All the “aydens”

Few name phenomena in the past decade have been as visible as the Aidan names. These have been so popular over the past fifteen years that they have become an infamous example of questionable modern naming practices. A few of them are legitimate names, while others are recent inventions–but all have been wildly to at least mildly popular. The seven main entries are:

Aidan: An Anglicized Gaelic name meaning “fire.” Although this is the most popular of the “aydens”, it didn’t begin climbing until after Braden and Hayden had achieved some measure of visibility.

Braden: An old Irish or English name meaning “salmon” or “broad valley” (den = “valley” in Old English). This was the first “ayden” name to begin rising, back in the 1970s. However, its numbers were not noticeable until the 1980s.

Hayden: An English name meaning “hay valley.” Hayden is the oldest of the “aydens” and has been used in small quantities since at least the 1800s. It began rising very soon after Braden did and for a while had bigger numbers.

The rest of the “ayden” names are modern creations:

Jayden and Kayden: These names first appeared in the 1970s and began rising together in the 1990s.

Zayden and Raiden: These are the most recent additions. They had no usage at all until the 1990s and did not become popular until well into the 2000s.

The peak year for all “ayden” names was in 2008, when almost 107,000 boys were born who were named Aidan, Jayden, Kayden, Hayden, Braden, Zayden, or Raiden. In 2017, 61384 “aydens” were born.

In total, about 1.43 million “aydens” have been born since 1990, with Aidan propers making up 31% of the total. That’s a lot of aydens!

All the Oras

“O” names are very trendy right now, and those containing “ora” are particularly popular. This trend began with the rise of Nora, Cora, and Aurora. These names started moving up the charts in the mid-1990s and all three of them are now in the Top 100 and will likely continue to grow. Currently, Nora is at #30, Aurora at #81, and Cora at #91.

Other “ora” names whose numbers are increasing include Ora/Aura, Flora, Elora, Coraline, Amora, Lenora, Coralie, Zora, and Eleanora.

Curiously, Maura and Laura are both decreasing, indicating that a name with no “O” is a no-go.

The Top 10 girls’ names of the year 2000: Where are they now?

During the decades that baby names are most popular, it often seems they will be on top forever due to hearing and seeing them everywhere. However, all names fall eventually. In this post, we take a look at what has happened to the Top 10 girls’ names of the year 2000.

In 2000, the names that had begun rising during the 1980s had reached the height of their popularity. The names in the Top 10 girls’ list from 2000 are often thought of as typical 1990s names, and indeed you likely know many 20-somethings and younger 30-somethings who sport them.

1. Emily

Emily was a Top 5 name for over a decade between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, when it was finally edged out by newcomers like Sophia, Emma, Isabella, and Mia. Unlike some of the other names on this list, it still has very respectable numbers, coming in at #12 in 2017. Emily only left the Top 200 during the Baby Boom years, but has otherwise been quite common. Out of the Top 10 of 2000, this classic name is currently the most popular.

2. Caitlin

Caitlin was at one point so popular that it had four different spellings in the numerical Top 100. You would think its extreme popularity would lead to Caitlin fatigue, and that is exactly what happened… eventually. This name hung on for a surprisingly long time considering it was nearly nonexistent before 1980. Today, it is at #148 and falling.

3. Hannah

Hannah was at the top of its game in the year 2000, but has not crashed as hard as some of the other names. It has declined steadily but slowly, and is currently sitting at #40 on the charts.

4. Hailey

Hailey rose gradually from the 1960s through the 2000s, and that has probably helped it remain relatively popular as people had time to get used to its sound. Although this name was extremely popular during the 1990s and 2000s, and was only rarely used before the 1960s, it somehow feels less “invented” than other names that fit this pattern. Hailey was #45 in 2017.

5. Brianna

Brianna didn’t appear as a name in the United States until 1950. It was rare for a while before hitting its stride in the 1970s. By the 1980s it was posting big numbers and became ubiquitous in the 1990s and 2000s, sitting in the Top 10 for about a decade. Around 2010 it went into freefall. Right now, it’s at #97 and dropping rapidly.

6. Sarah

Sarah has never had a down period, but was particularly popular in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2000, it was just heading out of its most successful era ever. Although Sarah is still at #52, it is actually at its lowest point since the 1930s and appears as though it will fall lower before possibly stabilizing.

7. Madison

Madison only became popular in the 1980s, after it was used in the film “Splash” for Daryl Hannah’s mermaid character. Madison peaked in 2001, but has stubbornly refused to fade away, and is still at #21 on the list. This is rather impressive given its scant history.

8. Ashley

In the year 2000, Ashley was already on its way out, having peaked way back in 1987 at over 60,000 (!) uses. Like Caitlin, this name has begun to crash and as of 2017 has fallen to #141.

9. Alexis

Alexis had just passed its peak in 2000 and, like Brittany, must have seemed unique and fashionable to parents of the time. However, its allure didn’t last much longer; it has taken a steep tumble down to #180 on the charts.

10. Samantha

Samantha was in the Top 10 for two decades, and 2000 was the final year of its very successful run. It has since dropped about 73%, not as much as some other names on this list, but enough to mark it as a quintessential ’90s name. Samantha is currently at #84.

For more baby name fun facts, buy the book! Available at Amazon in print and digital format.

The Real Top 1000 Baby Names
The Real Top 1000 Baby Names on Amazon

Top 100 Boy Names for 2016

These are the top 100 boys’ names of 2016.  The simple list provided by the Social Security Administration is on the left.  The new list, which is pulled from the SSA data but combines spellings for all names, is on the right.  As you can see, there are some major differences.  Jackson and Aidan make the most obvious jumps due to their multiple spellings.

