Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Uncommon Alternatives to the Top 10 Boys' Names

As you may know, here in the US the Social Security Administration tallies up the names of all the babies born within a year and reveals which names were most popular. While there are clearly thousands of parents who are happy using popular names, there are also parents who would rather avoid them.

For those parents who may secretly like the sound of the top names but hate their popularity, I've created a list of alternative options to the Top 10 names for boys. The names may be similar in sound, syllables, initial letter, meaning, origin or a combination of those. None of the alternate names below rank on the SSA's Top 1000 most popular names chart in 2014.

1. Noah ---> Nahum
Nahum is the best alternative to Noah because it is also a biblical Hebrew name and it has a similar meaning. Noah means "rest, comfort" and Nahum means "comforter". It starts with the same letter, has the same number of syllables and they're both very vowel heavy. While Noah ranked at #1, Nahum sits nicely at #2076. Perfectly suitable to take Noah's place!  Other options: Noam, Enoch, Jonah, Nolan

2. Liam ---> Calum
Calum is a fun choice because it has the same ending sound as Liam and they both have Celtic roots with Liam being Irish and Calum being Scottish. Calum is a form of Columba, a Latin, saintly name meaning "dove". While Calum ranks down at #2452 last year, it does have a slightly more popular brother, Callum, that ranks at #729. Both are still much less popular than Liam at #2!  Other options: Alec, Leeland, Noam, Willem

3. Mason ---> Pierson
Mason is an occupational surname that refers to a stoneworker. What better alternative than a surname name referring to a rock? Pierson comes from the medieval name Piers which is a variant of Peter. Both of these names end with -son and they both come from Old French roots. It's cool and unusual and the perfect uncommon alternative since it ranked way down at #1301 in 2014. Other options: Cason, Colson, Stetson, Thatcher

4. Jacob ---> Javan
Jacob was the #1 name for many years only to begin its descent in 2013 when Noah took over. Javan has never even cracked the Top 1000, receiving only 52 births in 2014. Both 5-letter J-names are Hebrew but clearly have opposite popularities which makes Javan an interesting alternative to Jacob. Other options: Coby, Israel, Jaime, Séamus

5. William ---> Bertram
This was a tough choice. In the end, Bertram has similar, appealing qualities to William. Both names are derived from Germanic elements and both end with -am. While William has Will, Bertram has Bert. While Bert isn't as fashionable as Will at the moment, there's potential for it to come back and rank as well as it did in the 1920s. With barely 7 births last year, I find Bertram a handsome and truly rare alternative. Other options: Alaric, Edmund, Luther, Wilson

6. Ethan ---> Japheth
These two names take us from a popular biblical name to a rare one. Ethan may rank at #6 now but it wasn't always popular. It wasn't even regularly used in the US until 1911. Ethan gradually increased in usage through the 1970s until it exploded onto the scene in 1989 and zoomed up the charts, ranking as high as #2 in 2009 and 2010. Japheth was unheard of until 1970 and has slowly gained a handful of usage today with 43 births in 2014. Could it follow Ethan's pattern and someday be discovered in a big way?  Other options: Eben, Lathan, Ephraim, Irah

7. Michael ---> Micaiah
These two biblical names sound similar enough to swap and still keep everyone happy. Michael has been hugely popular for a very long time. There are Mikes everywhere. However, Micaiah  is relatively obscure. It has only been in use in the US since 1973. 2014 was its best year yet with 133 male births and a rank of #1311. There were also 41 female births.  Other options: Melchoir, Mischa, Mitchell, Malcolm

8. Alexander --->  Lysander
Alexander is a big, strong Greek name that has been used very well all around the world. Lysander is also a Greek name but it has a more tame and whimsical feel to it. Both end with "ander" which makes the rare Lysander a good alternative to the popular Alexander. It only had 43 male births in 2014 for a low, low ranking of #2764. Are you sold yet? Other options: Evander, Ferdinand, Constantine, Augustus

9. James ---> Ramsey
Without featuring a variant of James or a translation in another language, I wanted to find something uncommon that sounded similar. This one was very tough, especially since we also featured James' twin brother Jacob earlier. I settled on Ramsey. They have a similar sound  because of the "am" and "s" that should satisfy that quota, and they also have a potentially cool, bad boy vibe in common. Ramsey only had 93 births in 2014 for a ranking of #1649.  Other options: Hayes, Ellis, Hamish, Thiago

