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New baby name ends Jacob's 14-year run at the top

Noah Knocks Jacob From Top Spot In Popular Baby Names List

WASHINGTON (AP) - Noah sailed past Jacob to become the most popular baby name for boys in 2013, ending Jacob's 14-year run at the top. Sophia was the most popular baby name for girls for the third straight year.

The Social Security Administration announced the most popular baby names Friday. Noah was followed by Liam, Jacob, Mason and William. Sophia was followed by Emma, Olivia, Isabella and Ava.

The rise of Noah and Liam highlights a trend toward more smooth-sounding baby names, said Laura Wattenberg, creator of Babynamewizard.com.

"You compare Jacob with all its hard, punchy consonants, versus Noah and Liam, you can really see where style is heading," Wattenberg said.

She also noted that the most popular baby names aren't nearly as popular as they used to be. For example, a little more than 18,000 babies born last year were named Noah. In 1950, when James was No. 1, there were more than 86,000 newborns with that name.

About 21,000 newborns were named Sophia last year. In 1950, more than 80,000 were named Linda, the top name for girls that year.

"In the past, most parents were picking from a pretty well-defined set of names," Wattenberg said. "Literally for hundreds of years, the English royal names dominated. You had John and Mary and James and Elizabeth."

"Today," she said, "we get names everywhere."

Jacob first rose to No. 1 in 1999. In the 45 years before that, Michael was king for all but one.

There has been a lot more variety among the girls. Mary dominated the first half of the 20th century. But in the past two decades, Emily, Emma, Isabella and Jessica have all spent time at the top.

The Social Security Administration's website provides lists of the top 1,000 baby names for each year, dating to 1880. The top baby names that year were John and Mary. John is now No. 27 and Mary has fallen to No. 121.

Social Security also charts the fastest-rising names each year. These names may not be in the top 10 or even the top 100, but they moved up more spots than any other.

For girls, the runaway winner was Daleyza, which jumped a whopping 3,130 spots, to No. 585. Daleyza is the name of the young daughter of Larry Hernandez, a singer who stars in a Spanish-language reality TV show called "Larrymania."

"Reality TV is one of the biggest style makers today because it gives us a constant new stream of names from all over the place," Wattenberg said.

For boys, the fastest rising name was Jayceon, which jumped 845 spots, to No. 206. Two hip hop artists are named Jayceon. One simply goes by the name Jayceon. The other, Jayceon Terrell Taylor, is a rapper who goes by the stage name The Game.

Join the discussion

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Janet May 09 2014 at 1:06 PM

I'm a great grandmother who finds the naming trends quite fascinating, and I have to say I really like the names at the top of this list. I think it shows a yearning for a little something old fashioned in our lives that are so full of tech innovations today. Whatever the reason for these choices, they are refreshing and beautiful names.

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1 reply
janet1008 Janet May 09 2014 at 1:42 PM

I am also Janet and a great grandmother. I agree Many of the names are from the Bible can,t beat that

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kittle May 09 2014 at 2:44 PM

My daughter's name is Ava and old family name that stopped at my Mom and me mine being Carol so I brought it back I love it.

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bunnylove1004 May 09 2014 at 2:45 PM

I named my grandson Joshua lee the name fits him and it is a beautiful name not the weird ones of the celebrities of today

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hollandcl May 09 2014 at 2:49 PM

what happened to names like Listerine or Shaniqua???

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1 reply
Nancy hollandcl May 09 2014 at 3:24 PM

Come to Detroit. All sorts of names you would never believe.

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bgpenix May 09 2014 at 2:53 PM

My husband has had to fight over his name all his life and he now goes by Bub. He has been called all sorts od things when he was in school and even after he was an adult by some people he went to school with. Be careful what you name your children what may be cute to you may cause them a lot of pain and trouble

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rayser711 May 09 2014 at 3:09 PM

These kids today are nuts....They have all these crazy names for babies....You might think they are naming pets. I think it was the hollywood nuts that started it.

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Ashleigh May 09 2014 at 3:25 PM

I have Always hated the name Sophia. It sounds like suffocation or sofa. YUK!

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2 replies
Tim & Judy Ashleigh May 09 2014 at 3:31 PM

Why does everything always have to be about you?

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reste0123 Ashleigh May 09 2014 at 3:35 PM

Hate? Hate? wow...you must be a joy to live with

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Randy May 09 2014 at 3:27 PM

Here's my philosophys... if you are shopping at Disney World (or Land) and you can't find your kid's name on a key chain or mug while you're in the gift shop, then your kid's name is too weird--period. Try again! Cheers, everyone!

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1 reply
Angela Randy May 09 2014 at 3:53 PM

Exactly, because who wants things like originality, uniqueness, or meaning when naming their children?!? If it's too "weird" for Disney then it must be a terrible name right? By all means let's keep churning out the same list of 20 names for the next few centuries like it has been in the past. Or better yet, why don't we all just get numbers instead of names? Then it would be super easy to customize t-shirts and mouse ears with everyone's number on them because life just isn't complete if you can't find your name on cheap personalized crap that is mass produced for idiots.

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wtrfrd May 09 2014 at 3:58 PM

Dad was named "Jean" as in French "Jaahn". He was a Marine fighting in the Pacific during WWII. You can imagine the fun a bunch of combat " Devil Dogs" would have with that moniker. Fortunately he was a "carrot top" redhead and everyone had always called him "Red".

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Murph 32 May 09 2014 at 3:59 PM

Wow, I just love Daleyza and Jayceon. lol Idiots. The fascination with baby names and their often goofy origins is a grand proof of just how mindlessly impressionable, not to mention short-sighted, many are.

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