The results are in — Emily retained the position at the top of the list of most popular baby names it has held since 1996, when it replaced Jessica. Jacob is the most favored name for boys and has been since 1999, when it surpassed Michael, the favorite from 1961-1998. Michael slipped no further than second place, however, according to information compiled by the Social Security Administration and made available on its website, www.ssa.gov.


The results are in — Emily retained the position at the top of the list of most popular baby names it has held since 1996, when it replaced Jessica. Jacob is the most favored name for boys and has been since 1999, when it surpassed Michael, the favorite from 1961-1998. Michael slipped no further than second place, however, according to information compiled by the Social Security Administration and made available on its website, www.ssa.gov.

If they live up to their names, the babies of 2007 will grow up as fierce competitors. Emily, the English form of the Latin Aemillia, means to strive, or excel or rival, according to babynames.com. Jacob is Hebrew for the supplanter, meaning to oust or to take the place of.

Pratt Regional Medical Center reported no Emilies or Jacobs and no clear favorites, especially for the girls. Of 225 births in 2007, 158 babies had first names not duplicated during the year.

Three baby girls were named Alison (one l or two), English for Little Alice, meaning of a noble kin. Three sets of parents chose Emma, a Latin name meaning universal. Another half-dozen or so little girls have names shared by one other child in the growing area for which PRMC is a birthing center.

Four Andrews — Greek for manly — were born at PRMC during the previous year and four Claytons — English for The Town on Clay Land. Aidan, Austin and Daxton were selected three times each.

Twenty-five years ago, the most popular names were Jennifer, Jessica, Amanda, Sarah and Melissa for girls and Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Jason and David for boys. Fifty years ago, baby girls were most likely to be named Mary, Susan, Linda, Debra or Karen and boys were Michael, James, David, Robert and John.

An Internet blogger named Heather suggests that more parents are selecting previously unheard-of foreign names, old fashioned names, place names not commonly used as given names and made-up names, so unusual names are not the handicap they were once considered to be.

On Heather’s Page of Unusual Names, she lists names under several categories, with made-up names being the most unusual, however, occasionally names will be removed because they’ve made a top 200 list. Parents can combine names, play with sounds or spell a name backwards — Nevaeh for heaven or Remle, backwards of Elmer, for example. They won’t all work, or be pronounceable, she cautions.
She recommends a website, www.namenerds.com, click on namemaker.
At babynames.com, people tired of their names can get new suggestions by typing in first, middle and last names and selecting one of nine main personality traits. Carol Ann can become Hibah Raeann (traditional) Yettie Gela (creative) or Saura Frederica (wild). Keep clicking until you find a name you like, or keep the one you have.

Top Baby Names

PRMC    U.S.

(Girls)

Alison    Emily
Emma    Isabella
Alexa    Emma
Grace    Ava
Hannah    Madison

(Boys)  

Andrew    Jacob
Clayton    Michael
Aidan    Ethan
Austin    Joshua
Daxton    Daniel