10. Daniel ---> Dashiell
These two names sound very similar to each other. Dashiell would work very well as an alternative choice for those who love Daniel but cannot use it. Daniel has always ranked well in the US but Dashiell has only been used in the US since 1979. It has never ranked in the Top 1000 and had only 123 births in 2014.  If you're looking for unusual, Dashiell is it! Other options: Adriel, Uriel, Dane, Niall

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What do you think of my choices? Would you choose different alternative names for any of these?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

From Amaranth to Violet: A Look at Names of the Rainbow


Colors are everywhere: some vibrant, some pastel. Things would be dreary if we suddenly removed color from our lives. Some might even go the extra step to ensure that their surroundings are always colorful and lively by painting the walls in their home or dressing in only the hottest pinks or brightest yellows. Plenty of parents already opt for nature names so why not extend your love for colors to baby naming, too?

I've previously posted a list of color names on The Art of Naming, but they were not broken down according to the major base colors. I decided to take a look at the rainbow and categorize some of the more interesting name possibilities under the closest related parent color. The following list was the result:

Red:

Amaranth
Carmine
Cerise
Crimson
Magenta
Red
Rose
Ruby
Scarlet

The last three on the red list are probably the most popular with Rose leading the pack, however Scarlett is more popular than Scarlet. Would you use one of the more unusual reds like Amaranth or Carmine?

Orange:

Amber
Coral
Peach
Rusty
Sienna
Tawny

While Rusty and Tawny are rarely used, Amber was huge in the '80s and Sienna peaked in 2007. Peach doesn't have any recorded usage.

Yellow:

Goldie
Jasmine
Jonquil
Lemon
Maize
Marigold
Mikado
Saffron

Many of these are rather unusual. The most popular by far is Jasmine which ranks at #100 in 2014!

Green:

Emerald
Fern
Forest
Hunter
Jade
Kelly
Laurel
Myrtle
Olive
Pine

Green names are fun, especially the more playful ones like Kelly which only came about because of the Irish surname's association with Ireland and the color green. And then there's Hunter green which was the color of choice for hunters back in the 19th century. The others are very nature related.

Blue:

Aqua
Azure
Blue
Cobalt
Cyan
Navy
Sapphire
Sky
Zaffre

Most of these blues are pretty obscure as names. Sky (g) is most popular at #740 in 2014.  If you’re looking for something related to a shade of blue that is a little more “namey” and a little less unusual, try Alice, Carolina, Celeste, Maya and Tiffany.  

Indigo & Violet:

Amethyst
Indigo
Iris
Lavender
Mauve
Orchid
Plum
Thistle
Violet
Wisteria

Violet is a true vintage name and has come back in style after being popular in 1920. (Check out the 100 year rule!) Iris is also ranking well these days! The others would make beautiful and quirky middle names!
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What's your favorite color? Do your favorite baby names correspond to your favorite color? Would you choose one of the names above and if so, which do you like best? Can you think of any I missed? Share your colorful thoughts in the comments below!  [Source]

Friday, June 19, 2015

Kai

Today's featured name comes from the list of The Very Best K Names for Boys and Girls. This one actually happens to be unisex these days but it will be mainly presented for males in this article, (hence the blue below).


The Kai that I'm most familiar with is the Hawaiian name that means "sea". This is the one being featured here.  Other possible meanings for this name include "forgiveness" in Japanese, "food" in Maori and "willow tree" in Navajo.

Kai is also considered a diminutive for names like Gerhard, Nicolaas, Cornelis and Gaius/Caius. It is also a feminine variant of Kaja which comes from Katarina.

Internationally, Kai ranks well! It is actually doing better in other countries for boys than it is in the US. However, we're the only country that has a ranking for this name as a feminine one.

This is how Kai ranked in the US:
Boy: 2,387 births (#177)
Girl: 262 births (#1000)

This means the name's unisex ratio is 90% boy / 10% girl based on the births for 2014.

In England/Wales, Kai recently ranked at #64 for boys. Canada (BC) ranked it at #36; it was #69 in Australia, #85 in Ireland, #65 in Northern Ireland, #55 in Scotland, and #121 in the Netherlands. These are the most recent rankings I found so they may vary a bit today.

The name Kaia is a feminine form of Kai that's also ranking well at #551 in the US.

