The Social Security Administration released the most popular baby names of 2009 list on Friday with many of the same names as last year populating the lists. Emma was downgraded to the number 2 spot on the SSA’s most popular girl baby names list in favor of Isabella, while Jacob hung onto its 11 year reign as top name for boys.
Rounding out the 2 through 10 spots for boys are Ethan, Michael, Alexander, William, Joshua, Daniel, Jayden, Noah and Anthony. For girls the 3rd through 10th most popular names were Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Emily, Madison, Abigail, Chloe and Mia.
The SSA’s annual release of the 10 most popular baby names for girls and boys made me wonder about the list’s antithesis, the least popular baby names for boys and girls.
The website Top-100-Baby-Names-Search sets out a least popular name list to complement its most popular names list as a warning to parents who want to steer clear of names that might subject their offspring to ridicule. Unlike SSA’s most popular baby names list, the Top-100-Baby-Names-Search list doesn’t purport to cull its data from official records. And none of the names making the least popular baby’s name list are truly obnoxious in the sense of Lula Does the Hula from Hawaii, the name that prompted a court in New Zealand to emancipate a 9 year old girl to enable her to choose something more common a few years back. But if popularity figures into your baby naming choices, these are some of the unpopular names you might wish to avoid, according to the Top-100-Baby-Names-Search website:
For boys, Abner and Adolf are among the unpopular names, along with Bane, Delmar, Digby, Harvey, Iggy, Leland, Quintavius, Radley, Silas, Thaddeus, Usher, and Zebulon. The complete list of the least popular names for boys is published here. Interestingly, the name Barak, which should be experiencing a popularity surge due to the President of the same name if varied spelling, is on the least popular baby names for boys list.
A glimpse at the meanings of some of the names on the list might offer some insight into their lack of favor. Algeronon, for example, means “wearing a mustache.” Mustaches, except those made of milk, aren’t especially popular in the crib set. Cawley means “cow meadow” and Castor means “beaver.” Digby has one of the least attractive meanings “ditch town” while Adolf despite its innocuous meaning has the misfortune of association with Hitler.
On the list of girl names to be avoided, Cicely means “blind,” and Portia “pig or hog.” Pity the girls bearing those names on the playground. Joining them as names most likely to lead to mockery is Vanity, meaning “vain.”
You might want to avoid Hattie, “ruler of the household,” if you’re not interested in raising a tyrant, while Geraldine, “mighty with a spear” is not the best choice for families opposed to weaponry.
Edwina, Ernestina, Frannie, Gilda and Hazel also made the least popular names list for girls.
Sources: http://www.top-100-baby-names-search.com/least-popular-boy-baby-names.html; http://www.top-100-baby-names-search.com/least-popular-girls-names.html; http://ssa.gov/pressoffice/pr/baby-names2009-pr.htm.