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Baby naming trends for 2014: winners, losers, and Netflix!

cute-babyThe top baby names according to Babycenter are out, and there are few surprises: most of these names have been holding strong for a few years now. (If you have a kindergartener, there are probably five Isabellas in her class!) Let’s have a drum roll for the most popular names for babies born this year:

10 most popular girl names of 2014:

  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Olivia
  4. Ava
  5. Isabella
  6. Mia
  7. Zoe
  8. Lily
  9. Emily
  10. Madelyn

10 most popular boy names of 2014:

  1. Jackson
  2. Aiden
  3. Liam
  4. Lucas
  5. Noah
  6. Mason
  7. Ethan
  8. Caden
  9. Jacob
  10. Logan

What drives baby-naming trends? TV shows are definitely a huge influence: Babycenter names Netflix as the biggest influencer this year, with Orange is the New Black and House of Cards pushing character names up the charts. Frozen, of course, also had a big effect: Elsa jumped up 29 percent, although Olaf is still, alas, not a big name in America.

For a deeper analysis of what influences baby naming, I turned to Waitbutwhy.com, whose exhaustive breakdown of baby-naming choices is a truly fascinating read. (Warning: there is some strong language on the page.) Things I learned from this list:

1) Names that are currently more popular than my own include Yaretzi, Genesis, and Paisley. Oddly, Shannon, Heather, and Erica are also dead and gone, which seems extra-strange because my elementary school class was full of ’em. (Also: there are probably at least five Jennifers in the contacts on your phone, but none in your child’s class!)

2) Utah has a tendency to kick off naming trends. This may be because Mormons are really creative with baby names!

3) John, William, James, George, Joseph, Michael, Thomas, David, Frank, Henry, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Margaret are all names that have been associated with the opposite gender of the one you’re thinking!

Finally, names that end with “n” are still going strong – check out the analysis on i09!

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