The Social Security Administration’s 2013 Top-Ten Lists Are Out: Noah and Sophia Are #1


I’m thrilled to post this USA Today article by Sharon Jayson announcing the top-ten boys’ and girls’ names in 2013, because it contains interviews with me and my good friend, Jennifer Moss, discussing what’s up, what’s down, and why.

That said, Here are the top 10 boys and girls names for 2013:

   BOYS:                            GIRLS:

1. Noah                             1. Sophia

2. Liam                              2. Emma

3. Jacob                             3. Olivia

4. Mason                           4. Isabella

5. William                         5. Ava

6. Ethan                            6.  Mia

7. Michael                        7. Emily

8. Alexander                    8. Abigail

9. Jayden                          9. Madison

10. Daniel                        10. Elizabeth

I hope you’ll use the link, above to read Sharon Jayson’s excellent article.


How The Social Security Administration’s 2013 Top-10 Names Compare with Baby Center’s 2013 Top-10 Names

The Social Security Administration’s top-ten List for 2013 has just been published. However, Baby Center’s Top-Ten List (based on the names reported to them by registered users of their website) was published about five months ago–and it’s been the best indication we’ve had about baby-naming trends for 2013 until the SSA popularity data was published. Keep in mind that parents who register with Baby Center are likely to have higher socio-economic status than SSA’s data base, which includes all American babies born.

In this post we will show the data two ways:

First, we will look at the SSA 2013 data in the left-hand column and compare it with BC 2013 data and SSA 2012 data, for the top-10 Boys’ and Girls’ Names.

SSA 2013   vs. BC 2013   vs.   SSA 2012            SSA 2013 vs.   BC 2013   vs.   SSA 2012

1. Noah           #5 BC13      #4 SSA 2012          1. Sophia       #1 BC 2013      #1 SSA 2012
2. Liam            #3 BC13      #6 SSA 2013          2. Emma        #2 BC 2013      #2 SSA 2012
3. Jacob           #9 BC13      #1 SSA 2013          3. Olivia        #3 BC 2013      #4 SSA 2012
4. Mason         #6 BC13      #2 SSA 2013          4. Isabella     #4 BC 2013     #3 SSA 2012
5. William     #20 BC13      #5 SSA 2013         5. Ava             #6 BC 2013     #5 SSA 2012
6. Ethan          #8 BC13       #3 SSA 2013         6. Mia             #5 BC 2013     #8 SSA 2012
7. Michael     #14 BC13      #7 SSA 2013         7. Emily          #9 BC 2013     #6 SSA 2012
8. Alexander #17 BC13      #9 SSA 2013         8. Abigail     #14 BC 2013     #7 SSA 2012
9. Jayden         #7 BC13      #8 SSA 2013          9. Madison   #12 BC 2013     #9 SSA 2012
10. Daniel     #24 BC13    #11 SSA 2013       10. Elizabeth   #46 BC 2013  #10 SSA 2012

Major Findings:

When you look at the SSA 2013 top-ten rankings and compare them with the BC 2013 rankings, the differences are striking for the boys’ list, but fairly modest for the girls’ list.

-The top-ten girls’ names for SSA 2013 and BC 2013 are very closely correlated. Elizabeth is the only girls’ name that shows a glaring difference. (It is #10 on the SSA list and #46 on the Baby Center list.)

-And looking at the SSA changes from 2012, the changes were minor. Mia moved up two notches; Olivia moved up one notch–as Isabella, Emily and Abigail moved down one notch.

-By contrast, five of the top-ten boys’ names for SSA have glaring differences with Baby Center’s top-ten rankings. The rankings for William, Michael, Alexander, Noah and Jacob are all significantly higher on the SSA list than on the Baby Center list.

-And looking at SSA changes from 2012 to 2013, the big news is that Noah and Liam hopped over long-time #1 Jacob to get the top two ranks on the SSA list.

Now we will look at BC 2013 data in the left-hand column and compare it to SSA 2013 data and BC 2012 data for the Top-10 Boys’ and Girls’ Names.

   BC 2013   vs. SSA 2013  vs. BC2012            BC 2013 vs.  SSA 2013 vs.  BC 2012

1. Jackson  #16 SSA 2013     #2 BC 2012           1. Sophia      #1 SSA 2013   #1 BC 2012
2. Aiden     #12 SSA 2013     #1 BC 2012           2. Emma       #2 SSA 2013   #2 BC 2012
3. Liam        #2 SSA 2013      #4 BC 2012           3. Olivia        #3 SSA 2013   #3 BC 2012
4. Lucas    #23 SSA 2013      #7 BC 2012           4. Isabella     #4 SSA 2013   #4 BC 2012
5. Noah      #1 SSA 2013      #6 BC 2012            5. Mia            #6 SSA 2013   #9 BC 2012
6. Mason    #4 SSA 2013      #5 BC 2012            6. Ava            #5 SSA 2013   #5 BC 2012
7. Jayden    #9 SSA 2013      #9 BC 2012            7. Lily           #27 SSA 2013  #6 BC 2012
8. Ethan     #6 SSA 2013      #3 BC 2012            8. Zoe           #31 SSA 2013   #7 BC 2012
9. Jacob      #3 SSA 2013      #8 BC 2012            9. Emily        #7 SSA 2013    #8 BC 2012
10. Jack    #40 SSA 2013    #11 BC 2012          10. Chloe     #14 SSA 2012  #10 BC 2012

Major Findings:

When you look at the Baby Center top-ten rankings and compare them to the SSA 2013 rankings, the differences are even more evident.

