American Names · Analysis · Name Lists

New and Out: Changes to the U.S. Top 1000 in 2022

The United States baby name data-reveal arrived Friday, May 12th. Name writers, consultants, and enthusiasts everywhere are ecstatic! We have a whole new set of names to play with, and it gives us better a chance to predict the end results for the current year. Until next Mother’s Day weekend…

Last week, I published my list of predictions for the 2022 Top 1000. It’s always tricky to determine which names will rise or fall. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to engage with every possible pop culture phenomenon, for one! Names can also be surprisingly erratic and fickle at the bottom of the top. Multiple spellings may dampen the impact of the starter name. Some names fall faster than others, which means a name that isn’t getting more common usage-wise is getting more popular in the ranks. Then, you have all the names that are so close to the Top 1000 that they just, well, reenter! Finally, I didn’t account for the names that were new or returning to the Top 1000 in 2021 that fell out in 2022, since there’s simply little way to know what they’ll do in that scenario!

According to data from the Social Security Administration, the following names reached the Top 1000 most popular baby names in the U.S. in 2022. The bolded names are the names I correctly predicted would either arrive or go; name predictions are never an exact science. Anyways, here are the links for my boys’ names and girls’ names predictions if you’d like to see my thought processes and what didn’t make it!

New Boys’ Names:

Asaiah, Atharv, Aurelio, Cartier, Cedric, Chosen, Crue, Darwin, Dion, Duncan, Dutton, Eren, Ezrah, Imran, Ivaan, Jairo, Jrue, Kaisen, Kaizen, Kamryn, Kanan, Karim, Kayce, Khaza, Koen, Kolson, Kooper, London, Lux, Marlon, Meir, Murphy, Rhodes, Ryatt, Sevyn, Shmuel, Stone, Teo, Terry, Waylen, Westyn, Yael, Yahya, Zen, Zamir

New Girls’ Names:

Aadhya, Amayah, Amiri, Araya, Arlet, Belle, Carla, Casey, Cielo, Elisabeth, Elowyn, Emiliana, Georgina, Inaya, Jream, Keily, Kenia, Lakelyn, Lakelynn, Laylani, Lenora, Lisa, Lottie, Love, Luz, Maddie, Maisy, Marigold, Meilani, Nathalia, Neriah, Nori, Rosalina, Rowyn, Saanvi, Sapphire, Sarahi, Scottie, Sol, Tru, Winona, Wrenlee, Xyla, Yamileth, Yasmin, Zhuri

Some (possible) explanations for the new names:

  • Dutton and Kayce are heavily associated with Yellowstone. I believe Kayce is pronounced like “Casey.” Interestingly, Casey is back for girls and Kacey is out for boys.
  • Zen, Rhodes, Love, and Nori are celebrity baby names. Now that I think about it, I think Dutton may be too…
  • Jrue Holiday is a basketball player who has a daughter named Jrue too.
  • Sevyn is a character in The Hate U Give.
  • Waylen, Westyn, Ezrah, and Koen are (respectively) used as alternate spellings to the trending names Waylon, Weston, Ezra and Cohen, though Koen is technically a Dutch nickname for Conrad/Koenraad.
  • I’m not sure what’s causing the simultaneous popularity of Kaizen and Kaisen, but two things come to mind: a manga/anime called Jujutsu Kaisen and the word kaizen.
  • Elowyn is the most common spelling of Elowen, a Cornish nature name that’s been internet popular for years now. Elowen is still technically rare, though it feels a lot more common when you combine all the spelling variants together. 315 girls were named Elowyn, while 211 were named Elowen, and there are more alternates.
  • Laylani is a variation of Leilani, a popular Hawaiian name that ranks #59 nationally. Names ending in -Lani are ultratrendy thanks not just to Leilani but Kehlani, a musician’s eponym.
  • Maisy, Rowyn, Wrenlee, and Zhuri are variants of Maisie, Rowan, Wrenley, and Zuri.
  • Winona was revived by Winona Ryder and her role in Stranger Things.
  • Lottie and Scottie are part of a wider trend towards nicknames, though Lottie also has Charlotte’s popularity (#3 in the country!) to thank.
  • Marigold was a baby name in Downton Abbey that’s become trendy at just the right time.

Something I do want to note about a few of the names I just mentioned is the potential for offense when used outside of their original cultures (a.k.a. cultural appropriation, which especially impacts historically marginalized peoples). Winona and Leilani are indigenous names (Winona is Native American of Dakota or Sioux origin), while Cohen is a sacred Jewish surname. I personally can’t speak to how people feel about others using the first two names, but as someone converting to Judaism, I can tell you that many Jewish people are deeply offended about the wide non-Jewish use of Cohen, Kohen, and even Koen as baby names. Cohen/Kohen is a priestly title referring to a very specific group of people who sometimes (depending on the religious branch) still have important roles and rules within the community. Some people also consider gentiles naming a child Ezra as cultural appropriation, though I think that has more to do with baby names that are traditional and popular within the Jewish community; compared and contrasted, almost no Jewish person would ever name their own child Cohen.

Here are the names that left the Top 1000:

Exiting Boys’ Names:

Adrien, Aydin, Bishop, Blaine, Bowie, Branson, Carl, Cory, Crosby, Davion, Deandre, Dimitri, Dominik, Elon, Ephraim, Fox, Granger, Graysen, Genesis, Howard, Jabari, Jacoby, Jair, Jakobe, Jamal, Jaxtyn, Jesiah, Juelz, Kace, Kacey, Kamdyn, Karsyn, Kody, Kole, Kristopher, Kyng, Landry, Maurice, Mordechai, Palmer, Ronnie, Turner, Ulises, Yaakov, Yadiel

Exiting Girls’ Names:

Aarna, Aarya, Addisyn, Addyson, Aiyana, Aniya, Austyn, Braylee, Clare, Clarissa, Crystal, Ellen, Ellison, Etta, Frida, Giavanna, Haylee, Ingrid, Jaycee, Jaylee, Jaylene, Jaylin, Kailey, Kaisley, Kathleen, Kiera, Kimora, Kyleigh, Kynlee, Landry, Loyalty, Lyanna, Mazikeen, Meghan, Micah, Nataly, Paisleigh, Paityn, Raquel, Ryder, Sandra, Soraya, Tatiana, Tori, Zoie, Zola

What are some explanations these names leaving the Top 1000? Here are some of my thoughts:

  • Kacey is interesting because I actually predicted it to *enter* the Top 1000, but here we see it leaving. The SSA data always changes slightly each year, which lends me to believe either we’re seeing the results of delayed birth certificates or name changes. I’m also surprised it didn’t reach higher in conjunction with Kayce, which is usually pronounced the same assuming a Yellowstone influence.
  • Jakobe is coming off a boost in conjunction with Kobe and similar names. Jacoby might also be part of this specific downswing.
  • Elon is closely associated with Elon Musk.
  • Howard, Maurice, Ingrid, Kathleen, and Sandra are generally considered classics but dated.
  • Landry fell out for both boys and girls! A few athletes are named Landry, though I think the main pop culture influence is probably Friday Night Lights, which is several years out since release.
  • Mazikeen is a character on Lucifer, which concluded in 2021.
  • Lyanna is from Game of Thrones. Some other names from the series actually got more popular in 2022 though, including Khaleesi and Yara. The new spin-off may be influencing some names in the main saga by keeping them fresh. We do know that Rhaenyra entered the SSA birth data for the first time this year!
  • Meghan is falling after a brief boost to this and Megan via Meghan Markle.