Takeaway lesson: If you name your kid Jaxxkszon to be unique, you’re still using the #1 name in America.  Sorry.

Numbers to the right of the names indicate the number of babies given that name in 2016.

SSA COMBINED
1 Noah 19,015 JACKSON 25199
2 Liam 18,138 AIDAN 22254
3 William 15,668 NOAH 19133
4 Mason 15,192 LIAM 18402
5 James 14,776 MASON 16301
6 Benjamin 14,569 WILLIAM 15679
7 Jacob 14,416 JACOB 15249
8 Michael 13,998 KAYDEN 14897
9 Elijah 13,764 JAMES 14834
10 Ethan 13,758 LUCAS 14709
11 Alexander 13,321 BENJAMIN 14658
12 Oliver 12,975 ELIJAH 14558
13 Daniel 12,839 MICHAEL 14423
14 Lucas 12,838 JAYDEN 14282
15 Matthew 12,551 ETHAN 14187
16 Aiden 12,158 ALEXANDER 14096
17 Jackson 11,210 GRAYSON 13851
18 Logan 11,200 MATTHEW 13202
19 David 11,028 OLIVER 13034
20 Joseph 10,823 DANIEL 13007
21 Samuel 10,492 CARTER 12284
22 Henry 10,323 LOGAN 11245
23 Owen 10,249 DAVID 11043
24 Sebastian 10,249 JOSEPH 10985
25 Gabriel 10,142 DYLAN 10840
26 Carter 10,134 ISAAC 10627
27 Jayden 10,063 SAMUEL 10558
28 John 9,952 SEBASTIAN 10541
29 Luke 9,930 CALEB 10505
30 Anthony 9,815 JOHN 10478
31 Isaac 9,671 HENRY 10458
32 Dylan 9,657 OWEN 10359
33 Wyatt 9,514 GABRIEL 10310
34 Andrew 9,324 LUKE 10025
35 Joshua 9,138 ANTHONY 10015
36 Christopher 9,020 JACE 9999
37 Grayson 8,622 CAMERON 9824
38 Jack 8,367 CHRISTOPHER 9824
39 Julian 8,333 CONNOR 9687
40 Ryan 8,215 WYATT 9554
41 Jaxon 8,054 CHRISTIAN 9518
42 Levi 8,009 ANDREW 9356
43 Nathan 7,933 JOSHUA 9187
44 Caleb 7,914 MATEO 9042
45 Hunter 7,613 JULIAN 8884
46 Christian 7,584 NICHOLAS 8875
47 Isaiah 7,454 JOSIAH 8582
48 Thomas 7,309 ISAIAH 8526
49 Aaron 7,118 LANDON 8493
50 Lincoln 7,076 RYAN 8488
51 Charles 7,050 JONATHAN 8406
52 Eli 7,046 JACK 8400
53 Landon 6,987 LEVI 8120
54 Connor 6,983 NATHAN 8114
55 Josiah 6,928 AARON 8044
56 Jonathan 6,914 THOMAS 7662
57 Cameron 6,807 Hunter 7613
58 Jeremiah 6,546 BRAYDEN 7532
59 Mateo 6,526 LINCOLN 7376
60 Adrian 6,303 ELI 7251
61 Hudson 6,098 COLTON 7240
62 Robert 5,953 DOMINIC 7205
63 Nicholas 5,716 Charles 7050
64 Brayden 5,679 JEREMIAH 7012
65 Nolan 5,615 ADRIAN 6733
66 Easton 5,606 CARSON 6668
67 Jordan 5,589 HUDSON 6149
68 Colton 5,580 JORDAN 6121
69 Evan 5,576 Robert 5953
70 Angel 5,523 JASON 5938
71 Asher 5,466 EVAN 5786
72 Dominic 5,394 NOLAN 5773
73 Austin 5,334 EASTON 5758
74 Leo 5,260 ERIC 5750
75 Adam 5,176 CASON 5596
76 Jace 5,169 AUSTIN 5592
77 Jose 5,089 ASHER 5565
78 Ian 5,048 ANGEL 5542
79 Cooper 4,951 IAN 5459
80 Gavin 4,913 MILES 5412
81 Carson 4,892 BRYSON 5402
82 Jaxson 4,868 XAVIER 5323
83 Theodore 4,859 ADAM 5289
84 Jason 4,851 ZACHARY 5287
85 Ezra 4,830 LEO 5271
86 Chase 4,826 CHASE 5232
87 Parker 4,685 COOPER 5144
88 Xavier 4,560 GAVIN 5100
89 Kevin 4,526 Jose 5089
90 Zachary 4,516 EZRA 4955
91 Tyler 4,474 THEODORE 4947
92 Ayden 4,472 TRISTAN 4909
93 Elias 4,454 DAMIAN 4905
94 Bryson 4,333 ELIAS 4834
95 Leonardo 4,310 CAMDEN 4760
96 Greyson 4,295 KEVIN 4697
97 Sawyer 4,213 Parker 4685
98 Roman 4,187 ELLIOT 4533
99 Brandon 4,076 TYLER 4530
100 Bentley 4,026 NATHANIEL 4462

Rising Roses

The “Rose” namegroup saw its highest use in the first half of the 20th century and its lowest use in the early to mid-2000s.  It seems to be back on track, making significant gains over the past few years, although its numbers are still low compared to its heyday in the 1910s and 1920s.  I’m guessing that several of these names will crack the top 200 within the next five years or so.

