What’s in a Name?

 pregnant mom names baby

The Social Security Administration has revealed their list of most popular baby names for 2011. Of course much about the list stays similar for years at a time, but there were some new additions to the top 10 this year.


  1. Jacob
  2. Mason
  3. William
  4. Jayden
  5. Noah
  6. Michael
  7. Ethan
  8. Alexander
  9. Aiden
  10. Daniel



  1. Sophia
  2. Isabella
  3. Emma
  4. Olivia
  5. Ava
  6. Emily
  7. Abigail
  8. Madison
  9. Mia
  10. Chloe

Notably, Mason is a newbie in the top 10 list, jumping from last years’ spot at #12, to #2. Of course, there is speculation that the jump has something to do with Kourtney Kardashian’s son. I prefer to assume that she is just going along with an overall trend, because I can’t imagine that there are that many people who would want their child to be in any way associated with a Kardashian.

Jacob and Isabella at the top of the lists leads to some suggesting that Twilight is the reason. Now, Isabella didn’t hit the top 5 until 2006, a year after the release of the novel. But Jacob has been in the #1 spot since 1999, and in the top 5 since 1995. And if Twilight is really behind the name, then where is Team Edward?

According to tracking by the SSA, “This year’s winners for biggest jump in popularity in the Top 500 are Brantley and Briella.” This seems to indicate that the trend towards non-traditional and created names is still going strong.

So – what are your predictions? Which names do you think will be tops next year? Which names do you think will be the fastest risers?

I’ve got my own theories. Christian and Anastasia, anyone? I figure if they serve as the inspiration for making a few babies, it’s a safe bet they’ll be an inspiration for the names. (Although naming a child after a dysfunctional couple who thrives on drama and sex doesn’t seem like the best idea in the world. But hey – if Kourtney Kardashian can inspire people…) 


What do you think?

What’s in a Name?

Tell us what you think!


  1. Nikki says:

    I’ll bet Avery is a top name before too long. I’ll tell you, I fought with my husband long and hard to bring back the name D’Artagnon.. I love the way it sounds, it’s fun to say, and it’s such a powerful character. Still, I lost. Naming boys is difficult, so many stereotypes to escape, so many family traditions to uphold… Best of luck to anyone else who is fighting with the same struggles.

  2. verochka31 says:

    its easier for me to name girls than boys. we usually go for names that are not in the family yet. I like to be different and unique

  3. JJAMES says:

    My step daughter was named Onnastasha – a name her daddy loved since he was a boy.. They spelled it phonetically.. Sounds as spelled.. When we found out I was expecting, a boy, my step daughter asked to help pick the name- my 1 request was another ‘O’ name..in honor of her mother who passed away (to carry on a tradition of same letter names).. We settled on Owen- it is uncommon in our area, & we all really liked it.. We chose a family name from both sides as a middle name, as family names are a tradition from both Dads side & mine: Owen Douglas.

  4. sheena says:

    i like weird and uncommon names i mean who wants to name there kid timothy are brayson when there will prob be like 4 in is own class everyone deserves there own name that no one elses got but in this day and time its very hard to pick uncommon boy names girl names are easier

  5. Christina says:

    I love different names, but nothing that a child could be made fun of in the future for. It is a big decision.

  6. Latasha says:

    I love names and especially when I hear names that are out of the norm like Abcde (ab-sa-dee)! some of my predicted popular names would be Michael, Christopher or Ethan and for girls: Allison, Kimberly and Chloe. I would say Isaac because that is my sons name, definitely not because I heard it on that teen mom show! In my personal opinion a name should have meaning and tailored to each specific child!

  7. Bianca says:

    Ive picked both my girl and boy name but idk what im having yet but i have two girl names only first names tho cause i love them both but one speaks to me more than the other. and with the boy name i had to find a name that fits well with my fiance easier than i thought. so my sons nick name will be JP.cute 🙂

  8. I am not sure what I having yet. I have a name for a boy but the girl is super difficult!

  9. Im expecting my first child a little boy and we are naming him Alezander (alexander) Grey. My husband and everyone I have told says it sounds very noble.

