Introducing the Hottest Name in America
Last time, I talked about the Top 20 hot list of names that rose most dramatically between 2002 and 2004. Then I charted the pop culture events that jump-started those names. But if you look closely at the chart, you'll notice I only listed 14 names. What are the other six? Meet them now:
Rubi -- Hot in two ways, as an alternate spelling of the rising hit Ruby and as Rubí, a Latina favorite that got an extra push from a 2004 telenovela.
Saniya, Janiyah -- Saniya is a Hindi name, used in the U.S. by both Indian and African-American families. Rhyming twin Janiyah is a new African-American variation on the theme that joins Aniya, Aniyah, Janiya, Saniyah, Shaniyah, Taniya and Taniyah in the top 1000. Which make the Aniyas runners-up to the Hottest Name crown worn by:
Cadence. And Kadence. And Kaydence. Incredibly, the top three fastest rising names in America are all spellings of the same name.
Cadence, the hottest name in America, has no celebrity bellwether. It's pure style, a sound and image that hits a perfect bullseye for a large segment of contemporary parents. Try typing Kaydence into Yahoo or Google image search -- it's like a national baby convention.
Breaking down the elements that make Cadence such a baby magnet: first, The "Kay" sound is hugely popular for girls, featuring in hits like Caitlin, Kaelyn, Kayla and Kailey. Cadence is also a feminine elaboration on the boy's hit Caden (or rather Caden, Caiden, Cayden, Kaden, Kadin, Kaeden Kaiden, Kayden). It's a meaning name (a cadence is rhythmic flow of sounds), a growing style led by names like Sierra, Autumn and Trinity. And it has a traditional name-like sound. With familiar nicknames (Kay, Cady) and echoes of classics from Candace to Florence, Cadence is a new creation that fits in easily.
Look for more young Cadences in 2005. And as the name becomes part of the sound of the times, its popularity could even rub off on other -ence names, currently an endangered species. Top contender: Patience.