It’s that time of year again – the Social Security Administration has separated the Adelyns from the Addalynns and the Jaidens from the Jaydens, and delivered its list of the top baby names of 2013. And let me tell you, this year the top 10 names are …. really normal. That’s why they’re top 10 names, you know?
The thing is, whether you named your kid Brooklyn or Greenpoint, she’ll probably hate her name in about 13 years. It’s just a phase kids go through, and no name – however normal – is safe. Here are my predictions for how the ten most popular baby names of 2013 will lead to the ten most angsty “I didn’t ask to be born!” arguments of 2026:
When young Sophias finally reach the age where they can watch late-night syndicated sitcoms – truly a magical time in a young woman’s life, if my memories of The Facts of Life and Mary Tyler Moore serve – eventually they’re going to run across The Golden Girls. And at that time, your Sophia will discover that she’s really more of a Blanche.
Blanche, by the way, is a top baby name of 2026.
Okay, maybe your kid is a little less into TV and a little more into books. Don’t get too proud of yourself there, mom: reading is just nerd television. I should know. You’ve always told her that you named her after a Jane Austen heroine, the title character of Emma. When she gets old enough to read it, she discovers that Emma Woodhouse’s head is so far up her own ass that her face is damaged by stomach acid.
That’s when you have to tell her that you never actually read Emma. You heard that the movie Clueless was loosely based on it, and you’ve seen that easily 15 times, though. You sort of figured it was the same thing.
You should have gone with your gut and named her after Cher Horowitz.
Your love for your child is something that will last a lifetime. Something else that will last a lifetime: your cached internet activity. That’s why your little Olivia will love her name … until she discovers your Olivia Pope fan tumblr and extensive postings on Olitz message boards. Then you’ll both feel a little bit weird about things.
By the early ’20s, the Twilight franchise has become a camp classic. Teens gather in theaters reciting lines from the movie, dressing up as characters, and mocking the earnest Mormon sparkle of the adolescent vampires. They squeal shrilly (because what is more shrill than the mocking laughter of a junior high girl? It cuts like a knife, could a knife be made out of the things you secretly hate about yourself), asking their parents whether people really LIKED this stuff ever. And parents of tween Isabellas are left explaining that no, that wasn’t why they chose the name. But their daughters hate them anyway. Sorry.
When Heathers is remade in the late 20-teens – and it is a flop, I’m so sure – the filmmakers decide to update it to the modern era. All of those Heathers get renamed: the new movie is called Avas. Much like Heather in the ’80s, everybody seems to know that one bitchy Ava who ruins the whole name. It’s like the female version of Jason, that way.
Anyway. Everyone agrees that Avas really wasn’t Michael Bay’s best work. Nor, honestly, his worst.
By the late 2020s, Noah is really more of a girl’s name. How did this solid biblical classic, with thousands of years as a man’s name, cross the gender line so quickly? Why, thanks to the meteoric rise of the political career of Senator Noah Cyrus (R-TN), of course. Some say she may even be the second female president someday. You, parents of 2013, just know her as Miley Cyrus’s weirdly named, poorly supervised kid sister.
Sorry. It is 2026, and Noah has now joined the ranks of Ashley, Madison, Beverly and Evelyn. They all seemed so manly once.
It’s not so much Liam that’s the problem. It’s a few years from now, when the creative spellings take over. Before you know it, every year elementary school teachers have to roll call Liam K. Liyam-with-a-y K., Liam C., Leeum V., and Leighham Q. Poor Liams have to join forces with the Michaelas and Jasmines of the world, arguing that their name is spelled the right way.
You really couldn’t have predicted this. The Goth movement makes a comeback, and your precious little Jacob wishes his name reflected how unique he is. Good luck cleaning all that Manic Panic out of your bathroom drains, and sorry that you have to listen to Best of Korn on cassette tape emanating from Jacob’s room. [Side note: tape is the new popular throwback music medium in 2026, like vinyl is now.]
You aren’t even that disappointed that Jacob hates his name — more that he’s kind of a late 90s Hot Topic-y goth instead of at least a cool 80s punk one. You can’t choose your children. Your children choose you. And, eventually, they may also choose nu metal.
Let’s just… I mean… nothing associated with the Kardashians is going to age well a decade hence. Just calling a spade a spade. They are our generation’s answer to Zsa Zsa and Eva. I hope we’re happy with what we’ve created.
When Queen Elizabeth steadfastly – but politely – refuses to die, Prince William evaluates his chances at ever actually ascending the throne. Realizing that it probably won’t happen until his mid-70s, he says “screw it” and joins the cast of series 25 of TOWIE. A few pub fights later, the nickname Bloody Billy (or, alternately, Bloody Willy) has taken hold.
It is not a fun time on the playground for little Williams. Or whatever the 2026 version of the playground is. It probably involves tablets.