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The Most Popular Baby Names of 2013

baby, name tag

The Social Security Administration recently released the most popular baby names of 2013, reminding Americans that even something as intimate as what you name your child is influenced by our shared cultural zeitgeist. Rather than just look at last year’s data, we decided to chart how the top five names have shifted in popularity since 1880 (the year the Social Security Administration started tracking the names of infants).

Our fascination with baby names is not a new phenomenon: Back in 2003, the New York Times lamented “Where Have All the Lisas Gone?,” a title that feels out-of-date with the toddling Avas, Olivias and Emmas all around us. But when you’re looking adoringly into the eyes of a newborn child, even the most popular baby name of the year feels unique.

The top five girls’ names last year were Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella and Ava. These names have all been the top five names (in varying orders) since 2009. Only Emma and Olivia have been consistently in the top 600 names. Isabella and Ava even fell out of the top 1000 altogether. Ava may have surged in the 1940s and ’50s because of the actress Ava Gardner.

popular-girls.jpg

The top five boys’ names were Noah, Liam, Jacob, Mason and William. Mason entered in the top 5 back in 2011 and has stayed (possibly because of Kourtney Kardashian’s son Mason who was born in 2009). Overall, boys’ names are more consistent: William has remained in the top 20 for the 133 years that we have on record. Liam (a shortening of an Irish variation of William) emerged as a popular American name in the 1960s and has been on the rise ever since. Maybe it will finally overtake Noah as #1 in 2014.

popular-boys.jpg

What do these popular names mean? Find out in our slideshow on the meanings behind these popular names.

What names are on the horizon? What’s old is always new again in baby names. For girls, Marjorie snuck up more than 700 ranks to re-enter the top 1000. The name peaked at rank 16 from 1921 to 1923. For boys, Harvey rose; this name’s previous peak was when Chester A. Arthur was president in 1884. A few unique names also surged: Milan, Atlas and Forrest. Perhaps parents are looking to maps for novel name inspiration?

What are some of your favorite names?

65 Comments

  1. 123321123321 -  November 20, 2014 - 5:17 pm

    I think i will name my kids bing and google (googles a boy bings a girl

    Reply
  2. Joey -  November 16, 2014 - 1:25 pm

    Jade for Girl and Kyle for Guy

    Reply
    • 123321123321 -  November 20, 2014 - 5:15 pm

      I wonder if anybody named their kid GOOGLE {probably not}

      Reply
  3. olivia -  November 15, 2014 - 6:58 pm

    hi everybody my names olivia and that means elf army ~random huh
    my oldest girrls name:elisebeath jeniva
    my youngest girld name:mary viginia

    Reply
  4. whatwhatinthebutt -  November 15, 2014 - 10:55 am

    My name is Butt, it means butt.

    Reply
  5. cecilia -  November 13, 2014 - 2:59 pm

    girl name Britanie
    boy

    Reply
  6. Kay -  November 3, 2014 - 6:38 pm

    I would make up a name for my kid. If a girl I’d name her Polaris and a boy I’d name him Panache. By the way I have no idea what these mean but the sound cool to me

    Reply
  7. Erika -  November 3, 2014 - 10:13 am

    I think that the name represented the people’s personality. Every name is beautiful. I prefer Adam, Klara, Lenka, Miriam and also Erika :)

    Reply
  8. Ekibe -  October 30, 2014 - 7:29 pm

    My name is Ekibe and it means ‘honey’. For girls I like Meskhenet or Aliza. For boys I would go for Zahir or Murad.

    Reply
  9. WantToLoveYou -  October 26, 2014 - 1:09 pm

    Brianna is my favorite girl’s name because you can shorten it to Bri or Anna.

    Reply
  10. SweetPea -  October 26, 2014 - 1:06 pm

    Ava is my favorite girl’s name and Dylan is my favorite boy’s name!

    Reply
  11. Daniella -  October 22, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    My favourite girls names are: Amelie, Rosa and Cecelia, for boys I like: Eduardo, Xavier and James. I have loved these names since I was young, some are names of distant relatives and some are from books (I used to read everything and anything).

    Reply
  12. Bronte -  October 12, 2014 - 5:15 pm

    My name is Bronte…
    My favourite boys names are: Mason, Riccardo, Zano, Jarvis, Winter
    My favourite girls names are: Ferne, Zuri, Cherise, Saffron, Sanchia

    Reply
    • Bronte -  November 13, 2014 - 6:43 pm

      My name is Bronte as well. Are you a boy or a girl and about how old are you?

