Meet the Baby Name Pool Champions

May 23rd 2017

Each year we challenge the name-loving public to guess America's fastest rising and falling baby names. This year's trend-spotting champion is Tracy F., with this winning set of predictions:

Rising names: Adeline (F), Everly (F), Finn (M)

Falling names: Alexis (F), Kadence (F) Jase (M)

Tracy, a 24-year-old New Jersey resident, took an analytical approach to her selections, which is only fitting. She's currently pursing a master's degree in applied linguistics and works for a firm that analyzes a lot of name data. A sampling of her thinking:

"I spend a lot of time looking at name trends, and I based my predictions on what I've seen rise and fall in previous years. For instance, the elements in the name Everly have been on the rise through names like Evelyn and Paisley, and it looked like it could make that jump as well. Adeline also made a lot of sense to me as a fresh take on Madeline/Madelyn. (It's also interesting to note how much the spellings Adeline/Adaline jumped ahead -- yet Adelyn/Adalyn stayed about the same.)"

Tracy also shares the life-long love of names that inspires everything we do here. As she put it: "I think what makes them so fun to talk about is that almost everyone has a story to tell."

The top predictor of falling names was Caitlin of Cambridge, a perennial Name Pool powerhouse. She predicted the decline of Brandon, Alexis and Kaitlyn, and divulged her secret recipe for predicting popularity drops: "I mostly look at the top 150 or so and see which names peaked 15-20 years ago and have experienced widening declines in the past 3 years....Those criteria give nice, predictable fallers."

Finally, I'd like to acknowledge reader "Katjsh" who was the only entrant to predict this year's #1 fastest-rising boy's name, Kylo. Nobody picked the overall top riser, the girl's name Kehlani. Which goes to show you that even to a group as savvy as BNW readers, names still have the potential to surprise.

Congratulations to the top scorers. I'll see you all next year!