These are the top ten baby names in the US


I grew up knowing kids named Chip Whipp and Candy Barr (who, amazingly, became a dentist), and I went through elementary school with a first name that rhymes with “gay”, so yes, absolutely. That said, with a million Olives running around in 2018, some of the odd old-timey names aren’t unique enough for teasing.


I went speed dating once about 10 years ago and half the guys I met there were named Chris. It was surreal.


Ramses has never taken off for some reason. But the most popular masculine name in 4004 BC is still big:



I’m reminded of the early 90’s, when I sired my first litter. I was at the neighborhood park playground, and two other dads were talking. One says, “If I were shout out ‘Brittany’ right now, how many heads do you think would turn?”


Thanks. My daughter has a gender-neutral name, but everyone assumed she was a boy when little, unless wearing pink, and assumes she is a boy if they haven’t actually seen her. Sometimes even when they do see her, if we leave her hair down (tails apparently = girl?) and she isn’t wearing a skirt, pink, or a dress. I was beginning to wonder if I was wrong, and her name was predominately male. But apparently not! Her name is is within 100 places on both male and female lists. So instead, it’s what I thought when people assumed she was a boy as a baby- people always assume anyone not overtly feminine is male.


Did the line up look like this?


My grandmothers, born in the late 19th century, were Sarah and Emma. Sarah was wildly popular in the 1980s, and Emma and Emily have had an extended run since the late 1990s. (Although neither is as common as Jennifer was in the 1970s.) Fortunately neither name goes well with my surname, so we didn’t consider them for our daughter. We figure we dodged a bullet.

The name cycle seems to go something like this:

– “Cool” (babies just named)
– “Overused” (children named 10 years ago)
– “Mundane and boring” (our parents)
– “Archaic and quaint, but sometimes endearing” (our grandparents)
– “Cool” (our great grandparents)

At any stage in the cycle, of course, there is the possibility of a tangent into “what were they thinking?”


I find that girls names seem a lot more susceptible to innovation. I look at that girls name list and I didn’t have one person named any of those in my grade 1 class or in first year university.

I look at the boys list and I knew people named things on that list all through grade school. I mean, James? My grade 6 class had two of those, my extended family has four stretch back at least two generations, I recently worked for Jim whose boss was Jim whose boss was Jim. And Michael is still high on the boys list at 16, there were 8 of those in my first year university class of 70 people.


Yet, there’s at least two in my son’s school. One was in his class last year.

@srin: I have a name that was somewhat common to name a girl in the 70’s, but a non-standard spelling. By the time I was 8, I gave up hope of ever finding “name” tchotchkes with my spelling.


I blame Flavor Flav.


One of the great surprises in life is discovering what seemed like an incredibly original, personal naming choice was exactly the same as millions of other parents. It is a great learning opportunity for discovering the power of large patterns, and how we are all caught in them. And there is always this:


I dunno, these girls have parents who are quite a bit younger than me. Public Enemy is some weird, political crap their parents listened to way back in the 80’s. You know, when dinosaurs walked the Earth.


I meant that horrible reality dating show he had back around 2007 or so; there was a girl who tried to call herself Niveah.


I was one of three Micahs in the same summer camp bunk one time. A little cultural selection going on there, though, as we weren’t even in the top 200 until 1998.

The cultural selection thing gets even more intense when you get into increasingly insular cultures.


Go back 100 years, select 1000 names, and look at the end of the list. That’s where the primo names are, like Gaylord, Ivory, Felton, Bula, Arvel, Rexford, Exie, and Dicie.


There are so many Neveah’s here in Berkeley.


Assuming they were roughly your age, I would guess you were born the the 70s, likely the early part of the decade.

I’m a Chris and have puzzled my whole life about the prevalence of my name in that period. It’s made extra weird because in 1970 it was nowhere near the top of the charts then in '71 it was the number 1 boy’s name. I can’t figure out why. No singers, movie stars, royal births or other obvious answers are to be found.

Adding to the stories above, I had a small class in high school with 5 Chris’ and 4 Johns. There were 11 people in the class. Went went immediately to last names and stayed there.

ETA: Hmmm… the only Katryn I ever met was my age. Funny.


7 Mason

Son, we named you after a jar.


Huh. I know somebody actually named Neveah. If I had to guess I’d say she was born in about 2007.


Legit would consider anyone with that name as amazing.