Do you have a Zelie born in 2015?

I was just catching up on emails and FB posts and saw that one of you wonderful readers, mama to a Zelie, wondered (in response to my article about Zelie/Zaylee) how many readers welcomed a Zelie/[other spelling] in 2015? There were 50 of them born in America in 2015 and my theory is that many/most of them have some connection to our Sancta Nomina community (either readers of the blog or friends/relatives of readers). Add yourself in the comments if you qualify! 😀

Popularity of Zelie in 2015

Because of Zaylee appearing in the top 1000 in 2015 and the comments (here and here) on my post from this morning regarding Zelie/Zaylee I looked up Zaylee, Zelie, Zellie, and Azelie, and discovered Azaylee as well!, to see how many babies were so named in 2015:

Azaylee: 9
Azelie: 17
Zaylee: 270 (rank #990)
Zelie: 50
Zellie: 12

It was interesting to compare the numbers to 2014:

Azaylee: 7
Azelie: 6
Zaylee: 182
Zelie: 25
Zellie: 9

Azaylee’s making me think (as the other Kate pointed out) that the popularity of Zaylee may indeed be influenced by St. Zelie. Fascinating!

Updated to add the numbers for Azelia, which Andrea included in her comment at the same time I was posting this! There were 24 babies named Azelia in 2014 and 25 in 2015. (She also included info for Therese and Louis, if you’re interested — there was no significant impact on either one.) Thanks Andrea!

2015 SSA name data released

For the past week or so I’d been seeing the name bloggers eagerly anticipating the release of the 2015 name stats from the Social Security Administration — it’s only because of them that I knew it was going to happen today, because I’m the absolute worst at being in the know and at the right place at the right time and the first one with the breaking news and all — I was actually stressed out at the idea of having to blog about it quickly and though I’d wait until tomorrow to do it. I’m so. weird.

But I took a look at the list this morning, and had a couple things to say so I thought I *would* post about it today after all, as I should, being a name blogger and all, and I’d love to hear your thoughts too!


My first reaction was absolute shock that Harper is now in the top ten for girls. Wow! I had NO idea it was that popular!!

Noah and Emma retained their #1 spots, and I’m feeling surprised by that because the people I discuss names with (mostly all of you) tend to stay away from those names because of past popularity, so all I hear about them is that they’re generally not being used. But they’re great names and pretty “normal” (not like Abcde, for example), so I’m not disappointed that they’re the names on top.

I also took a quick look at the names that increased in popularity from 2014 — Alaia had the biggest increase for girls, jumping up 2012 spots from #2676 in 2014 to #664 in 2015! WOW!! Others that jumped up more than a thousand places are Meilani, Aitana, Aislinn, Taya, and Adeline (I love Aislinn and Adeline).

The boy name with the biggest increase is Riaan, up 1360 spots from #2286 in 2014 to #926 in 2015. No other boy names increased by a thousand or more — the next closest was Huxley, up 392 spots from 1354 to 962.

I didn’t scrutinize the list, but the other name that jumped out at me was Zaylee — #1304 to #990. I can’t imagine that’s influenced by our St. Zelie, since so many of us aren’t even sure how to say it, so I assume it’s a Baylee/Kaylee name … what a weird and interesting convergence of super Catholic and super trendy!

No shock at all was the fact that the girl name Isis took the biggest hit, decreasing 1065 spots from #705 to #1770. Maybe I’m surprised it didn’t fall farther?

That’s all I have to say for the moment, but be sure to check out those who have a better handle on it all than I do — some good analysis in these pieces, and more will be coming in the next few days I’m sure:

Appellation Mountain: Harper and Benjamin Enter the US Top Ten! (Abby had made some great predictions — including that both Harper and Benjamin would enter the top ten! Wow!)

Nameberry: Emma and Noah Top Baby Names List … Again

Baby Name Wizard: The Most Popular Baby Names in America for 2015

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! 😉 ❤