What do you think of the name Kai? It is short and sweet and definitely carries that Hawaiian vibe which gives the name warmth and an exotic feel. It is handsome and cool, bold but not unusual. Are you considering it?  If so, here are a few ideas for sibling names and middle names for Kai:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Aria, Kamilah, Leilani, Milana, Noa, Sienna, Zoey
Brothers: Arlo, Finnian, Jude, Milo, Orion, River, Silas

Middle Name Ideas:
Kai Elliott
Kai Hawthorn
Kai Julian
Kai Sebastian
Kai Thackeray
Kai Valentine

As a Middle Name:
Evander Kai
Lachlan Kai
Nathaniel Kai
Remington Kai
Samuel Kai
William Kai

Unless you're Hawaiian, it is probably going to be difficult to find a middle name that will share Kai's origin. I wouldn't worry about that. The above names simply sound nice and flow well with Kai. What would you pair with Kai?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Very Best K Names for Boys and Girls

If you weren't a fan of the very best C names for boys and girls, perhaps you'll prefer the very best K names!  While similar, the letter K gives a whole different vibe to names than the letter C. 

K names are sometimes thought of as trendy alternate spellings of traditional C names. However, many Greek names, for example, were spelled with a K originally. So when it comes to spelling a name with a C or a K, it's all a matter of taste and opinion.

If you happen to enjoy the letter K, this is your list! Below are 25 of the very best names for girls that start with the letter K, and 25 for boys too! 

Be sure to share your favorite K names in the comments whether they're listed below or not!

  1. Kacy                                    
  2. Kaia
  3. Kalista
  4. Kalliope
  5. Kara
  6. Karen
  7. Karissa
  8. Kassandra
  9. Kassidy
  10. Katarina
  11. Kate
  12. Katelyn
  13. Katherine
  14. Kathleen
  15. Katrina
  16. Kayla
  17. Kayley
  18. Keira
  19. Kelly
  20. Kendra
  21. Keturah
  22. Khloe
  23. Kiersten
  24. Kimberly
  25. Kristina
  1. Kade
  2. Kai
  3. Kaleb
  4. Karl
  5. Kato
  6. Kayden
  7. Keagan
  8. Keanu
  9. Keaton
  10. Keenan
  11. Keith
  12. Kellan
  13. Kelvin
  14. Kendall
  15. Kenneth
  16. Kevin
  17. Kiefer
  18. Kieran
  19. Killian
  20. Kingston
  21. Knox
  22. Kolton
  23. Kory
  24. Kristopher
  25. Kyle
Did I miss any of your favorites? Or perhaps K isn't your letter after all. If not, don't worry, there are 25 more letters to explore and we've already covered quite a few! Use the links below to browse the other letters!

<-- The Very Best J Names for Boys and Girls ||| The Very Best L Names for Boys and Girls -->

Friday, June 12, 2015

Top 10 Unisex Baby Names in 2014

Last month we discovered which names were most favored by America in 2014. As you know, Emma and Noah were ranked at #1.  Have you ever wondered which unisex names are the most popular?

The SSA doesn't make a separate list for unisex names. It's up to us to determine which names are used for both boys and girls.

If you saw my previous article regarding the boy-to-girl ratios of every unisex name within the Top 1000, you'll see that some names are used more often for one gender than the other, yet some names are very evenly used.

So how can we determine which unisex names are the most popular based on this information?

Since there are two genders, it's a bit complicated to determine the exact popularity, especially since I was taking into account the boy-to-girl ratios of the names, the number of births for each gender, and the rank assigned to the names by the Social Security Administration..

While determining which unisex names are the most popular across the genders, my dilemma was whether or not to include the barely-unisex names like Logan (94% male) or Harper (97% female). In the end, I did include those.

I ranked the Top 10 Unisex Names of 2014 based on the list of names and their data from my previous article. All data ultimately came straight from the SSA's list.

There was much debate and number crunching, but I chose to simplify things by averaging the sum of boy/girl ranks with the "most popular" names having the smallest numbers. Here's the top 10 that I came up with:

1. Avery
In every data crunching method that I toyed with, Avery was without a doubt the most-used unisex name by both genders. At #13 for girls and #186 for boys, Avery is definitely popular. It comes from a surname that may have been derived from either Alberich or Alfred, both names having a meaning related to elves. Because of that, Avery is generally said to mean "Elf Ruler".

