Every May, the Social Security Administration publishes its Top 1000 list of names from the previous year. On my old Angelfire site, I did a number of posts going through each and every name, but I know enough now not to make such a super-huge post. To start off, I’m just going to list some pleasant surprises, names I like which I wish weren’t so dreadfully popular, and favourite names from the new Top 500 girls’ list.
#11, Charlotte. I’ve always liked this gorgeous classic, but wish it weren’t becoming so popular. I hate it when a name I love becomes a trendy, overused joke.
#17, Amelia. I don’t need to be told to figure out this is the latest replacement for the oversaturated Emily and Emma, both names I like (though I like Emily a fair bit more than Emma). I wonder which will be next, Amalia, Emilia, Amélie, Amalie, or Emiliana.
#32, Audrey. The name isn’t so much my own personal style, but it’s so nice to see such a lovely, classy, simple name becoming popular. One hopes it won’t get too much more popular, though!
#56, Penelope. Lovely name, a name I’ve always loved. I would’ve thought most people had written it off as too stuffy and old-fashioned, though we all know old lady names are hot right now (e.g., Ava, Sophia, Isabella, Grace, Hannah, Emma, Lily).
#63, Caroline. Beautiful, underrated classic. I find it unintentionally hilarious how Caroline is right above Kennedy in the girls’ column. (Kennedy, of course, is NOT a first name!)
#69, Violet. I’ve known for awhile this name has been gaining in popularity and creeping up the charts, though I hope it doesn’t become that much more popular.
#70, Stella. Another name that was written off as hopelessly musty and geriatric not so long ago. I liked this name before it was reclaimed by the yuppie set.
#86, Gianna. Awesome to see a nice Italian name in the Top 100!
#106, Eleanor. I’ve heard this name is getting more trendy, particularly so parents can use the trendy nicknames Nora or Ellie. I personally wouldn’t reduce it to a nickname, since it’s so gorgeous and classy all by itself.
#107, Alice. This was the name of my great-grandma and her mother, and I’ve wanted to name a potential daughter Alice for awhile.
#119, Vivian. Shocked to see this name so high up! I would’ve thought it were considered hopelessly middle-aged, like Barbara, Linda, or Deborah, and not nearly ready to be reclaimed. This spelling in particular seems a little dated, in comparison to Vivienne (#280). I don’t keep up with pop culture, so I have no idea if some celebrity is responsible for this.
#122, Liliana. Lovely name, though I suspect being used as a substitute for Lily and Lillian after they got too trendy.
#125, Eliana. Beautiful name.
#127, Cora. Another name I would’ve thought had been written off as too musty to be reclaimed yet! I’ve always loved this name, and can’t help but think of my character Cora Ann Campbell. Even now that Cora Ann is an older woman, I still see her as the cute little blonde girl with a childish voice and surprisingly foul mouth.
#129, Valentina. Awesome to see a nice Slavic name become popular!
#135, Delilah. I’m a big fan of positively reclaiming the names of unfairly-maligned Biblical characters.
#152, Ivy. Always liked this name, and never agreed with people who dismissed it as old lady. I knew an awesome Ivy my junior year of high school.
#162, Ximena. Awesome to see an X name!
#176, Valeria. Beautiful name, and sounds more up-to-date than Valerie.
#181, Margaret. I’ve known Maggie has become a trendy nickname, though it’s still surprising to see the full name becoming so popular.
#185, Luna. Always loved this name.
#192, Lila. Another name I always loved.
#208, Emilia. Hopefully this won’t become the next oversaturated replacement for Emily and Emma, after Amelia gets too overused.
#210, Arabella. Loved this name since I first discovered it in 6th grade, though I’m pretty sure most of the parents using it just want to call their daughters Ella.
#219, Genevieve. This is my cousin’s name (named for her other grandma), so I’m biased in liking it. (If you’re going to insist on the French pronunciation in an English-speaking country, though, I’d recommend putting it in the middle slot!)
#223, Cecilia. Beautiful name.
#224, Rose. I wonder if this means all the teenyboppers who saw Titanic 85667654444 times are finally starting to have kids, or if there’s some other reason for the popularity.
#251, Alina. Lovely name.
#253, Iris. High time this name was reclaimed and given new life!
#291, Olive. Shocked to see this name so popular! Maybe names like Mildred, Eunice, and Agnes aren’t so far-off from being reclaimed after all.
#308, Fatima. Lovely Arab name.
#321, Adelaide. Another old lady name I’m surprised has become so popular in such a short time.
#329, Ruth. Didn’t expect this one to get so popular again either.
#338, Eloise. Love this name.
#348, Rosalie. Beautiful, classy, elegant, timeless name.
#364, June. So pretty in its simplicity.
#409, Helen. I would’ve thought this was considered too recently-dated to make a comeback, even at this number.
#416, Karen. I like the name, but it seems to have been most popular a few generations ago.
#422, Vera. Great to see this name starting to make a comeback. I never considered it an old lady name or musty.
#445, Viviana. This name sounds more modern than Vivian or Vivienne. It also makes a great middle name.
The next post will get into the names in the second half of the Top 1000.