Do you have any favorite names in this list? Are there any other reasons you can think of why some names rose or fell? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

American Names · Analysis

The Top 100 Baby Names in the United States

If you’re based in the United States, yesterday (Friday, May 12th) was the country’s baby name data release day! It’s a huge deal for namenerds and expecting parents alike, giving us a chance to learn the most up-to-date information about popular baby names. Parents who worry that their child will share their name with too many classmates sprint to these lists, while enthusiasts giddily check their predictions and look for major shifts in the data.

While I didn’t end up writing predictions for the Top 100, I still find them very interesting to review. These are names that are universally considered popular, even outside of the top 10. Literally thousands of babies each year receive Top 100 names; in 2022, the names ranking #100 were given (respectively) to 3580 boys and 2702 girls, while the names ranking #1 were given to 20,456 boys and 16,573 girls. Many Top 100 names are some degree of classic, while others are either modern standards or ultra-trendy. And generally, these are baby names that are popular throughout the country, even if most of them aren’t popular in every single state.

Here are the Top 100 baby boys’ names in 2022, including rank changes from 2021:

Rank NameBabiesRank Change
1Liam204560
2Noah186210
3Oliver150760
4James12028+1
5Elijah11979-1
6William112820
7Henry11221+2
8Lucas109090
9Benjamin10842-2
10Theodore107540
11Mateo10321+4
12Levi97860
13Sebastian9341+6
14Daniel9047+2
15Jack8889-4
16Michael8829+1
17Alexander8673-4
18Owen8546+4
19Asher8350+6
20Samuel8342+3
21Ethan8271-1
22Leo8250+9
23Jackson8070-9
24Mason7988-6
25Ezra7943+12
26John7930+1
27Hudson7883+7
28Luca7803+14
29Aiden7799-3
30Joseph7771-2
31David7741-1
32Jacob7603-8
33Logan7575-12
34Luke7344-2
35Julian7268-2
36Gabriel7186+2
37Grayson7148-2
38Wyatt7144-9
39Matthew7025-3
40Maverick6991+7
41Dylan6698+3
42Isaac6691-2
43Elias6684+5
44Anthony6554-1
45Thomas6465+1
46Jayden6462-5
47Carter6326-8
48Santiago6017+15
49Ezekiel5993+4
50Charles58890
51Josiah5763-2
52Caleb5739-1
53Cooper5609+15
54Lincoln5599-9
55Miles55400
56Christopher5535-4
57Nathan5520+2
58Isaiah5360-2
59Kai5343+11
60Joshua5146-2
61Andrew5124-4
62Angel5065+5
63Adrian5018-2
64Cameron4939-2
65Nolan4910-5
66Waylon4897+3
67Jaxon4828-13
68Roman4706+7
69Eli4664-5
70Wesley4644+15
71Aaron4496-6
72Ian4473+9
73Christian4442-1
74Ryan4372-8
75Leonardo4347+12
76Brooks4336+2
77Axel4318+1
78Walker4232+51 (NEW)
79Jonathan4175-2
80Easton4143-9
81Everett4100+1
82Weston4090+13
83Bennett4082+7
84Robert4051-5
85Jameson4050-5
86Landon4007-13
87Silas3996+4
88Jose3990+1
89Beau3939+5
90Micah3933+17 (NEW)
91Colton3906-17
92Jordan3878-4
93Jeremiah3842-10
94Parker3840-1
95Greyson3750-11
96Rowan3742+10 (NEW)
97Adam3625+7 (NEW)
98Nicholas3623-6
99Theo3614+43 (NEW)
100Xavier35800
Data from the Social Security Administration

The newest boys’ names in the 2022 Top 100 are Walker, Micah, Rowan, Adam, and Theo. The names that left the Top 100 are Hunter, Dominic, Carson, Austin, and Connor.

And here are the girls’ names:

RankNameBabiesRank Change
1Olivia165730
2Emma144350
3Charlotte128910
4Amelia123330
5Sophia12310+1
6Isabella11662+1
7Ava11039-2
8Mia110180
9Evelyn92890
10Luna8922+1
11Harper8191-1
12Camila79650
13Sofia7254+5
14Scarlett7224+6
15Elizabeth6964-1
16Eleanor6881-1
17Emily6461+4
18Chloe6445+7
19Mila6445+7
20Violet6434+15
21Penelope6388+2
22Gianna6385-9
23Aria6368-1
24Abigail6254-7
25Ella6243-9
26Avery6230-7
27Hazel6125+1
28Nora6119-1
29Layla6058-5
30Lily5966+1
31Aurora5956+5
32Nova58850
33Ellie5761-3
34Madison5479-5
35Grace5255-1
36Isla5255-3
37Willow5025+2
38Zoe4984+4
39Riley4886-2
40Stella4830+1
41Eliana4780+7
42Ivy4772+7
43Victoria47630
44Emilia4664-4
45Zoey4488-7
46Naomi4463+8
47Hannah4451-3
48Lucy4411-1
49Elena4274+4
50Lillian4226+1
51Maya4208+4
52Leah4169-6
53Paisley4026-1
54Addison3945-9
55Natalie3932+1
56Valentina3881+13
57Everly3880-7
58Delilah38530
59Leilani3834+8
60Madelyn3709+11
61Kinsley3679-4
62Ruby35930
63Sophie3512+13
64Alice3498+1
65Genesis3427+10
66Claire3365-7
67Audrey3329-7
68Sadie3278+10
69Aaliyah3270-8
70Josephine3236+2
71Autumn3214-5
72Brooklyn3191-9
73Quinn3091+7
74Kennedy3060-4
75Cora3049+12
76Savannah3034-8
77Caroline3015+4
78Athena3008+20
79Natalia29950
80Hailey2993-3
81Aubrey2982-17
82Emery2961+8
83Anna2944+1
84Iris2922+23 (NEW)
85Bella2888-12
86Eloise2888+23 (NEW)
87Skylar2881-13
88Jade2871+3
89Gabriella2858-6
90Ariana2840-2
91Maria2831+14 (NEW)
92Adeline2812+2
93Lydia2794-4
94Sarah2780-2
95Nevaeh2778-9
96Serenity2775-11
97Liliana2768+7 (NEW)
98Ayla2735+10 (NEW)
99Everleigh2708+1
100Raelynn2702+3 (NEW)
Data from the Social Security Administration

The newest names to the top 100 are Iris, Eloise, Maria, Liliana, Ayla, and Raelynn. The exiting names are Allison, Madeline, Rylee, Eva, Piper, and Peyton.

To break things down further:

  • Luna entered the Top 10, expelling Harper.
  • Leo, Ezra, Violet, and Mila entered the Top 25. These are the names we’re closely eyeing for Top 10 entry within a few years.
  • Logan, Jacob, Avery, and Layla exited the Top 25. While they are still very popular, they are no longer as trendy.
  • Santiago, Ezekiel, Lillian, Elena, and Naomi reached the Top 50. Lillian’s popularity peaked in 2010-11, but the rest are rather trendy.
  • Josiah, Lincoln, Leah, Addison, and Everly exited the Top 50.
  • Leonardo, Ian, Wesley, Cora, Quinn, Sophie, and Sadie reached the Top 75.
  • Easton, Landon, Colton, Savannah, Aubrey, Bella, and Skylar exited the Top 75.

We can see a few pop culture influences hitting the Top 100! Violet and Eloise, which were already trending, likely were boosted even further by Bridgerton. Meanwhile, the biggest debut is Walker, which was boosted by Walker, the recent Walker: Texas Ranger reboot.

