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New Year’s Babies: A Nationwide Sampling of Baby Names, 2014 Edition

Each year, New Year’s babies symbolize hope for the year to come, and provide a window into the naming styles of parents across the United States and abroad. I give you: 50 states of baby names for 2014. Just like the preceding posts in 2012 and 2013, there is something here for everyone, names span from the traditional to the inventive.

Alabama- In Scottsboro, they welcomed 2014 with baby Kiley, the #513 name in the country. Kylie—it’s most popular spelling—ranks #59.

Alaska- The #31 name in the country, Laylawas the name of the New Year’s Baby in Anchorage. For many, her name evokes a certain hit from Eric Clapton.

Arizona- New Year’s Baby Viviana has a name that is somewhat of a hidden gem—a soft, flowing girl’s name that is relatively rare at #478 on the chart. Viviana would be a fresh name for a younger sister for chart-toppers like Isabella and Gabriella.

Arkansas- In The Natural State, these parents ushered in their first boy by giving him a #21 name: Logan.

California- In San Jose, Lilliana has New Year’s Baby honors. It is a name that appeals to many parents because of its ornate rhythm and its inclusion of the nickname Lily.

Colorado- Baby Bo ushered in the new year with her unique name. Her name is well outside the Top 1000, just 19 baby girls were named Bo in 2012. For many people, Bo is a masculine name that draws to mind Bo Jackson. But beautiful Bo Derek and the name of the young daughter in 2002’s “Signs” offer some precedent for a fresh girl’s name.

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New Year’s Babies: A Nationwide Sampling of Baby Names, 2013 Edition

It’s a new year, and a new chance to peruse the names of New Year’s babies from across the land. As with last year, this year’s choices provide a host of options for parents with a wide variety of naming styles!

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(ivstatic.com)

Alabama- "You’re going to have the New Year’s Baby!" must have been music to little Aria's parents' ears. This elegant, on-trend name ranks #157 on the U.S. popularity charts.

Alaska- Up north, baby Gwendolyn made her grand entrance. Her name, which may appeal to parents drawn to names like Madelyn  and Genevieve, is familiar but lesser used at #572 in the Top 1000. This Gwendolyn is baby sister to sibling Shayla.

Arizona- Baby Malcolm, the grandson of a congressman, has a name that should strike fancy of parents who like the traditional style of names like Matthew and Martin, but not their popularity. Malcolm ranks #499 on the current chart.

Arkansas- In Little Rock, a true chart-topper took center stage: baby Olivia (#4 on the U.S. chart) became the symbol of new beginnings in 2013.

California- In the Golden State, two little boys grabbed the spotlight: Dorian (#520) and Jadian (unranked, just 10 boys named Jadian were born in the U.S. last year)show the vast stylistic differences that can exist among boys names with the uber-popular 'n' ending.

Connecticut- In the Nutmeg State’s largest city, baby Michelle became the littlest member of her family, joining older siblings Trevor and Nicole. Michelle ranks #144, but her name—like the names of her siblings—peaked between the 1970s and 1990s, so it has a modern but nostalgic feel.

Colorado- Little Vivian earned fame in the Centennial State. Her name recently grabbed headlines around the world, as it was bestowed upon the daughter of a football star and a super model.

Delaware-  I’ve searched high and low, but haven’t found a Delaware New Year’s baby story! If and when I do, I will post it here!

Florida- In the Sunshine State, we have New Year’s babies with religious connections. Leah is the name of one of Jacob’s daughters in the Bible and the #29 name on the United States. The much less frequently-used Koen was bestowed upon another little Floridian born near the new year. Koen is unranked (165 baby boys were named Koen last year), but its most popular spelling, Cohen, ranks #336 and upsets some who feel the name should be reserved for ancient Jewish priests and their descendants.

Georgia- Jaicen offers a 2013 take on 1970s/1980s favorite Jason (which still ranks #71 on the U.S. chart), and a less popular take on the more popular Jace. Jaicen is unranked and unlisted on the U.S. popularity chart, which means fewer than five babies were given this name last year.

Hawaii- Hawaiians said aloha to Christian, a sweet and timeless pick that comes in at #30 on the U.S. popularity chart.

Idaho- A unique spelling of a common name— Emit—was  the name of the day in Idaho. The traditional spelling, Emmett, is #222 on the chart, while Emit is unranked. Just eight babies were named Emit in the U.S. last year.

