Monday, May 11, 2009

Baby Barack

Once again, Jacob is the most popular baby boy name.

According to a recent report by the Social Security Administration, the top 10 most popular baby names for 2008 were:
  1. Jacob
  2. Michael
  3. Ethan
  4. Joshua
  5. Daniel
  6. Alexander
  7. Anthony
  8. William
  9. Christopher
  10. Matthew

But the big news is Barack. The name moved an unprecedented amount -- from 12, 535th place in 2007 to 2,409th in 2008.

What always strikes me about this list is how many parents inadvertently choose a popular name for their child. I grew up as Jenny -- 1 of 5 Jennies in my high school class -- so my babynaming goal was the avoid the year's most popular names. Instead, I wanted solid, "normal" names for my boys; nothing too out there, but nothing too common either.

I failed miserably. Boy #2 is Tyler, the male equivalent of Jenny if ever there was one. Unbeknownst to us, Tyler was #10 the year he was born.

Boy #1 is Nathan -- #34 the year he was born. Boy #4 is Samuel -- #25 for his year. And Adam, Boy #3's name, was #58 the year he was born.

That's right: we never managed a name out of the Top 100. Or out of the Top 60, for that matter.

How 'bout you? Where do your boys names rank on the popularity list?


  1. I'm thinking our boy name is def on the top 100 but not on the top 10...and its a family name so even if it was #1 I think I would have to stick with it still and maybe just call him a nickname :)

  2. Alas, I dreamed for years of having a Josh. Joshua seems to always be in the top ten. I thought we were getting a bit creative with my older girl. Who knew the name Brianna would become so popular? My younger girl is Megan, also always popular and, if we'd had another boy, he'd have been Nathan (Nate), so I guess we're just not real unique people at my house. ;-)

  3. My son's name is Robert--a pretty common name, though not in the top 10 of your list here. He goes by Rob, if that makes a difference. He just had a baby girl, named her Maysun. That's a pretty "out there" name, if you ask me. I bet it's not in the top 100. ;-)

  4. I, too am a Jennifer - one of eight in my grade. When it came time to have children, one of my priorities was to give them names they were not likely to encounter very often...with the hope that they wouldn't be too weird. Our first son is Wheeler - a family sir name. Our second son is Lincoln - he was born on President's Day. Our third son is due in July and all I know at this point is that his name won't be Barack! ;-)

  5. Well, if you look the year he was born it was #26, but currently it's #122, so he's getting less common as the years go by ;)

  6. Hmmm, interesting post!

    Logan's name was 18th in 2008 and 27th in 2004, the year he was born. I, too, was trying to avoid super-common names (being one of a million Sarahs).

    Cody's name has actually decreased in popularity. In 2002, his birth year, it was 71st. Last year it was 122nd. However, I didn't get to name him. His father named him after his best friend who died in a pickup/train accident right after they graduated from high school.

    I think I am going to refer to this post in mine!

  7. well as a melissa (1 of 5 in my kindergarten class...and i mean actual physical classroom), and pat for a husband, i couldn't do common. keegan was the only name we could agree on. it was #222 when he was born, and that's up from 256 5 years ago.

  8. I'd be very surprised if my son ever has another "Fletcher" in his class. I actually wrote my own blog on the topic if you'd like to check it out.

    Don't Put Lizards In Your Ears