Within the set, we can also get a better sense of current trends by highlighting the names that rose or dropped at least 5 rankings. They are:

Rising:

  • Boys: Sebastian, Asher, Leo, Ezra, Luca, Maverick, Elias, Santiago, Cooper, Kai, Angel, Wesley, Ian, Leonardo, Walker, Weston, Bennett, Beau, Micah, Rowan, Adam, Theo
  • Girls: Sofia, Scarlett, Chloe, Mila, Violet, Aurora, Eliana, Ivy, Naomi, Valentina, Madelyn, Sophie, Genesis, Sadie, Quinn, Cora, Athena, Emery, Iris, Eloise, Maria, Liliana, Ayla

Falling:

  • Boys: Jackson, Mason, Jacob, Logan, Wyatt, Jayden, Carter, Lincoln, Nolan, Jaxon, Eli, Aaron, Easton, Robert, Jameson, Landon, Colton, Jeremiah, Greyson, Nicholas, Hunter, Carson, Austin, Connor
  • Girls: Gianna, Abigail, Ella, Layla, Madison, Zoey, Leah, Addison, Everly, Claire, Aaliyah, Autumn, Brooklyn, Savannah, Aubrey, Bella, Skylar, Gabriella, Nevaeh, Serenity, Allison, Madeline, Rylee, Eva, Piper, Peyton

Upwards trends for boys here include International, Biblical, and Western. For girls, some popular trends include International, Vintage, Nature/Floral, and Feminine. Vowel-heavy names are increasingly trendy for all children.

“Names ending in ‘-n'” is a widely popular trend that’s mostly declining within the Top 100, which also affects Last-Names-as-First-Names like Jackson, Mason, and Landon. Madison and Addison have passed their heyday, and Zoey is now less popular than the classic spelling, Zoe. Though names like Abigail, Leah, and Claire are losing popularity, as a whole popular girls’ names are getting more traditional as “Grandma names” take off. As always, some names buck trends.

Do you have any thoughts about the new 2022 U.S. Top 100? Are there any names you’re intrigued by? Let me know!

American Names

The New Top 10 Most Popular Baby Names in America

It’s May 12th, 2023, the last Friday before Mothers’ Day. That means the Social Security Administration has just released its eagerly anticipated list of the most popular baby names in the United States of America! Excepting a COVID-related delay in 2020, SSA traditionally publishes the previous year’s baby name data for the entire country each May, going all the way down to just 5 recorded uses. Now, a name given to 5 babies is incredibly unique the 21st century, considering that the names that rank in the Top 10 (i.e., Emma, James, etc.) are currently given to anywhere between 9,000 and 21,000 babies. Those names, the most popular names in the U.S., are the names we’re going to talk about now.

Here were the Top 10 baby names given to American boys in 2022:

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Oliver
  4. James
  5. Elijah
  6. William
  7. Henry
  8. Lucas
  9. Benjamin
  10. Theodore

And here are the top 10 baby names given to American girls in 2022:

  1. Olivia
  2. Emma
  3. Charlotte
  4. Amelia
  5. Sophia
  6. Isabella
  7. Ava
  8. Mia
  9. Evelyn
  10. Luna

Luna was the only entry, which meant that there was only one exit. In this case, as predicted, it overtook Harper. Harper now ranks #11 and is likely to continue falling now that it’s evidently past peak.

What kind of surprises are there with the 2022 Top 10? For me, the biggest surprise is just how stable it is. The top 3 names for both boys and girls didn’t move rankings at all. Liam, Noah, and Oliver are still the top 3 boys’ names, and the same goes for Olivia, Emma, and Charlotte on the girls’ side. In fact, for the girls’, the #4 name also remained the same: Amelia. The biggest change positive change within the top 10 (other than Luna’s ascendancy) was Henry rising from #9 to #7. Ava and Benjamin both dropped two spots, giving Isabella, Sophia, and Henry boosts. And James replaced Elijah in the top 4, though it carried that rank several years ago so that isn’t really a big deal.

How did my predictions match up? I was correct that Liam and Olivia would remain the top names, and as I previously mentioned here, I correctly assumed Luna would reach the top 10. I was also right about Harper likely falling out. However, I was wrong about Jack’s possible entry, though; Jack not only didn’t reach the top 10, it fell from #11 to #15. Nothing left the boys’ top 10, which meant nothing could replace it. If Benjamin weren’t such a classic, we could have easily seen Mateo reach the top 10 this year (Mateo and Levi were *so* close). More remote possibilities I eyed (Jackson and Gianna, namely) dropped significantly, so I think their top 10 chances are gone.

And for one final bit of fun, here are a couple of comparison charts showing the top 10 names for the last 5 years. Let’s start with the boys:

Rank2022 Names2021 Names2020 Names2019 Names2018 Names
1LiamLiamLiamLiamLiam
2NoahNoahNoahNoahNoah
3OliverOliverOliverOliverWilliam
4JamesElijahElijahWilliamJames
5ElijahJamesWilliamElijahOliver
6WilliamWilliamJamesJamesBenjamin
7HenryBenjaminBenjaminBenjaminElijah
8LucasLucasLucasLucasLucas
9BenjaminHenryHenryMasonMason
10TheodoreTheodoreAlexanderAlexanderLogan
Data from Social Security Administration

And here are the top 10 girls’ names between 2018 and 2022:

Rank2022 Names2021 Names2020 Names2019 Names2018 Names
1OliviaOliviaOliviaOliviaEmma
2EmmaEmmaEmmaEmmaOlivia
3CharlotteCharlotteAvaAvaAva
4AmeliaAmeliaCharlotteSophiaIsabella
5SophiaAvaSophiaIsabellaSophia
6IsabellaSophiaAmeliaCharlotteCharlotte
7AvaIsabellaIsabellaAmeliaMia
8MiaMiaMiaMiaAmelia
9EvelynEvelynEvelynHarperHarper
10LunaHarperHarperEvelynEvelyn

Wow, I think the boys’ names have changed more in the last 5 years than the girls’ names…at least at the top!

What do you think? Do you have a child whose name is in the top 10, or maybe are you considering a top 10? Are you worried certain names are getting too popular? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

American Names · Analysis · Opinions

Baby Name Predictions for the 2022 U.S. Top 1000 (Girls)

We have under two weeks to go before the new list of the most popular baby names in the U.S. comes out! The Social Security Administration is due to release data on all the names given to at least 5 children in the country in 2022 any day now, likely next Friday to coincide with Mothers’ Day.

The other day, I posted my predictions for the Top 10, which are the baby names most frequently counted in a given year. Now I’m looking at the Top 1000, or the names that are just becoming “popular.” While the SSA probably could start sharing the Top 1500 or Top 2000 due to the wide variety of names that parents are choosing now, the top 1000 has served as the dividing mark between commonality and rarity in American baby naming for the better part of 25 years. In earlier eras, far more children wore the most popular names. Even after Mary and John fell from the #1 spots and well into the 90s, each generation complained about how frequently they shared names with classmates. Now, there’s no guarantee kids named Liam and Olivia, the #1 names in the country for infant boys and girls, will even run into other Liams and Olivias in their grade (they probably will, though).

When we talk about rare American baby names, we talk about current baby names that rank below the Top 1000. Because today’s parents increasingly prefer unusual names, though, there’s a huge difference between a name given to 250 babies versus 5 babies. 5 babies means you probably won’t encounter one at all, but 250 babies averages 5 children per state *and* is just under the popularity threshold for girls.

