Some Surprising Finds in the MA Top 100!

As you all know, I live in MA. I hear all sorts of odd things when I go out & about, mainly Spanish things, but a smattering of good old standards too. And my particular neighborhood is a veritable treasure chest of unusual choices, for the most part.

So when they released the individual state lists, I went looking at my old state (NJ), which still saddens me to no end, and my new state (MA). I found a few things that made my eyebrows go up a notch and here they are:

(state rank) [national rank]
Tessa (98) [202]
Margaret (85) [180] (Lovely!)
Maeve (75) [638] (told you this was the Land of the Irish! )
Lucy (62) [112]
Charlotte (22) [87] (I knew I was hearing this more than most!)
Sophie (33) [74]
Lila (57) [189]

Jacoby (99) [423]
Maxwell (64) [134]
Hunter (76) [54] (I gave the folks here a bit more credit for good taste than I should have, I suppose. Funnily enough, this is one I never, ever hear!)
Oliver (72) [118] (My brother would laugh!)
Charles (45) [63] (I thought he was a bit lower)
Ryan (1) [18]

Based on how often I hear Michael on little ones around here, I wrongfully assumed it would be #1 here, It’s #2 instead. I do hear Ryan a fair bit but not nearly as often as I hear Michael!

And just for comparisons sake, here’s the top 10 for 2008 for the State of Massachusetts:
1.Ryan /  Ava
2 Michael /  Isabella
3 Jacob / Olivia
4 Matthew /  Emma
5 William /  Sophia
6 John / Abigail
7 Jack / Emily
8 Nicholas / Madison
9 Joseph / Grace
10 Alexander /  Ella

Look at all those vowel starters on the girls! My Josephine is really going to stand out at school! 😀 I’m also pleased to announce that of my top 10, Edith is the only  girl charter this year, at 806and of the boys, Bruno (801), Clarence (938) Arthur (363) and Francis (656) are the only ones charting. And of the top 10, Lilias, Remy, Barnaby & Alasdair have never charted!  WooHoo!

Any surprising finds in your own state that you’re willing to share? 😀

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. neschria
    May 16, 2009 @ 17:22:40

    I think it is interesting how much variation there was in the states I looked at. The most surprising thing I saw was probably Alexis and Brianna in the top 10 in Delaware. Alexis seems so very dated to me– it’s all 80’s in my mind, even though it didn’t peak until the late 90’s.

    The PA rankings weren’t all that surprising to me, except for how high Logan ranked for boys, considering that when I lived in Delaware, I heard it mainly on little girls (a quick check reveals that, for girls nationally, it peaked at 257 in 1996). It’s definitely a boys’ name to me, but the popularity of it here in PA surprised me (#6, compared to #19 nationally).

    My lists are still pretty nebulous, but Tova and Phaedra don’t chart at all, and Daphne (who is an increasingly strong contender) is down at 536. Audrey is at #44 and trending upward. Ooh, and Aubrey edges it out slightly at 42. That’s a lot of confusion just waiting to happen. I’ll have to think about that.

    Henry is at #78, but Harold is down at #737 and falling. That’s something to think about, too.


    • Lola
      May 16, 2009 @ 21:20:39

      Delaware’s list scares me almost as much as NJ’s does! Logan doesn’t rank here at all, it’s the big airports in Boston, So no one wants to name their kid after a lousy airport!

      The Henry/Harold thing makes me smile. How can I dislike Henry so much but like Harold so much more? Daphne is absolutely gorgeous and I wish he’d let me use it! I know the lovliest Audrey in Ohio. She’s the daughter of a friend. Beautiful girl. And ahead of the curve: she’s 15 now. I’m still rooting for a Tova for you. She’s unusual enough to fit in with your brood but noting made up. She’s strong and gorgeous at the same time. Except for Daphne, Tova’s my favorite on your list!