These are the most popular Rose names in 2014.  Rosie, with a 43% gain over 2014, is moving up fastest, but Rose and Rosalie have the highest number of uses and are also moving up quickly.

37.52% 1686 ROSE Rose 1678 Roze 8
39.01% 1411 ROSALIE Rosalee 209 Rosalei 5 Rosaleigh 40 Rosali 11 Rosalie 1047 Rosaly 23 Rosealee 10 Roselee 15 Roselie 15 Rosely 17 Rosilee 6 Rozalie 8 Rozalee 5
26.23% 977 ROSELYN Rosalin 15 Rosalyn 268 Rosalynn 102 Rosalynne 9 Rosealyn 5 Rosealynn 7 Roselin 26 Roselyn 336 Roselynn 109 Roselynne 9 Rosellen 5 Rosilyn 5 Rosilynn 5 Rosselyn 13 Rozalin 5 Rozalyn 32 Rozalynn 14 Rozelyn 7 Rozilyn 5
10.89% 550 ROSEMARY Rosemary 529 Rosmery 21
3.16% 489 ROSA Rosa 473 Roza 16
42.70% 401 ROSIE Rosy 45 Rosey 14 Rosie 324 Rosi 13 Rozie 5
38.75% 401 ROSLYN Roslin 10 Roslyn 187 Roslynn 47 Rosslyn 23 Rosslynn 5 Rozlin 8 Rozlyn 67 Rozlynn 49 Rozzlyn 5

Here are some less popular choices.  The number on the left indicates number of uses in 2014, while the number in parentheses represents number of uses in 2012.  It’s too soon to tell what these names will do, but Rosalind seems like a good candidate for a modern comeback.

163 (120) ROSALIA Rosalea 10 Rosaleah 8 Rosalia 119 Rosaliyah 5 Roselia 6 Rozalia 15
136 (106) Rosemarie 136
119 (81) ROSALINA Rosalena 11 Rosalina 96 Roselena 6 Roselina 6
116 (94) ROSANNA Rosanna 77 Rosana 10 Roseanna 29
108 (101) Rosalinda 108
100 (72) Rosalind 100
73 (51) ROSALINE Rosaleen 20 Rosaline 32 Roseleen 6 Roseline 15
60 (50) Rosabella 60
55 (52) ROSELLA Rosella 50 Rozella 5
50 (41) ROSABELLE Rosabel 9 Rosabell 8 Rosabelle 23 Rosibel 10
49 (40) Rosetta 49
31 (17) ROSANNE Rosanne 11 Roseann 11 Roseanne 9

 

EM and EVs

EV- and EM- names are very popular right now, traceable to the national obsession with Ava, Emily, and Emma.  Here are the names in the top 500 that are rising.

Everly and Emery (and Emry): Everly and Emery both saw strong gains (especially the red-hot Everly, at 376%) since 2012.  With 2625 uses and 3318 uses, respectively, they will increase in popularity over the next few years.  Meanwhile, their little sister Emry (+28%) will enter the top 500 as Emery rises.  Emily, the only EV- or EM- name in the entire top 500 to show a decrease in use, is down just 5.8%, a respectable showing considering the competition.

Eve: This simple name is up 32% and will keep rising as an alternative to Ava and Eva.

Evelyn, Emmalyn, and Emmeline: Evelyn continues to mow down all names in its path on its collision course with the Top 10.  It’s now over 10,000 uses, and having risen 26% since 2012, shows no signs of slowing.  Emmalyn (+16%) and Emmeline (+14%) seem to be following in its footsteps, although they don’t have nearly as many uses (yet).

Eva and Emma: Eva is up about 10% while Emma saw slightly more uses compared to 2012, keeping it in the #3 position on the girls’ list.

Evie and Emmy: These nicknames, up 21% and 30% respectively, will only increase in popularity as EM- and EV- names rise.

Evangeline: This name is rising while most of the other -ANGEL- names fall, almost certainly due to its EV- prefix.

Emilia: This name has several pronunciations and is no doubt being used as an alternative to both Emily and Amelia.  Since 2012 it’s risen an impressive 55%.

Ember: This little name will not remain little for long, up 44% since 2012.

Emerson: With a trendy EM- beginning and -SON ending, this name will continue to make significant gains.  It’s up 33% and in 2014 had 2716 uses.

A host of other EV- and EM- names populate the girls’ list in the sub-500 range.  It’s too soon to tell how most of them will fare, but given numbers and current trends these seem most likely to keep rising: Evelina, Evolet, Eveline/Eveleen, Ever, Emiliana, Emberly, and Emberlyn.

All the -SONs Born in 2014

THE BOY SONS

Total: 106,541, which represents about 5.6% of all boys born in 2014.