2. Riley
Our second most popular unisex name is Riley which also comes from a surname. It actually has two origins. As an Irish surname, it's a variant of Reilly whose meaning is unknown; and as an English surname, it comes from a place name that refers to a "rye clearing". In 2014, Riley ranked at #47 for girls and #173 for boys.

3. Peyton
Between Peyton and Payton, this name is getting a lot of usage for girls. However, the boys still like it too. Peyton in particular is 71% girl but when you average both ranks, it becomes our #3 unisex name.  It came in at #56 for girls and #210 for boys which are respectable ranks! Peyton comes from an English surname which came from a place name meaning "Paega's town".

4. Jordan
Both Jordan and Jordyn have usage as unisex names within the Top 1000. While Jordyn is 91% girl, Jordan is 84% boy. Since we are only considering Jordan here as our #4 unisex name, it's interesting to note that it ranked at #55 for boys and #247 for girls. This name is generally based on the Jordan River near Israel.

5. Parker
This one surprised me a bit. It feels very masculine but it is being given to girls with increased frequency now. 20% of all Parkers born in 2014 were female, which is up from 17% in 2013. It ranked at #73 for boys and #235 for girls last year!  Parker is an English occupational surname that refers to a "keeper of the park".

6. Hayden
From an English surname, Hayden is derived from place names meaning "hay valley" or "hay hill". This name has a decent split of 63% boy and 37% girl. It ranks at #142 for boys and #199 for girls which makes them both reasonably popular. That's why this name is our #6 unisex name for 2014!

7. Angel
Following closely behind Hayden in terms of the rank averages, Angel is well used for both genders primarily in the Hispanic community.  It's more popular for a boy with 84% of all Angels being male. It ranks at #67 for boys and #275 for girls in 2014. The name is based on the heavenly creatures and means "messenger" in Greek.

8. Alexis
From a Greek name meaning "defender", Alexis is our 8th most popular unisex name in 2014. It ranks higher for girls at #64 but the boys hold their own at #302. The boys actually gained 2% from 2013 in the boy-to-girl ratio of usage.

9. Logan
This name is predominantly used by boys and ranked at #13 in 2014 with over 13 thousand births. However, it also ranked at #391 for girls which is actually quite high despite there being only 828 female births. Logan is unisex even though it has a 94/6 boy-to-girl ratio.  It is a surname meaning "little hollow" which relates to a place in Scotland.

10. Dylan
Similar to Logan, this name has a 93/7 boy-to-girl ratio. Dylan came in at #29 for boys in 2014 while it ranked #394 for girls. In the end, there were over 10 thousand male Dylans and just over 800 females.  This Welsh name meaning "great tide" ranks at #10 on this list!

What do you think of my top 10 list? Would you have crunched the numbers differently? If so, share your methods in the comments below! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Your Ultimate Guide to Unisex Names: Boy-to-Girl Ratios in 2014

Welcome to our annual list of unisex names. This is where we analyze the gender ratios of each name. Some of these may not truly classify as a true "unisex name" because they will swing very heavily to one side or the other.

I chose to include some names like that because it is worth mentioning, especially if it ranked at 3% last year and now ranks at 5%. That means the name is beginning to gain more popularity for the minority gender.

Over time, it could continue to change and become more of a 20/80 thing and perhaps later a 40/60 thing. Wouldn't you like to be able to guess these things in advance if its a name you're pondering for a future child?

There have been many cases where a name was traditionally male and it was then slowly taken over by the girls. Some of those formerly male names are now considered completely female. Names evolve. If we can catch them in the act, well, I think it would be exciting.

I'm only mentioning all of this because last year I got comments regarding my monitoring of names like Ryan that were only given to 3% of girls. Yes, that does not mean that Ryan is a unisex name through and through. BUT it means that Ryan could potentially gain more usage for females over time and end up becoming a true unisex name.

Take a look at the current trend in Hollywood.  It seems like every other week we're hearing about a new celebrity baby girl being given a masculine name. While it may or may not catch on with mainstream parents right now, it could happen eventually. Things seem to be moving that way already and you never know what the future of naming might bring!

