Friday, May 9

Predictions for 2014's Top 1000 --


The list of the most popular names for 2013 is out -- happy namer's day! 

I've been enjoying looking through the new stats, and they inspired me to come out of blog-death and actually do, you know, a post. 


Darien and Collins mark the end of the Top 1000 list -- Darien was used on 195 baby boys in 2013, and Collins was used on 248 girls. 

I didn't get the chance to make any predictions for the 2013 lists, so I'm going to venture a few guesses as to what next year's newcomers might be. 

I took a look at the names that just missed making the Top 1000 (and were used more than 100 times) and decided to see which have gained popularity steadily over the past 5 years. 

This is by no means a comprehensive list. I only looked at names that caught my attention for whatever reason: names that are similar to more popular choices, names that have a pop culture cache, names that I feel I've been seeing and hearing a lot, names that intrigued me. 

Here are my predictions for what we might see popping into next year's top 1000!


Etta -- in 2009 Etta was used on just 71 baby girls. It has gained popularity steadily since then, and in 2013 it was used on 201 babies, taking a +70 leap from its 2012 position. If it continues its rise and is used on approximately 271 babies in 2014, it's a pretty safe bet to say Etta will be coming into the top 1000.

Maisie -- Maisie's gonna do it in 2014, for sure people. I'd put a cool five dollar bill on it. Used 214 ties in 2013, a +65 gain from the year before, overall gain of +98 from 2009, it has all the trappings of a new-trendy. End of story.

Calliope -- Calliope's a fun one, and it surprised me! It was used on 186 babies in 2013, compared to just 55 in 2009. Factor in a +41 leap from 2012 to '13 and you've got one to keep your eye on.

Bonnie -- sweet Bonnie is a bit of a sleeper. I was tracking Billie, Betty and Betsy, too, but their rises have all been uneven. Bonnie was used on 234 babies in 2013, a +62 rise from 2009, but only a +10 rise from 2012. I'm very interested in seeing what it does for 2014.

Louisa -- another semi-surprising one. I've always loved Louisa. It was used on 241 baby girls last year, a +19 gain from 2012 and an overall gain of +102 since 2009. I'd love to see it in the top 1000, it would bring some weight and glamor to a sea of Kaylee variant spellings.

Naya -- pop culture influence here, with the actress from Glee to thank. Naya very nearly made the list this year (it was used on 241 babies and the #1000 ranking name was used on 248) so as long as it continues its rise, we'll see it this time next year.

Elodie -- a favorite of mine, and one that I've heard IRL a fair amount. It was used on 170 babies last year, a +21 rise from 2012. French, sophisticated yet familiar, similar to mega-popular El- names like Ella and Eleanor? Perfect storm, people, perfect storm.

Fallon -- Fallon's rise hasn't been as dramatic as Etta's, but it's been very steady, and with the popularity of Jimmy Fallon's late-night show, I think it will continue this trajectory into the top 100. It was used on 232 babies in 2013, a +25 rise from 2012 and an overall +47 rise from 2009.

Flora -- I was shocked when Florence (which is SO popular in the UK) knocked itself out of contention for this list by being unsteady somewhere between '12 and '10, but happy to see friendly Flora came through. It does seem to appeal more to us Stateside namers, with its closeness to Nora and Laura and its fresher sound. Flora was used on 144 babies last year, a gain of +16 from 2012. Could 2014 be its year? I'm thinking it's a solid maybe.

Eisley -- Everly and Paisley saw big rises in 2013, and I began tracking Eisley for its similarity to them. It was used on 160 babies last year, a rise of +21 from 2012, and had an overall rise of +111 since 2009. The band Eisley might've helped it along. I think this one sounds ripe for trendy-celebrity usage.

Lennox -- Lennox, right? There must be a pop culture thing I'm missing because I am old and irrelevant now. In 2009, do you know how many baby girls were named Lennox? Just 10! Now, guess how many were born in 2013. Did you guess 153?! No, because that's nutty, right? And from 2012-2013 it saw a +59 boost. Woah! I'm a little scared of you, Lennox.

Alba -- I love it when popular books influence names. Alba was used in 2003's The Time Traveler's Wife, but probably got a bigger boost from the film adaptation, which came out in 2009. That year, it was used on just 70 babies -- but in 2013 it was used on 146. I wonder if its jolt into popularity is going to fade, but it's still going strong, seeing a +13 rise from 2012, so I wouldn't count it out just yet.

Sylvie -- another personal favorite, Sylvie was used on 197 babies last year. Its rise has been slow but steady and it took a big leap from 2012-2013, so I'm going to continue watching this one.

Vada and Vayda -- Veda didn't make the cut, sadly. It's doing well (and was used more times than Vayda last year) but the rise hasn't been steady enough to include here. Vayda surprised me! It was used 61 times in '09 and 118 in '13. Vada was used 76 times in '09 and 177 times in '13. Big leaps! Very appealing sounds + lots of variant spellings make this one a fairly sure bet.

Ophelia -- Ophelia was used by 46 more babies in 2013 than it was in 2012. Since it was used 184 times in 2013, if it sees a similar rise this year it could break the top 1000. It was surprised it wasn't there already, but perhaps parents are just beginning to get over the whole tragic-suicidal girl thing.

Poppy -- cutie-boots Poppy is catching on (used 179 times last year, a +87 rise since 2009) but might just be losing momentum (only a +7 rise from 2012). What are you going to do about that, Poppy? I'm rooting for you.

