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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.

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jswilkmd May 09 2014 at 4:17 PM

I have a name that was EXTREMELY popular for centuries, including at the time of my birth. Yes, there were lots of Jims and Jameses in my class, but it's the name of saints, kings and presidents. I like being a James and wouldn't have wanted something more obscure.

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seban May 09 2014 at 7:58 PM

At least we're out of the Tiffany, Amber, Brittany 1980's names. I prefer names from my Irish ancestors. There's hundreds of names that are unique. Many Native American names are interesting.

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rayser711 May 09 2014 at 8:11 PM

The Hip Hop star and the Spanish reality star people surely have odd names. And the mindless young people fall in suit. How do you even think of names, or pronounce names like that?

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1 reply
jejozi rayser711 May 10 2014 at 12:15 AM

Yeah, and picking the names out of the bible or after royalty shows SUCH creativity and imagination. How many years was Michael #1? 44 out of 45? Yeah, real original thinkers for two freakin' generations. Hey, there are kids in your yard! Go get 'em!

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weezie922 May 09 2014 at 2:23 PM

I still like my sons. Evan.

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macohen490 May 09 2014 at 9:27 PM

I figure if Gwenyth can name her kids Apple and Moses, I will follow suit. My kids will be named Cantaloupe and Confuscious

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1 reply
realdealnyc macohen490 May 09 2014 at 10:58 PM

How about Persimmon and Mao?

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jarmst2534 May 09 2014 at 2:08 PM

I've got one set of grandkids named Stirling,Camden, Lachlan, and Laird. If there's every an emergency, I'll just say "kids" let's go!

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wesingdoremi2 May 09 2014 at 2:03 PM

My name is Priscilla. In addition to all the cutesey shortened nicknames I have to endure, nobody on the planet seems to know how to spell it. Don't think my parents had a clue what a rough road they put me on. I have a daughter named Laura. Sounds simple enough until everyone wants to call her Laurie or Lora. I love the name but it's had its drawbacks for my daughter. I think parents should sit down and seriously consider how their child is going to have to cope with his/her name later in life.

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2 replies
yamel86 wesingdoremi2 May 09 2014 at 2:19 PM

I know someone named Priscilla and she is called "Cilla".

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Amy wesingdoremi2 May 09 2014 at 2:54 PM

Laura IS PRONOUNCED like Lora. If you wanted your kid to be called LARA instead, you should have spelled it correctly. Your fault. No one else's.

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1 reply
Karen Amy May 09 2014 at 3:09 PM


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hankkier May 09 2014 at 2:00 PM

neighbor named her daughter Cindy...their last name is Rella.

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harriss923 May 09 2014 at 1:59 PM

I worked for SSA for almost 4 decades. Can't tell you the number of times young moms could not spell the name they made up for their child. That happened on a regular basis.

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gr8lwngrdn May 09 2014 at 9:40 PM

The names follow the movies....as pathetic as that is!

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