Jackson 25896 Mason 18268 Grayson 10278 Jason 6963 Carson 6276 Hudson 5293 Kason 5127 Bryson 4581 Jameson 3433 Harrison 3190 Tyson 1377 Anderson 1200 Emerson 1109 Dawson 1099 Jensen 924 Lawson 596 Benson 567 Nixon 543 Kyson 481 Wilson 473 Jefferson 450 Branson 442 Samson 416 Nelson 407 Edison 400 Bronson 362 Colson 350 Brayson 341 Maxon 305 Anson 297 Stetson 268 Gibson 254 Judson 226 Garrison 204 Acen 196 Pierson 192 Treyson 187 Eason 170 Wesson 157 Chasen 137 Addison 134 Payson 107 Watson 92 Drayson 90 Gerson 89 Dyson 86 Tayson 86 Daxon 85 Dayson 82 Hanson 74 Dixon 74 Jansen 71 Ellison 70 Erickson 67 Morrison 66 Robinson 62 Johnson 61 Larson 59 Kelson 57 Edson 55 Paxson 55 Jetson 53 Tennyson 53 Orson 52 Thompson 46 Saxon 44 Crimson 43 Sampson 42 Madison 40 Vinson 39 Braxson 38 Roczen 38 Nosson 37 Henderson 36 Iverson 32 Nason 32 Davidson 31 Olson 28 Delson 26 Kenson 24 Jerson 24 Myson 24 Arsen 24 Ryson 23 Yeison 20 Edinson 19 Matson 19 Ison 18 Brenson 17 Jessen 17 Woodson 17 Henson 17 Elson 16 Winson 16 Carlson 15 Denilson 15 Hutchinson 14 Brixon 14 Everson 13 Stevenson 13 Jamerson 12 Herson 12 Godson 11 Patterson 11 Kingson 10 Lason 10 Matheson 10 Peterson 10 Trison 10 Brinson 9 Allison 9 Richardson 9 Rixon 9 Cyson 9 Dennison 8 Yonason 8 Gunnison 8 Nilson 8 Rawson 8 Rayson 8 Moxon 8 Reason 8 Rickson 8 Chanson 7 Edilson 7 Enderson 7 Layson 7 Hutchison 7 Robertson 7 Madsen 7 Hixon 6 Charleson 6 Corson 6 Williamson 6 Leeson 6 Manson 6 Marson 6 Hobson 6 Keason 5 Roxen 5 Kinson 5 Thorsen 5 Danson 5 Davison 5 Deason 5 Amerson 5 Edenilson 5 Jepson 5 Wilkinson 5 Lanson 5 Hardison 5 Hinson 5 Ranson 5 Robson 5 Ryerson 5

THE GIRL SONS

Total: 36681, which represents about 2.1% of all girls born in 2014.

Madison 12737 Addison 8929 Allison 8698 Emerson 2716 Carson 969 Gracyn 666 Ellison 450 Mason 354 Payson 143 Kaysen 139 Hudson 138 Jameson 135 Jensen 103 Jackson 99 Crimson 76 Dawson 76 Anderson 75 Lawson 31 Tennyson 30 Larson 17 Bryson 11 Harrison 11 Edison 10 Gibson 8 Annison 6 Jason 6 Morrison 6 Season 6 Jansen 6 Kennison 5 Patterson 5 Reason 5 Tyson 5 Wilson 5 Eversyn 5

-ER, what?

-ER names are quite popular right now for girls.  Here’s a list of the most common ones on the charts.

RISING: Juniper, Hunter, Sawyer, River, Carter, Sailor, Winter, Ember, Skyler, Parker, Kimber, Harper, Piper, Esther

MAINTAINING: Heather, Summer

FALLING: Amber, Taylor, Jennifer

LOW USE, RISING: Chandler, Briar, Spencer, Palmer, Kyler, Baylor, Denver, Ever

LOW USE, OTHER: Tyler, Clover, Pepper, Cooper, Ryder

 

The Girls’ Top 500, ordered by growth

I’ve made some fixes on the girls’ list and made this chart, which shows how the names in the top 500 are rising and falling. First number is rank in 2014, second is percent change since 2012, and third is number of uses in 2014.

This list does not include names outside the top 500, some of which may be rising faster but don’t have enough uses to make the top 500.