Imogen -- used on 131 babies last year, I'm patiently waiting for Imogen to catch on in the States. It has only gained +53 (points? babies? I'm not sure what to call my data!) since 2009, but saw a suspiciously big leap from 2012-2013 (+18). Come on, Imogen!

Persephone -- oh how I would love to see this one in the top 1000. Such a striking, bold choice, I was surprised to see it was used 167 times last year, a +26 rise from 2012. If Persephone cracks the top 1000, is that a sign of the end times? Or the beginning of the awesome times?

Zelda -- Zelda excited me! So sharp, so cool, so Fitzgerald-y. It was only used 59 times in 2009, but has risen steadily since and was used by 181 very hip parents last year. Big rise from 2012 (+42) so we might just be seeing the beginning here. Either that or people who were obsessed with the video games are finally procreating …

Ezra -- yep that's right, Ezra for a girl. I was curious to see it was used 150 times in 2013, a +30 gain from 2012. Back in 2009 it was only used on 90 girls, so it's seeing some definite traction. If it takes another couple of +30 leaps, it could be in the Top 1000 by 2015.

Spencer -- attention parents considering using the name Spencer for their sons: Spencer is losing popularity for boys and gaining popularity for girls. Spencer ranked #251 for boys last year, but has been steadily falling since 2000. The boys' loss has been the girls' gain, however. In 2009 Spencer was used on just 37 baby girls, but last year it was used on 178. (And its 2012-2013 movement was big as well -- +33!)

Whitley -- another baffling one. Maybe it's the Whitney of the two-thousand-teens? Used 170 times last year, I'd put this one in the "maybe 2015" column.

Viola -- I have always been "meh" about Violet and "yay" about Viola, so was glad to see it's been doing just fine for itself. Used 174 times last year, the rise has been slow but steady. 

Harriet -- Hattie might get more love, but Harriet has been plodding along quite nicely in its own right. Used on 126 babies in 2014, but with a pretty significant +37 jump from 2012, I'd love to see this one get some modern love.

Pepper -- hehe! It's Pepper! Weird! In 2009, only 67 babies were named Pepper, which still seems like a lot to me, but whatevs. What's weird is that in 2013 it was used 152 times. I wonder if there's an influence I'm missing here, too. Or maybe it's just that it's close to popular Piper? Will we see Pepper in 2014 -- maybe not, but if it rises again, maybe 2015 will be its year.

Hartley -- another surprising find, Hartley was used on 127 babies last year, a +26 jump from 2012 and a whopping +96 jump since 2009. It's less popular on boys, has a fun tomboy vibe and is super wearable. I'm interested to see where it heads.

Miabella -- in 2009, Miabella (itself a combination of two extremely popular names) was used 85 times. Last year it was used 154. Big leap! It only saw a +12 increase from 2012-2013 though, so I wonder if it has staying power.

Opal -- cute oft-overlooked gemstone name Opal was only used 77 times in 2009, but in 2013 it was used 123 times. Had a pretty significant '12-'13 leap, so I'll keep an eye on it.

Zella -- a "friendlier to the trendies" version of Zelda, Zella was used on just 100 babies last year, but back in '09 it was only used on 60, so it's creeping up on us. Very cool, but I wonder about its staying power.


There weren't as many on the boys side of things that stuck out to me, but here are a few.

Boone -- my parents' dog name :) and one I've seen mentioned around my names board a few times. Boone was used 158 times in 2013 and fits the whole "American cowboy" thing boy parents seem to be gravitating towards. It saw a leap of +30 from '12-'13 so if it does that again it might crack the top 1000 for 2014.

Dash -- weirdly, Dashiell didn't make this cut. It was too wobbly and unstable, though I think its rise is still significant and will continue. Little Dash made it, though! Used 155 times last year.

McCoy -- Mc-names have largely been more popular for girls (funny since the prefix means "son of-") but I wonder if this Mc-name could break the top 1000 for the boys. It was used 170 times in 2013, saw a big leap from '12-'13 and is on a fast rise.

Ford -- short & sweet, that's what American parents like in a boy name these days, apparently. Ford was used 179 times last year though it's gain from '12-'13 was not significant. I wonder if its popularity is thanks to parents who like Harrison Ford but don't want something as popular as Harrison for their sons.

Cormac -- I want to say Cormac is the new Finn. I really want to. But it's not yet. It might be. Cormac was used 166 times in 2013, and only 103 in '09. However it only gained +3 from '12-'13 so it might be leveling off, destined to wallow just outside the beautiful high-walled gardens of the top 1000 forever… ughhh I have been looking at names for too long, help …

Bane -- I think this one seems like a mean thing to name a child. Bane of my existence, much? I guess there's a Batman connection here? That seems mean, too. Anyway, apparently my opinion isn't the popular one in this case, because Bane was used 120 times last year. (And only TWELVE times in 2009!) Its huge, steady rise includes a +69 leap from '12-'13, so next year might just be the year of Bane in the top 1000.

Alaric -- handsome Alaric was used on 116 babies last year, and only 27 in 2009! Woah! Something's breathing some fresh life into this one. It had a gain of +28 from 2012-2013, so we can count this very happily as one to watch.

Hoyt -- see, cowboy names! I like this one though. Fun to say. Hoyt was only used 101 times in 2013, but its overall rise (it was used 54 times in 2009) says "keep an eye on me."

Ryden -- yup. Used 124 times in 2013, Ryden appeals to Brayden-lovers looking for something less stale. It'll probably burn out but I wanted to include it because one never can predict the rise of names made up of a combination of popular sounds.