By Brandi M. Seals
Each year babies are born in the United States. One of the first thing new parents do is send the birth information in to the department of Social Security so that their new child can get a social security card. The government tracks that information and each year compiles a list of the most common names.
These common names really are not all that common. In fact, even the most common names of the year are usually given to less than 2 percent of the newborn babies in any given year.
Sometimes names stay popular for several years. After all Jennifer was in the top ten for so many years that it is hard to keep track. But, sometimes a unique name will catch on one year and be completely dropped from the list the next year.
The list for 2006 should be compiled within the next few months. I wonder how it will differ from the most popular names of 2005.
Top 10 Most Popular Male Names in 2005:
Famous Names: Jake Gyllenhaal
Meaning: Who is like God?
Famous Names: Michael J. Fox, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson
Meaning: God is salvation
Famous Names: Josh Holloway, Josh Hartnett, Josh Duhamel
Meaning: Gift of God
Famous Names: Matthew McCanaughey, Matt Damon, Matt Dillon
Meaning: Firm, strong
Famous Names: Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Ethan Hawke
Famous Names: Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Andy Warhol
Meaning: God is my judge
Famous Names: Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Dae Kim, Daniel Boone
Famous Names: Anthony Edwards, Tony Danza, Anthony Quinn
Famous Names: Topher Grace, Chris Christopherson
Meaning: God will increase
Famous Names: Joe Belushi, Joe Piscopo
Top 10 Most Popular Female Names in 2005:
Famous Names: Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson
Famous Names: Emma Thompson
Meaning: Son of Matthew
Famous Names: Dolley Madison (sorry I could not come up with anyone with the first name Madison)
Meaning: Joy of the father
Famous Names: Abigail Adams, Abigail Van Buren
Meaning: Elf army (female form of Oliver)
Famous Names: Olivia Newton-John
Meaning: Form of Isabel
Famous Names: Isabella Rossellini, Isabella I of Spain
Famous Names: Hanna Barbera
Famous Names: Samantha Harris
Meaning: Like a bird
Famous Names: Ava Gardner, Ava Phillippe (Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe's daughter)
Meaning: From the ash tree field
Famous Names: Ashley Judd, Ashley Oleson
I think things will be quite different on the 2006 list. I constantly read the birth announcements here in Northwest Arkansas because I have never lived in a place where people the names are so amusing. Everyone seems to try to be different and sometimes that ends up with some humorous results.
In reading the birth announcements, I have noticed some trends. I cannot say if they are universal trends, but they are definitely going strong here in Arkansas. There are names that appear over and over again, but the real trend seems to deal with spelling. People are using y's as much as possible; putting them anywhere they can think. They are also altering the spelling of traditional names to make them slightly different; for example Emily is now Emileigh. I guess the people who make programs like spell checker will be working over time to include all these new possible spellings.
Here are some of the names I see pop up at least every month or so in the birth announcements.
Meaning: Son of Jack
Meaning: From Jason
Meaning: Little Fire
Meaning: The lord is my God
Meaning: Stone Worker
Meaning: Form of Elisa
Brooklyn or Brook Lynn
Meaning: New York borough
Raine or Rayne
Cadence or Kaydence
Meaning: Rhythm/ Musical
Origin: Latin/ American
Meaning: Messenger of God