  2. babynamelover
    May 16, 2009 @ 19:49:28

    How do you look at individual states Lola? I have looked at the SSA list.
    I’m thrilled to see Margaret & Lucy 🙂 I never see Jacoby before I don’t know if I like the y on the end!


  3. Lola
    May 16, 2009 @ 21:14:56

    It’s actually easy to do, Anna, go to SSA: and scroll down a bit until you see “Popular Names by State” on the left. Click on that & you have a choice of State and top 100 or top 5.

    Me too. And other folks wonder why I’m stuck on Lucretia, nn Lucy. Lucy’s so everywhere here but Lucretia lets her be a bit different, if she wants. Margaret is surprising here, I do hear it but not everywhere. I had no clue it was in the top 100 here! Jacoby is one that actually appeals as a surnamey sort of name. But It’s so popular here yet so low on the National list!


  4. Sarah (nfate)
    May 16, 2009 @ 22:16:48

    I did see some surprises from Australia. Check out the post I did last week on the top 100 Australia.


  5. Lola
    May 17, 2009 @ 09:03:45

    I shall, Sarah. Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Jodi
    May 17, 2009 @ 13:47:39

    I haven’t looked at the PA list yet, but will have to at some point. Just had to ask about Jacoby: How are you pronoucing it? I imagine most parents who are using it are pronouncing it Ja-CO-by, right? But pronounced JACK-oby, I find it intriguingly Dickensian. We really wanted Barnaby for our last few girls, had the been boys, but now that we have a Beatrix, we were looking for something with a similar flavor that didn’t start with a B. Jacoby was a tempting option, but I think it would be problematic to get the pronunciation I’d want.


  7. Lola
    May 17, 2009 @ 15:06:53

    You’re right, I hear ja-CO-by, Like Jacob with an ‘ee’ sound. JACK-oby definitely appeals to me too, sound wise. But up here, it’s definitely not the preferred pronunciation. 😦 Plus, my OH would make Jacobite jokes, so while I like Jacoby, I’m leery of his potential for ‘joke fodder’ here.

    Barnaby’s on my list too, #5 atm, I think. I think he’s positively cheery! 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by Jodi!


  8. Emmy Jo
    May 17, 2009 @ 17:59:41

    The top ten for California are:
    1 — Daniel and Isabella
    2 — Anthony and Emily
    3 — Angel and Sophia
    4 — Jacob and Samantha
    5 — David and Ashley
    6 — Alexander and Natalie
    7 — Andrew and Mia
    8 — Joshua and Emma
    9 — Christopher and Abigail
    10 — Jose and Ava

    On the boys’ list, eight of them are traditional biblical/saints’ names. The other two (Angel and Jose) are obviously due to my state’s large Latino population. I’m a bit surprised that Angel is the most popular Spanish boys’ name. There are four national top-10 picks that are missing from California: three of them, Ethan, Michael, and Matthew are still in the top 15. But William ranks an astonishingly low #36. Overall, the traditional English Victorian names seem significantly less popular here. Henry just broke into our top 100 this year — ranked at #96, which is why it doesn’t seem overused to me at all. And Charles is not in our top 100, though it’s ranked #63 nationally. James and John are both top 20 names nationally, but in California they’re #39 and #49. However, my dear Julian is more popular here than nationally — ranked #28 in California but #61 nationwide. That means if I use any version of the name, I’m definitely going with Julius.

    The girls’ list is also missing six of the top 10, including the trendiest (Madison) and the most traditional (Elizabeth). Instead, California still has the slightly dated Ashley and Samantha. Ashley is definitely the most popular girls’ name among the 1st-2nd grade set at my school. Mia and Natalie, though not my style, are pretty — I don’t mind seeing them in the top 10. Other things I notice: the Spanish spelling of Sofia is ranked #17 and Camila is at #22 (ranked #83 nationally). The most common name used almost solely by Spanish speakers, though? Valeria, ranked #14 (and #73 nationally). The lovely French Giselle is a surprisingly high #36 (ranked at #136 nationally).

