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Social Security Reveals the Most Popular Baby Names Michael still going strong, Frank not so much...!

By Frank Parlato

Carolyn W. Colvin, the Acting Commissioner of Social Security, whose first name has never been in the top ten most popular names for girls for at least 130 years, announced last week that the names Sophia and Jacob were the most popular baby names in the U.S. for girls and boys respectively in 2012.

For boys, the top ten were Jacob, Mason, Ethan, Noah, William, Liam, Jayden, Michael, Alexander and Alden in that order.

For girls it was Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Mia, Madison, and Elizabeth.

In New York State, Michael was the most popular name given to boys in 2012. Over the past half century, Michael -- which translates from the old Hebrew as "Who is like God" -- has only rarely been out of the top 10 male baby names in this great country.

Just as it was nationally, Sophia was the most popular name New Yorkers gave baby girls.

This is the second year for Sophia and the fourteenth year in a row Jacob topped the list.  There is only one new couple in the top 10 this year--Elizabeth and Liam replace Chloe and Daniel.  This is the first time Liam breaks into the top 10.

According to the people who write the press releases for the Social Security Administration, Liam’s "new found success" might, they suggest, be attributed to parents who name their children after actors who are likely to be pretty much forgotten by the time their child reaches adulthood.

In this case, an actor named Liam Neeson, the folks at Social Security tell the Reporter, is the inspiration to Hollywood-struck parents, and has had recent major roles in “Battleship” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Clash of the Titans” franchises, and the popular, “Taken.'”

From 1913 to 1946, Mary, the name of both Jesus’ mother and the woman who converted her life under his influence, was most popular for girls.  Linda took over from 1947 to 1952 while Mary, sank to number two.

Then, Mary rose again to number one, where she stayed from 1953 to 1961. Lisa took over from 1962 to 1969, with Mary, dropping to two, then five and then off the top five for the first time in 1967.

After 43 years as the most popular girls name, where mothers gave to their babies the name their own mothers gave them, 'there seemed something there that sounds so square,' and Mary dropped to 65 by the 2000's.

Starting in 1970 and until 1985, Jennifer was tops. Jessica horned in from 1985 until 1995 except for a two-year interlude where Ashley (1992-1993) stole the prize. Emily ran from 1996 to 2007. Emma took it in 2008 but lost to Isabella in 2009 and 2010.

Sophia now is number one.

For boys, it was John from 1913 to 1923. Robert from 1924 to 1951. James from 1940-1952. Robert had it again for one, last, glorious, nostalgic year in 1953. Then Michael was the most popular name for baby boys from 1954- 1998 with only a single year of David in 1960.  Jacob has been number one since 1999.

In the decade of the 1880's, Frank was the seventh most popular name for baby boys in America with 30,967 lucky babies getting that name. Over the next 133 years, Frank inexplicably dropped in popularity.  By 2000, Frank had dropped to number 221, just behind Leonardo but still one notch ahead of Malachi.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

May 21, 2013