The list of the most popular American baby names in 2009 has been recently published by the U.S. Social Security Administration. It has been said before that such lists are interesting as cultural indicators. The top five names for boys: Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, and William; a patriarch, a not-sure, an archangel, a conqueror, and a king. For girls: Isabella, Emma, Olivia, Sophia, and Ava; an Inquisitress, a fictional character (?), a pop singer (?), wisdom, and a palindrome.
Among the top ten boys’ names are five with Biblical roots, four that are solid and respectable, and one odd interloper. (Be it noted: I thought ‘Jayden’ was a girl’s name.) Among the top ten girls’ names are a few pretty ones — I am partial to ‘Emma’ and ‘Abigail’ myself — quite a few strange ones, and one with weight and substance (‘Sophia’). All in all, these new lists confirm a general observation that has held true in previous years as well: people take the naming of boys more seriously than the naming of girls.
If anyone is wondering, ‘Craig’ was ranked 665th among boys. The names of the other members of my family did not crack the top 1000.