      Reply
  13. Gary -  September 22, 2014 - 5:52 pm

    My name is Gary. It means spear-chucker.

    Reply
  14. Zulfa -  July 7, 2014 - 9:22 pm

    I am zulfa,i dont know the meaning.but i love shadey for girl,and feyzel for boy.

    Reply
    • Angelos -  September 2, 2014 - 6:14 pm

      wow, thats a really cool name, What origin? My name is Angelos and im the only Angelo/s that i know…

      Reply
      • Kay -  November 3, 2014 - 6:39 pm

        Your name can mean angel I think

        Reply
    • slim shady -  September 16, 2014 - 5:50 pm

      What about Mr.Eminem slim shady huh?

      Reply
      • Lily -  November 20, 2014 - 6:32 pm

        my dad works with someone they call slim shady

        Reply
  15. Mehran -  July 5, 2014 - 10:17 am

    03024911411 firendship

    Reply
  16. praveen khuakeni. -  July 1, 2014 - 9:42 pm

    krrish. very lovely name.

    Reply
  17. QUESTION -  June 25, 2014 - 6:45 am

    THESE NAMES WAS BASIC ON WHOM AND ON HOW MANY DIFFERENT RACE OF COLOR. WAS THIS DONE WORLD WIDE? THERE IS A LOT MORE NAME THAT ARE IN THE TOP 10 OF ALL DIFFERENT RACE OF COLOR ACROSS THE BOARD. SO THINK ABOUT EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD, BECAUSE ALL GOD CHILDREN LIVES AS ONE.

    Reply
    • Shay -  September 24, 2014 - 3:19 pm

      Amen!

      Reply
  18. laurine -  June 23, 2014 - 10:47 am

    i’m laurine… i’d love to call my little girl “Red” in future. or amaranth (a flower that never fades)
    for men i’d roll with Micheal, oliver,ramsey

    Reply
  19. Róisín -  June 2, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    My favourite names are Harper, Romeo (I’m actually not a particular Beckham fan but they pick wonderful names :) ) Darcy, Fleur, Elodea and Will.
    Adore Kim and Kanye’s baby North (just not North West…) and Beyoncé’s baby Blue Ivy has just the sweetest name ♥
    Incase you’re trying to read my name, it’s Row-sheen, it’s Irish and directly translates to “little rose”, Róis meaning Rose, and in Irish when you put an ín onto the end of something it becomes a smaller version(eg bean = woman, beanín = .little woman) thus Róisín!

    Reply
    • Lily -  November 20, 2014 - 6:35 pm

      I think your name and the meaning is pretty Roisin (I would do the accent marks but laptop won’t let me).

      Reply
  20. Bill -  June 2, 2014 - 11:46 am

    My name is Henry and my girlfriends is Olivia so I love the name Olivia

    Reply
    • Mehran -  July 5, 2014 - 10:08 am

      Love agr kise achy insan sy ho jy to zindge he savar agr buary sy ho to insan zindge tabha

      Reply
  21. bd -  May 30, 2014 - 6:51 am

    mohamed is the wordls most used name

    Reply
    • 브랜든 -  November 16, 2014 - 4:01 pm

      당신은 무엇 을 의미합니까?

      Reply
  22. wolf tamer and rap slayer -  May 28, 2014 - 7:01 pm

    hey i have a real question for you guys, what is it exactly that brings you to the dictionary.com blog to make these comments? what desperation drives a person to visit this nadir of the internet? whose ears are you trying to reach? i would like to know, i’m writing a paper for school, thanks for all the words dictionary.com.

    Reply
    • golf tamer and soul reaper -  May 28, 2014 - 7:07 pm

      i’m in 10th grade and my favorite word is phantasmagoria. hello!

      Reply
      • This Person -  June 1, 2014 - 3:48 pm

        thats a really cool word. !

        Reply
        • keke -  June 9, 2014 - 9:22 am

          i like it to

          Reply
          • one more obsession -  July 2, 2014 - 3:00 pm

            Why I Am Here- I was writing about philosophy. I looked up a synonym. I looked up a quote. I got sidetracked.
            Favorite Word- perspicacious (hello fellow 7th grader)
            Favorite Names (why not?)- Luke, Gareth (boys) Freyja, Yarrow, Katarina

          • Lily -  November 20, 2014 - 6:37 pm

            I got sidetracked as well I was doing science homework…

    • Joanna -  June 1, 2014 - 10:34 am

      I am a copy editor so I visit Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com ALL the time to try to give the writing that I am editing some variation or improvement (a lot of people tend to use the same word multiple times throughout a writing piece). I saw the baby name link on the page and clicked on it to read the article, and I almost always scroll down after an article to read the comments, even though they are usually dumb and the people posting are usually… dumb…
      I rarely do any posting myself.