213 2678.46% 1806 DALEYZA
459 1937.14% 713 ARANZA
157 376.41% 2625 EVERLY
473 217.76% 680 HENLEY
483 161.60% 654 FREYA
313 150% 1185 NOVA
478 125.00% 675 AUBRIELLE
496 113.85% 633 Juniper
322 110.66% 1146 ELSA
312 104.66% 1185 MONTSERRAT
71 101.86% 5107 PENELOPE
80 96.26% 4720 AMAYA
324 90.65% 1142 MAISIE
297 87.61% 1272 AMINA
488 82.67% 643 DALLAS
408 81.47% 862 AZALEA
380 76.85% 955 Sawyer
69 75.94% 5171 SADIE
455 73.92% 727 RIVER
26 70.98% 9327 ARIA/ARAYA
486 69.29% 645 CARTER
413 64.71% 840 REMI
172 62.84% 2327 LUNA
58 61.20% 6053 PAISLEY
139 60.33% 2958 HAZEL
210 58.18% 1827 FINLEY
294 57.14% 1276 KENDRA
493 56.76% 638 MARGOT
48 55.66% 6793 NORA
159 55.28% 2618 EMILIA
189 55.06% 2129 ISLA
435 53.01% 788 MILLIE
409 52.75% 860 WINTER
497 52.67% 629 AADHYA
117 51.82% 3554 ALINA
96 51.77% 4151 ELEANOR
452 51.32% 743 COREY
351 49.35% 1041 ARIELLA
492 48.72% 638 BLAIR
279 48.12% 1336 SAGE
391 47.12% 921 VERA
146 46.46% 2774 VALENTINA
348 46.10% 1049 JUNE
128 45.63% 3096 XIMENA
188 45.07% 2163 ARABELLA
24 45.06% 9670 ADALYNN
454 44.07% 729 Ember
118 43.46% 3529 CORA
432 43.40% 793 ADELINA
150 42.91% 2751 AURORA
242 42.46% 1587 GRACELYN
106 42.43% 3726 KINSLEY
451 41.94% 748 ZURI
436 40.61% 786 CAMBREE
268 39.01% 1411 ROSALIE
46 38.95% 7217 SCARLETT
60 38.29% 5938 SKYLAR
471 38.15% 688 VEDA
65 37.79% 5568 MILA/MYLA
461 37.67% 709 AVALYNN
371 37.54% 982 MALAYSIA
231 37.52% 1686 ROSE
255 37.33% 1501 ANASTASIA
261 37.11% 1452 ZARA
467 36.83% 691 COLETTE
272 36.55% 1386 Parker
66 35.89% 5551 CALLIE
321 35.77% 1150 OLIVE
305 35.65% 1210 SLOANE
280 35.40% 1335 CATALINA
110 35.29% 3707 ARIEL
22 34.36% 10128 CHARLOTTE
79 34.32% 4743 VIVIAN
25 33.76% 9569 HARPER
153 33.33% 2716 EMERSON
122 32.99% 3318 EMERY
356 32.68% 1023 BLAKELY
167 32.43% 2442 IVY
52 32.36% 6417 ANNABELLE
309 31.97% 1197 HAVEN
92 31.82% 4317 CHARLIE
470 31.55% 688 Eve
170 30.87% 2404 WILLOW
382 30.63% 951 ASPEN
226 30.27% 1717 ATHENA
326 29.94% 1137 EMMY
328 29.72% 1113 KENSLEY
358 29.63% 1015 DYLAN
89 29.54% 4411 VIOLET
135 29.51% 3006 MARLEY
314 29.42% 1179 ELOISE
112 29.19% 3682 HADLEY
401 28.99% 881 MALAYA
392 28.89% 919 JUSTICE
256 28.28% 1497 NOELLE
310 27.64% 1196 ANNIE
78 27.41% 4908 ELLIE
446 26.82% 766 ANALIA/ANALAYA
132 26.54% 3032 BRYNLEE
161 26.41% 2599 JOURNEY
21 26.27% 10191 EVELYN
373 26.23% 977 ROSELYN
407 26.13% 864 GWENDOLYN
383 25.76% 947 ELLIOT
97 25.72% 4126 PIPER
237 25.21% 1634 LUCIA
394 24.79% 911 LOGAN
209 24.69% 1833 KIARA
315 24.65% 1163 DAPHNE
57 24.59% 6101 KENNEDY
361 24.54% 1010 LUCILLE
441 24.16% 776 AMARA
325 24.05% 1140 ADA
72 23.98% 5103 CAROLINE/CAROLYN
447 23.95% 766 LUCIANA
479 23.63% 675 CELINE
248 23.62% 1544 MCKINLEY
265 23.10% 1423 LANA/LAYNA
12 22.99% 13180 ARIANA
220 22.78% 1752 ESTHER
460 22.38% 711 PHOENIX
127 22.25% 3115 CLARA
385 22.18% 931 AISHA
29 21.46% 9202 AMELIA
337 21.34% 1086 ELSIE
218 21.14% 1765 LENA
453 21.08% 741 ANNISTON
203 20.88% 1893 ANNABELLA
438 20.65% 783 EVIE
160 20.15% 2606 QUINN
266 20.03% 1420 GEORGIA
125 19.97% 3202 ALICE
482 19.71% 662 HARLOW
183 19.67% 2196 ADELINE
428 19.26% 811 MIRA
219 19.02% 1752 AMIRA
360 18.68% 1010 BRIELLA
449 18.68% 756 HELENA
270 18.07% 1398 SKY
379 17.61% 955 AUBRIANNA
323 17.57% 1144 MARIAM
235 17.51% 1644 HARLEY
171 17.24% 2346 CASSIDY
284 17.01% 1321 IRIS
152 16.57% 2722 RAELYNN
224 16.22% 1727 EMMALYN
70 16.20% 5108 ELIANA
397 15.85% 899 BRIA/BREA
37 15.83% 8100 VICTORIA
335 15.75% 1095 ADELAIDE
17 15.18% 11361 AVERY
211 15.16% 1815 GENEVIEVE
116 15.14% 3621 RUBY
463 14.61% 706 JESSIE
126 14.57% 3153 DELILAH
229 14.27% 1690 ELIZA
350 14.00% 1042 Ruth
418 13.97% 824 EMMELINE
104 13.86% 3804 LYDIA
223 13.85% 1735 GEMMA
490 13.83% 642 HATTIE
329 13.50% 1110 JANE
180 13.44% 2229 MELODY
307 13.28% 1203 ALESSANDRA
278 13.19% 1339 AYLIN
388 13.08% 925 ELLEN
195 12.74% 1982 AINSLEY
386 12.59% 930 RIYA