Illinois- The Age of Aidans lives on! Chicago rang in the new year with baby Aydan, a less-conventionally spelled moniker that comes in at #682. The name’s most popular spelling, Aiden, comes in at #9 and the original and most time-tested variant, Aidan, is moderately popular at #107.

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I Got My Name From Name Cupid: Meet Harper

It’s that time again: time to infuse the Name Cupid Hall of Fame with a fresh dose of cuteness. This third Name Cupid Hall of Fame success story wasn’t without its ups and downs (including differing parental naming styles and a celebrity name theft). But, it ended in perfection, two parents finding a name they agreed was a spot-on choice for their little girl.

Meet baby Harper! How did her parents arrive at their perfect name? We asked Harper’s mom to find out.

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Name Cupid’s New Classics: Most Suggested Names of Year 1

Now that Name Cupid is emerging from its own infancy—the site launched one year ago this month—I thought I’d take stock of the hundreds of names I’ve suggested for the parents-to-be who have contacted me for help in their search for the perfect baby name.

As I’ve written here before, the names I suggest are not based on my own preferences, but on the specifications each parent provides me. Maybe they are looking for lyrical, flowing names that would sound nice with big sister Julianna or strong, snappy names that would fit well with a long, complicated surname. As a result, the names I’ve suggested span a wide array— from Demetrius to Aria to Bailey. What is interesting is when a name itself spans a wide array of tastes, making it palatable, for instance, for parents looking for unique spunk, traditional flair, and a touch of strength. I’ve combed through the hundreds of suggested names and found those that I’ve suggested most for parents. Names that, due to their broad appeal, might just be new classics.

(icorners.com)

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Name Cupid Pick of the Day: Everett

Today’s hottest boys’ names often fall in to two categories: preppy surnames (think Easton, Carson and Parker) and names fit for rugged cowboys (names like Wyatt and Eli).

Names that fit both descriptions are perhaps the most sought-after names in America

Many parents looking for that naming sweet spot—and those drawn to strong, masculine names featuring soft sounds—need look no further than Everett.

                      

                                    (allmoviephoto.com)

That’s Rupert Everett, around the time he lit up the screen with Julia Roberts. His preppy surname—one that picks the rugged nickname Rhett—- has the elements of a modern classic. It has an unexpected ‘t’ ending, seen on few popular boys’ names, and Evan's soft but masculine sounds.

A name far more popular in the 19th century than in the 21st, the rugged and refined Everett means “brave as a wild boar” and is ranked a modest #257 on the current US popularity chart.

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Baby Names & The Beautiful Game: Euro 2012 Edition

It is official: The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship— better known as the Euro—is underway. Around the world, fans like yours truly are tuning in to watch the world’s most beautiful game. And you don’t have to be a soccer fan to appreciate the naming potential packed into this year’s tournament. While America trails the rest of the world in terms of football fandom, world soccer giants have made an impact on our name charts. The boys’ name Iker was the second fastest rising boys’ name in the US last year, likely thanks to this guy:

(article.wn.com)


That, of course, is Spanish #1 Iker Casillas, who helped his team to World Cup glory and helped his name increase in the American consciousness. Names take off not only due to players’ dominance— I don’t expect Zlatan to reach the American Top #10 any time soon—the recipe for a hit baby name includes one part celebrity, two parts in-fashion sounds. With that in mind, here are some other Euro-inspired names that could make nice fits for baby boys:

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Outsiders Part VI: Beauty and Strength

I know, it’s been a while. But what better way to emerge from a long absence than to post a fresh batch of Outsiders

For parents drawn to flowery, feminine names for girls, plant and gem names are in demand. The rise of names Violet and Ruby is proof positive of how friendly these names are to the modern ear—but they aren’t alone. There are plenty of similarly-themed names that have barely scratched the surface of their popularity.

For boys, names like Wyatt and Levi are both well within the Top #100, showing many of today’s parents pick for their sons names that evoke a Stetson, a saddle, and a certain Western flair. But there are many, many more boys names too striking to be lost in the obscurity beyond the top #1000.

(rjnet.com.br)

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Blue Ivy & The Baby Name Rainbow

It’s been more than a month since Blue Ivy Carter made her world debut, but the fascination with her unusual name has yet to wane. Of course, Blue Ivy isn’t the first baby whose parents sought to "paint the sky blue,"  Alicia Silverstone had baby Bear Blu, Cher’s Elijah Blue was born more than 30 years ago, and U2’s The Edge moved Blue into the first name slot for his daughter Blue Angel. Still, Blue Ivy made her entrance and made a splash in name land.

