Baby Names – The Best and the Worst of 2012

As we all know, celebrities like to name their children weird names; such as English model Katie Price who (married to Peter Andre at the time) named her daughter “Princess Tiaamii Crystal Esther Andre.” But people also take names from popular culture and use them in their own life. The following are baby name lists that include the most popular and the weirdest of the year.

Most Popular Girls’ Names

This is the ranking given by BabyCenter of the 100 most popular names for girls. Below is the top 30. But keep in mind that BabyCenter only took records of parents who came to their site. So we can’t be sure of what the actual most popular names are; but considering how difficult it is to come up with a solid survey of baby names, and the website’s popularity, this is probably as good a ranking as it gets.

  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Olivia
  4. Isabella
  5. Ava
  6. Lily
  7. Zoe
  8. Chloe
  9. Mia
  10. Madison
  11. Emily
  12. Ella
  13. Madelyn
  14. Abigail
  15. Aubrey
  16. Addison
  17. Avery
  18. Layla
  19. Hailey
  20. Amelia
  21. Hannah
  22. Charlotte
  23. Kaitlyn
  24. Harper
  25. Kaylee
  26. Sophie
  27. Mackenzie
  28. Peyton
  29. Riley
  30. Grace

Most Popular Boys’ Names

Also from BabyCenter, this is a ranking of the most popular names for boys. As Time mentions, traditional names – like Noah and Jacob for boys, and Emma and Lily for girls – stayed in the top ten. Presumably, the rising prominence of Prince William in the media has helped “William” rise to the 15th spot. Also, the launch of the Curiosity Rover apparently have led many parents to name their girls “Stella” (ranked 60), which is increasing in popularity every year. I’m not sure why Rover isn’t increasing for the same reason, but I guess there just hasn’t been enough of a positive association with the name Rover in the popular culture.

  1. Aiden
  2. Jackson
  3. Ethan
  4. Liam
  5. Mason
  6. Noah
  7. Lucas
  8. Jacob
  9. Jayden
  10. Jack
  11. Logan
  12. Ryan
  13. Caleb
  14. Benjamin
  15. William
  16. Michael
  17. Alexander
  18. Elijah
  19. Matthew
  20. Dylan
  21. James
  22. Owen
  23. Connor
  24. Brayden
  25. Carter
  26. Landon
  27. Joshua
  28. Luke
  29. Daniel
  30. Gabriel

Weird Names

The following list is not a ranking per se… because it’s hard to rank the “weirdness” of recent names. But there are twelve that NameBerry picked. I give a brief explanation or comment for each.

  1. Blue – Since Jay-Z and Beyonce named their baby “Blue Ivy Carter.” The two actually tried to trademark the name, but it didn’t work. Too bad; the commoners will be copying it soon enough. But if I wanted to be a stickler… it was used almost a decade ago, as the name of a character in the 2004 anime “Wolf’s Rain.”
  2. Katniss – As I reported months ago, the name came from the “Hunger Games” movie, and Nameberry says that it has been the year’s most-viewed name suggestion on their site.
  3. Hashtag – If you don’t recognize the name, just know that it’s from Twitter. Hashtag Johnson was in the news recently, making many people scratch their heads.
  4. Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence – If you thought Katie Price’s daughter’s name was long, you haven’t seen Uma Thurman’s yet. Including the hyphenated surname, that girl’s full name is… (*deep breath*)… Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson. Everyone’s probably going to call her “Rose” anyways… did she really need to stick “Florence” in there? It was so close to being the incantation of a spell from Harry Potter, I guess she didn’t want it to sound too weird.
  5. Zamzam – The name of the Somali Olympian who, despite finishing last in her race, captured the hearts of viewers. She represented her war-torn country without breaking her Ramadan fast for the competition. “Zamzam” comes from a famous holy well in Mecca.
  6. Maxwell – A string of celebrity parents (e.g., Jessica Simpson) named their baby girls Maxwell, which has traditionally been a boy’s name.
  7. Beretta – Along with Rebel, Shooter, Gunner, and Blade, the weapon-related name “Beretta” surfaced this year, when America politician Sarah Palin’s daughter’s baby’s father’s other daughter was named this. The full name is “Breeze Beretta Johnston.” It’s not surprising that an American right-winger named their child after a gun. What’s more surprising to me is why “Breeze” isn’t on this list…
  8. Kingsolomon – Apparently there were five boys reported to be named this in 2012. If that’s not bad enough, there was also Kingdavid, Princemichael, Sircharles, and Milady. Milady? Wow. Someone was really desperate to have her daughter sound respected. I’m sure it won’t be long until we start seeing the word “Master.” But people seem to be ascribing too much to these names. Just because someone’s named Kingsolomon doesn’t mean they’re going to be wise.
  9. Vanellope – A mash-up between “Vanilla” and “Penelope,” this name appeared in the Disney movie “Wreck it Ralph.” Vanellope was a princess voiced by American comedian Sarah Silverman.
  10. Mykale, Linzi and Payzlee – Well, at least these parents tried to spell their names. We have to give them credit for that… right? Now enjoy that job-hunting, Payzlee!
  11. Sabbath – Rocker Zakk Wylde, who tours with Ozzy Osbourne (from Black Sabbath), named his child “Sabbath.”
  12. Kick – This is the middle name of the child of actor Jeremy Sisto (on the crime TV show Law & Order). Apparently he looked through the dictionary for words that aren’t normally names. He made it all the way to K? I think “Hashtag” would have done it.


CafeMom is quite concerned about the state of baby names in America, such as the #3 spot on the list, “hashtag.” In particular, the rise of names based on technology seems to be alarming. The name “Apple” rose 585 spots for girls on BabyCenter, and it’s even growing rapidly in popularity for boys. ”Mac” is also a name rising in popularity, though The Atlantic reports that the name “Google” has become less popular. Then there is the name “Excel” for boys, as well as “Siri” for girls. CafeMom is not impressed (bolds are preserved):

As insane as these names sound and as much as you want to berate their parents for burdening them with such nonsensical nomenclature, the fact is we just need to face it: We’re becoming a nation of people with stupid names. People so badly want to be unique that they’re willing to name their kids almost anything.

The funny/sad thing is that all of these “unique” names aren’t going to be so unique anymore when the whole class is filled with Hashtags, Siris, and Apples. Then little Johnny is going to be the one who stands out.

While this paradox is a good point – that when everyone tries to be unique, everyone is equally unique, and therefore not unique at all – I doubt it will turn out that way. The same can be said for fashion, but that hasn’t stopped anyone. While some subcultures dress up seemingly in the traditionally most strange ways possible, there are enough of us who dress normally to keep them different. And I don’t think we will ever cross that threshold.

Baby names have always been influenced by popular culture, and now it looks like technology is also making an impression on choices of names. This is just something we’ll have to get used to.

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3 Responses to Baby Names – The Best and the Worst of 2012

  1. six8ten says:

    “Rover” is an often-used generic name for a dog in the US, much like “Spot” or “Fido”, which may help explain its lack of popularity as a baby name. For example, if a comedian is telling a joke that involves a dog, it’s an easy short cut to call him “Rover”, and there’s a parody version of the song “I’m looking over a Four-Leafed Clover” called “I’m looking over my dead dog, Rover” that I recall hearing when I was a kid.

    While I’ve never met anyone who had used any of the above names for their dogs, I believe they were all popular at one point in time.

  2. Freya says:

    Siri is a genuine scandinavian girl name and has been for a very long time, even before it was hijacked by Apple. =)

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