Top baby names of 2012: The most popular and most unusual

Whether you are expecting or not, the year's top baby names are always interesting to see. Did your name make the list? Photo: AP photo/Keith Brofsky

SILVER SPRING, Md, December 27, 2012 – The name to give your child is one of the most important decisions you will make. Some people want a unique name, some people want a common name.  Most parents consult baby name books, or websites at some point in the decision making process looking for a little inspiration. But what may just be a statistical compiling for the folks who keep the annual lists of most popular names, it is a point of curiosity for the rest of us, expecting or not.

While the Social Security Administration (SSA) has not yet released its report of top most popular baby names of 2012, but there are other groups that track names that have already weighed in on which names topped the lists for little ones who have joined us this year. BabyCenter is the top group reporting their name results for the year. While these results are based solely on the names of babies born to the 450,000 moms registered with BabyCenter, they give us a picture of where the naming trends for 2012 lay.

So was the name you chose one of this year’s most popular names?

Rank        Girls                       Boys

1              Sophia                 Aiden

2              Emma                  Jackson

3              Olivia                   Ethan

4              Isabella                Liam

5              Ava                      Mason

6              Lily                       Noah

7              Zoe                      Lucas

8              Chloe                   Jacob

9              Mia                      Jayden

10            Madison                Jack


It’s been a long ride for Sophia in the both BabyCenter and the SSA’s top 10, landing a spot there every year since 2006. In comparison, Aiden is a relative newcomer, making the top 10 in both lists only twice before.

As evidenced by this list, books and film can be strong influencers when it comes to baby names. Isabella and Jacob both saw spikes as Twilight mania took hold. Olivia has been a strong contender for years, being brought back to popularity by the Law & Order SVU character Olivia Benson. Sci-fi was an influential genre this year. Star Wars, The Fifth Element, and Tron even made an appearance this year with a babies being named Jedi, Leeloo and Tron. Baby Center also reports a 50 Shades of Grey bump, as the names Anastasia increased in popularity by 10% and Grey increased 20%.

Isabella and Jacob have seen boosts in popularity thanks to Twilight. Photo by AP photo/Gabriel Pecot.


If you are looking for name inspiration, maybe you will be able to find something in the names of some of the unique celebrity babies born this year. Beyonce and Jay-Z welcomed Blue Ivy. Reese Witherspoon welcomed son Tennessee, and Jason Bateman welcomed daughter Maple. Robert Downy Jr named his son Exton, and Beth Littleford adopted her daughter, Halcyon. Football quarterbacks had a big year, with Tony Romo welcoming son Hawkins, and Drew Brees welcoming son Callen. Allyson Hannigan named her daughter Keeva, and Chris Helmsworth named his daughter India.  Although, Uma Thurman wins the longest name award by giving her daughter not one middle name, but four, plus a hyphenated last name: Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Forence Thurman-Busson. Reportedly, she is being called Luna.

Beyonce and baby daughter Blue Ivy. Photo by Ed Burk - AP photo/


If not in the celebrity world, what about in the tech world? ABC news reported that Mac, Apple and Siri made a mark on the list this year with all three rising in popularity over last year. But if naming your child after the technological progeny of Steve Jobs is not for you, what about the internet? One couple named their child Hashtag and another couple named their child Google.

If those names are not unusual enough for you, The Huffington Post has compiled a list of the 50 most unusual names of 2012. Some of the names that made the list: Ball, Burger, Excel, Couture, Espn, Four, Hippo, Drifter, and Legacy.

Regardless of what name you choose, it should be something that is meaningful and appealing to you.


Follow Brighid on Twitter a @BrighidMoret and receive updates when new columns post on Facebook. Read more about first time parenting issues in Parenting the First Time Through at The Communities at The Washington Times.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Parenting The First Time Through
blog comments powered by Disqus
Brighid Moret

Brighid is a freelance writer and first time mother.  She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.  Find her on Facebook @Brighid Moret


Contact Brighid Moret


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus