They’re finally here: the top 1000 baby names of 2015 in the United States! What, you DON’T wait for this news all year? The standard caveats:
- This is the official Social Security compilation of births registered in the US. Any of the US-based 2015 lists you saw before now were collected from baby name websites and were based on what the website users were naming their kids OR what names people were looking up, but not necessarily using.
- When we talk about the “fastest rising names,” these are the ones that have made the biggest leap in the past year. Usually a few news outlets will treat the fastest rising names like they’re the most popular, even though they are given to comparatively few children. We didn’t work out the data ourselves: the lists came from the incredible Baby Names Blog.
- I don’t dislike any of these names. Except for names like Adolph or Lucifer, or that don’t follow the rules of spelling or pronunciation in any language, I don’t think there are “bad names.”
- Whether you give your kid a top 10 name or a name given to only 10 kids in the whole country, whether you pick a fastest rising name or a fastest falling name, there’s a good chance they’ll grow to hate it by age 13, because 13 year olds are the worst version of humanity.
If you think this type of name has been popular for a while now, you’re right. There’s the super-popular Addison and its many spelling variations. There’s Adalyn, spelled myriad ways. There’s also Adeline, which is basically the same thing as Adaline, just with an E. Plus Adalie (again, spellings abound) and my personal favorite of the Ad- names, Adelaide. The result: although only Addison appears near the top of the charts, taken in total it “adds” up to a whole lot of girls with similar-sounding names. So is your Adaline (lovely name, by the way!) going to grow up annoyed that, despite your careful choice of a name that isn’t too popular or too weird, she’s one of several Addies in her Brownie troop?
In a word, no. Your irrational 13-year-old Adaline will be annoyed when, after years of begging for an American Girl doll, she receives Addy because it has her name… when she really, truly had her heart set on Josefina. Nobody ever said tweens made sense. But also, just ask any millennial which American Girl doll she wanted but never got. She’ll remember.
Alaia follows the recent trend of liquid, vowel-packed girl names: three syllables and only a single consonant in the pack. You might not know any Alaias, but you’ve probably run into an Amaya, Anaya, Ayana, Aliyah, Amara, Aria, Ariana, Aubriana, etc etc etc. So how could a little girl grow to hate a name that’s right on-trend? By entering the world of middle school, which can turn the sweetest child into a door-slamming teen who says things like “I didn’t ask to be born” when you deny her request for Abercrombie jeans (I’m predicting that in 2028, early 2000s fashion is back and so is distressed Abercrombie low-rise denim). When she and her friends begin watching Clueless at sleepovers, her nickname quickly becomes “A-what-a.” Hey, don’t say you didn’t see it coming when your custom Instagram hashtag for her as a baby was #ThisIsAnAlaia.
Aitana, a name I’ve never heard before, is pretty. And like Alaia, it follows the starts in A, ends in A trend. Apparently it was used by a pair of Mexican actors in 2014 and comes from the Spanish mountain range Sierra de Aitana. There’s no GOOD reason to dislike such a perfectly nice name with a beautiful origin… but there’s a bad reason, and a 13 year old will find it. How were you to know your Aitana would have an early growth spurt and furiously demand to know “why you named me after a MOUNTAIN?”
So it turns out Meilani is not a Hawaiian name! It’s an invented variation on Melanie, and its popularity is mainly due to its use by JWoww of Jersey Shore fame. We have three options for why your Meilani will hate her name even though it’s so fun to say:
- You chose the name because you liked it. No problem there. But when little Mei presses you for why you chose the name, you told her it was in honor of your honeymoon in Hawaii. Then she learns that the name isn’t Hawaiian at all… and that you honeymooned at a nearby casino. Whoops.
- You named her after your sister-in-law Melanie, who is currently Meilani’s least favorite aunt.
- Throughout her elementary school years, its similarity to the first lady’s name leads classmates to call her Meilani Trump. Also, Melania Trump is First Lady. So really, everyone loses in this scenario.
I’m a big fan of Irish names with their original spelling, and if you named your baby Aislinn, so are you. Pronounced Ash-lin, Aislinn means dream or vision and is unrelated to the name Ashley or its spinoff, Ashlynn. It’s a name so nice that you and little Aislinn won’t mind correcting people on the pronunciation… until the World’s Worst Substitute Teacher asks if “Ass-lin” is present.
Talk about a fast rise: Jonael is only number 919 for 2015, but in 2013 it ranked in the nine THOUSANDS. It’s all down to a talented tot who won La Voz Kids on Telemundo. Jonael is one of those names that sounds like it could be a biblical name (it isn’t), combining the Jon of Jonah or Jonathan and the -el ending of Daniel, Nathaniel, Gabriel, and so forth. It could even be a creative way to honor a grandpa John or an uncle Michael. One little problem: history has shown us that it’s a risky proposition to name a kid after a child star. Can I get an amen from the 9-year-old Mileys out there?
I love Matteo! More international-sounding than Matthew, but still kind of comfy and familiar. Along with Mateo, Matteo is climbing the charts. By the time your Matteo is 13, we’re down to the same problem your brother Matthew had in the 1980s: so many Matts in a single class!
Riaan is a Hindi name, and isn’t just a weird way to spell Ryan. But tell that to the World’s Worst Substitute Teacher (see: Aislinn), who goes on a 5-minute rant about creative spellings. Or to the World’s Worst Doctor’s Office Receptionist, who insists on pronouncing it Ryan but holds the “a” for a really long time.
Note: World’s Worst Substitute Teacher is based on a woman my friend worked with who insisted on calling a student named Juan “Joo-ahn” and would not hear that that was actually a proper spelling/pronunciation of the name. These people are slowly dying off but many will still be alive in 13 years.
What could be better than an easy to spell, easy to pronounce name that’s as old as the Bible itself? Not much! But when Adriel discovers that his character’s story is mostly confusing genealogical stuff, he just wishes you’d gone for one of the flashier characters, is all.
In addition to being put on the girl’s gym class list (thanks, Kylie), Kyrie is treated to rounds and rounds of “kyrie eleison” – causing the teacher to pronounce it “keer-ee-ay” instead of “ky-ree,” like basketball player Kyrie Irving. Just HAD to spring for the Catholic school, didn’t you?