names Based on Cultural Preference...
When I (Kenna) was pregnant with Cormac, I was dead set on giving him an Irish name. Likewise, my friend Amy (who's married to an Italian man) would only consider Italian names for her four boys: Giacomo, Luciano, Valentino and Massimo (I helped her with that last one!)

If your goal is to stay true to your roots- the easiest way to find a name within your cultural preference is to find a good website dedicated to it... Exactly how I found the name Cormac!

In closing...
You've finished the post and somehow we've managed to take down at least 3 names in your immediate family or extended... And here's the deal. We still love kids with trendy names- in fact some of my (Kenna) kid's favorite friends to play with are Liam, Noah and Ava. While we do not in anyway, shape or form CONDONE these names for 2014 & on... We vow to still love the babies even if you choose to ignore us. Well, that's kind of a lie because I don't even really like other people's babies/children in general... I mean, my own push their luck at times... But anyway- we will still appreciate them as human beings...?

Before you huff and puff and type your angry comments just remember that this entire post was written mainly to make name snobs laugh  provoke thought when choosing your sweet little precious' name... And hopefully go viral, duh.


[Practically] Baby Name Experts,
Kenna (#997) & Kelsey (#306) has some great naming insight!


  1. OH NO!! Finley is on there. I thought I was so creative. He's 5 and we haven't run across too many...

    1. I am so curious where you live! Finley is big in Cali but I can see maybe it not being as big in other states? We have 3 friends with Finley's- however, only one is a boy! It IS a great Irish name- that is for certain!

  2. Woo Finley! We got ours from South Africa so take that California!!!

    1. It's kind of a bummer that a lot of the up and coming names are family names for us. Sure makes it hard to name your kid after a relative! Finley's name (Finley Olive) was inspired by my grandma Florence Oliver. Steven wasn't down with Florence so Finley it is! Its funny living over here the names that you hear. There are 2 other Finley's I know here but they are British and Irish boys, other wise it's all Mohammed, Fatima, Khalid, Khadijah.

    2. I didn't know that about Finley's name... I LOVE the name Florence... And the name Flora!! Well you will just have to tell me your next name... Then I can give you my US insight, lol?

    3. So does this mean that within the first three comments there are three documented Finley's? 3 out of 3 ;) Two of my kids are on the trendy list! Ava and Gabriel... There are so many Ava's in my kids school that they have to go by their name PLUS their last inital at all times. I think being 31, I subconsciously tucked away Reese Witherspoon's baby name for her daughter and it surfaced years later. That must be it..... My oldest is Sarah. She is named after Sarah from Jim Henson's masterpiece Labrynth, my beloved childhood cat named Sarah and the heroine in my favorite childhood book, "Sarah's Unicorn". A very deep and meaningful name for sure, lol! ;)

    4. Loved this comment!! I remember when Reese named her daughter- it was a unique name!! It's pretty and starts with an A- two things that make everyone want it.

    5. Just write your next post about how to get husbands on board with our names and to be open to more than Torrance and Jedidiah

  3. Well, with a name like Sue (actually Suzanne) I grew up knowing what it was like to have a common name and being called Susie and Susan (no, please!) with many others in each class! Our middle child is named Summer (born 1982) which I always loved, and finally got my husband to agree with. I thought it was uncommon, but not so anymore. My daughter-in-law, Lois (from the Philippines) always laughs because her name was popular in the 20s, but I tell her that she is the one and only Lois that I know, except for my husband's late, great aunt:)
    I enjoyed this post!

    1. I have one other friend with an 1980 birthday named Summer- but she was the only one in our high school! With the way old names are coming back- Lois is bound to be popular one of these years!!

  4. Woohooo!! Neither of my - I'm-Going-With-a-Classic-and-I-Don't-Care Names - made the list. Does that mean I did good?

    Loved this post :)

    1. I'm embarrassed to say- I forget what RJ stands for!!! I almost did Allison but it still wasn't as popular as Alice, which surprised me!

  5. McCoy & Italia. TAKE THAT Trend followers. :)

    1. I have heard of one other little boy McCoy! But yes, no where near the Top 1000!

  6. None of my immediate family members made that list. Woohoo!

  7. UGH - Keisha never makes the list! There's even a famous Keisha now (Kesha - but she knows it's really Keisha - stop frontin').....hangs head low.


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