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Most popular baby names of 2012

Sophia and Jacob reign supreme.

By Nameberry.com May 9, 2013 5:57PM

The most popular baby names of 2012 are officially here, with Sophia and Jacob holding onto their No. 1 spots.


Jacob remains the most popular name for boys for the 14th year in a row.  An Old Testament name that means “supplanter” and a cousin of JamesJacob has been in the top 10 for two decades.

Sophia, which took the crown as the No. 1 girls' name last year, is a Greek name that means "wisdom."  It entered the top 10 in 2006.

Arya and Major were the fastest-rising names for 2012.  Arya's popularity stems from the show and book "Game of Thrones," while Major is a military name featured on reality TV show "Home by Novogratz."

Second-fastest risers Gael and Perla are widely used by parents of Spanish descent.

The Social Security Administration announced the 2012 Most Popular Baby Names on its website this afternoon.

The complete top 10 are:


  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Isabella
  4. Olivia
  5. Ava
  6. Emily
  7. Abigail
  8. Mia
  9. Madison
  10. Elizabeth


  1. Jacob
  2. Mason
  3. Ethan
  4. Noah
  5. William
  6. Liam
  7. Jayden
  8. Michael
  9. Alexander
  10. Aiden

Liam is the upset entry to the top 10, making the list for the first time. An Irish short form of William, Liam didn't enter the U.S. top 1,000 until 1967. Its popularity has been spurred by celebrity Liam Neeson. Liam replaces Daniel.

Elizabeth climbed back onto the girls' top 10, unseating Chloe.

Bing: Unusual baby names

Classic Emma, once No. 1, climbed higher on the list to the No. 2 spot, while Kardashian-inspired Mason held onto the No. 2 ranking for boys.

More from MSN Living:

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Adorable Etsy stuff for babies

The most popular baby names of all time

No, just — no. Bad baby names


Photo credit: Kristin Duvall/Getty Images

Aug 13, 2013 2:19AM
If anyone has ever wanted to try something a little more sacred, in a meditation, they can ask the baby what it *wants* to be named. I know it sounds strange but it is actually very sweet. The parents have honored the child by saying the names they are thinking of and the child's spirit will give a thumbs up or nod or shake her head when being asked what she or he likes - intuitively the parents get a feel for what names feels right for the baby, and sometimes the baby will offer a completely different name altogether. The meditation I am referring to is called BabySpirit (Elisabeth Manning) originally used for fertility and connection with healthy pregnancy. But the meditation turned out to by much more fun like baby name (and room color) preferences chosen by the child itself!
Jun 1, 2013 2:18PM

People went nuts with the thumbs-down thingy whenever someone posted the truth. Defensive much? Unfortunately, their kids will pay the price one day. As TurboDiesel said, there is NO WAY to know "who" your kids will be one day.


I will always view Emma/Emily as ugly, infirm, and old ladyish no matter what anyone says. Pile on the thumbs-downs, I don't care. Just for your own information, look up the word "emetic," which sounds too much like these names for comfort and see what it means. I wouldn't foist that on an insect, let alone a pet or a child.


Fad followers are SHEEPLE. Sheep/people who follow the herd and can't think for themselves. No originality. It's sad, especially for the children stuck with those names.

Jun 1, 2013 6:12AM
When you name your baby, there's NO WAY to know "who" they will grow up to be, but their name can definitely have a positive or negative reflection upon them, whether you want to accept that fact or not, it's the truth.  Additionally, names are merely a reflection of the mother and father. Stupid baby names typically reflect stupid parents.  Naming your baby after a fad name is very common nowadays, and also pretty pathetic in my opinion. It reflects the immaturity of the parents and lack of thought put into the child's name. Naming your kid some off-the-wall name will only cause them problems in life, and it's not "cutesy" at all once they aren't infants anymore. Wake up people, and name your child something reasonable and intelligent. Spend a lot of time and really put some thought into it, because it's going to be that person's identity for the rest of their life!
Jun 1, 2013 6:04AM

Most popular names lists are great.  They remind me what NOT to name my kid.  Mix in a little common sense, and you can come up with a respectable name for your child.  Stay away from fads, nigga names, and anything that is a derivative of smoking too much dope or crack and you'll have a good name for your baby.

May 31, 2013 10:12PM
My wife and I are big on carrying on tradition.  My mother's maiden name is Adams and I am her only son.  She has a sister that never had children, so the Adams "line" stopped with her.  We named our son Jaxson Adam to keep the name in the family. 
May 31, 2013 10:11PM
I have five grandchildren all with unusual names, four girls who's names are Phoenix, Silver-rea, Elle-mae, Raven-lei, and one boy named Xander leonidus. We love all their names and think it suits them too. All of them have characters of their own and think their name just add to that......... different, we love different........
May 14, 2013 6:34PM
I have finally suggested to my daughter to name her children after great jazz artists like her first boy was named Miles after Miles Davis,Theo after the Monk, Charlie after the bird Parker,Jaco after the great bass player my friend Jaco Pastorius,and Sarah after the great Sarah Vaughn.Hope the list remains the same for many years.
May 13, 2013 3:34AM

I feel  strongly the name should reflect who they are. The first name should always be one that is short to medium in length if the last name is long, or over 8 or 9 letters.  If it's a boy he should have a masculine name and a girl should have a feminine name. Your first name seldom ever changes- So give consideration when picking a name.  Also, don't go for the fad names it gives away your age later in life.  In my graduating class with 132 graduates, I counted according to the year book of the class: Girls - there were 8 Judy's;  8 Sandra's; 7 Sharon's, 9 Karen's;  and 6 Carol's.  For the boys: 8 John's;  6 Edward's; 6 Tom's; 7 Dennis' and 4 Robert's.    So today everyone knows they were probably born in the 1950s. 

If you really like a name, or it's a family name back 4 generations - go for it!  But please don't name him/her with a name NO one can pronounce. 

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