484 12.56% 654 MAEVE
420 12.50% 819 JOY
2 12.09% 21935 OLIVIA
251 12.03% 1527 TESSA
190 11.95% 2108 TALIA/TALIYAH
85 11.94% 4483 LUCY
367 11.85% 991 CAROLINA
64 11.66% 5725 LONDON
362 11.59% 1001 ROWAN
344 11.38% 1067 KIANA
7 11.04% 14183 MIA
184 10.92% 2183 CECILIA
421 10.84% 818 AVIANA
276 10.36% 1364 LYRIC
158 10.35% 2622 JULIET
174 10.34% 2272 PRESLEY
199 10.00% 1969 MARGARET
108 9.99% 3710 EVA
228 9.94% 1693 FIONA
363 9.91% 998 MARILYN
368 9.66% 988 ELISA
403 9.58% 881 VIVIANA
417 9.55% 826 SYLVIA
472 9.28% 683 IVANNA
480 9.25% 673 LEIGHTON
182 8.97% 2198 EDEN
178 8.55% 2235 LEILANI
55 8.37% 6225 ISABEL
301 8.29% 1241 DAKOTA
196 8.21% 1976 NIA/NAYA
298 8.17% 1271 EVANGELINE
283 8.09% 1323 ANNIKA
374 8.03% 969 CARSON
393 8.00% 918 RAYLEE
334 7.96% 1099 KAILANI
77 7.76% 4914 MELANIE
44 7.75% 7356 CAMILA
395 7.47% 906 IMANI
410 7.27% 856 RAVEN
340 6.83% 1079 DAHLIA
93 6.80% 4301 NAOMI
121 6.77% 3440 NATALIA
99 6.76% 4090 AUTUMN
262 6.63% 1448 CATALEYA
177 6.54% 2249 HARMONY
11 6.31% 13224 MADELINE
419 5.80% 821 FRANCESCA
406 5.75% 865 ADALEE
398 5.54% 896 ANNE
40 5.49% 7796 ELENA/ALAINA
95 5.14% 4191 STELLA
222 4.87% 1745 ANGELA
28 4.85% 9259 MACKENZIE
216 4.83% 1781 KENZIE
456 4.62% 724 CHANEL
277 4.62% 1358 REYNA
61 4.56% 5919 AUDREY
198 4.40% 1971 TEAGAN
274 4.23% 1381 RYAN
275 4.19% 1367 MAGGIE
105 4.04% 3758 FAITH
41 3.48% 7605 GRACE
53 3.31% 6327 SAVANNAH
462 3.21% 707 CELESTE
15 3.14% 11827 LAYLA
45 3.09% 7301 ANNA
317 3.01% 1162 PHOEBE
296 2.82% 1274 PARIS
330 2.79% 1106 MIRIAM
225 2.68% 1724 ALEXANDRIA
320 2.62% 1150 LACEY
5 2.23% 16498 AVA
425 2.14% 811 APRIL
140 2.10% 2914 KINLEY
494 1.92% 637 JANA
246 1.90% 1558 CASEY
399 1.83% 892 MELINA
303 1.56% 1234 LORELEI
151 1.48% 2751 MARY
67 1.43% 5544 CLAIRE
354 1.38% 1027 HEAVEN
281 1.38% 1326 NADIA
205 1.09% 1861 ANNELIESE
318 1.05% 1158 NINA
442 0.91% 775 ITZEL
263 0.84% 1438 MARIANA
402 0.69% 881 MIRACLE
271 0.65% 1389 LOLA
59 0.62% 6034 LYLA/LILA
468 0.58% 690 AZARIA
450 0.54% 749 SKYLA
345 0.28% 1063 BRAYLEE
423 0.25% 818 Elle
412 0.24% 847 HELEN
187 0.19% 2166 VALERIE
82 0.17% 4602 SERENITY
267 0.14% 1412 Hope
3 0.03% 20989 EMMA
16 -0.03% 11473 AALIYAH
384 -0.32% 944 BRISTOL
353 -0.67% 1031 KENLEY
23 -0.77% 10104 ELIZABETH
90 -1.11% 4366 ANAYA
302 -1.12% 1241 RYLAN
212 -1.20% 1814 SUMMER
35 -1.27% 8607 LEAH/LEIA
175 -1.31% 2261 GRACIE
234 -1.36% 1663 AYLA
144 -1.38% 2795 AMY
202 -1.40% 1903 HAYDEN
91 -1.50% 4341 ALEXA
253 -1.62% 1517 JOSIE
214 -1.74% 1802 BRAELYNN
18 -1.97% 10951 RILEY
56 -2.27% 6191 LILIANA
491 -2.29% 641 RAIN
404 -2.33% 880 ESMERALDA
232 -2.44% 1680 KATE
481 -2.49% 666 GRACYN
194 -2.49% 1995 LEXI
201 -2.50% 1912 NYLA
38 -2.54% 8027 MAYA
142 -2.79% 2853 JAYLA
466 -2.80% 694 GIOVANNA
197 -2.91% 1971 DAISY
9 -3.24% 13338 AUBREY
87 -3.31% 4434 JORDAN
500 -3.55% 624 SELAH
416 -3.60% 831 AMARI
359 -3.71% 1013 ANNALEE
147 -3.73% 2761 BRIELLE
27 -3.75% 9260 BROOKLYN
83 -3.88% 4562 GENESIS
32 -3.90% 8698 ALLISON
469 -3.91% 689 ALANI
206 -3.93% 1860 JOANNA
245 -3.96% 1575 CAMILLE
299 -4.01% 1244 LINDSEY
370 -4.08% 988 NAYELI
445 -4.12% 768 Angelique
319 -4.15% 1155 FATIMA
143 -4.52% 2849 NICOLE
36 -4.59% 8525 LILLIAN
430 -4.61% 807 JULIE
191 -4.67% 2064 KAIA
411 -4.69% 854 ZANIYAH
47 -4.73% 7085 KATHERINE
427 -4.92% 811 MICAH
164 -4.95% 2537 CAMERON/KAMRYN
433 -5.03% 793 PRISCILLA
74 -5.10% 5040 JOCELYN
236 -5.14% 1641 DELANEY
163 -5.27% 2553 DANIELA
257 -5.45% 1492 ALIANA
107 -5.45% 3716 CADENCE
498 -5.59% 625 JANAE
437 -5.64% 786 TAYLIN
6 -5.76% 15189 EMILY
8 -5.90% 14029 ZOE
120 -6.05% 3447 ALEXANDRA
98 -6.24% 4119 BELLA
1 -6.34% 28422 SOPHIA
443 -6.64% 773 ANYA
288 -6.69% 1297 CARMEN
341 -6.70% 1073 GIA
289 -6.71% 1294 JAYLEEN
243 -6.76% 1585 ZARIAH
343 -6.79% 1071 SERENA
34 -6.81% 8661 ELLA
217 -6.86% 1778 SIENNA
287 -6.92% 1305 ALEXIA
396 -7.09% 904 BETHANY
