Did Liam and Emma continue to reign supreme? Are Archie and Isla going to be the victors at last? Where did Noah come out? Was X Æ A-12 popular way before Elon Musk chose it? We have been waiting for months to find out this and more, with the release of the Social Security Administration’s list of the top 100 baby names of 2019. After a pandemic-related delay, the office finally released the tallies this week.
Do we see this as a sport? Kind of. It’s utterly fascinating to watch how our culture moves as one without even realizing it to name their babies. As a group, we banish the popular names of our own generation — shooting names like Sarah, Matt, and Jennifer way down on the list — in favor of older names, royal names, and the occasional pop-culture nod.
Speaking of Jennifers, Jennifer Moss, founder of BabyNames.com and co-host of the Baby Names Podcast had a bit of insight about what expecting parents tend to do with this SSA list: “I think now parents look at these lists — specifically the top 10 — to see which names to avoid,” she told SheKnows. “Parents are wanting more unique names and are going for alternate spellings, as we’re seeing with Cairo, Kairo, and Kyro.”
Whether they’re going for unique baby names or popular ones, one thing all parents are doing as they register their kids for those all-important Social Security numbers — how this list is formed — is make some attempt to influence their child’s fate. With a name’s meaning or its allusion to the previous people who bore it, they are giving them this wish. Although for all we know, these kids of ours might rise up and all change their names to unpronounceable symbols and numbers.
These are the most popular girls names parents selected for their newborn babies in 2019:
The big difference this year is that Olivia overtook Emma, after five years of the Jane Austen heroine reigning supreme. A few of the others in the top 10 shuffled around a bit, but there were no new names on the list.
The top 10 most popular boys names were:
It takes a sharp eye to notice the difference in this list from the 2018 names, especially since the top two, Liam and Noah, remain the same. The others are a little shuffled around too, with the exception of Logan, which dropped down to number 16. Ethan — the lone new name on the top 10 list for any gender — jumped up from 12 to 10.
Head over to the SSA site to see the rest of the top 100.
“What does surprises me about about the top 10 is that they are very classic names, other than Harper,” Moss said. “I’m really surprised Aiden is still hanging on at number 20 — paired with the alternate spelling Aidan, I’m sure it’s a little higher, too.”
Now, we have until next year to wonder whether everything that has made 2020 so very strange in all other aspects of our lives will somehow impact the way people name their babies this year. Or maybe that’s one thing that parents are looking to keep very steady and comforting. All parents except Covid and Corona’s, and Sanitiser’s moms and dads, anyway.
We’re guessing these celebrity parents looked at the top 100 baby names list and looked away.