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The Fastest-Rising Names of the Year, 2020

May 7, 2021 Namerology 3 min read 11 Comments

2020 was a year like no other. In a time of loss, division and moral reckoning, the fastest rising names of the year were not hot new celebrity names, but memorials. Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in January, 2020. Kobe was […]

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The Surprising Story of Boys Ending in -A

April 13, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 3 Comments

Once upon a time, something happened to boys’ names ending in the letter A. Or rather, two somethings. Starting around 1970 the typically female -a ending was twice transformed, and the sound of American boys hasn’t been the same since. See for yourself. The top black line in this chart […]

Look Ma, No Consonants!

March 18, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 5 Comments

Vowels have been squeezing out consonants in names for years. Now they’re cutting out the middleman. More and more, vowel sounds follow one another in baby names without any consonant buffer—just ask Liam or Noah.

Illustration of an upward graph with a question mark

Name This Name Style

January 22, 2021 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 33 Comments

A name trend requires a common thread: a style link that makes a whole group of names rise and fall together. It might be a shared suffix, or meaning, or linguistic origin. Occasionally it’s something more elusive—a theme you recognize but can’t easily define. That’s the case with a new […]

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Shockingly Rare Names for Boys

January 14, 2021 LauraWattenberg 1 min read 2 Comments

Let’s talk about a rare boy’s name. Really rare. A name that isn’t ranked in the current top 1000, or even the top 2000. A name rarer than Theophilus, or Dinero, or Supreme. A name like Brad. Among grown men, of course, Brad is hardly a curiosity. It was a […]

"Brooks" replaced by "Broox"

A Roze is a Roze: The New Spelling Shifts

December 4, 2020 LauraWattenberg 4 min read 1 Comment

Even creative spelling has its rules—and those rules are changing. For generations, two letters have reigned supreme the realm of creative name spelling: Y and K. Parents replaced workaday vowels with Ys in names from Lynda to Paxtyn, and Cs with Ks in names like Karter and Khloe. The two […]

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Parents are Breaking the One-Word Barrier

October 29, 2020 LauraWattenberg 2 min read 3 Comments

Another baby name barrier is falling—a big one. Even this age of creative, high-impact naming, baby names have generally remained single words. But not any more. American parents have started to create names out of phrases. Compound names like Mary Kate or Jon-Michael have always been common enough, as have […]

The Two Biggest Stories from the Annual Baby Name Data

September 7, 2020 LauraWattenberg 3 min read 5 Comments

The two biggest baby name stories of 2019 were more about substance than style. The top hitmakers—the late hip-hop artist Nipsey Hussle and the film The Hate U Give—made their marks across names as varied as Kross and Sekani, Ermias and Seven. In the process, they helped define a cultural […]

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