SALT LAKE CITY — It seems to be an ever-popular pastime of many to <strike>gossip about</strike> discuss the baby names of your friends, family, and coworkers. And now your circle of names extends even further, thanks to technology. Due to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter news feeds, you are bombarded by more birth announcements than you could ever hope to read via friends of friends of friends of friends.
But what's in a name? According to a recent survey, 67 percent of you believe that the name you choose will affect the success of your child. Many parents-to-be spend months, or even years, crafting the perfect moniker for their babe.
This is all according to BabyCenter.com, which compiles their data from over 500,000 users who share their names with the site. They recently released their list of the most popular baby names and trends of 2013. And before you scoff at the source, BabyCenter has, for the past several years, successfully predicted the most popular names before the Social Security Administration release their annual list every April.
Top 10 baby names of 2013
- 1. Sophia
- 2. Emma
- 3. Olivia
- 4. Isabella
- 5. Mia
- 6. Ava
- 7. Lily
- 8. Zoe
- 9. Emily
- 10. Chloe
- 1. Jackson
- 2. Aiden
- 3. Liam
- 4. Lucas
- 5. Noah
- 6. Mason
- 7. Jayden
- 8. Ethan
- 9. Jacob
- 10. Jack
The most popular boys name of the past eight years, Aiden, was finally toppled by Jackson. Sophia took the top place for girls for the fourth year in a row.
New names also rocketed into the top 100, including Keira, Lila and Adalyn for girls and Caden and Muhammed for boys. To see a full list of the top 100 names, click here.
Trend: Celebrity culture
Parents looked to television characters and pop culture icons to name their little darlings this year. While most were shocked at Miley's VMA performance in August, that didn't stop parents from naming their daughters after her. Miley jumped up 16 spots to #317.
Korrie, one of the matriarchs on the ever-popular and controversial "Duck Dynasty", skyrocketed up 89 percent. Nori, the nickname of Kimye's prodigy North, rose five spots from last year. The name Kanye even made a significant leap this year, jumping up 2,228 spots to #3,652 on the boys list.
Morgan Allen, 24, said she picked her daughter Ava's name from her high school obsession with Eva (Evita) Perón. She chose to go with the ‘A' spelling because she liked it better.
"When we named (Ava) I had only met one other person named Ava so I wasn't aware it was popular yet," she added.
Names that have been popular the past 100 years always make a comeback because grandchildren often use grandparents as inspiration. Charlotte, Amelia, Eva, Harper, and Grace all come in the top 40 for girls names.
Classics like William, Jack, Benjamin and Henry round out the top 30 for boys. George also rose in popularity thanks to the little prince across the pond.
Corrine Stokoe, 28, from Sandy, Utah said she and her husband, Neil, chose their daughter Anabelle's name from a pool of family names.
"Hers is a combination of my great-grandmother Anna, and Neil's grandmother Isabella," Stokoe said. "It was really important to me to pick a name that wasn't overly popular, but at the same time was a name people had heard of and could easily pronounce."
Trend: American Presidents
It was the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's death this past November and his name jumped up for both boys and girls at 25 and 21 percent, respectively.
The name Lincoln jumped up 11 percent and Abraham rose 20 percent. Barack also rose 48 percent.
The naming process
In addition to collecting data on popularity of names, BabyCenter also surveys parents and parents-to-be on their naming process. Over 3,800 women were surveyed in October.
- 81% would choose classic names; 43% want a unique name
- 71% knew the baby's name before they were expecting
- 80% knew the baby's name before it was born
- 66% tell people the name as soon as they pick it; 26% choose to wait until the baby is born
- 63% use a nickname for their child
- 63% dislike celebrity-inspired names
If the naming process is stressing you out, you can try the method used by mom-of-three Shawna Simper, from Las Vegas: Google.
"We tend to just run through things like Google name searches and baby books until we find one that feels right," Simper said. "We just pick what we like! I do try to avoid names that I hear all of the time, though."
Whatever names parents choose, most are pretty happy with the results. 95 percent of women surveyed said they would name their babies the same if they had to do it all over again.