(blog.zap2it.com)

But for many non-celebrities, Blue may seem too “out there” a choice. Here are some other hues that might appeal to parents-to-be drawn to the color wheel. 

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Outsiders V: Modern Sounds- Unisex Names & Surnames

We’ve been through parts one, two, three and four, and now it’s time to visit two of the hottest trends in the United States: traditionally masculine-sounding or unisex names for girls and surnames for boys.

There may not be two trends more en vogue. For girls, Taylor and Riley both rank within the Top #40. Mason and Jackson both chart in the Top #25.

There are plenty of other highly-popular examples where those came from.  Luckily, parents looking for hidden treasures can find many lesser-used name choices that follow similar themes. Here’s one:

(styleandmore.net)

That of course, is Blair Waldorf from “Gossip Girl” and the first of these Outsiders’ picks.

Here are some strong/unisex sounding girls’ names, and boys’ names of the surname variety:

Girls

Blair (222 born in 2010)- Blair is a name that’s fashionable on girls, but has the strong ‘r’ ending seen in boys’ names like Connor and Arthur. It has actually been much more common as a boys’ name in American history. That makes it right on the current trend: a name with a feminine feel but a traditionally masculine past.

Bronwyn (62 born in 2010)- There is no more popular kind of boys’ name  than those ending in ‘n.’ Unisex name Bronwyn is sweet on a little girl, and would be a solid pick to parents drawn to this vibe.

Jori (25 born in 2010)- A hip diminutive of Marjorie, Jori has a snappy, boyish vibe and is used on both genders. The name Jorie is also in limited use, 21 babies with that name were born in the USA in 2010.

October (62 born in 2010)- Month names like JanuaryApril, and August are all in use, so why not October? The most unconventional of my girls’ picks, it has warm, autumnal sounds and round vowels that appeal to modern parents. It also packs the cute, unisex nickname Tobi.

Greer (52 born in 2010)- Here’s a unique name that drew attention after Brooke Shields named her daughter Grier in 2006. While Greer is the more popular spelling, there were 21 babies named Grier born in 2010. Shields’ older daughter, Rowan is another unisex name parents might be drawn to, it ranks #327 on the current girls’ chart.

Boys

Truman (193 in 2010)- A president, author  and the title character in “The Truman Show,” this is a strong and dignified surname. It serves as great pick for parents drawn to ‘n’ endings and the handsome ‘oo’ sound found in names like Luke and Julian.

Thatcher (161 born in 2010)- An underused boys’ name with a similar vibe to Sawyer, this would be a solid pick for a parent looking for a strapping but refined name with  a mischievous streak.

Foster (124 born in 2010)- A dashing surname with a similar vibe to Thatcher and Sawyer, Foster has numerous meanings including officer in charge of a forest or shearer.

Gannon (124 born in 2010)- An Irish surname with a Zelda connection, Gannon could be a solid pick for game-enthusiast parents looking for a sharp ‘n’ ending name.

Jenner (32 born in 2010)- Even though his dad was an Olympian, it’s the younger Jenner who catapulted this name into recent public consciousness via Reality Show fame. It’s got hip sounds, and the vibe of Jagger, a name I picked to rise.

Bonus

For boys, Jennings (27 born in 2010) offers a surname with a sophisticated flair and Thayer (18 born in 2010) is a hugely underused ‘r’ ending surname.

For girls, there may not be a clearer blend of masculine flair and feminine sounds than the combination of “Ace” and “Lynn.” Spellings on this one vary: the most popular is Aislynn (97 born in 2010), but Aislinn, Aisyln and Aislin are not far behind.

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Name Cupid’s Pick of the Day: Isla

Like the sounds of names like Kylie and Lila but looking for something that feels a little bit more unique?

Check out Isla.

A Scottish name meaning island and pronounced Eye-luh, it is a top name outside of the United States, but is still underused here. The name’s sassy femininity is bolstered by a certain popular actress.

(askmen.com)

Just as Isla Fisher was disturbing Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers, she was familiarizing a large American audience to a beautiful and spunky girls’ name.

It has a hot, familiar sound and just enough of an off-beat vibe to attract parents looking for a baby name with a little flair. At #297 on the U.S. Chart, it is a lesser-used name, about as popular as Kerri and Haley were in 1982.

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