499 -7.14% 624 MAREN
76 -7.22% 4974 JULIANA
333 -7.23% 1104 LAURA
338 -7.42% 1085 KARINA
282 -7.67% 1324 DANIELLE
285 -7.83% 1318 LANEY
440 -7.92% 779 SARAI
51 -7.93% 6514 GABRIELLA
114 -7.99% 3674 MACY
145 -8.08% 2775 GISELLE
109 -8.08% 3710 JULIA
250 -8.11% 1530 SELENA
115 -8.18% 3626 CARLY
254 -8.39% 1506 ERIN
141 -8.50% 2875 ELISE
458 -8.57% 715 Alejandra
14 -8.70% 12737 MADISON
124 -8.78% 3211 MALIA
400 -9.00% 890 HOLLY
100 -9.02% 4066 KEIRA/KYRA
148 -9.10% 2758 MARIA
290 -9.17% 1288 KARA
39 -9.23% 7801 PEYTON
336 -9.25% 1089 HEIDI
306 -9.31% 1208 JAYCEE
10 -9.34% 13257 ABIGAIL
131 -9.42% 3058 ALANA
84 -9.51% 4557 REAGAN
475 -9.60% 678 MAYLIN
376 -10.38% 967 JANELLE
165 -10.45% 2477 JACQUELINE/JACKELINE
233 -10.54% 1672 CHRISTINA
134 -10.54% 3012 KENDALL
4 -10.68% 19617 ISABELLA
269 -10.72% 1408 MIRANDA
208 -10.90% 1840 MICHELLE
181 -11.00% 2208 KALIYAH
431 -11.04% 806 ANGELICA
42 -11.17% 7515 HANNAH
138 -11.33% 2959 MCKENNA
73 -11.38% 5071 BAILEY
155 -11.40% 2649 REBECCA
377 -11.54% 966 DANICA
130 -11.71% 3070 MORGAN
439 -11.75% 781 DESIREE
50 -11.77% 6738 SARAH
258 -11.84% 1474 CHELSEA
346 -11.91% 1050 AILEEN
31 -12.08% 8880 NATALIE
378 -12.15% 962 BIANCA
186 -12.21% 2171 ANGELINA
204 -12.26% 1889 VALERIA
169 -12.32% 2427 RACHEL
20 -12.35% 10254 LILY
342 -12.35% 1072 MALLORY
129 -12.42% 3082 KIMBERLY
43 -12.43% 7481 KYLIE
241 -12.44% 1590 BRYLEE
375 -12.86% 969 VERONICA
103 -12.89% 3900 LAUREN
249 -13.22% 1543 KELSEY
252 -13.26% 1524 LIANA
332 -13.48% 1104 AMBER
347 -13.51% 1050 AMANDA
292 -13.93% 1285 KYLA
429 -14.01% 810 JAYLEE
300 -14.04% 1243 DIANA
123 -14.07% 3315 ADRIANA
239 -14.08% 1605 CHEYENNE
487 -14.70% 644 SHANIA
154 -14.80% 2682 JADE
357 -14.83% 1022 TATUM
68 -15.10% 5494 JASMINE
364 -15.16% 996 JAMIE
13 -15.18% 12753 CHLOE
448 -15.21% 764 TIFFANY
304 -15.31% 1211 ANGEL
19 -15.41% 10585 KAYLEE
260 -15.58% 1468 JALIYAH
227 -15.72% 1716 KATIE
136 -15.78% 2983 MARIAH
230 -16.26% 1689 AIYANA/IYANNA
200 -16.27% 1950 STEPHANIE
137 -16.32% 2978 TRINITY
390 -16.55% 923 KELLY
149 -16.62% 2754 ANDREA
369 -16.76% 988 HALLIE
355 -16.84% 1027 SABRINA
238 -17.09% 1620 MELISSA
485 -17.20% 650 Guadalupe
387 -17.20% 929 KARLA
308 -17.32% 1198 BRITTANY
331 -17.41% 1105 CASSANDRA
166 -17.47% 2451 PAIGE
111 -17.50% 3687 GIANNA
86 -17.73% 4455 KAYLIN
179 -17.73% 2232 REESE
63 -17.83% 5730 SAMANTHA
316 -17.87% 1163 SIERRA
119 -17.89% 3479 SYDNEY
415 -18.04% 836 YASMIN
349 -18.05% 1049 TIANA
94 -18.06% 4191 KAYLA
75 -18.42% 5013 NEVAEH
30 -18.58% 8929 ADDISON
389 -18.88% 924 ALONDRA
365 -19.24% 995 SANIYAH
339 -19.27% 1081 YARETZI
474 -19.55% 679 ILIANA
426 -19.62% 811 JAMIYAH
133 -19.99% 3017 MOLLY
273 -20.17% 1385 JENNA
489 -20.45% 642 ALAYSIA
259 -20.54% 1470 LESLIE
381 -20.72% 953 SARIAH
168 -20.76% 2435 BROOKE
465 -20.91% 696 CYNTHIA
176 -21.05% 2258 ASHLYN
49 -21.37% 6773 CAITLIN
185 -21.38% 2180 ALLIE
193 -21.39% 2006 GABRIELLE
221 -21.56% 1746 JAZLYN
88 -21.83% 4425 ALEXIS
101 -21.88% 3981 TAYLOR
156 -21.94% 2633 JAELYNN
173 -22.32% 2315 JADA
286 -22.37% 1312 ABBY
207 -22.65% 1848 JESSICA
244 -22.75% 1582 JENNIFER
33 -22.80% 8696 HAILEY
434 -23.10% 789 DAYANA
311 -23.13% 1190 SHELBY
247 -23.19% 1550 JANIYAH
422 -23.34% 818 BRIDGET
54 -23.51% 6277 MICHAELA
464 -23.70% 705 JULISSA
327 -23.92% 1113 KAMAYA/KAMIYAH
372 -24.23% 979 JILLIAN
240 -24.30% 1601 BRYNN
295 -24.39% 1274 CRYSTAL
62 -24.71% 5740 BRIANNA
476 -25.36% 677 MAYLEE
102 -25.40% 3947 ASHLEY
113 -25.51% 3682 SOPHIE
81 -25.66% 4684 ALYSSA
162 -25.79% 2587 DESTINY
215 -25.80% 1783 ALICIA
352 -25.99% 1031 ERICA
457 -26.27% 724 TATIANA
192 -26.31% 2017 VANESSA
414 -26.47% 839 KAYDEN
424 -26.65% 812 KAREN
477 -29.92% 677 TANYA/TANIYAH
264 -31.91% 1436 MEGAN
495 -32.59% 637 KENIA
366 -33.51% 994 SAMIYAH
444 -33.90% 772 COURTNEY
293 -34.11% 1277 JOSEPHINE
291 -34.17% 1285 JAYDEN
405 -35.09% 875 MARISSA

