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King, Messiah: New baby names suggest high hopes


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Among the rising girls’ names, Arya jumped 298 spots, to No. 413, followed by Perla, Catalina, Elisa and Raelynn. And Raelyn with one ‘n’ was eighth.

Arya Stark is a character in the TV show, "Game of Thrones."

At a glance

Most popular baby names for 2012

Top baby names for girls in 2012

1. Sophia

2. Emma

3. Isabella

4. Olivia

5. Ava

6. Emily

7. Abigail

8. Mia

9. Madison

10. Elizabeth

———

Top baby names for boys

1. Jacob

2. Mason

3. Ethan

4. Noah

5. William

6. Liam

7. Jayden

8. Michael

9. Alexander

10. Aiden

———

Fastest-rising baby names for girls in 2012

1. Arya

2. Perla

3. Catalina

4. Elisa

5. Raelynn

6. Rosalie

7. Haven

8. Raelyn

9. Briella

10. Marilyn

———

Fastest-rising names for boys

1. Major

2. Gael

3. Jase

4. Messiah

5. Brantley

6. Iker

7. King

8. Rory

9. Ari

10. Maverick

———

Source: Social Security Administration

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Among the girls’ names that are losing popularity, Dulce dropped the most, 159 spots, to No. 574. Next were Mikaela, Estrella, Danna and Audrina.

Among the boys’ names that dropped, Braeden fell 105 spots, to No. 581. Next were Yahir, Kieran, Cullen and Brayan.

The popularity of Cullen was fleeting. In 2010, it was the fastest rising name for boys. Edward Cullen is a vampire in the "Twilight" books and movies.

The list shows that top names for boys have been more stable over the years than names for girls. William, for example, has been a popular boy’s name for more than 100 years, never falling out of the top 20. Mason is an exception, entering the top 100 for the first time in 1997.

Today’s top names aren’t nearly as popular as the top names were a generation ago.

For example, 18,899 babies were named Jacob last year. Two decades ago, that wasn’t good enough to crack the top 25. In 1992, Michael was the top name for boys, with more than 54,000 boys getting the name.

"We’re seeing a total revolution in terms of the diversity of naming," Wattenberg said. "Parents are really focused on choosing a distinctive name that will make their child stand out."




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