    On the girls’ side as well as the boys’, traditional names rank lower.
    Katherine is #55 (vs. #45 nationally)
    Julia is #71 (vs. #40 nationally)
    Charlotte #95 (vs. #87 nationally)
    And Caroline isn’t in our top 100

    Thanks for this post! I’m feeling a lot better now about using some of the more traditional Victorian sounding names since they’re not very popular in my state. I’ve added William to my list now as a way to honor my husband’s grandfather (Wilbert Arthur). It’d be a great middle name, I think, and I wouldn’t be using a top-10 name in my state.


  9. Emmy Jo
    May 17, 2009 @ 18:25:42

    A few other names that show California is a bit behind the times:
    Amy #75 (vs. 132)
    Leslie #56 (vs. 147)
    Kimberly #18 (vs. 57)
    Michelle #47 (vs. 103)
    Melissa #60 (vs. 134)
    Vanessa #25 (vs. 76)
    Stephanie #43 (vs. 105)

    And a few stylish names that are surprisingly high in California:
    Diana #67 (vs. 137)
    Daisy #69 (vs. 161)
    Delilah #89 (vs. 193)
    Ruby #58 (vs. 113)


  10. Christina Fonseca
    May 17, 2009 @ 21:42:54

    Another Californian weighing in on our Top 100. A lot of names that are spelled the same in English and Spanish, or that are easily pronounced in Spanish, are popular in California. It doesn’t matter that Grandma has limited English skills, she can easily say Daisy, Samantha and Kimberly.

    Julian and Diana are spelled the same in English and Spanish making them usable by parents who don’t want older family members to have difficulties with baby names. No Charles in our Top 100, but Carlos is # 34. A likely reason Giselle is so high? The likable hostess and actress Giselle Blondet, a New Yorker of Puerto Rican and French descent, who is a regular on Spanish-language television.


  11. Emmy Jo
    May 17, 2009 @ 23:57:15

    Christina — thanks for casting some light on why Giselle is popular here. I do know one little girl named Giselle, but her family is French-speaking.

    May I ask what part of California you’re from? Northern or Southern? I’m in the SF East Bay.


    • Christina Fonseca
      May 18, 2009 @ 18:24:59

      Emmy Jo – for some reason I thought you were in Southern California. I’m in the Central Valley – I can make it to the East Bay in 1 1/2 or 2 hrs depending on the traffic. I’m almost directly east from Fremont.


  12. Julia
    May 19, 2009 @ 02:20:14

    Really interesting post! The top 10 for my state (South Australia) is pretty predictable, Jack and RIley (shudders) are the two top spots, Lachlan is number 3, Oliver is number 8! For the girls, nothing too exciting but Matilda is number 8! Here’s the data, if you’re interested:


  13. Lola
    May 19, 2009 @ 07:31:25

    Thanks Julia, I was just going to ask someone to point me in that direction. Your timing’s divine! I know how I’m spending my next hour. 🙂


  14. realpraise
    May 19, 2009 @ 07:51:00

    In Wisconsin, we have a bit of a different boy’s top ten: Ethan, Mason, Jacob, Logan, Benjamin, Alexander, Aiden, Gavin, Noah, William. The girl’s is run-of-the mill, surprisingly: Ava, Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Isabella, Ella, Emily, Abigail, Addison, Grace. Hallelujah, no Madison! Maybe it’s because of our capital city. But Michael and Madison share the 17th spot. There are three spellings of Aidan on the boy’s side: Aiden [7], Aidan [60], and Ayden [68]. The boy’s top 100 is such a mix that you’d better hop over and see it for yourself! Really (Ever see Blake, Tristan and Patrick as 96-98?). The bad apples on the girls’ side are: Madelyn [59], Nevaeh [48], and Brooklyn [79]. There are a number of pleasant surprises: Camila & Gianna [56 & 57], Giselle [89], Daniela [94], and Margaret & Sophie [101 & 102, not sure about that!]


