Thursday, September 23, 2010

Popular Human Names

Mom thinks names are interesting, for some reason, so she likes to find out what the popular names are that everybody is naming their babies.  I think dog and cat names are much more interesting, but I already wrote about that topic.  So when Mom said maybe I should write about popular human baby names, I said okay.  And actually, this subject is sort of related to dogs because a lot of dogs end up with people names, not to mention living in houses with people, some of whom have popular names.

Anyway, Mom's favorite website for looking at baby names is the Social Security site, which you can find here:   On this site, you can really waste a lot of time looking up names to see how popular they were in certain years, going all the way back to 1880.  Or you can look up a certain year to see what names were the most popular in that year.

I will tell you some examples of stuff you can find on this website, starting with the most popular names for 2009, which was just last year.  The names for 2010 aren't on the site yet because of course 2010 isn't finished yet.  So here are the top 20 most popular boys' names:

  1.  Jacob
  2.  Ethan
  3.  Michael
  4.  Alexander
  5.  William
  6.  Joshua
  7.  Daniel
  8.  Jayden
  9.  Noah
10.  Anthony
11.  Christopher
12.  Aiden
13.  Matthew
14.  David
15.  Andrew
16.  Joseph
17.  Logan
18.  James
19.  Ryan
20.  Benjamin

And here are the most popular girls' names:

  1.  Isabella
  2.  Emma
  3.  Olivia
  4.  Sophia
  5.  Ava
  6.  Emily
  7.  Madison
  8.  Abigail
  9.  Chloe
10.  Mia
11.  Elizabeth
12.  Addison
13.  Alexis
14.  Ella
15.  Samantha
16.  Natalie
17.  Grace
18.  Lily
19.  Alyssa
20.  Ashley

Mom and I were surprised to see that Isabella is now the #1 girl's name, because Emma has been #1 for a while.  And also Ethan is now more popular than Michael, which was the #1 name for several years.  And another thing that's interesting is that many of these very most popular names are what you might call "old-fashioned" names that were popular in the late 1800s.  Which just goes to prove that "what goes around, comes around."

Anyway, just to compare, here are the top 20 boys' names from 1880:

  1.  John
  2.  William
  3.  James
  4.  Charles
  5.  George
  6.  Frank
  7.  Joseph
  8.  Thomas
  9.  Henry
10.  Robert
11.  Edward
12.  Harry
13.  Walter
14.  Arthur
15.  Fred
16.  Albert
17.  Samuel
18.  David
19.  Louis
20.  Joe

And the names for girls:

  1.  Mary
  2.  Anna
  3.  Emma
  4.  Elizabeth
  5.  Minnie
  6.  Margaret
  7.  Ida
  8.  Alice
  9.  Bertha
10.  Sarah
11.  Annie
12.  Clara
13.  Ella
14.  Florence
15.  Cora
16.  Martha
17.  Laura
18.  Nellie
19.  Grace
20.  Carrie

Well, of course, I was interested in the name Piper, since it is such a special name, so I did a search on it. And what I learned was that my name was not even on the chart before 2000, which means it was not in the top 999 names.  But when it suddenly showed up in 2000, it was #509 on the list, and by 2009 it was all the way up to #147.  So this means my name is getting to be really popular really fast!

Okay, so I also checked out Mom's name, which is Eva.  This is an old name that goes way back, like all the way back to the first woman ever created, according to the Bible.  I guess this means that in the year of the Creation, Eva (or Eve) was the most popular of all girls' names, but the Social Security website doesn't go back that far.  Anyway, Eva is one of those old-fashioned names that is getting to be more popular again.  In 2009, it was #99, and that was up from #294 in 2000.  And Ava, which is really just another version of Eva, has been in the top 10 for several years now.  The most popular year for the name Eva turns out to have been 1889, when it was #31, but during most of that decade it was ranked somewhere in the 30s.

Maybe you were also wondering what people are naming their twins, and so now I will tell you just a few of the most popular pairs of twin names.  Here are the girls:

  1.  Isabella, Sophia
  2.  Faith, Hope
  3.  Olivia, Sophia
  4.  Ella, Emma
  5.  Hailey, Hannah
  6.  Ava, Emma
  7.  Heaven, Nevaeh
  8.  Madison, Morgan
  9.  Mackenzie, Madison
10.  Ava, Olivia

And the boys:

  1.  Jacob, Joshua
  2.  Matthew, Michael
  3.  Daniel, David
  4.  Jayden, Jordan
  5.  Jayden, Jaylen
  6.  Elijah, Isaiah
  7.  Isaac, Isaiah
  8.  Ethan, Evan
  9.  Logan, Lucas
10.  Logan, Luke

And for boy/girl twins:

  1.  Madison, Mason
  2.  Taylor, Tyler
  3.  Addison, Aiden
  4.  Emily, Ethan
  5.  Emma, Evan
  6.  Ella, Ethan
  7.  Emma, Ethan
  8.  Jayda, Jayden
  9.  Jada, Jaden
10.  Aidan, Nadia

So that's a whole bunch of stuff about human baby names that maybe you didn't even want to know, and if you didn't, I hope you already quit reading.  But if you think this kind of thing is interesting, like my mom does, you can go to that website I told you about, and you can look up your own name to see how popular it is or was.  And if you are going to have a baby, you can get a bunch of ideas for names.  Or you might even find some names for the next pets you adopt.


  1. I LOVE the study of names...or I just find names soooo interesting! Let me say, I LOVE the name "Piper" and if I had been able to have another girl - that could have been her name!! Your mom's name, Eva, is the ONLY Eva I know! I've never been thrilled with my name. I won't say I hate it - but I don't like it! Thank you for listing the names for twins. My mom is an identical twin and she also had brothers who were identical twins, so I had hoped my chances for twins was good. Probably for the best I only had one....cause kids are even more expensive than pets. That's NOT a complaint! :) Time to leave again. What a busy, busy day.
    Love, AP

  2. Dear Aunt Patty,
    I'm glad you like the name "Piper." Mom gave me that name because she would have used it for a daughter if she had one, but she didn't have one. Mom got her name by being named after her Aunt Eva, who died before Mom was born. So Mom didn't know very many Evas when she was growing up, but now she knows a few, plus there are more little girls named "Eva" nowadays.

    I think maybe it's better not to have twins because they are a lot of work and also expensive. And triplets are worse! LOL

    Love, Piper