So what are we predicting for the 2022 U.S. Top 1000? I always look at what names are likely to exit or enter. What names are about to be rare, and what names are about to be popular? The Top 1000 threshold is so much harder to predict than the Top 10 because there’s a lot more volatility. Because there’s so much ground to cover, I’m splitting my Top 1000 predictions into separate posts for girls’ and boys’ names. Let’s start with the girls’ names I think may leave the top 1000 this year. If you’re reading on mobile, scroll left at each chart for full visibility.

Girls’ Names Likely to Exit the Top 1000:

Name2021 Rank2021 Babies2020 Rank2020 Babies2019 Rank2019 Babies
Alexia874308735370633466
Annabella1000254851318652447
Avah825332657436657444
Ellen920288804335799345
Elliot773366572509593510
Ensley789358590492666433
Frida973264887298730386
Itzayana971265757359791350
Judith959270908288822331
Julissa915290783346694415
Kaisley870312758359845318
Kamilah979263823330805340
Keyla980263837325776356
Kyleigh981263835327768361
Kynlee921287810334701413
Lyanna969266766353604500
Madalyn929284818332753372
Meghan986261880303734384
Sariah970266844322983262
Tinsley892301718386808339
Tori995256845322905293
Zola990259936274976265
Data from the Social Security Administration

I didn’t include names that were new to the top 1000 in 2021 on my exit list because we simply don’t know what they’ll do in 2022!

Notes:

  • Alexia – Partly due to its association with Alexa and drops related to the Amazon device, partly due to “Alex” names having reached their peak, perhaps partly due to Alexia sharing its name with a disability.
  • Though Annabella fits several ongoing trends (old-fashioned, maximalist/long, vowel-heavy), it has two things going against it. One is that the “-Bella” ending trend has already peaked for many names, but the other bigger one is that Annabelle and related names were skewered by a horror movie “Annabelle” in 2014. Annabelle and related names were trending upwards until then.
  • Elliot enjoyed an upwards trend as a girls’ name for much of the 2000s and 2010s before a significant and sudden drop in 2021. My guess? Actor Elliot Page publicly came out as transgender in December 2020. Caitlyn and other spellings of Caitlin/Kaitlyn took massive hits to popularity when Caitlyn Jenner came out in 2015, so…it follows. Page’s birth name dropped too, though it’s hard to say whether that’s because of transphobia or because Ellen is an old name falling out of fashion more naturally. Elliott with two ‘T’s also dropped for girls (from #448 to #552) between 2020 and 2021. We’ll see what the names do in 2022; Caitlin names were already past peak by 2015, so maybe the drop will be temporary for the Elliots since they’re still fashionable?
  • Meghan enjoyed a brief revival thanks to Meghan Markle and is now dropping again.
  • Zola sounds quite trendy, though I wonder if some parents associate it too heavily with the wedding website.

Let’s talk about the names I think may join the top 1000. In 2021 the #1000 name (Annabella) was given to 254 babies assigned female at birth. Let’s assume, then, that the new names have to hit around 250 uses to become popular in 2022.

Girls’ Names Likely to Enter the Top 1000:

Name2021 Rank2021 Babies2020 Rank2020 Babies2019 Rank2019 Babies
Amal103924111212141283179
Atlas12451871640126223082
Aura104024112101891475149
Avani100625210482381940101
Ehlani10412411790110161585
Elowyn104823912051901318173
Emberlyn105623714491491573136
Indy106223515151401782114
Jhene107623111232141645128
Jream10162491265177198697
Lakelyn104923911871951164205
Lakelynn102824514691461687124
Leylani109222512211871446153
Lottie109322515541361640129
Love101924810332421658127
Maisy102124711262121130214
Majesty100525311402081020252
Marigold102224710922231297177
Nori101325111701991032249
Rosalina101724910442401086230
Saanvi100825210612331039247
Scottie113721513281661835111
Sol105423812231871510144
Tallulah103024511272121245188
Violette10332449832591021252
Winifred106723410982221212193
Xyla107223313981561794114
Extracted from extended SSA birth data

I also have a list of maybes for entry.

Girls’ Names that Might Enter the Top 1000:

Name2021 Rank2021 Babies2020 Rank2020 Babies2019 Rank2019 Babies
Araya106823312631771305175
Ayana111421912581791174201
Beatrix11192181164200982262
Bernadette118620314431501546139
Elouise113021613251661222191
Emiliana103224411472061087229
Gianni101025110312421654127
Harriet10512381075229985261
Ida112721711911941267183
Keziah110022311662001278181
Lilia102024711502051101223
Nairobi10442411119215266665
Onyx13221691755114203694
Reya113521612751751500145
Rhiannon111222111552041247187
Rowyn107123311881951153208
Sarahi104524112221871053243
Seraphina10872271271176998258
Sterling127018216831221778115
Tilly113621613401641342170
Tru111721914771451780115
True113821512991701511144
Vayda106623411811961114219
Wednesday1802112233476232778
Yuna118920314361521426157
Zahara120519713501631369165
Zaira111821915721341464151
Extracted from extended SSA birth data

Notes:

  • Ehlani – Alani (Rank #183) and Kehlani (Rank #150) were both quite trendy in 2021. Kehlani especially has spun off a huge amount of spelling variations and names, though Ehlani specifically appears to be an influencer’s baby’ name from 2020.
  • Parents have been talking about Elowyn and Elowen for years, though they’ve never been able to decide on a spelling. One of them should have been in the top 1000 by now. For the record, Elowen is the original spelling.
  • Gianni is a possibility, though because Gianna Bryant was the influence for many girls named Gianni in 2020 and 2021, entry somewhat depends on whether Gianna remains a top 15 name in 2022. It’s already a Top 400 name for boys.
  • Popular names mean alternative spellings, hence Emberlyn, Maisy, Violette, Elouise, Reya, and Rowyn. Reya looks like it might be getting a boost from Raya and the Last Dragon.
  • Marigold became trendy in large part thanks to Downton Abbey, though vintage-sounding nature names are hugely popular at the moment. Marigold couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
  • Nairobi is a character in Casa de Papel / Money Heist.
  • Regarding Lottie, Scottie, Indy, Maisy, and Tilly: Americans have finally decided it’s okay to put nicknames on the birth certificate, long after our British cousins adopted the practice. Bonus points for trendiness if the nicknames are vintage, boyish, or both.
  • Also speaking of Lottie, I’ve personally seen a lot of buzz about this one on Facebook. That combined with a big jump between 2020 and 2021 and the popularity of Charlotte leads me to believe that it will become popular by 2024.
  • Nori, Sterling, and Love are celebrity baby names, respectively the daughters of Kim Kardashian, Patrick Mahomes, and Diddy. Diddy’s daughter was born in early December 2022, so that may have a bigger impact on the 2023 stats. You may know Nori better by her legal name, North West.
  • Why am I calling Wednesday now when it’s nowhere near the threshold? Because not only was it already trending, Netflix released their hit series in the autumn of 2022. I don’t know if that’s too late in the year for the boost, so if not 2022 then expect Wednesday to hit the top 1000 in 2023.

Remember, these are just predictions. Some of the ones I think will exit will go, but others will hold on. It’s the same for the names I think could enter. We’ll see how right or wrong I am soon enough!

Do you have any girls’ names you’re watching out for this naming season? Are there any names on here you don’t think will reach the top 1000 for 2022 or at all? What about ones you think are getting popular? Let me know, and look for the results!