      Reply
      • Amy -  June 21, 2014 - 5:40 am

        Joanna! U have no right to come on line, just use abusive words on people, that was too hard. Calling other users DUMB! Is not girly.

        Reply
        • one more obsession -  July 2, 2014 - 3:06 pm

          Why hello there “Amy.” I have noticed (maybe it’s just me) that those that start a sentence with ‘U” then tend to fit the description of the average commented “Joanna” provided us with. That also applies to those who end their comments with “Is not girly.”

          Why am I posting this comment you may ask? Because when I’m done I need to go back to writing. And my muse died an hour ago.

          Reply
        • 브랜든 -  November 16, 2014 - 4:02 pm

          바보 하지 이잖아 Joanna

          Reply
    • Laura -  June 2, 2014 - 1:32 pm

      I’m writing essays for university, and similar to Joanna I need the thesaurus to improve my writing and remember those words that are on the tip of my tongue. Clicking on this link on the main page was more a procrastination method. Replying to you is my first comment :)

      Reply
  23. sabs -  May 28, 2014 - 2:47 am

    love leim

    Reply
  24. Someone -  May 28, 2014 - 2:03 am

    Ethan is a good name

    Reply
    • Ethan -  May 29, 2014 - 6:26 pm

      Ethan is a terrible name, I believe that you should reconsider you statement and apologise to the world. Lots of Love, Ethan

      Reply
    • Someone else -  June 1, 2014 - 3:29 am

      Good to know….Ethan.

      Reply
      • Sarah -  June 2, 2014 - 11:05 am

        what a laugh!

        Reply
      • one more obsession -  July 2, 2014 - 3:08 pm

        slow clap

        Reply
    • Mehran -  July 5, 2014 - 10:13 am

      :MAIN@g 03024911411

      Reply
  25. queen c -  May 27, 2014 - 3:46 pm

    I like the boy names ; josh, michael, trey girl name; natalie , natascha , ava , emily

    Reply
    • william j. lexingtonshire -  May 29, 2014 - 2:02 pm

      hey my name is Michael!! it is also one of my favorites :)

      Reply
    • nara505 -  May 31, 2014 - 10:23 am

      Natalie’s my name! Yay!

      Reply
    • lollypop1000 -  June 1, 2014 - 4:10 pm

      I love the names Amanda, Jessica, Riley and Ayesha

      Reply
  26. Abigail TRanpp -  May 27, 2014 - 1:05 pm

    In my school I have 13 Sophia’s & Sophie’s. It’s nuts! I do like the name Serena and Abigail. Leim is a cool boys name.

    Reply
    • Abigail Trapp -  May 27, 2014 - 1:08 pm

      My name is Abigail too! I also love the names Serena and Leim! My dogs name is sabrina, you have a dog?

      Reply
  27. Nas -  May 27, 2014 - 6:43 am

    I want a son name Pharell but pronounce as

    Pha-Rell in Islam/muslim.

    Thanks mum, pronouncing his name in special way.

    Reply
  28. Ally -  May 26, 2014 - 1:50 pm

    I’m starting to have a liking to Olivia and Sophia for girls and for boys I like the name Jacob . These are the names I liked Before looking at these graphs.

    Reply
    • olivia -  May 29, 2014 - 12:56 pm

      coolio

      Reply
    • Olivia -  November 20, 2014 - 1:07 pm

      My name is Olivia. Isn’t it a great name!!!!

      Reply
  29. Anne Marie -  May 26, 2014 - 2:35 am

    One of my favorite boys name has always been Michael. My only child is my son Michael.
    I love the name Olivia for girls atm. Autumn is a great name too.

    Reply
    • jessica -  May 27, 2014 - 4:11 pm

      Ann Marie is my middle name

      Reply
  30. otto -  May 23, 2014 - 7:45 pm

    my faveourite boys’ names are jerome, chris; while my favourite girls’ name are jemima,samantha,and abigail

    Reply
  31. PX -  May 23, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    me name is bill. short fer phil. shirt fr phillip, short froi phillipa or phillippe

    Reply
  32. Becky -  May 23, 2014 - 12:06 pm

    What Is The Meaning Of Becky

    Reply
    • Mark -  May 27, 2014 - 11:25 am

      Enchantingly beautiful.. ! For Rebecca, lucky you : )

      Reply

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