American Names · Analysis · Modern names

Is it Paisley? Is it Hazel? Nope, it’s Haisley!

Since 2010, over 200 baby girls have been named Haisley.  In 2015, there were 62; up from 49 in 2014 and 2013, and 24 in 2012.  Following her lead are the spellings Haizley (used 29 times in 2015) and Hazley (15 times)  Haisley‘s trendiness seems to be inspired by similar-sounding Paisley‘s meteoric rise.  Paisley only entered the top 1000 in 2006, when 326 girls were given the name; but in 2015, Paisley was given to 5056 girls in the U.S. alone, ranking #45!

Still, correlation does not equal causation, and if Haisley is taking off there may be other factors.  Old-fashioned Hazel started making her comeback as early as the late Nineties, but she received a substantial boost from the 2014 movie The Fault in Our Stars.  The 2015 data shows that in terms of raw usage, Hazel‘s popularity has basically doubled since 2013 (2051 in 2013, 4270 in 2015).  In terms of rank, she has more than doubled.  Indeed, 2015 is the first year Hazel has fallen within the top 100 since 1936!  I predict she’ll enter the top 50 in 2016. 

Besides Paisley and Hazel, some other names that might influence Haisley‘s rise are Hadley, Eisley, Hayes, Hailey, and Ainsley.  They are stretches, though.  Hadley and Ainsley‘s popularity decreased from 2014 to 2015, whereas Haisley got more popular.  Eisley is trending upwards, but is probably pronounced more like the name Isla than like Hazel or Paisley.  The still-growing popularity of Hayes as a boys’ name makes me wonder if anyone’s treated Haisley as a feminine form, but the “ay” versus “ai” spelling makes me unsure.  Hailey raises an interesting question for me, because she’s still popular enough to be a top 100 name, but she also reached peak popularity a decade ago and has been falling ever since. 

Finally, I’ve been pondering on the qualities that might make Haisley a popular choice among parents, independent of similarities to Paisley or Hazel…other than being a rare alternative to extremely popular names, of course.  Google and Wikipedia are great places to look if I want to get a feel for a name in the real world. 

Based on my internet searches, I’ve found out:

  • Jamaica had an Olympic high jumper named Ernle Haisley, so I guess we can add it to lists of sports-related names?
  • It’s a real surname, not a modern creation by adventurous parents.  A user-submission on Behind the Name indicates that Haisley might be a variation on Hazley, which the submitter defines as meaning “hazel wood.”  Keep in mind that User-submissions aren’t always checked for accuracy, but Behind the Name is generally reliable and that’s the first place I usually to check for definitions.  
  • Michigan has an elementary school called Haisley.

Ultimately this is a very obscure name, but even the rarest names (and especially the rarest names) deserve to have a spotlight shown on them.  I don’t think Haisley will be a top 1000 name in 2016 or 2017, but I don’t think she’ll stop being trendy right away, either.

What do you think of Haisley?


6 thoughts on “Is it Paisley? Is it Hazel? Nope, it’s Haisley!

  1. This is a very interesting blog. I love how you research the name and try to come up with theories as to their rise. I definitely agree that movies or tv shows can affect one’s need to select a name. For instance, as of now if I have a girl I will name her “Aria” who is my favorite character on the show Pretty Little Liars. That name is beautiful and the first I’ve heard of it. Thank you for the post!

    -Luna 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s