Thursday, December 26, 2013


Names fascinate me.  They are tied to time and place, even though we rarely register that.  Proving my point, how many people do you know named Gertrude?  Or Ethel?  Those were popular names in my mother's generation.

I just saw the most popular baby names in 2013.  Many surprise me.  Do they surprise you or have they become familiar to your generation?

Top 12 Girl Names:

1. Imogen
2. Charlotte
3. Harper
4. Isla
5. Amelia
6. Evelyn
7. Penelope
8. Eleanor
9. Cora
10. Violet
11. Katniss
12. Olivia

Top 12 Boy Names:

1. Asher
2. Declan
3. Finn
4. Atticus
5. Oliver
6. Henry
7. Emmett
8. James
9. Jude
10. Owen
11. Milo
12. Jasper


  1. I quite like the top girls and boys names from 2013. (Except for Katniss - Really?!) I do think it's interesting how certain names can tell you the approximate age of the person. For instance, in the 80's there were a lot of teens named Tiffany and Heather, so you can guess that a Tiffany or Heather is now in their 40s, and you're likely to be right. Then there seems to be certain names that are timeless. I like to think mine is one of those.

  2. Interesting... it's like the top names are, let's say "vintage" like ?
    Imogen ? Katniss ?
    Many of these sound really British.
    In my part of the world most newborns are called Diego for boys and Sofia for girls.

  3. Very interesting. My sister is about to give birth so we've been going through a lot of names. I'm of the belief that as you grow you make your name.

  4. Most of these names I recognize from popular music/books/movies. How interesting. I did not expect "Katniss" so early though..
    When my younger sister was born I wanted to name her after a mountain range. LOL

  5. I love how names seem to trend. When I called my second daughter Lila I'd never met or heard of anyone else really using the name, it wasn't very common. Then a few friends of friends and relatives used the same name, I think these things pass through the grapevine and people hear of someone using a name and then use it themselves. Almost like names going viral! I love old fashioned names like Marjorie, Vera, Ruby etc.

  6. Great names for 2013. Glad to see Emma & Sophia have finally been bumped from the girl list. I think more and more people are branching out in the name dept.

  7. I didn't even know Oliver was number five before we named our son that! I haven't heard it used all that much actually. Katniss is somewhat disappointing to me...I love that book, but still. My friends actually named their daughter Gertrude - after a great aunt. :)

  8. I actually understand Katniss more than Imogen. Where is the Imogen-surge coming from??? Not saying I'd name my kid Katniss (there's no way) but it's a lot better than Imogen.

  9. I know of two small children named Jude and Atticus. I thought their parents were just a little out of their minds, at first. Now I see it was a trend.

    I like that in Japanese (or Chinese) one can have names that sound the same phonetically but have different characters/meanings.

  10. Sorry, but to me "Imogen" sounds like some pill you'd take for something lethal. And really.... Katniss?!?! But I can't say much on the subject because half of the greek population is still named george and john and the rest are Marias (like our grandparents - really boring). Merry Xmas by the way! Many wishes :)

  11. Looks like "To Kill a Mockingbird" is once again a popular novel and movie.

  12. I disagree with some of the above. I think the name Imogen is really pretty! It does seem like old names are making a comeback- a colleague named her child Elsie which is an old name! I think TV has a big influence on names- look at that girl list- several of those names are in Downton Abbey!!
    My Mum chose my name because she chose a Cornish name for my sister because she read the Poldark books and thus looked at Cornish names again when she chose mine. Surprisingly, I have met at least 6 other girls with my name over time!

    My favourite name is Genevieve!

  13. Yes they are surprising to me - names fascinate me too and I can always see a link between tv/film/celebrity and name popularity. Apparently "Peppa" (as in Peppa Pig) is being used as a girl's name. I find that incredibly odd.

    I was supposed to be called Dawn but I ended up three weeks late and very poorly when I was born so my parents changed it to Zoe, meaning "life". I think it's nice to be given a name that has been chosen for its literal or a sentimental meaning.

  14. I love old names coming back. I always wanted to name my (non-existent hypothetical) kids after my great (or great great) grandparents.

  15. Nice to know some of your readers think my name sounds like some pill you'd take for something lethal LOL. I've hated my name my whole life so I am pretty shocked to see it up there. I want to be called Chelsea. I have always loved the name Charlotte too. My second cousin is called Harper. She was born two years ago and the whole family thought it was an amazing name choice. Pretty shocked at Katniss too.

    1. I thought of you when others were commenting about your name. I was worried you might be offended. I'm glad you took their remarks in stride.

    2. I'm sorry if I offended you Imogen (or any other Imogens and Katnisses out there) - I said that in a funny/ really surprised way. I hope you realized I'm not American, I come from a totally different culture and background than yours. Your name doesn't exist in my culture - I've never heard of it before, so I don't know it's history. It doesn't mean something to me. I was just commenting on the "sound" of it through the prism of a different language. I'm sure it means a lot to you and it suits you fine! By the way, my name in your language sounds like cheese (Δήμητρα is the full name) and I hope you can see the irony of it all... I'm glad you 're a bigger person and didn't take any offense because I honestly didn't mean any.
      The same applies for Katniss which is a name I've only heard in a movie. So... Merry Christmas to you and your beloved ones and everybody out there with a funny name!

    3. In an effort to make it up to you I'll explain to the world that your name is of Celtic origin and it means "beloved child". Imogen orginated as a Shakespearean printer's misspelling of the Celtic Innogen, used by him for a charming and impetuous character in one of his last plays, Cymbeline. Really beautiful!

    4. Thanks so much for your comment, lovely! I really appreciate that. I know you didn't mean any offence and I totally understand. It is actually pretty interesting how names are viewed and interpreted differenlty in various languages, backgrounds and cultures. It can be funny and also really informative. "Beloved child"- I'm pretty happy with that, that's so sweet. Hope you had fabulous holidays too. All the best for the new year. Hope to see you around the blog world again! x

    5. I'm proud of you guys. You're acting so sweet and mature. You both handled this situation with respect and dignity.

    6. Nobody should have their feelings hurt by a silly comment... Especially during holidays! We all have bigger problems than our names and I view this world as a friendly place, don't you? Imogen is a fine young lady and I've made a new blog friend! I'm just glad I revisited the previous post in time to make it right. Warm wishes to all!

    7. You're both so lovely. Thank you my friends :)

  16. It is always interesting to see the top names ... I feel sorry for some kids who have to go through their whole lives with names Apple, North or Zuma (our president's surname whom we do not like at all ... however this kid will probably never even know that he shared the name). I think it is also interesting to find out why your parents chose the name we have ... My son is named after Connor MacLeod in the Highlander movie ... I wanted to name him Jessie (after the character in Fame) but when the doctor told me he was a big baby I could just imagine this 6ft5" man coming along with this nancy handshake saying "Hi, I'm Jessie" and then darn it .... if that gorgeous Tom Selleck doesn't go and play "Jessie Stone"!!!!

  17. I have my maternal grandmother's first name. My middle name (Marshall) comes from my dad's side of the family. I also ended up with the same initials as my godmother, my dad's sister.I have such traditional WASP naming conventions!

    I agree, name trends are fascinating. New moms are going a bit wacky with the boys, I think. For the girls -- if there's Katniss, why not Hermione? And Isla (island in Spanish)????

  18. Oooh...a few of those 2013 names make me want to punch the parents in the face. Katniss? IMOGEN? And poor little Declan...

    I'm proud to say I inherited my name from not one, but two great-grandmothers. It wasn't trendy when I got it, and I was kind of devastated when it became so. Ah, well.

    Actually, this brings up a good question--how did you come up with Ally? Is there a special significance in the name, or did you just really like it?

    1. Someone I consulted early on about female identity suggested Allison. It sounds like my male name. I like the name and shortened it to Ally to be playful.