The Social Security Administration has released the official rankings of the most popular baby names in America for 2013, and there's big news at the top: Jacob has fallen out of #1 spot for the first time in the 21st Century.
Meet the new champion, Noah, and the rest of the top names for American boys and girls.
Noah and the new #2 boy's name Liam are both part of the soaring sound category I've identified as "raindrop names." Meanwhile Jayden and Aiden both fell, Aiden slipping out of the top 10.
You can browse the full 2013 popularity list, complete with comparisons to last year's rankings, in our Top 1,000 Baby Names of 2013 page. Stay tuned for the full data and more name news and analysis, including the fastest-rising names of the year
Follow here and on Twitter: twitter.com/BabyNameWizard
Each year at this time, we take a look at the buzziest names for babies as chosen by a special panel of experts: the BabyNameWizard.com reader community.
The dedicated name enthusiasts who enter our annual Baby Name Pool make have an outstanding record of identifying "names on the verge." (Read More) Take a look at what happened to the popularity of the four most-predicted rising names from last year's pool:
And this year? The top Pool selections are:
This prediction crop is an interesting mix of newsmakers and name-style setters. Harper and Penelope are repeat choices from last year's Pool. Entrants are betting that they still have further to climb, and they may well be right. Penelope in particular shows signs of major momentum. Asher is a near doppelgänger for last year's top pick Archer, pointing to a red-hot sound.
The other names are all tied to major personalities of the year: New Pope Francis, new heir to the British throne Prince George, and new heir to the Disney throne Queen Elsa. Francis and Elsa in particular seem like strong bets for the year to come.
Beyond those top selections, look for the continued rise of the style I've called "Raindrop Names." Mila, Aria, Arya, Nora and Liam were all popular Pool choices, and I'd keep an eye on L names like Luna and Lena, and even the anagrammatic brothers Leon and Noel.
And now...on to name week! The official United States baby name statistics for 2014 are due out toward the end of next week. We'll have the top names and analysis of the trends and changes here, plus look for timely announcements and commentary on Twitter, @BabyNameWizard.
If names of a feather flock together, then this flock should tell you a lot about the name Daisy:
You're looking at the "sibling cloud" from the Namipedia name page for Daisy. It's a visual representation of the name's most common siblings, as reported by BabyNameWizard.com users. The bigger the type, the more often the name has been reported as a Daisy sibling.
The sibling cloud suggests that Daisy is a traditional name, since parents who choose it also favor names like Elizabeth, George and James. It looks botanical, as indicated by Willow, Lily and Jasmine. And it has a saucy informality, as shown by Ruby, Molly and Jack. The cloud even points to the name's especial popularity in Britain, the land of girls named Poppy and boys named Finley.
That informative cloud, though, is only a summary. It displays the 25 most common submissions out of almost 700 sibling reports. On more popular name pages, the sibling submissions can total in the thousands. The sibling cloud for Michael is so competitive that a name like Robert, submitted as a sibling by 25 different users, doesn't make the cut.
Let's take a close look at another sibling name cloud:
This cloud paints a picture of a name that's quite formal, but not old-fashioned or stodgy. It's doubtless traditional in English, yet the cloud shows no hint of the heavier English classics (no Edward, George or even Margaret). Meanwhile names like Alexander, Caroline, Sophia and Nicholas suggest a pan-European regal style.
The name is Victoria. The siblings that populate its cloud stand atop a list of 800 different names, totaling nearly 2,000 user submissions. I'm going to zoom out a little now, to show you all of the sibling names entered five or more times for Victoria.
This expanded cloud is more stylistically diverse. Yet the flock's characteristic plumage still shows in new names like Philip, Julia, Emmanuel, Georgia, and Vincent . Now let's zoom out even more and show the 3+ frequency siblings.
At this point, you can see clearly why we limit the sibling clouds in Namipedia. Not only is the visual presentation overwhelming, but the names speak with so many voices that no clear message comes through. Some of those voices, though, are worth tuning into. For instance, this set of sibling names:
Federico, Guadalupe, Jose, Juan.
If your linguistic and cultural orientation is English, Victoria may make you think of a Queen of England. Yet Victoria is also the Spanish word for "victory." Once you see names like Federico and Guadalupe in the sibling cloud, you start to notice how many of the names are Spanish/English crossovers, such as:
Adrian, Ana, Angel, Antonia, Daniel, David, Elena, Eva, Gabriel, Isabel, Julia, Laura, Maria, Monica, Sara, Sofia, Teresa, Veronica, Victor.
To me, that name list is both an interesting angle on Victoria and a notable flock in its own right. My profound thanks to the many thousands of visitors who have shared their sibling knowledge and given us this wonderful window on names.