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Most Popular Baby Names of 2014

WHAT’S IN A NAME? By Liz Gunn || Each year Baby Center puts out a list of the most popular names that were used in the U.S. in 2014. If you’re done having kids or no where near that stage of life, this probably isn’t anything of interest to you –…

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

LIZ GUNNBy Liz Gunn || Each year Baby Center puts out a list of the most popular names that were used in the U.S. in 2014. If you’re done having kids or no where near that stage of life, this probably isn’t anything of interest to you – unless you’re just curious. But having grown up with one of the most popular names of all time – Elizabeth – I always like check it out.

I remember vowing, even at a very young age, that I would never give my children such pedestrian names like “Elizabeth” and “Catherine”, my first and middle name, What a lack of creativity! But somewhere along the way I learned the value of what’s in a name.

Naming a child, for me at least, was harder than I ever imagined it would be. This is a name that will be called out in school in front of their peers, hopefully published in the paper when they achieve great things and placed at the top of a college application and a resumé. There is some pressure to make sure it’s a good one.

As an adult I’m actually grateful for my classic, albeit boring, name. It definitely beats having to help people pronounce or spell it all the time. The only problem with an über popular name is the myriad of nicknames that are bound to follow. It’s necessary because there are seven Elizabeths in your class at school,  five more in your sorority,  three others in your department at work…you get the picture.

When we named our daughter, Harper, we went for what I thought was slightly different but not “weird”. Turns out it’s not different at all. It came in at 19th this year in popularity. It was 26th the year she was born.  Ironically, Elizabeth has fallen to 44th. Our daughter’s middle name is a family name that I have never seen on any list.

It’s funny the connotation that names can evoke for some people. When I was born, both of my parents were in education – and I have a feeling that’s part of the reason I ended up with a very “safe” name. My mother taught school for 43 years and has a plethora of bad name stories she can share…as well as an abundance of names she could never use because she would have associated it with a particular student.

Over time, names do trend in and out, so playing it safe isn’t a terrible way to go. When I was little my favorite name was Tiffany…yes, like the singer. Second favorite? Nicole. (Staci Keanan’s character on 1980’s hit show, “My Two Dads”.) Neither of those is on this year’s list. Go figure.

LIZ GUNN is a wife, mom, travel enthusiast, food snob, daydreamer and lifelong Gamecock fan. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.
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72 comments

Rev. Sharpton's Penis December 3, 2014 at 9:40 am

Damn those are some corny cracker assed names. Where’s the cool names at? Like Dayquarius, Charisma, Quanterious, Destiny, Shaquilla?

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Smirks December 3, 2014 at 9:49 am

Cash Monae

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easterndumbfuckistan December 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

Cash Monae Bill-on-air

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The Colonel December 3, 2014 at 10:12 am

True story – my son was in the NICU for a week after he was born. There were a pair of premature twins in there as well. The mother hadn’t had time to come up with final names yet so the cards on their incubators said “Boy A Smith” and “Boy B Smith”. “Boy A” went home with the name Boya and Boy B went home as Niccu.

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Rocky December 3, 2014 at 10:35 am

That’s a good story. On our last we started with Nicole, but were going with Nina. Since my in-laws live in South America – they sent up my sister-in-law to help us during the first few weeks. Two days before my daughter was born – via c-section as is the South American custom – we were told we had to change the name. Seems they didn’t want to introduce the new family member as La Nina Nina. So we immediately went back to Nicole. And so it went.

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????????? December 3, 2014 at 10:37 am

Wait- C-Section births are a South American custom?

The Colonel December 3, 2014 at 11:14 am

They’re over 30% here now.

Rocky December 3, 2014 at 11:39 am

Yeah, it’s part of keeping the honeymoon shape – if you get the drift.

????????? December 3, 2014 at 11:41 am

Ooooh. I didn’t know that. Very interesting…I had one, but it was an emergency after being in labor for 8 hours. Lucky me!

Rocky December 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

Lucky Daddy too. Personally I’d say any doctor who lets you stay in labor for 8 hours needs his ass kicked. C-sections are so civilized. You show up at your assigned time, and in three hours it’s all over and Mommy is resting in bed. You have time to go get lunch afterward and catch a knap.

