Continuing a Mother’s Day tradition, the Social Security Administration has published a list of the nation’s most popular baby names for 2007. Once again Emily , which has topped the list of most popular girl’s names since 1996, tops the list. Jacob , which has been the most popular name for boys since 1999, retains its spot atop the list. Jacob was also popular as one of the two most popular twins names – along with Joshua .
If there wasn’t much change at the top, there were nonetheless some interesting developments further down the list. According to a press release, the 2007 success of popular race car driver Danica Patrick undoubtedly inspired her first name moving from number 352 to number 307. And how else can you explain the surge in popularity of JaMarcus (from number 914 to number 743 on the boys’ list), aside from its association with JaMarcus Russell, the first pick in the 2007 NFL draft. Miley is new to the girls’ list this year, entering fairly high at number 278, attributable to the popularity of teen sensation Miley Cyrus (we’ll see how that holds up in 2008).
For reasons likely to puzzle baby name experts (and non-baby namers) around the world, American parents have become infatuated by names, particularly for their sons, that rhyme with the word “maiden.” These names for boys include:
Jayden (No. 18); Aiden (No. 27); Aidan (No. 54); Jaden (No. 76); Caden (No. 92); Kaden (No. 98); Ayden (No.102); Braden (No.156); Cayden (No.175); Jaiden (No.191); Kaiden (No. 220); Aden (No. 264); Caiden (No. 286); Braeden (No. 325); Braydon (No. 361); Jaydon (No. 415); Jadon (No. 423); Braiden (No. 529); Zayden (No. 588); Jaeden (No. 593); Aydan (No. 598); Bradyn (No. 629); Kadin (No. 657); Jadyn (No. 696); Kaeden (No. 701); Jaydin (No. 757); Braedon (No. 805); Aidyn (No. 818); Haiden (No. 820); Jaidyn (No. 841); Kadyn (No. 878); Jaydan (No. 887); Raiden (No. 931); and Adin (No. 983).
This trend was present, but less pronounced, with girls names: Jayden (No. 172); Jadyn (No. 319); Jaden (No. 335); Jaiden (No. 429); Kayden (No. 507); and Jaidyn (No. 561). Comfortingly, Social Security spokesman Mark Lassiter indicated that the agency would resist any legislative efforts to standardize the spelling of these names.
Experts (and amateurs) also may be surprised by the extent to which American parents are naming their daughters after spiritual and philosophical concepts. One of the most popular names for girls (rising this year to number 31) is Nevaeh, which is “Heaven” spelled backwards. On the other hand, “Heaven” (spelled frontwards) is number 263 on the list. The boys list included Sincere (No. 622) and….believe it or not, Messiah (No. 723).
The Social Security website offers lists of baby names for each year since 1880. Social Security started compiling baby name lists in 1997. The full list(s) are online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/babynames/
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