Here are some more examples of celebrity baby girls who were given traditionally masculine names:

Wyatt (Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher)
Lincoln (Kristin Bell & Dax Shepherd)
James (Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds)
Ryan (Haylie Duff)
Maxwell (Jessica Simpson)
Hunter (Kevin Rahm)
Casper (Jason Lee)
Mason & Spencer (Kelsey Grammer)

There are likely many more examples of these. Now we are going to take a look at all of the potentially unisex names in the Top 1000.

Mostly Female Usage:

First, the following are the names that swing more toward the female side, meaning they have 60% or more usage for girls with 40% or less for boys.


Harper: 3% boy / 97% girl                  
Boy: 327 births (#728)
Girl: 9,564 births (#11)

Avery: 19% boy / 81% girl
Boy: 2,269 births (#186)
Girl: 9,517 births (#13)

Riley: 34% boy / 66% girl
Boy: 2,429 births (#173)
Girl: 4,761 births (#47)

Skylar: 8% boy / 92% girl
Boy: 409 births (#637)
Girl: 4,732  births (#48)

Peyton: 29% boy / 71% girl
Boy: 1,828 births (#210)
Girl: 4,426 births (#56)

Alexis: 22% boy / 78% girl
Boy: 1,172 births (#302)
Girl: 4,188 births (#64)

Taylor: 15% boy / 85% girl
Boy: 691 births (#435)
Girl: 3,782 births (#77)

London: 12% boy / 88% girl
Boy: 433 births (#611)
Girl: 3,264 births (#93)

Morgan: 12% boy / 88% girl
Boy: 402 births (#650)
Girl: 2,984 births (#101)

Reagan: 7% boy / 93% girl
Boy: 205 births (#999)
Girl: 2,882 births (#106)

Rylee: 8% boy / 92% girl
Boy: 247 births (#877)
Girl: 2,753 births (#113)

Quinn: 25% boy / 75% girl
Boy: 868 births (#363)
Girl: 2,539 births (#126)

Jordyn: 9% boy / 91% girl
Boy: 239 births (#895)
Girl: 2,533 births (#127)

Kendall: 11% boy / 89% girl
Boy: 310 births (#754)
Girl: 2,432 births (#131)

Ariel: 12% boy / 88% girl
Boy: 319 births (#738)
Girl: 2,419 births (#133)

Payton: 14% boy / 86% girl
Boy: 406 births (#644)
Girl: 2,397 births (#134)

Eden: 17% boy / 83% girl
Boy: 447 births (#601)
Girl: 2,117 births (#151)

Emery: 15% boy / 85% girl
Boy: 361 births (#687)
Girl: 2,026 births (#161)

Reese: 17% boy / 83% girl
Boy: 403 births (#648)
Girl: 1,960 births (#165)

Emerson: 39% boy / 61% girl
Boy: 1,048 births (#324)
Girl: 1,670 births (#196)

Marley: 14% boy / 86% girl
Boy: 273 births (#821)
Girl: 1,643 births (#202)

Finley: 36% boy / 64% girl
Boy: 829 births (#374)
Girl: 1,498 births (#223)

Teagan: 14% boy / 86% girl
Boy: 212 births (#979)
Girl: 1,272 births (#253)

Lyric: 17% boy / 83% girl
Boy: 255 births (#860)
Girl: 1,210 births (#271)

Harley: 30% boy / 70% girl
Boy: 407 births (#641)
Girl: 940 births (#349)

Kamryn: 20% boy / 80% girl
Boy: 216 births (#967)
Girl: 850 births (#380)

Sage: 32% boy / 68% girl
Boy: 399 births (#654)
Girl: 834 births (#388)

Tatum: 36% boy / 64% girl
Boy: 462 births (#592)
Girl: 828 births (#392)

Jamie: 32% boy / 68% girl
Boy: 292 births (#786)
Girl: 633 births (#489)

Leighton: 30% boy / 70% girl
Boy: 240 births (#893)
Girl: 568 births (#540)

Jessie: 36% boy / 64% girl
Boy: 280 births (#809)
Girl: 504 births (#587)

Emory: 40% boy / 60% girl
Boy: 252 births (#868)
Girl: 373 births (#743)
The most popular unisex name, meaning the name with the most usage across both genders, is Avery with over 9 thousand births for girls and 2 thousand for boys. This means they both rank well at #13 and #186 respectively.  Both Skylar and Skyler are gaining for the girls whereas Tatum, Finley, Alexis  Kendall, and Morgan have shifted toward the boys' side.