-Baby Center’s #1 boys’ name, Jackson, ranked #16 on SSA.  Aiden, Lucas, Jack and Jacob are three other names that ranked much higher on Baby Center’s top-ten list than on the SSA list.

-The correlation between the two lists was closer on the top-ten girls’ lists but Lily and Zoe ranked a lot higher on Baby Center than on the SSA list.

-The changes between BC 2013 and BC 2012 are not nearly as great as the differences between BC 2013 and SSA 2013.



Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler Pick Rapidly-Rising Name for Son, Jaxon Wyatt

When the 2012 Social Security Administration popularity data was published, one of fastest-rising tends I noticed was the use of the letter “x” to give boys’ names a macho vibe.

Now Kristin Cavallari and husband Chicago Bears QB, Jay Cutler, have named their second son Jaxon Wyatt–giving their baby boy a middle name that is ranked #6 on my latest “Cool Names for Boys” interactive list to go with the strong first name. Wyatt adds the image of “pistol-packin” sheriff Wyatt Earp to a given name that sports an macho “x” right smack dab in the middle.

When I wrote a post about the name (Camden) that Cavallari and Cutler picked for their first son, back in 2012, I published some of her baby naming advice—which she offered at the time. Her number one tip had to do with picking a name that sounds good when you put the first, middle and last names all together. How do you think Jaxon Wyatt Cutler sounds? Sounds pretty good to me. But a three-syllable middle name (like Jaxon Remington Cutler) would have given it a more interesting and impressive sound, in my opinion. Use the link above to check out Cavallari’s other baby-naming tips.

I want to thank Mark Konkol of WDNA Talk Radio in Chicago for tipping me off to this story. This is the article he sent me to call my attention to Jaxon Wyatt Cutler and get my top-of mind comments by phone.




Names That Are Cool Right Now

Here’s a list of names that are cool right now. Why is that important? Because names that were cool last year may come across as “stale” or “dated” now. I keep generating new names for testing on our interactive site. Just click on the links to vote for the names you like best. That way, your friends and relatives will get the benefit of your judgment when you suggest they visit to “shop for” names that are cool right now.

I’ve taken the voting results and quantified them to improve on the raw scores reported by Ranker so names that have been added recently have a fair chance to be considered on an equal basis with names that were added last year

Because I keep adding and testing new names, you’re a lot more likely to find names that are cool right now on my Ranker Interactive lists than anywhere else.

Cool Names for Boys

Name             Score

1. Levi                 6.0
2. Nico                5.0
3. Remington    4.0
4. Theo               3.0
5. Finn                 2.0
6. Jett                  2.0
6. Wyatt             2.0
8. Connor           2.0
8. Bronson         2.0
8. Dante             2.0
11. Hunter         1.6
11. Taj                1.6
13. Matteo        1.5
14. Raj                1.5
14. Cliff               1.5
14. Turner         1.5
17. Chase          1.4
18. Rhett           1.3
18. Tripp            1.3
20 Cruz               1.2

Other cool boys’ names to consider: Marcus, Dash, Rio, Forrest, Ryder, Blaze, Teo and Joss.

Cool Names for Girls

Name        Score

1. Annika        6.0
2. Amelia        3.3
3. Serena         2.5
3. Ryann          2.5
5. Catalina      2.3
6. Camila         2.1
6. Mia                2.1
6. Mila               2.1
9.  Skye             2.0
10. Danica       2.0
11. Cleo            1.8
12. Elena          1.8
13. Summer    1.5
14. Maya          1.2
14. Lola            1.2
16. Francesca 1.2
17. Sloane        1.0
17. Tori             1.0
17. Casey         1.0
20. Sasha          0.7

Other cool girls’ names to consider: Carmen, Lux, Harper, Luna, Brianna, Carina, Devin, Mikaela and Carolina.

I hope you’ll click on the links so you can vote for some of the names I’ve added recently to my Cool Names for Boys and Girls interactive voting pages. Your friends and relatives will thank you. (So will I.)

Bestselling YA author, John Green, Writes About Baby Names

I was reading a YA novel by John Green. And on page 42 of An Abundance of Katherines I found this charming conversation about a particularly inconsiderate baby name.

Quick story summary: High-school buddies, Colin and his friend Hassan, are on a summer road trip, which has taken them from Chicago to rural Tennessee. A tour guide named Lindsey is leading the boys through a to a spot where Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is supposedly buried. Colin falls and bangs his head on something hard. He is bleeding…

“Possible concussion,” Lindsey noted, “What day is it? Where are you?”
“It’s Tuesday, and I’m in Tennessee.”
“Who was the junior senator from New Hampshire,” Hassan asked.
“Bainbridge Wadleigh,” answered Colin. “I don’t think I have a concussion.”
“Is that for real?” asked Lindsey. “I mean, did you really know that?”
Colin nodded slowly.”I know all the senators. Also, that’s an easy one to remember–because I think how much your parents have to hate you to name you Bainbridge Wadleigh.”

I don’t think people who give their children awful names like Bainbridge Wadleigh (or Zuma Nesta Rock) consciously hate their children, although that is certainly a logical possibility. More likely, they’re not thinking about their children when they pick awful names. They’re thinking about themselves (for example, how clever they are). But parents who pick inconsiderate names for their children need to understand the message such names send their children–who are likely to think: “My parents must hate me.”

For most children, names like Bainbridge, Jermajesty, Adolph or Messiah come across as unforgivable acts of hostility. What a great way to get the parent-child relationship off to a good start. Not!

For corroboration on this point, check my recent post about Peaches Geldof, who died recently. Sadly, forensic investigators have turned up evidence of a possible heroin overdose. How interesting, in view of what she thought of her name.