Most Popular Baby Names Released

Most Popular Baby Names Released


The list of most popular baby names for 2011 has been released, and may I say that it’s, well, a bit disappointing?

The top boy’s name is Aiden, which is no surprise, since every baby boy I’ve met is either Caden or Kaden or Aiden or Hayden. Yeah, we like to rhyme here in America. Mason is another favorite, and, again, is no surprise; I know of four boys named Mason. Liam, another oldie but popular choice, is the name of two babies that I know as well.

As for girls, Sophia—which, I must admit, is the name of my car—is the top pick, followed by Emily and Addison. I suppose these are better than the thousands of Brittanys (with all of their various spellings) and Jennys of my youth, but why do parents keep choosing the same names that everyone else has?

Every year, it seems like the list is either the same or similar, with a few modern additions as well as a bunch of “classics” included, and I have to wonder—where is the originality? And why are so many people selecting the same names?

You see, I am a Sara. That means that growing up, there were always at least two Saras in my class, if not more. It was pretty confusing, and we Saras had to keep our initials on everything. I had one teacher who wanted to call me Sar-a (rhyming with car-a); another thought that I should go by “Sarai” because I was creative or something (sure, she just wanted to make it easier to call on me!). Sometimes the teachers would even insist on calling us our middle names, which I was embarrassed by for many years before accepting it (see my user name above). After becoming an X-Men fan, of course, I started wondering if I should just go by Jean in the first place; there are far fewer Jeans than Saras!

I am not listing my daughter’s name, as my husband and I made it up back when we were teenagers as a combination of my names together. I have seen one other person with the name—as well as one French explorer with the name as a surname, oddly enough. I have also heard of about five other kids with her nickname as their full names—including Sylvester Stallone’s son. Other than that, she’s not going to have a rough time differentiating herself from anyone anytime soon based on name alone. Of course, I have, sadly, doomed her to a life of spelling it out over and over again…