If you would like to make more comparisons from 2013 to 2014, take a look at our previous article featuring the Boy-to-Girl Ratios of Unisex Names in 2013.

Most Evenly Used for Both Genders:

Now let's look at the names that are very evenly matched for boys and girls. These names are the ones that come the closest to being truly gender neutral. The names on this list range from a 50/50 split to a 59/41 or 41/59 split.  In other words, these have the tightest ratios:


Charlie: 54% boy / 46% girl               
Boy: 1,670 births (#225)
Girl: 1,432 births (#229)

Dakota: 43% boy / 57% girl
Boy: 876 births (#360)
Girl: 1,136 births (#285)

Skyler: 46% boy / 54% girl
Boy: 911 births (#352)
Girl: 1,070 births (#302)

Justice: 41% boy / 59% girl
Boy: 518 births (#531)
Girl: 756 births (#421)

Phoenix: 59% boy / 41% girl
Boy: 901 births (#355)
Girl: 629 births (#494)
Armani: 57% boy / 43% girl
Boy: 570 births (#489)
Girl: 422 births (#671)

Lennon: 47% boy / 53% girl
Boy: 358 births (#691)
Girl: 399 births (#699)

Oakley: 52% boy / 48% girl
Boy: 394 births (#657)
Girl: 362 births (#768)

Landry: 50% boy / 50% girl
Boy: 270 births (#829)
Girl: 269 births (#981)

Azariah: 49% boy / 51% girl
Boy: 264 births (#838)
Girl: 278 births (#954)

The name that is officially most unisex for the year 2014 is Landry. There was only a difference of one birth between the genders which makes it a [rounded up] 50/50 split! It's the closest I've ever seen two names come to being equally used for both genders!  

The next closest name is Azariah with a 49/51 split which is very close!  Justice gained 4 percentage points for the girls over 2013.  One name was a big mover in particular this year: Skyler jumped 10 points in favor of the girls in 2014. 

Mostly Male Usage:

The following names lean more toward the male side but are still used for females too. These have a range of 60% or more for boys with 40% or less for girls. 


Logan: 94% boy / 6% girl                   
Boy: 13,579 births (#13)
Girl: 828 births (#391)

Jayden: 96% boy / 4% girl
Boy: 12,878 births (#15)
Girl: 569 births (#539)

Carter: 97% boy / 3% girl
Boy: 10,599 births (#27)
Girl: 355 births (#785)

Dylan: 93% boy / 7% girl
Boy: 10,350 births (#29)
Girl: 822 births (#394)

Ryan: 94% boy / 6% girl
Boy: 9,026 births (#37)
Girl: 603 births (#510)

Hunter: 96% boy / 4% girl
Boy: 8,759 births (#40)
Girl: 362 births (#766)

Cameron: 93% boy / 7% girl
Boy: 7,013 births (#53)
Girl: 524 births (#578)

Jordan: 84% boy / 16% girl
Boy: 6,810 births (#55)
Girl: 1,300 births (#247)

Angel: 84% boy / 16% girl
Boy: 6,255 births (#67)
Girl: 1,179 births (#275)

Parker: 80% boy / 20% girl
Boy: 5,677 births (#73)
Girl: 1,386 births (#235)

Blake: 89% boy / 11% girl
Boy: 4,913 births (#84)
Girl: 589 births (#499)

Kayden: 92% boy / 8% girl
Boy: 4,691 births (#90)
Girl: 391 births (#712)

Micah: 93% boy / 7% girl
Boy: 3,612 births (#109)
Girl: 264 births (#994)

Sawyer: 79% boy / 21% girl
Boy: 3,571 births (#110)
Girl: 955 births (#344)

Hayden: 63% boy / 37% girl
Boy: 2,851 births (#142)
Girl: 1,656 births (#199)
Kai: 90% boy / 10% girl
Boy: 2,387 births (#177)
Girl: 262 births (#1000)

Karter: 89% boy / 11% girl
Boy: 2,103 births (#194)
Girl: 273 births (#968)

Elliot: 83% boy / 17% girl
Boy: 1,750 births (#217)
Girl: 367 births (#756)

Rylan: 84% boy / 16% girl
Boy: 1,726 births (#219)
Girl: 339 births (#812)

Elliott: 83% boy / 17% girl
Boy: 1,574 births (#233)
Girl: 329 births (#833)

