Okay, this might just completely confirm my nerdiness for those of you who are still on the fence. When we were naming our first child, my hubs and I read through several baby name books, but then I came to find out about the Social Security Administration’s website for baby names! They use 100% of the actual registered birth certificate names in the US to put their stats together!
So while fad magazines and websites can share popular names according to their opinions or limited samplings, I had concrete numbers at my fingertips to help aid in our baby-naming venture. I wanted a name that is known and familiar (not something obscure that our poor children would forever have to repeat and spell), but not too saturated and overused.
You can look at the popularity of a particular name over the span over several years (up to about 130, if you want), to see if it is rapidly rising in the ranks, for example, and will probably be too common (at least for me) in the coming years.
So “Carley,” for example, I can see didn’t even appear in the top 1000 until 1982, and it peaked in popularity in 1996.
It also gives you a “Similar names” list, so you can see if there are popular alternate spellings (like “Carly” or “Carlie” for “Carley”).
Or maybe you want your child to have a name with vintage appeal: maybe peek at the popular names in 1880? 1920? 1950? Fun!
You can even look up popular names by decade, by state, for twins, or in U.S. territories! A plethora of baby-namin’ goodness! Wheeeee!
So how did you arrive at your kids’ names? I want to know! Do tell?
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