Boxing Elena

I’ve analyzed the data on Alayna/Alaina/Elaina/Elena, trying to figure out how I should group these names.

Observations:

  • Over the past twenty years, but especially the past ten years, all spellings in this name group have grown in popularity.  It seems as though it may have peaked within the last 1-2 years, but it’s difficult to tell as the favored spelling is constantly shifting.
  • This name group has spread outward from IL-IN-OH-PA to the immediate north, south and east, and is also quite popular in CA.
  • In California and Texas, which have a high Hispanic population, ELENA is the preferred spelling by a fairly wide margin.  Strangely, Florida and New Mexico do not show this pattern.
  • In other states, the spellings are about even, with no special preference given.
  • Oldest year of use of each spelling in the national rankings:
    • ELENA: 1880
    • ELAINA: 1941
    • ALAINA: 1946
    • ALAYNA: 1945
  • States with the oldest occurrences of the name ELENA (different than above because the SSA only starts the state-by-state data at the year 1910):
    • Massachusetts (1910)
    • New York (1910)
    • Texas (1910)
    • California (1911)
    • Pennsylvania (1911)
    • Rhode Island (1911)
    • New Jersey (1912)
    • New Mexico (1912)
    • Arizona (1916)
    • Connecticut (1918)
    • North Carolina (1917) [Note: the name completely disappeared from NC from 1917 to 1959]
    • Ohio (1918) [Note: the name completely disappeared from OH from 1919 to 1941]
  • From the 1880s through most of the 1940s, the name ELENA was almost entirely confined to the northeast and southwest.
  • The ELENA spelling does not occur in other states until the 1940s or 1950s, and in many states not until the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s, contemporaneous with the rise of Elaina, Alaina, and Alayna.
  • The name ELENA has other valid pronunciations in other languages, and is currently charting in the Top 100 in the following non-English, non-Spanish-speaking countries:
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Croatia
    • Czech Republic
    • France
    • Italy
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • Slovenia
  • The name group Alina/Elina/Aleena appears to have followed a different trajectory, with slower and less consistent growth over a longer period of time, and is probably not a significant factor when considering the pronunciation of ELENA.

Other spellings, exclusive of above:

  • 2014 spellings that clearly contain the -AY- sound: Elainah 13 Elainna 6 Elayna 227 Elaynah 7 Eleyna 36 Eleina 21 Ellaina 37 Ellayna 10 Ilaina 6 Alayna 1533 Aalayna 9 Alaina 1729 Alainah 34 Alainna 20 Alainnah 5 Alaiyna 8 Alaena 14 Alaynah 77 Alaynna 38 Alaynnah 6 Aleyna 91 Aleynah 9 Aleynna 6 Alleyna 5 Allaina 7 Allayna 13 Allaynah 5
  • Ambiguous spellings from the 2014 list: Elenna 12 Ellena 56 Ilena 13
  • Spellings that are probably approximate to Ah-LAHN-ah or Ee-LAHN-ah: Elana 170 Elanah 7 Elanna 26 Elannah 6 Ellana 24 Ilana 90 Ilanna 5 Illana 5

Conclusion:

  • The name ELENA in the United States has a split origin:
    • As a historic Spanish name, a cognate of Helen, pronounced Eh-LEH-na.
    • As an English name used since at least 1880, origin unclear, usually pronounced Eh-LAY-na or Ah-LAY-na, which produced the variant spellings Elaina, Alaina, and Alayna.

This makes classification difficult.  At this time it’s unclear exactly how many of the Elenas carry the AY vs. EH pronunciation, especially in states like California where all the spellings occur in large numbers.  As all the spellings in this name group have high numbers, it significantly affects the popularity of the group to add in a spelling or leave one out.  I am still mulling this over, but will regroup Elaina with Alaina/Alayna and remove the ambiguous and Ee-LAHN-ah spellings to their own groups.  I’m currently leaning towards grouping Elena with Elaina/Alaina/Alayna, but haven’t decided 100%.