Rowan: 67% boy / 33% girl
Boy: 1,531 births (#239)
Girl: 770 births (#412)

Zion: 83% boy / 17% girl
Boy: 1,471 births (#255)
Girl: 295 births (#911)

Dallas: 72% boy / 28% girl
Boy: 1,359 births (#268)
Girl: 522 births (#580)

River: 64% boy / 36% girl
Boy: 1,223 births (#287)
Girl: 703 births (#453)

Remington: 73% boy / 27% girl
Boy: 1,101 births (#313)
Girl: 410 births (#685)

Amari: 62% boy / 38% girl
Boy: 970 births (#340)
Girl: 585 births (#524)

Milan: 64% boy / 36% girl
Boy: 748 births (#411)
Girl: 424 births (#670)

Rory: 69% boy / 31% girl
Boy: 741 births (#416)
Girl: 326 births (#840)

Casey: 60% boy / 40% girl
Boy: 519 births (#530)
Girl: 352 births (#792)

Remy: 60% boy / 40% girl
Boy: 424 births (#621)
Girl: 278 births (#956)

There are several names in the 90th percentile range that most people today would generally consider to just be boy names, but since they do get a handful of feminine usage, it's wise to keep an eye on the changes from year to year. 

For instance, a few of those names that ranked very-masculine (in the 90s) have had some changes from 2013 to 2014. Logan gained more female births and lost some male births. It was 95% boy in 2013 and is now 94%.  Ryan had more female births in 2014 which made the males lose 2%. Similarly, Hunter also had more female usage resulting in a lost of 1% for the boys.

Interestingly, spelling makes a difference. Out of all the Carters born in 2014, only 3% of them were female, however, 11% of all Karters were female.  Ryan is mostly masculine since only 6% of them were girls, but add the ever-popular letter L to the mix and suddenly 16% of all Rylans are female.

If you would like to make more comparisons from 2013 to 2014, take a look at our previous article featuring the Boy-to-Girl Ratios of Unisex Names in 2013.

What do you think of these stats? Can you point out anything interesting that I missed? What are your favorite unisex names?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Juno

While everyone will have differing opinions about which are The Very Best J Names for Boys and Girls, I'm sure many can agree that Juno is an interesting and unique choice!


The feminine name Juno is very mythological. The ancient Roman goddess was a daughter of Saturn, the wife (and sister!) of the Jupiter and the mother of Mars and Vulcan. She was the goddess of marriage and childbirth and often looked after the women of Rome. Juno was also the Queen of the Gods, known as "Regina" which means Queen. Her Greek equivalent is the goddess Hera.


The meaning of the name Juno is generally thought to be unknown but some speculate that it is related to an Indo-European root word that means "youth".  Juno is a variation of the Roman name Iuno. Other related names are Iunius, Junius, Iunia, and Junia.

As a name, Juno isn't very used in the US. It randomly charted way back in 1919 with 6 births and it wasn't heard from again until 1996.

This name really wasn't on anyone's radar until the popular Indie film Juno came out in 2007. There were only 7 girls with this name in 2006, but because of the film, 11 girls were given the name Juno in 2007 and 33 in 2008.

It has continued to slowly inch up the charts after that with a peak of 61 births in 2011. As of 2014, though, the name Juno has declined a bit to only 49 births for the year.

Interestingly, this name is also being used for boys despite the strong association with the goddess. It actually had more births in 2007 for a boy than for a girl but it didn't get a usage boost after that. It wasn't given to boys at all in 2010 but the year 2014 had 15 boys named Juno.

While I've seen this name get thrown around the baby naming community quite a bit, it has yet to catch on with mainstream America. However, that's probably a good thing because Juno can continue to remain a rare gem for the time being. If you are interested in using this unranked and unusual name, your child will be one of a kind in their school.

Here are some ideas for sibling names and middle names for Juno:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Aurora, Diana, Iris, Maren, Portia, Viola
Brothers: Antony, Damon, Fabian, Lucian, Marcus, Theon

Middle Name Ideas:
Juno Cecily
Juno Cordelia
Juno Eleanor
Juno Harper
Juno Violet

As a Middle Name:
Amelia Juno
Evelyn Juno
Liliana Juno
Michaela Juno
Victoria Juno

What do you think of Juno as a name? Would you use it for a boy? What middle name would you pair with it? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

Photo credit: "Juno sospita pushkin" by shakko - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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