Name Lists

250+ Isogram Names Starting with ‘E’ and ‘F’

I love isogram names. Don’t you?

If this is your first time tuning into this series or you just want a quick refresher, isograms are names or words that (usually) don’t repeat any letters. For example: Frances is an isogram because each letter is different but Francesca repeats two letters, ‘c’ and ‘a.’ There’s another rare type of isogram where every letter repeats the same number of times (think Fifi or Elle), but you probably won’t encounter that subset most of the time.

My previous isogram posts have all focused on one letter, but I decided to combine ‘E’ and ‘F’ due to their relative rarity. While ‘E’ names are generally popular and varied, it’s unusual and difficult to find ‘E’ isograms. I’m guessing that’s because it’s the most frequently-occurring letter in the English language and is therefore especially tricky to avoid. One brave and ingenious author managed to write a novel containing no ‘e’s anywhere in its text (can you imagine writing a book without the word “the?!”). On the other hand, ‘F’ names are rare in English, period.

Here is a list of over 250 isogram names starting with ‘E’ and ‘F.’ Most, but not all, come from recent U.S. baby name data as provided by the Social Security Administration. Enjoy!

3 Letters:

  • Eli
  • Ema
  • Emi
  • Ena
  • Era
  • Eva
  • Exa
  • Fae
  • Fen
  • Fia
  • Fin
  • Fox

4 Letters:

  • Earl
  • Echo
  • Edna
  • Edom
  • Ehud
  • Eila
  • Eira
  • Elan
  • Elba
  • Elfa
  • Elia
  • Elif
  • Elka
  • Elin
  • Elio
  • Elma
  • Elsa
  • Emil
  • Emir
  • Enid
  • Enya
  • Envy
  • Enzo
  • Epic
  • Eric
  • Erin
  • Eris
  • Erma
  • Erna
  • Eros
  • Esau
  • Esti
  • Eula
  • Evan
  • Ewan
  • Ezio
  • Ezra
  • Fadi
  • Fahd
  • Fajr
  • Fate
  • Fawn
  • Faye
  • Fela
  • Fern
  • Five
  • Fitz
  • Fiza
  • Flex
  • Ford
  • Fred
  • Fulk

5 Letters:

  • Eamon
  • Ebony
  • Edgar
  • Edith
  • Edric
  • Edwin
  • Egypt
  • Einar
  • Elham
  • Eliab
  • Eliam
  • Elias
  • Elihu
  • Elika
  • Eliza
  • Elnaz
  • Elora
  • Elyra
  • Elroi
  • Elton
  • Elvis
  • Elwyn
  • Emani
  • Embla
  • Embry
  • Emiko
  • Emily
  • Emina
  • Emira
  • Emlyn
  • Emory
  • Emryn
  • Emrys
  • Enfys
  • Eniko
  • Enoch
  • Enola
  • Eowyn
  • Epona
  • Erica
  • Erina
  • Eshal
  • Espyn
  • Ethan
  • Evans
  • Evian
  • Eylin
  • Ezlyn
  • Eztli
  • Fabio
  • Fable
  • Faigy
  • Fairy
  • Faith
  • Fancy
  • Farid
  • Faris
  • Fateh
  • Fatou
  • Favor
  • Fayez
  • Felix
  • Fendi
  • Fenix
  • Fiadh
  • Finch
  • Fiona
  • Fjord
  • Fleur
  • Flint
  • Floki
  • Flora
  • Floyd
  • Fouad
  • Frank
  • Franz
  • Freya
  • Frida
  • Fritz
  • Fruma

6 Letters:

  • Easton
  • Edison
  • Edwina
  • Ehlani
  • Eirlys
  • Ekhlas
  • Elanor
  • Eliany
  • Elijah
  • Elinor
  • Eliora
  • Elisha
  • Eliska
  • Eliyah
  • Elmira
  • Elnora
  • Elodia
  • Eloisa
  • Elowyn
  • Elrond
  • Elvina
  • Elvira
  • Elysia
  • Emilyn
  • Emiyah
  • Emslie
  • Emunah
  • Eniola
  • Enylah
  • Eoghan
  • Erandi
  • Erling
  • Ermias
  • Erykah
  • Eshani
  • Euclid
  • Eudora
  • Evalyn
  • Exodus
  • Fabien
  • Fakhri
  • Falcon
  • Famous
  • Fanuel
  • Fausto
  • Fawkes
  • Felton
  • Fenway
  • Fergal
  • Fergus
  • Fermin
  • Fields
  • Finbar
  • Finley
  • Finola
  • Fishel
  • Fisher
  • Flavio
  • Flower
  • Forest
  • Foster
  • Fotima
  • Fowler
  • Fraidy
  • Friday
  • Frimet
  • Fulton
  • Fumiko

7 Letters:

  • Eastlyn
  • Ebtisam
  • Eckhard
  • Eclipsa
  • Egilmar
  • Eilonwy
  • Elianys
  • Eliyahu
  • Elysani
  • Elysian
  • Elysium
  • Ephraim
  • Erlinda
  • Estoria
  • Eudoxia
  • Eunomia
  • Evanshi
  • Evanthi
  • Fabrice
  • Facundo
  • Fitzroy
  • Florian
  • Florina
  • Folarin
  • Fordham
  • Foreign
  • Fortuna
  • Fortune
  • Frances
  • Frankie
  • Frazier
  • Furiosa

8+ Letters:

  • Eastmund
  • Erioluwa
  • Euphoria
  • Eutychia
  • Faithlyn
  • Faustino
  • Ferguson
  • Filomena
  • Flourish
  • Francely
  • Franyeli
  • Florencia
  • Francoise
  • Eugraphios
  • Fitzgerald
  • Franciszek

It’s amazing how creative you can get with strict naming parameters, whether you’re looking for an isogram or not. While I’m not sure how well a handful of these work for a modern child (I’m looking at you, Eutychia), most of these are in use today. Hopefully this list provides you with plenty of inspiration for your baby, pet, or character names!

Do you have any favorites from this list or names you’d add? I’m curious!

If you’d like to peruse my previous isogram lists, here they are:

American Names · Classic, Old, and Traditional Names · Name Lists

Underused Vintage Baby Names for Girls

If you’re a fan of vintage baby names like I am, you’re probably over the moon to discover that old-fashioned baby names are *in.* Sure, even generations famous for ultramodern names like the 1980s and 1990s had their “grandma” and “grandpa names” – I’ve heard at least one parent of an early-90s Emily say they picked an old-fashioned name not realizing other people were naming their kids Emily too. If you look at the current U.S. Top 10, most of the names are verifiably old-school! You can’t go anywhere there’s children without running into an Ava, Emma, or Olivia. Many parents may be tired of Mary, but they aren’t tired of names from 100 years ago.