    • Lola
      May 19, 2009 @ 08:52:29

      No Madison, you’re right, but it’s replacement is #9: Addison! Mason’s #2 in WI? Wow! There’s something you don’t see here in New England!
      I’m guessing (since I haven’t had the time to check just yet) that Gavin’s finally made it to the top 10 there. It was everywhere in NY about 12 years ago. I know 4 going to be 12 years old Gavin boys. One in Staten Island, one in Queens!

      Have you heard Gianna there yet? I mean do you know how it’s said out there? It’s supposed to be JOHN-ah but here it gets butchered:Gee-AHN-ah. Blah. It’s why I’m keeping my eye on sweet Gemma. Far less likely to get mangled. I can’t find Camilla or Gianna on the list anywhere when I look at it but maybe I’m missing something. Madleyn looks like #24, not #69, and Nevaeh #29, which is positively horrifying! I’m going to go peruse WI’s boys top 100, see what’s where. I’m prepared to be surprised. 😀


      • realpraise
        May 20, 2009 @ 08:30:32

        Oops, Madelyn is #24. And, in skimming over it again, I found Evelyn! At #39! I haven’t been so surprised since I found out that Susanna/Susannah wasn’t in the top 1000!

  15. Kira
    Aug 24, 2009 @ 09:50:32

    I know I’m a bit late with my comment… But I was browsing through the Minnesota top 100 and ran in to some surprises on the girl’s side (national rank in brackets):

    #31: Lydia (120) – Love it! Haven’t met any baby Lydias though… Have you?
    #65: Keira (123) – I’ve noticed this is really popular
    #86: Greta (694)!!! – Honouring the Scandinavian and German heritage of Minnesotans. Very cool.
    #90: Annika (402) – Same as above, Swedish name.
    #95: Brynn (323)
    #96: Kendra (236)

    Strange how much it can vary from one state to another…


  16. Kira
    Aug 24, 2009 @ 10:05:04

    Oh, did some more surfing… I just had to check if the neighboring states share styles with MN. North Dakota came closest, with four out of the above six girls in their top 100: Kendra (#53), Keira (#60), Lydia (#79) and Brynn (#89). South Dakota had three: Brynn (#63), Lydia (#76) and Keira (#97). Wisconsin had two: Lydia (#31, same rank as MN) and Keira (#74), and so did Michigan: Lydia (#60) and Keira (#92). Iowa had only Lydia (#39) in their top 100. But only Minnesota ranks Greta and Annika in the top 100! Hooray for them.


  17. Mookie
    Aug 28, 2009 @ 20:51:16

    I’m in NY. Here are some I found quite pleasing. The numbers in parentheses are the state rankings, and in brackets are the national rankings.

    Liam (44) [75]
    Vincent (73) [130]
    Max (76) [126]
    Jeremy (81) [129]
    Joel (82) [113]
    Patrick (84) [127]
    Mark (92) [139]
    Abraham (97) [187]

    Gianna (18) [86]
    Esther (42) [274] (YES!!! Can it be true?? Esther ranks higher than Kaitlyn, Makayla, and Addison?! Really?? YES!)
    Chaya (70) [745] (Uh… where’d she come from? This is actually pretty amazing.)
    Miriam (74) [309] (YES!)

    I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Hunter ranks #87 — Higher than I’d like, but still 47 places lower than the national ranking (#40)! And Brayden ranks #93, which is lovely compared to the nation’s ranking of #51! Addison is at the unfortunate #12 rank nationwide, but as far as good ol’ New York goes? #55. Yes, we are awesome. Nevaeh is less popular by 31 spots here as well, ranking #65, compared to the US’s horrid placing of #34. Kaylee is #67, instead of national ranking #31. New York has good taste… for now, anyway.


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