  10. Paola says:

    I named my daughter Isabella and If I have a boy I have to name him Paul after his dad, but I really like the name Jacob or Alexander

  11. Chantel says:

    GRRRRR twilight… i’m 15 weeks with number 2 and i KNOW its a boy hubbys fam wants us to reuse his name Elijah John but my husband is the 4th!!! no need for a 5th. instead we are using his initials,EJ, which i think makes an adorable nickname until i told my mom ,a twilight fan, and the first thing out of her mouth was”OH MY GOD LIKE TWILIGHT?!” no mom like his initials. oh to make it better the only E boy names i like are Eliot and Emmett(TWILIGHT!!!) and he desperately wants James as the middle name(TWILIGHT AGAIN!!!) fnsughnaihfcniuhenfiu I’M so sick of it lol

    any who my daughters name is Caraleigh Mai Her first name was created by combining my name Chantel, her dads Elijah, her godmothers Ariel, and my young cousins(more like baby sis) middle name Lee. her middle name is from the movie my neighbor totoro and means ocean elegance in japanese(hence the spelling) which fits since shes a water sign and LOVES the water.

  12. Teresa says:

    We wanted a name that would be different and that is why we chose Azalee. I feel sorry for this one little boy his mother named him Shithead. Even though that is not how it is pronounced just the spelling of it will make him get teased in school. Imagine him going for a job poor boy.

  13. Olivia says:

    I named my first child after her father my mother and my father.. I have another one on the way and my partner is stuck on a name I really don’t like.. idk whether to just go with the name or make sure he isn’t there when I get ready to fill out the name papers

  14. KITTYNOLAND says:

    Blue Ivy works if you NEVER have to get a job! Names do influence employers, just ask your own employer!

  15. yonna says:

    I have 3 children which are two girls and 1 boy. My oldest who is 6 yrs old her name is Breanna Michel, I always said if I had a daughter I was give my daughter my father’s middle name which is Michael and it so happened to be my husband’s middle name Miquel which is Michael in Spanish. My second daughter is named after my grandmother Eva Mae but her name is Eva’Lynn Reaghan and my third child is my son who is Aiden Emmaunel.

  16. april says:

    I had a child young and chose to be normal and chose a common name jacob blain he is six now but when i got pregnet with my daughter i wanted to give her a name no one else had and her father wanted to name her after him so we went woth his nickname So my daughter will be two this Sunday and her name is misfit Elizabeth RoseMaire misfit and my son is three months old and his name is kaos carter Allan he got a lot of family names carter and Allan are both family names I like no one else has these name these two are orranganal

  17. meredith says:

    My son is named after two family last names: Maxwell from my side and Noble from my husbands side.

  18. jessie says:

    i named my son isaiah

  19. Naechine says:

    My daughter was born in Oct. 2011 we named her Chylan Mone’t, we pronounce her name as Shey-lynn. My husband and I combined our names and created hers. We all now have names that are a little difficult to pronounce or read…

  20. Priscilla says:

    We decided to name our baby girl Kaia Isabella because we both love the beach & Kaia means "the sea" and Isabella really compliments and gives the profound sound to the name..

  21. Karrie says:

    We named our son Beckham Stipe (not after the soccer player — although he is as cute as the athlete! :-). I wanted to name him Beck, but my husband was partial to more aristocratic names and so we settled on Beckham. Stipe (pronounced Stee-pay) is "Steven" in Croatian — named after my husband who is Croatian.

  22. Kayla says:

    I named my son Ayden Anthony. I didn’t want it to be spelled the traditional way.

  23. Jennifer says:

    i used family names for middle names and since me and my hubby have j names we used all Js i have Joel Ryan , Julie Evelyn Rose, and Jayda Lilly Katherine , ryan is my hubbys middle name , Evelyn is my grandmother and
    jay out of jayda is my grandmothers dad and ada is my other grandmother and katherine is after my grandmothers sister and i used rose and lilly bc my girls are as beautiful as flowers

  24. My son’s name is Thomas Alexander. His stepbrother is Johnathan Tyler. I wanted a strong, traditional name, without being TOO common. Also, Alexander is a nod to prince Willem Alexander, to show our Dutch roots. Didn’t want to go TOO Dutch, I know what it’s like to have everyone mispronounce your name…

  25. Hi Kristin! Have you hear about Fifty Shades of Grey? The main characters are Christian and Anastasia.
    Regardless of the association, I think it is a lovely name! There is a series of Lois Lowry books about a girl named Anastasia that I adored growing up.


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