Name Enthusiasts Speak: The Top Choices for the 2009 Baby Name Pool
The votes are in for the annual Baby Name Pool. Hundreds of name enthusiasts trained their eagle eyes on the naming horizon to predict the top rising and falling names of 2009. As always, your votes are almost as interesting as the official name data itself -- a leading indicator of name trends to come.
What did your votes say this year? Well, let's get the big theme out of the way right now: vampires. I've written plenty about the Twilight series as a powerful up-and-coming force in American names. Clearly, many of you agree. Alice, Bella, Isabella, Edward and Esme all ranked among the top 10 most-predicted rising names.
Alice took first place overall, with an added boost from the Alice in Wonderland movie (and perhaps from this past blog post.) The non-Twilight half of the top 10 was filled by Violet, Henry, Lila, Jackson and Oliver. That's an intriguingly traditional list for our non-traditional naming era.
On the declining side, most of you went with the "bigger they are, harder they fall" theory. The top choices were popular powerhouses Emma, Aiden, Emily and Jacob. Other recurring themes were top names of the '70s-'90s (Ashley, Jennifer, Brittany) and recent out-of-nowhere naming phenoms (Miley, Nevaeh).
The most intriguing group, though, may be the names that make both lists. Five names ranked among the top 20 predictions for both rising and falling. To me, that's the ultimate sign of a name of this moment, one that will help define our naming era long into the future. Whether you think these names are still rising or have already crested, you sensed that in 2009, they were everywhere: