Last week I received a new comment on an old post. The post (here) was about how the meaning of "popular" has changed over time when it comes to baby names. In 2010, 1.0756% of the baby boys born were named the most popular boy's name, Jacob. In 1910, 5.4920% of the baby boys born were named the most popular boy's name, John. And so, it would seem, that names are more unique nowadays.
Now, here is the comment (by "S"):
As Katie pointed out with Isabel(le), variant spellings are popular and might mask how common a name is, just going by the statistics. Also, a lot of people might be going for the same nickname, but choose different longer names. Like all the Belle/Bella names, the Ella/Ellie names, the Emma names, etc. You still might avoid duplicating names on the coat hanger if they use her full name, but not if you're yelling the nn out in a crowd. Also, the stats are for the whole of the US. Frequency of the names can vary by state and region. You can look up name stats for your state on the SSA website to get a better idea of which names are popular where you are.
|A gratuitous picture of Bella. |
I figured with all the Katniss talk lately
(here, here and here)
she deserved it.
The comment raises three interesting points:
1. One name can be spelled many ways
2. Former nicknames are current full names
3. Name popularity by state and region
I've already addressed #3 in a prior post (here), which is one of my favorite posts of all time because it featured one of my favorite website discoveries of all time. Points #1 and #2 are interesting ideas that I hadn't thought of when I originally wrote Most Unique Name Ever. Being the Type A personality that I am, I couldn't just acknowledge the insight and move on. No. Instead, I decided to revisit the statistics and check out both theories.
I started with the consideration of uncommon name spellings. I looked at the entire Top 1,000 list of girl names (from 2010) on the Social Security Administration website and clumped together single name pronunciations that were spelled multiple ways. SEVERAL hours later I realized that I wasn't going to get to the boy names any time soon, much less get to point #2. But I will...some day.
I did eventually finish analyzing the girl names, a few apple cider donuts helped the process. Big shout out to Stew Leonard's for those delicious treats. Below is a new Top 20 most popular girl names of 2010 list - my list. It's more accurate than the list on the SSA website, or so I think, because it accounts for multiple spellings of a single name. The most popular spelling is listed in all capital letters and the other spellings follow. Where there is no list that follows, there were no alternative spellings.
- SOPHIA - Sofia
- ISABELLA - Izabella, Isabela
- CHLOE - Khloe, Kloe
- EMILY - Emely, Emilee, Emmalee, Emilie
- MADISON - Maddison, Madisyn, Madyson
- AVA - Avah
- ABIGAIL - Abagail, Abbigail, Abigale
- HALEY - Hailey, Haylee, Hayley, Haleigh, Hailee, Haylie, Hayleigh
- ADDISON - Addysin, Addyson
- ZOE - Zoey, Zoie
- LILY - Lilly, Lillie
- RILEY - Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie
- MIA - Miah
- NATALIE - Nataly, Nathalie, Natalee, Nathaly
- KAYLEE - Kayleigh, Kailey, Kaylie, Caylee, Kaleigh, Kailee
- KAITLYN - Katelyn, Caitlyn, Katelynn, Caitlin, Kaitlin, Kaitlynn
There is much to discuss about the list above - how it compares to the list on the SSA website, how the percentages have changed by combining multiple spellings, how there are 8 ways to spell Haley. And, above is only the Top 20 list. I have the full 1,000 to show off. But, for today, I'll leave it at that. Stay tuned (likely tomorrow) for some deep-ish thoughts on all of the above.
***Don't forget to enter the Little Partridge giveaway (HERE)!!!
SOPHIA - Sofia
ISABELLA - Izabella, Isabela
OLIVIA - Alivia, Alyvia
CHLOE - Khloe, Kloe
EMILY - Emely, Emilee, Emmalee, Emilie
MADISON - Maddison, Madisyn, Madyson
AVA - Avah
ABIGAIL - Abagail, Abbigail, Abigale
HALEY - Hailey, Haylee, Hayley, Haleigh, Hailee, Haylie, Hayleigh
ADDISON - Addysin, Addyson
ZOE - Zoey, Zoie
LILY - Lilly, Lillie
RILEY - Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie
LAYLA - Laila, Lailah, Leyla, Leila, Leilah
MIA - Miah
NATALIE - Nataly, Nathalie, Natalee, Nathaly
ELIZABETH - Elisabeth
KAYLEE - Kayleigh, Kailey, Kaylie, Caylee, Kaleigh, Kailee
KAITLYN - Katelyn, Caitlyn, Katelynn, Caitlin, Kaitlin, Kaitlynn
UPDATE (11/29/11...some hour past my bedtime): After a few more calculations (joining a couple more alternatively spelled names) I have a slightly updated Top 20 girl name list. Most notably, Layla joined the Top 20 and Ella was booted. Olivia also beat out Chloe for the 3rd spot.