????????? December 3, 2014 at 11:50 am

Well in my doctor’s defense, I was in active labor – not pushing. But I had an epidural and things were relatively calm. Baby’s heart rate started to drop with each contraction so they called for a c-section then. Turns out she had a short umbilical cord. Next baby (if there is one) will be a scheduled c-section, and as someone who loves to have a plan – it makes me happy.

Squishy123 December 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

“Next baby (if there is one) will be a scheduled c-section”

Like you’ll have a choice.

????????? December 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Actually I will have a choice.

Tazmaniac December 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

You must not know many Latin guys and their let’s just say different thought process. They probably can’t sleep at night just thinking of the size of a baby head.

????????? December 3, 2014 at 11:40 am

I know – I had one. Just curious as to why a sometimes unnecessary procedure would be a custom in another country. Seems odd.

Rocky December 3, 2014 at 11:41 am

See my reply to Colonel. It’s a commitment to the husband – wink, wink.

The Colonel December 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm

44% in Mexico and higher in the “Southern Cone”

Rocky December 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Hee hee – southern cone!

Rocky December 3, 2014 at 11:40 am

The saying goes, the only time a child in Brazil is born naturally is either the family lives in the Amazon, or the c-section doctor got stuck in traffic in San Paulo.

Liar December 3, 2014 at 6:17 pm

where, exactly, you dumb motherfucker, is “San Paulo” Brazil?

The Colonel December 3, 2014 at 11:02 am

That’s a better story – mine’s true but frankly “shaking your head stupid”.

Rocky December 3, 2014 at 11:38 am

Instead of Niccu they could have named the child after the old NationsBank name NicNib.

FastEddy23 December 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Family friend joined the army. His name was R B Sullivan.

After long explanations to various recruiting officers, his dog tags came through as Ronly Bonly Sullivan.

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The Colonel December 3, 2014 at 11:24 pm

First thing that came to mind after reading that was this Henry Cho comedy routine: http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=U7_3xxQXgFs

FastEddy23 December 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Yes, this is a commonly known joke, except that R B Sullivan was our family friends real name and the story is true.

Squishy123 December 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

Lemongello, Orangello

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The Colonel December 3, 2014 at 10:25 am

My mother in law taught a Orangello up in York, SC

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Paladin December 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm

A couple years ago my daughter taught a set of fraternal twins in Lancaster, SC named LaWahsa and LaDrya. No Joke.

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The Sympathetic Ear December 3, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Some people I’ve met in the Midlands: Junior Senior, Green Berry Bush, and a woman with the first name of Fluoride.

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The Colonel December 3, 2014 at 11:00 pm

If”Ms. Fluoride is in her seventies I think I know her.

Idiocracy December 3, 2014 at 10:37 am

And for the non-stick babies out there, Teflon is the perfect name.

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The Colonel December 3, 2014 at 11:03 am

Teflon Haley?

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Mike at the Beach December 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

Sociologists and shrinks have performed many studies on the “safe name” thing you mentioned, and you’re right in your inference that some names aren’t “safe.” Names that are too far out of the mainstream (or that have negative racial or sub-cultural connotations- think “Shontay” or “Bubba”) have been proven to create negative social outcomes, including lower incomes throughout life, although there are chick-and-egg issues there. Here’s an interesting side note for too- guess what the #1 baby name in the UK was this year? Mohammed…(although some statisticians claim it’s actually down around 10-15). Interesting nonetheless.

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Smirks December 3, 2014 at 9:48 am

Seriously, people need to stop naming their kids Aidan already. Hasn’t that been like one of the top names for a friggin’ decade now?

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Rocky December 3, 2014 at 10:35 am

I’m naming my next son Grande Tango Shithead

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Turd Ferguson December 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm

I can’t upvote this enough. Every other kid is Aiden-Brayden-Hayden-Kayden-Jayden.

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E Norma Scok December 3, 2014 at 9:54 am

Well, if you name your daughter something like “Brandi”,”Candi”, “Destiny”, or “Diamond”, you’ve already pretty much given them a career, at least until they are about 32-35.

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The Sympathetic Ear December 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Why do girls name their cats Fluffy, or Muffy? If I were brave enough to have a cat I’d give him a more realistic name such as Tuna Breath or Stink Butt.

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LD December 3, 2014 at 10:00 am

Was “Nimrata Folks” on the list? Just curious.

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easterndumbfuckistan December 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

For the record King, Queen, Princess, Major, Doctor, His Majesty, Her Majesty, Precious, Female, Urine, and Fuckwit are not names.

