I have never been tasked with the responsibility of naming a baby, but I can only imagine that it must be pretty stressful. Why? Oh, you're just giving a child a name that they will use for the rest of their life (no pressure). Thankfully, you're not all alone when it comes to this decision, because there are lists of the most popular names for babies that are updated every year. This year is no different. The top baby names of 2017 are here, and they are as cute as ever.
Now, you might think that you know which names are popular based on how often you encounter them (hi to all the Meghans I've ever met), but you might be surprised at which ones came out on top this year. According to Nameberry, there has been quite a bit of movement on the boys' side of the 1000 most popular names as compared to the 2016 list, which is surprising since the girls' side of the list generally sees more rapid change. In 2017, though, there is a new number one name for the boys, while the girls' number one is the reigning 2016 winner.
For the boys, the name Atticus has jumped up from number four in 2016 to the top spot for the most popular boy's name in 2017. For the ladies, the name Olivia is holding it down at number one for the second year in a row — you go girl.
Of the top 10 names for both boys and girls, there are six newcomers. The three new girls' names climbing into the top 10 are Cora, Maia, and Amara. While the boys' names joining the top 10 are Theodore, Jasper, and Henry. Seriously, these names are so hip that I think these babies are already cooler than me.
So, how does Nameberry figure out which names are the most popular in a given year? According to their website, they measure which names attract the largest portion of their 250 million page views against the number of babies who actually receive those names. Essentially, the list gauges parents' interest in particular baby names, and it can also be used as a predictor for which names will be popular in the future. Don't mind me as I bookmark this page on my secret Pinterest "Wedding" board...
The popularity of certain names in recent years is explained by Nameberry as parents' inclination toward names with ties to mythology, ancient cultures, and classic literature. For girls, popular names from mythology include Cora (goddess of fertility), Maia (goddess of spring), and Phoebe (goddess of the moon). On the boys' side, you have Silas (god of trees) and Augustus (a Roman emperor).
You're most likely already familiar with Atticus Finch and his lessons on justice and morality in To Kill A Mockingbird, but did you know that the name Atticus has ties to mythology as well? Herodes Atticus was heralded as a great orator and author in 2nd-century Greece, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Sounds like joining the ranks of the Atticus name gives you a good shot at becoming a great thinker of your generation (once again, no pressure).
The name Olivia can be found in the works of one of the most famous authors, William Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night, but the name Olivia has found a place on the small screen in recent years. Any Law and Order: SVU or Scandal fans will tell you that Olivia Benson and Olivia Pope are definitely a couple of inspirational (and badass) characters to be named after. I just don't think there's anything you can't do when you know that you're named after Olivia freaking Benson. If you're not familiar, binge-watch some SVU, and you'll totally get it.
Oh, and if you want to venture out of the top 10 for your baby girl, you can totally copy Beyoncé's newest addition, because Rumi came in at number 11 on the girls' list.
Whether you you find the perfect baby name in the pages of your favorite book or as a result of your latest Netflix binge, it's important to remember that when it comes to naming your baby, personal preference is really all that matters. All the lists and metrics in the world won't help if you don't like the name.
It's nice to know that there are some resources out there if you're drawing a total blank, but (speaking from no experience at all) I'm sure you'll know exactly what your baby should be called once you meet him or her. And, hey, if you're anything like me, you won't have to worry about that for a very long time. In the meantime, enjoy perusing the popular names of 2017, and mentally bookmark your favorites for when the time comes.
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