Most popular names (et al.) of 2014 announced today

So the name world has been holding its breath in gleeful, frantic anticipation of the release by the Social Security Administration of 2014’s most popular names — and this morning it happened! (Which you probably all know already anyway, because the first to know and share I am not and likely never will be.)

Of note:

  • Emma and Noah are the #1’s
  • Charlotte entered the top ten — in the year before the princess was born. It’s been hot hot hot for a while
  • The three fastest rising girl names are Aranza, Montserrat, and Monserrat (from telenovelas)
  • The fastest rising boy name is Bode (like Olympian Bode Miller)
  • The fastest falling names included Miley, Britney, and Rihanna; Carmelo and Channing

I’m not a number cruncher or a trend spotter (like Abby: here and here), so I have no further analysis than my bullets above (which were spelled out in the article), but I will say: Mother Mary did pretty darn well for herself.

Consider that Mia and Ava are both in the top ten — neither necessarily Marian, but they could be, with Mia having traditional use as a nickname for Maria (see Mia Farrow, born the gorgeously reverent Maria de Lourdes) and Ava being a variant of Eve (like how Mary’s the New Eve). I’ve also seen Ava paired with Maria in Catholic families because of Ava Maria’s similarity to Ave Maria (Hail Mary in Latin).

And those fastest rising girls’ names are not actually “rooted in Latin soap operas” as was asserted in the article — certainly I get that their use in the telenovelas is what made them spike in popularity here, but their roots are Marian — Aranza is a diminutive of Aran(t)zazu, from a Basque word meaning “thornbush,” stemming from an apparition of Our Lady on a thornbush in Spain; Montserrat and its alternate spelling Monserrat are also used to honor Our Lady, as there’s a Marian shrine in Montserrat and the associated title Our Lady of Montserrat. (Weirdly enough, I did a consultation recently for a mama who asked for unusual Catholic names, and Arantxa was one I gave her, which is also a diminutive of Arantzazu. Never in a trillion years did I think Arantxa’s sister Aranza would be in the list of top 1000 girls’ names in the U.S.!)

So that’s what this Catholic baby name lover gets out of the new SSA stats! My final word: Mother Mary for the win! 😉 ❤


18 thoughts on “Most popular names (et al.) of 2014 announced today

  1. I immediately recognized Montserrat as a girl’s name because of Montserrat monastery (that’s the only other way I’ve ever heard it referenced – I didn’t realize it was a name). Pretty cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Confession: I’m SO over the name Emma. Lol

    Charlotte was on my list for all of my children but if ever would’ve been a time to use it, 13 years ago with number 1 would’ve been best…it’s gotten SO popular.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Lol, poor guy indeed! Emma is lovely, but yes, I think it’s off our list now too. I have to admit that I am a little surprised to see it at #1, ousting Sophia! But the SSN list has its limits… like, spelling variations. I imagine there aren’t many variations of Emma, but Sophia has at least one common variant spelling.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, both of my kids’ names fell in popularity as did all their related names. Well, I guess if we are going for “not popular” that is a positive, but it makes me wonder if our taste is seen as a little out of step with other parents’ having babies these days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just found your great blog so am going through some older posts. It was really interesting to see that a Basque derived name is one of the fastest growing on the SSA list this year. As someone with Basque heritage, I think that is really cool though I know most people don’t realize the connection and think it just a Spanish or Mexican name. Basque names are so different and I wasn’t brave enough to go with any of the really exotic sounding ones. My only daughter is Leah Miren – Miren being the Basque form of Maria/Mary. I was always called Miren by my grandparents.

    That is interesting that you made a suggestion to someone for a Basque name – the people I know using them are part Basque. But I guess if someone is looking for unusual – Basque names qualify! I do wish I had used Patxi (Francis) as at least a middle name for one of my sons. (Maybe I can convince someone for a grandchild…)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, and in case you are interested, thought I would mention the pronunciation on Miren since it is unusual for how one would think it would sound. Midd – en
    In Basque, between vowels, the single r is usually pronounced like a flap, where the tongue lightly touches the alveolar ridge behind the front teeth. The sound of the double d in the word kiddie is a flap, when pronounced by most American speakers.

    I think it is a really pretty and different Marian name.

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