Many of you may also prefer baby names that are a little more unique than what you find in the top 10, the top 100, or even the top 1000. Luckily, there are so many other baby names to choose from! I’ve curated a collection of wonderful old-fashioned girls’ names from below the top 1000. Keep in mind that in 2021 (the last year for which we have U.S. baby name data from the Social Security Administration), the minimum threshold for a baby girls’ name to enter the top 1000 and be considered popular was 254 girls receiving the name nationally. Anything below that number is considered rare! Anyway, here’s my list of underused vintage baby names for girls:

  • Agatha: Historically much rarer than Agnes, stately Agatha looks like it might make a comeback. Mystery-lovers everywhere will associate this name with Agatha Christie. 136 girls were named Agatha in 2021. If you love the nickname Aggie, Agatha’s one way to reach it!
  • Agnes, Aggie: Agnes is a lot more popular than it was 25 years ago, but it still needs a boost to reemerge victorious. Fans of British literature may the connection to Agnes Grey, the titular character of Anne Bronte’s 1847 novel. 211 U.S. girls were named Agnes in 2021, but only 5 girls were named her adorable nickname, Aggie.
  • Cornelia: Cordelia is rare, but elegant Cornelia is even rarer. This Victorian beauty easily shortens to Cora, Cori, Nellie, Lia, and other nicknames for greater approachability. 42 girls were named Cornelia in 2021.
  • Dottie: A classic, spunky nickname for Dorothy or Dorothea. For even more moxie and pizzazz, shorten it further to Dot! Dorothy itself is popular and rising, ranking #483 nationally, but if you want something more unusual and love the old-school nicknames trend that’s currently happening, Dottie may be the baby name for you.
  • Effie: Effie is classically short for Euphemia, a stately Victorian name that also deserves some love. Effie is still quite rare in the U.S., though it’s gaining traction in the U.K. If you love Scottish and Scottish-adjacent names like Archie and Maisie, Effie is another name you should consider. In 2021, 82 American girls were named Effie – far more than Euphemia, which belongs to only 11 girls born that year.
  • Elvie: Elvira is a cool name with witchy vibes, but nickname Elvie is just plain cute. I think Elvie works wonderfully as a unique alternative to Elsie, which currently ranks #221 in the U.S. and is still rising. 19 girls were named Elvie in 2021, compared to 1335 children named Elsie.
  • Enid: Likely everyone with a hobby or profession in baby names who watched Wednesday now has Enid on their radar. Earlier generations associate Enid with children’s author Enid Blyton or an Arthurian character, but 2023’s denizens think of a sweet, bubbly teenage werewolf girl. Just 34 baby girls were named Enid in 2021.
  • Eula: I stumbled upon this lovely lady within the last week while perusing SSA data, and later heard about someone who named their daughter Eula! It’s traditionally short for Eulalia, but I think Eula is easier to say five times fast. Just 6 girls in the U.S. were named Eula in 2021, which is almost as unique as it gets!
  • Evelina: If Evelyn is popular, why not Evelina? Evelina is the titular character of a famous early romance novel by Frances “Fanny” Burney, who inspired Jane Austen. Consider this gorgeous 18th-century option “Austen-adjacent?” 184 girls were named Evelina in 2021, which is somehow both more and fewer than I’d expect.
  • Fern is a vintage nature name that, like Effie, is gaining traction in the U.K. but still has a ways to go in the U.S. before it’s popular again. 140 American baby girls received the name in 2021 and it is on the rise, so just give it a few more years. Maybe 2024 or 2025?
  • Gertrude: I’ve written about Gertrude before and I sincerely believe it’s time to dust off this name. With great namesakes including Gertrude Stein and Ma Rainey and a wealth of nickname potential, I hope more parents will consider this strong name. And before you say “nobody names their kid Gertrude anymore,” let’s point out that U.S. parents gave it to 29 baby girls in 2021.
  • Ginger: Though Ginger has serious 1930s and 1940s vibes thanks to Ginger Rogers, it surprisingly peaked in the 70s. In those days, most people thought of Ginger as a nickname or variant of Virginia, but its status as a nature name and spice gives it currency for modern parents as a standalone name. 46 girls were named Ginger in 2021.
  • Inez: Inez (pronounced ee-NEZ or ih-NEZ) derives from a Spanish version of Agnes. Parents who want a smoother sound may prefer this four-letter form, which also benefits from its brevity. Need something different than Ava or Isla? Inez has you covered. Oh, and Inez gets major bonus points for historical associations with suffragette Inez Milholland, who campaigned for women’s right to vote until her premature death in 1916. 129 girls were named Inez in 2021, while 138 girls received the Ines spelling.
  • Lettie: Leticia and Letitia have fallen to the wayside, but Lettie is a fashionable nickname that’s slowly resurging. 173 girls were named Lettie in 2021.
  • Lois is stylish! It’s short, sweet, and to-the-point – a huge plus for fans of minimalist baby names. It’s also a fairly obscure Biblical name from the New Testament, so religious parents may appreciate that. Most of us likely remember Lois as Superman’s girlfriend, though. 119 girls were named Lois in 2021.
  • Maude, or Maud, is a short medieval form of the name Matilda, which is steadily gaining traction in the U.S. with a current rank of #466. Only 18 girls were named Maude in 2021, but I’m hearing a lot of buzz about it as an upcoming middle name. That makes sense, because it’s relatively short and only one syllable! Maude was at its most popular in the 1880s, which means it’s well overdue for a revival.
  • Minerva, Minnie: Minerva is Roman Mythology’s equivalent to Greek Mythology’s Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war. Parents who grew up reading Harry Potter may associate Minerva primarily with Minerva McGonagall, the stern Hogwarts Deputy Headmistress and transfiguration teacher, but as an old-fashioned name that’s been popular before, that’s not the only association. Even so, baby names from mythology are hugely trendy in the 2020s! Overall, Minerva gives off smart librarian vibes, which makes it a great choice for bookish parents. You can even shorten it to adorable Minnie. 84 girls were named Minerva in 2021, while 63 girls received the name Minnie.
  • Rowena: Rowan is a trendy gender-neutral nature name ranking #106 for boys and #241 for girls! If you’re worried about its popularity, consider medieval Rowena, which hasn’t ranked nationally since 1963. Just 33 girls were named Rowena in 2021.
  • Theodosia: Theodosia hasn’t ranked in the U.S. Top 1000 since the 1890s, but the popularity of the musical Hamilton, the rising popularity of similar names Theodore and Theodora, and the maximalist baby names trend are creating a perfect storm for reviving this elaborate gem. 35 girls were named Theodosia in 2021, the current peak of a sharp increase we’ve had these last few years. An additional 10 girls received the Theadosia spelling.
  • Viola: Violet is one of today’s most popular floral names, but if you like your flower names a little rarer, try Viola! Like Agnes, Viola has the potential to reemerge into popularity with just a little boost. Music-lovers may appreciate that it shares its letters with the stringed instrument. The biggest current association though, I think, is actress Viola Davis. 208 girls were named Viola in 2021.

Do you have any favorite underused vintage girls’ names from this list? Are there any you’d add? Let me know!

An honorable mention goes out to Hildegard, Hedy, Eudora, Augusta, and Rosalind. Winifred is one to watch, but I think that may enter the top 1000 in the new 2022 stats when those arrive in May! All the others are rare and unusual for a 2023 baby…for now!

American Names · Analysis · Classic, Old, and Traditional Names · Modern names

Name Profile: Beverly

Do you like the sound of Everly but prefer something vintage? Is Evelyn, which ranks #9 in the U.S., too popular for you? You may love Beverly, an old English place name meaning something akin to “beaver stream” or “beaver meadow.”

Beverly: Surname, Place Name; Likely Meaning: "Beaver Stream" or "Beaver Meadow," or someone who lives near there; popular baby name from 1905 to 1999 for girls, until the 1950s for boys; Rare alternative to Evelyn and Everly; Vintage and Modern.

