One unique characteristic of first names is that they transcend cultural or ethnic boundaries. For a name to be popular, it makes its presence among various groups. In American, all the ethnic groups share the popular baby names. At any particular time in history, there are specific names that dominate among the new born. Like the UK, Canada, and Australia, the US releases annual names of top 1000 popular names. The Social Security Administration tracks these names to be released every year. It would surprise you to note that some of the names have existed for decades.
The older baby names fade off to give way for the new names. However, some names stay so long in the list that they become household names before they face off. For instance, the name Michael has remained on the list of the most popular names since 1940s. Since it joined the list, Michael rose to the number one spot and stayed there until in the 1990s. The name only faded off upon the turning of the new Millennium. The Social Security Administration list of popular names of all decades indicates that this name has lost its position as a popular name in America. Anyone who uses this name in this Century is doing so out of fascination with it.
As previously popular names like Michael are fading off, others like Emma are undergoing resurgence. Emma dominated the list as the most popular name for baby girls back in the 1880s and 1890s. The name fell of the list and stayed so for about 100 years before it reemerged in the new Millennium at top three. The name further grew in popularity. Since then it has remained on top and today it is still the most popular female baby name in the US. People love this name because of its simplicity and elegance. In elegance, it compares to names like Mary and Elizabeth which are very common in the UK monarchies. Emma is very simple, easy to pronounce and to write. Today, parents are looking for these types of names. The name is unique because a huge portion of the population shares it. However, it captures fascination of many mothers who cannot resist it even though it is an old name.
Some names have stayed on top of the list of popularity index for decades. The name John dominated the top ten lists between 1890s and 1980s before it went under. Similarly, the name William joined the index in 1880s and has stayed on since then. Currently, John is not in the top 10 but it still appears within the top 100. Furthermore, the name ranks at number two for the most popular names for all times in the period between 1918 and 2017. This essentially means that this name will continue to lead the list of popular names. Like Emma, the name John is simple and easy to work with. The name has existed among the generations of English people even though it traces its roots to the Jewish culture. Similarly, James is not the most popular name today. In fact, it ranks ate number 21 among the popular names in America. Nevertheless, the name tops the list of the most popular names of all time between 1918 and 2017. This simply means that the name is here to stay. It may be an old name but it still appeals to the majority of Americans.
When people do not seem to like a name so much, it cannot stay longer. Three such names are Amanda, Brittany, and Jason. These two names made appearance in the list of popular names in the 1980s, 1990s, and 1970s respectively. All these names appeared for only one decade before they disappeared. This is true because most of the people I know that bear the name Jason or Amanda are those who are born in the 1980s and 1990s. Presently, I barely hear these names among the newborns or toddlers. This is probably because they fell off the list. The naming habit of modern mothers is such that they comb the internet for the currently available names. If a name does not feature in the list, less and less people will use it. This may have been the case with these three names. Personally, I still think that the name Amanda is cool. However, it has been missing so much that I even forgot it existed. I am sure many people may be wondering where these names went to. New names come; old names fade off as they are replaced.
It is very hard to find a name that stays on top for decades like William, James, John, and Emma. In the present day America, people are coming up with new names every day. Most of these names obtain approval of the public so fast that they rise to top the list. In 2015 and 2016, Noah topped the list of popular names followed by Liam. However, come 2017, Liam overtook Noah at the top position. Liam has continued to assert its dominance well into 2018. The 2015 list of top 10 boys' names in America in order of popularity was: Noah, Liam, Mason, Jacob, William, Ethan, James, Jude, Alexander, and Benjamin. First forward to 2017 list, the names had switched positions as follows: Liam, Noah, William, James, Benjamin, Mason, Elijah, Oliver, and Jacob.
The top 10 popular baby girl names in 2015 included: Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Isabella, Mia, Abigail, Emily, Charlotte, and Harper. In 2017, the list changed to Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Mia, Charlotte, Amelia, Evelyn, and Abigail. In 2018, Olivia overtook Emma at position two as Harper climbed back to top 10 to give us the following list: Olivia, Emma, Charlotte, Mia, Sophia, Isabella, Harper, Amelia, and Evelyn. Similarly, for the boys, Noah climbed back up the top as Michael made a comeback at position 10. The following is the list of popular names for the baby boys in America in 2018: Noah, Liam, Benjamin, Oliver, William, James, Elijah, Lucas, Mason, and Michael.