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9" December 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm

You haven’t read,Catch 22?

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The Sympathetic Ear December 3, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Two of my favorite literature characters: Major Major Major Major, and Milo Minderbender.

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Toyota Kawaski December 3, 2014 at 10:18 am

My personal fav: Brandy,Candy,Tammy,Bailey,Bethaney,Brittiney love those future trailer park queen names.

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????????? December 3, 2014 at 10:40 am Reply
Centrist View December 3, 2014 at 10:22 am

How about a Boy Named Sue?

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Bible Thumper December 3, 2014 at 10:45 am

As a child, I remember two sisters named Poly and Ester. The fiber wasn’t invented until after they were born. They were bored housewives and mothers in their forties when the movie came out. Perfect timing.

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Things that annoy you December 3, 2014 at 11:33 am

“When we named our daughter, Harper, we went for what I thought was slightly different but not “weird”.”

It’s a better name than “Nagger” I suppose. I’m sure her future hubby will be grateful.

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SCBlueWoman December 3, 2014 at 11:53 am

La-Tred T-Rod. Actual name. I can’t see how that helps anyone get ahead.

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Fire Liz Gunn December 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

FIRE LIZ GUNN. This stuff is just awful.

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MFH December 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Hey Brainiac…don’t read her stuff if you don’t like it. It’s as simple as that. Sorry if that was too over your head, idiot.

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Fire Liz Gunn December 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Hey, Brainiac…don’t comment on my comment if you don’t like it. It’s as simple as that. Sorry if that was too over your head, idiot.

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????????? December 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

I appreciate you coming to my defense. If I had a nickel for every time I’d told someone the exact same thing, I’d be rich. They are idiots – don’t waste your time on them.

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Toyota Kawaski December 4, 2014 at 8:53 am

“They are idiots” takes one to know one you food snob,free ticket grabbing Gamecock Goat.

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Eat a Dick December 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm

FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCK. Your comments here are the least creative.

????????? December 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Love the shouty capitals, but would a few exclamation points kill you? Stop upvoting your own comment. That’s so lame.

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FastEddy23 December 3, 2014 at 11:10 pm

That’s because the caps lock key on his play station is broken.

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SCBlues December 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm

“This stuff is just awful.”
No it isn’t. I think Liz is great and a breath of fresh air on this site!

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FastEddy23 December 3, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Liz: did you just selfy-vote? ;~)

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Fire Errbody December 3, 2014 at 6:45 pm

{I know. That post Taylor did about fast food was killer. This is crap. Fire Sic too for hiring her! More cheeseburger posts please.}

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The Sympathetic Ear December 3, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Forget it! I’m not through with her yet.

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9" December 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

People make fun of black names,and they are funny.The white writer,Eudora Welty;not a common name,explained it best.When you’re poor,mothers feel they need to give Something special.Years ago,I had a black girlfriend whose name was,Benzena,now passed away. I’ve googled her name before,and she was apparently,the only Benzena who ever lived.

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E Norma Scok December 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Or just C6H6 to her friends.

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Paladin December 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Nice!

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RogueElephant December 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I wanted my youngest grand son’s middle name to be Walker but my son wouldn’t go for it.

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????????? December 3, 2014 at 1:48 pm

I like the name Walker. I wouldn’t want my parents to help name my kids either, though. Sorry.

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DropDaBeats December 3, 2014 at 2:06 pm

You have parents? I thought maybe you grew under a rock.

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Troll On Brotha December 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Ironic you would say under a rock -since that’s where trolls often hangout.

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Trilliumgirl December 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Liz, I really enjoyed your article. I have always been fascinated by people’s names. I have an unusual, but not freaky first name. I did not appreciate it until I got into high school and ran into numerous girls named, Patty, Cheryl, Linda, and Brenda. Those were popular girls’ names at that time. I have never understood why so many parents want to name their children the same names that everyone else is naming their children. Elizabeth is somewhat of an ageless name. It also makes a good middle name, it goes well with other names. Again, thanks for the insights.

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????????? December 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for reading -glad you enjoyed it!

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FastEddy23 December 3, 2014 at 11:08 pm

??? … Harper? … Like the detective? … .

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????????? December 9, 2014 at 11:19 am

Like the author. Harper Lee.

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FastEddy23 December 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Suggested Boy name: Raymond … Suggested Girl name: Chandler … :>)

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