Beverly was one of the very first last-names-as-baby-names to become popular for girls. We’ve come a long way in that naming genre! I wager that most preschools have students named Harper and Avery, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if their moms or teachers are named Ashley or Taylor. Their grandmothers might be Leslie and Kelly, and their great-grandmothers could be Shirley or Beverly. The names change, but the style remains the same. Beverly was a part of the vanguard that made it cool to name a baby girl with a surname, or to name a baby girl with a boys’ name. Beverly’s old-fashioned now, but I think it’s one of the first truly modern baby names.

Beverly, like Shirley and other surname baby names, originally began as a men’s name. Indeed, Beverly became conventionally unisex for nearly 50 years before the 1950s, when it dropped out of the U.S. top 1000 for boys. I dare say that when Beverly first became popular for girls, for a brief period it was even gender neutral…as gender neutral as a name could be while trending before World War I! Even so, once it really took off for girls, there was no turning back. It was officially feminine.

What made Beverly popular to begin with? Those first names in that style didn’t come from nowhere; we know the concept of Shirley as a girls’ name came from a Bronte character . As it turns out, Beverly became popular because of a hit 1904 book, Beverly of Graustark, and a later 1920s movie based on the story. The timing is just right to imagine Beverly as a flapper or the baby of one. Beverly has a certain glamorous old-lady feel to it, making it a great choice for parents who want their daughters to sparkle and shine with confidence. There’s even the associations with Beverly Hills, California – for parents who want to evoke a sense of glitz, wealth, and celebrity – and Star Trek, for nerdy parents who love Beverly Crusher. Of course, the book that started it all isn’t even the most important literary connection to Beverly, at least not for modern parents. Today’s parents may wish to honor beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 104.

Like Everly, there’s well more than one way to spell Beverly. The most traditional alternate spelling is probably Beverley, which can be attested as a men’s name by the mid-18th century via Beverley Randolph (whose name came from a family surname). Other old spellings that aren’t currently in use for babies include Beverlee, Beverli, and Beverlye, though maybe surprisingly there’s no history of Beverleigh. There’s also Beverlyn, a rare name which peaked in the 50s but has the potential for trendiness in the 2020s and going into the 2030s thanks to the “Lyn” and “Lynn” endings that are so popular for baby girls’ names. Currently, the only two spellings parents are using are Beverly and Beverley.

Exactly how trendy is Beverly these days? Well, I think things are looking up. Beverly peaked in the 1930s and 40s before falling into near oblivion by the new millennium, eventually dipping reaching an almost 100-year-low in 2010 at just 99 girls in a year. Since then, it’s been creeping slowly back upwards – probably thanks to Everly, which started taking off right around then. Everly has actually dropped a little since its 2019 peak, but Beverly is still rising and was given to as many as 188 girls in 2021. Did Everly rise too quickly? Are parents already looking for something fresh but familiar with Beverly? Is it the vintage vibes? The nature meanings? If Beverly doesn’t take off now, I think it’s primed for the 2030s and 40s in a kind of 100-year-cycle.

What do you think of Beverly? Do you see it coming back soon? Let me know! 

American Names · Modern names · Name Lists

Baby Name Mash-Ups: Girls Edition

Whether you like to call them mash-ups, smooshes, compound names, or something else, it’s always fun to find or create names that mash two names together into one. It’s a great way to explore language, and sometimes you can find a new and unexpected appellation that way. Here is a list of real girls’ names for the creative mind to construct and deconstruct from two other names! Most of these probably aren’t meant to be mash-ups (indeed, many are unique and unconventional spellings), but who doesn’t love name games? All the mash-ups are listed with the number of baby girls who received the name in 2021, according to data from the Social Security Administration. If rare and uncommon baby names are your thing, I think you’ll enjoy these mashes too – only one of them is in the top 1000.

  • Adaleine = Adeline + Madeleine. 8 girls were named Adaleine in 2021.
  • Adamari = Ada + Amari. 32 girls were named Adamari in 2021.
  • Adamaris = Ada + Stellamaris, Adam + Damaris. 37 girls.
  • Alyssandra = Alyssa + Alessandra. 20 girls. This may be a genuine mashup in some cases.
  • Amberley = Amber + Emberly. 28 girls.
  • Ameliana = Amelia + Emiliana. This maximalist version of Amelia was used 40 times.
  • Ariellie = Aria + Ellie, Ariel + Ellie. 6 girls.
  • Arianelly = Ariana + Nelly, Ariana + Annalee, Ariana + Nayeli. 26 girls.
  • Avangeline = Ava + Evangeline. 23 girls.
  • Baisley = Bailey + Paisley, Bailey + Haisley. 12 girls
  • Bellanie = Bellamy + Melanie. 8 girls.
  • Brystal = Bristol + Crystal. 14 girls.
  • Callaway = Calla + Calloway. 41 girls.
  • Delaila = Delilah + Laila. 9 girls.
  • Delayah = Delaney + Malaya, Delaney + Leia. 9 girls
  • Elizabella = Elizabeth + Isabella, Elizabeth + Arabella. 21 girls.
  • Elliotte = Elliot + Charlotte. 53 girls.
  • Elouise = Eloise + Louise. 216 girls.
  • Embersyn = Ember + Emersyn. 6 girls.
  • Emmarie = Emma + Marie, Emily + Marie. 174 girls.
  • Eunique = Eunice + Unique. 10 girls.
  • Francely = Frances + Aracely. 10 girls.
  • Giabella = Gianna + Isabella. 24 girls.
  • Gwendalynn = Gwendolyn + Adalynn. 10 girls.
  • Havanna = Havana + Savannah, Haven + Savanna. 15 girls.
  • Hayeslee = Hayes + Haisley, Hayes + Paislee. 5 girls.
  • Hazeley = Hazel + Haisley, Hazel + Paisley. 9 girls
  • Janellie = Jane + Ellie. In reality, probably a variant of Yaneli? 8 girls.
  • Jenesis = Jennifer + Genesis. 379 girls with a national rank of #745. This is the only popular mashup baby name I list here.
  • Jeweliana = Jewel + Juliana. 5 girls.
  • Lauralai + Laura + Lorelai. 5 girls.
  • Lehlani = Leilani + Kehlani. 43 girls. Like Alyssandra, I suspect this is a genuine mashup.
  • Lydiann = Lydia + Ann. 11 girls.
  • Maevery = Maeve + Avery. 17 girls.
  • Maisley = Maisie + Haisley, Maisie + Paisley. 35 girls.
  • Makinsley = Makayla + Kinsley, Makenzie + Kinsley. 19 girls.
  • Marilena = Maria + Elena, Maria + Helena. 21 girls.
  • Marleaux = Marlowe + Beaux, Marlowe + Devereaux. 5 girls.
  • Melaney = Melanie + Delaney. In reality, the pronunciation is probably identical to Melanie. 8 girls.
  • Myrcella = Myrtle + Marcella. I know, I know…Myrcella comes from Game of Thrones, but I can dream! 5 girls.
  • Parys = Paris + Carys. 9 girls.
  • Pauleth = Paulette + Arleth, Paula + Arleth. 13 girls.
  • Persephanie = Persephone + Stephanie. 6 girls.
  • Reigna = Reign + Rayna. 33 girls.
  • Renesmee = Renee + Esme. The original name smoosh! 161 girls.
  • Roselani = Rose + Leilani, Rose + Kehlani. 9 girls.
  • Serinity = Serenity + Trinity. 19 girls.
  • Sophonie = Sophie + Stephanie. 5 girls.
  • Taylani = Taylor + Leilani, Taylor + Kehlani. 16 girls. 
  • Tayleigh = Taylor + Kayleigh. 12 girls.
  • Zoella = Zoe + Ella. 28 girls.

