22 April 2011

The 2010 SSA Baby Names List is Almost Here

Every year around Mother's Day [recently it has been the Friday before], the Social Security Administration releases their list of the previous year's most frequently given names. It lists the top 1000 for each sex, in order of popularity. You can also download the full list for all names with more than 5 occurrences but I choose to leave that up to Nancy.
Here's what the Top 10 looks like right now
Anyway, that day is just over 2 weeks away and this post reminded me just how soon that is. Every year, baby name websites give their guesses for the fastest-rising and fastest-falling names. People who aren't name-obsessed probably think it's completely random but I'm always amazed at the accuracy with which they are forecast before the list is available.

Here are my top 3 guesses for each category:
Fastest Rising Girls: Harper, Charlotte, Violet
Fastest Rising Boys: Jasper, Milo, Henry
Fastest Falling Girls: Tiffany, Britney, Amber
Fastest Falling Boys: Jeremy, Steven, Todd
neil patrick harris tweets baby photo twins gideon harper twitter 224x300 Neil Patrick Harris Baby Photo: NPH Tweets Pic of the Twins with David Burtka
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka's twins Gideon and Harper
They're obviously not easy to choose but for me, the risers are easier to pinpoint because the falling names are ones that nobody really thinks about anymore. Also, when celebrities use names that are already becoming popular, that makes them even more likely to rise quickly.
Violet Affleck
 Violet, for example, was already being revived in 2005 when Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck named their daughter that. It ranked #586 the year before and shot up from there:
The last 10 recorded years of Violet's popularity
With the botanical name trend combined with all of the renewed 'grandmother-era' names, it's no wonder Violet -along with Lily, Daisy, Willow, and Hazel- is back in style.

Another thing that I think can influence a name's popularity is negative celebrity attention associated with the name. Here's why the very 80s name Amber is on my list:
Amber Portwood Mug Shot
Amber Portwood mugshot
Amber Portwood is known for being on the shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. Oh yeah, and also for going to jail for beating the crap out of her ex-boyfriend Gary [which almost made my falling list for different reasons] on camera. I actually think she's pretty hilarious on the show but obviously with her violent outbursts and legal issues, she's not someone I'd want to name my daughter after.

Amber's popularity was already falling long before all of that so I think it may just be the last straw for that name.
Last 10 recorded years of Amber's popularity
I can't wait to see how my predictions turn out. I really wanted Silas on the list but in the end I took it off in favor of Milo because of the baby on Gossip Girl and its popularity in other countries. I'm going to be sad to see how much Oliver has risen. It's the one popular name that I can't bring myself to remove from my future boy list. Last year it broke the top 100 and I know it's only going to go up.

For the first time, I am also super excited to find out which new names show up in the top 1000, specifically nature names. I think it will be a long time before Bay makes it up that high but it was a popular search last year on Nameberry according to this post. I wonder how many of those were from people I know wondering what the deal is with our daughter's name.

No comments:

Post a Comment