One of my favorite name mash-ups didn’t even make the 2021 data. Gwenevieve (Guinevere + Genevieve) has popped up a few times starting in 2008. You could also mix Gwendolyn and Lillian to get Gwenllian, which is a Welsh name…however, the double ‘l’ sounds different in Welsh than in English, so just be mindful. Other possible mash-ups include Hermione (from Hermia and Ione), Isadora (Isabella + Theodora), Tallulah (Talia + Lula), Jaylannie (Jayla + Annie), and Davinity (Davina + Divinity).

What are some of your favorite baby name mash-ups? Would you ever consider using one? Let me know and read the boys’ list!

Classic, Old, and Traditional Names

Name Profile: Gertrude

Is it time for Gertrude to become a popular baby name again?

Gertrude is about as old-fashioned as it gets. Germanic, heavy on the consonants, and not-at-all frilly, it doesn’t sound like a name that could be popular for baby girls in 2022 or 2023. It’s quite rare, and many people probably treat it like the dodo – extinct! But I wonder if Gertrude‘s time is coming.

For one thing, it’s already more popular than it was 25 years ago. In 1998, only 5 baby girls were named Gertrude, which is the lowest count by far since the U.S. birth data starts in 1880. Just think – 100 years ago, several thousand girls were named Gertrude every year! While it hasn’t fully revived yet, you can now expect about 25-35 girls to receive the name each year and in 2021, the last year for which we have data, the count landed at 29 baby girls. There is no longer a major risk of Gertrude‘s name extinction. If anything, her long absence from the spotlight is a bonus because of the hundred-year-cycle, an idea that suggests names circle back around after a century. We’ve seen names like Evelyn return that way.

Another thing to consider is that Gertrude has fantastic nickname potential. There’s always classic Trudy or Trudie, which benefits from simultaneous cuteness and maturity. As it happens, today’s child is just about as likely to have Trudy as a legal name as they are to be called Gertrude (30 girls were named Trudy in 2021). Oddly enough, Gertie is starting to pop up again after a long absence (5 girls were named Gertie in 2021), so if you love old lady names you’re in luck! Geri might be too dated for a modern baby, but Gigi, Rudy, and Rue are adorable. Another nickname that makes Gertrude more accessible is True, a gender-neutral option which is wildly trendy thanks to Kardashian influence. You can also find that spelled without the ‘e’ (Tru), and sometimes with one extra (Truee) or even a second ‘u’ (Truu).

Bonus points for Gertrude include namesakes from Shakespeare (Hamlet’s mother), saints, Gertrude Stein, and Ma Rainey. Gertrude also gets to join the ever-growing compendium of Christmas baby names thanks to an adorable little girl in Violent Night, a 2022 Christmas movie that combines Die Hard, Home Alone, and other famous holiday movies to create a jolly dark comedy action flick. That character, named after her grandmother, goes by Trudy; funnily enough, her teenage cousin Bert’s full name is Bertrude (also after their grandmother, the family matriarch). Gertie itself boasts a modern, contemporary reference in the popular children’s book Gossie and Gertie about a pair of ducklings who are friends. If names like Gertrude, Trudy, True, and Gertie all have recent reference points in pop culture, it’s only a matter of time before they all start rising.

What kind of middle names suit Gertrude? Gertrude‘s Germanic root words mean “spear” and “strength,” which is just plain awesome! Methinks Gertrude pairs well with other strong and powerful vintage names like Hedwig (“war”), Queen, and Millicent (“work + strength”), but I also think it could be a great idea to balance it out with softer options like Evelyn, Estelle, and Winnie. Nature-related names also work well in the middle spot, such as Rose, Holly, and Sage. You can imagine a Gertrude Sage, can’t you? And when in doubt, Katherine, Marie, and Elizabeth pair well with everything!

Final thoughts: unlike most people, I’ve actually met a younger Gertrude and have wonderful associations with the name as a result. Associations are often the key.

What do you think of Gertrude? Do you have a favorite middle or nickname? Does it work as a baby girls’ name? Let me know what you think!

American Names · International · Modern names

Name Profile: Lumi

Lumi pronounced "lou + me" Means "snow" in Finnish.

Does a name ever get stuck in your mind? Like, you hear it for the first time and then you can’t stop thinking about it? That’s been me for the past week and a half since I joined Instagram (P.S., my handle is @wellinformednamer). I’m seeing the name Lumi everywhere and it’s imprinted! Pronounced like “Lou + me”, Lumi is a Finnish name meaning “snow.” As my neighborhood sees its first snow of the year, this name feels apropos of the weather. 

Although I’ve been seeing Lumi all over Instagram, the sightings are almost always discussion from other name enthusiasts or Finnish posts about the weather. Only 57 American baby girls were named Lumi in 2021, which means it’s still pretty rare here. It’s a lot more popular than it was 5 or 10 years ago though; from its U.S. data debut in 2008 until 2017, fewer than 20 babies a year were named Lumi. It spiked in 2018 and 2019, peaking at 68 girls with the name in the latter year. I’m not 100% sure what caused the jump, considering Americans aren’t usually too familiar with Finnish names. Lumi is popular in Finland, though, where it’s now a Top 50 baby name for girls.

So why name a baby Lumi? Lumi hits a sweet spot for baby names in 2022 and 2023 because it’s short, unique, international, and nature-adjacent. If you’re having a baby during snow, winter, or the December Holidays, it makes for a great seasonal option. There aren’t many nickname choices, it’s easy-to-spell, and vowel-heavy (even the consonants it does use are popular ones). If you do want a longer name, you can make it short for Lumina (another name on the rise). Chances are, a baby Lumi isn’t going to meet another Lumi in the classroom. And according to this post from Nancy’s Baby Names about Finnish names, it changed gender associations over time in its original country, which means it probably started off as a men’s name before it became popular for women (just like so many unisex and gender-neutral names in the U.S). So while Americans almost exclusively name daughters Lumi, I think it could work for any gender.

Lumi is fun to consider for middle name combinations. Some of the best middle name options for Lumi either have only one syllable (like Rose, James, or John) or at least three (Evergreen, Anastasia, Jonathan). Nature combos are great too (Ocean, Azalea, Storm). I’d avoid combos like Lumi Marie that are challenging to say quickly, and while I think Lumi Louise works (you can shorten to Lulu!), “Lumi Louis” rhymes a little too much if the ‘s’ in Louis is silent. Unless it sounds amazing to you, try to stay away from middle names that would repeat the “ee” sound at the end of Lumi; likewise, names starting with “Mi” don’t work great in the middle name spot (Lumi Minerva) but shine when reversed (Minerva Lumi). Lumi and Luna probably shouldn’t be in the same name either. For good measure, here are some great potential middle names for Lumi:

  • Lumi Anastasia
  • Lumi Evergreen
  • Lumi Fritz
  • Lumi Sophronia
  • Lumi Jasper
  • Lumi James
  • Lumi Cecilia
  • Lumi Rosalie
  • Lumi Emmanuel / Lumi Emmanuelle This combination is great specifically for Christmas babies.
  • Lumi Evangeline
  • Lumi Elizabeth
  • Lumi Azalea
  • Lumi Kit
  • Lumi Christopher
  • Lumi Ocean
  • Lumi Storm
  • Lumi Kehlani
  • Lumi Frost

What do you think of Lumi? Would you use it? What other middle names would you try with it? Let me know!

Sources: Social Security Administration data and (linked twice above) Nancy’s Baby Names.