Most Frequent Sightings

I thought it might be interesting if we shared our own most frequent name sightings--not based on any data, but purely on your perception and experience. I wonder how they compare to each other, given we all live in different areas and probably live in name pockets that we didn't even realize existed.

So I'll start. I'm in the Southern US, just outside of a major city.

Most frequent boy name: Jackson, hands down. I can count up several who were born this year, plus many others up through elementary age.

Most frequent girl name: Emery. This one has been really surprising to me because I never encountered it before the past year or so. Now suddenly there are several Emerys at every storytime and kid's event we attend. I looked up the stats and it ranks 84 spots higher in my state than it ranks nationally.


February 8, 2016 5:39 PM

Noa! I know so many Noas. The oldest child that I know with that name is about 6, and every year there are more. It has just made it to the top 1000 in the US in the past year or two, but I know it's been ranked highly in Israel for years -- I'm guessing the trend just took a decade or so to make it to our local Jewish community.  (Yes, all the Noas I know are Jewish.)  It's a lovely name and I'm not surprised it has taken off.

February 8, 2016 6:14 PM

Very interesting! I've never met a Noa. When we lived in Florida there was a sizable Jewish population in our part of town, but that was before I had kids, so I didn't have exposure to the baby names there. 

February 9, 2016 6:23 AM

I live in Barcelona, and the name I encounter most on young girls is Ariadna, hands down. It is in the top ten, so it's not that surprising, but I still get a kick out of the fact that there are so many mythology-named little girls. My partner says it's the kind of same that doesn't really sound mythological, even though it is. Runner-up is Ona, meaning "wave," which seems to be dominating the short and sweet category.

February 9, 2016 6:23 AM

Also, Emery, sigh. I don't hate it, but the sounds in my name are becoming more dated by the minute.

February 9, 2016 3:12 PM

I wonder how many were looking for alternative to Emily when they chose it. Now that I think of it, "Emery" is exactly how my 2 year old pronounces Emily, since she can't say her L's yet.

By EVie
February 12, 2016 3:14 PM

My almost-3-year-old would probably say them both Emewy :) Rs and Ls are the hardest. 

I met a little female Emery back when my son was a baby, and I had to hear it a few times to be sure it was Emery and not Emily.

February 9, 2016 3:11 PM

I wonder if Ariadna will pick up any momentum in the US now that Aria/Arya are so popular, and soon parents will be looking for alternatives. It's not a name I've ever encountered here.

February 9, 2016 8:42 AM

My brother emailed me triumphantly last week to tell me that his three-year-old daughter came home and announced that there was a new boy in her daycare class. My brother said, "Was his name Tyler?" She said no. Then he asked, "Was it Logan?" Bingo! I asked him how he knew and he said that his first guess would have been Henry but that there were already three in the class so he went for the other popular names instead. He lives in northern Virginia.

February 9, 2016 3:13 PM

I actually don't know any boy Logans, but I know a girl Logan who was born this year. It's not a name that crosses the gender barrier gracefully, in my opinion.

February 15, 2016 8:45 PM

I know three sisters named Logan, Dylan, and Carter. They're middle and high school aged.

February 9, 2016 2:20 PM

For boys, it would have to be William. I know so many little Wills. Runner-up is probably Zach.

Maddie or Olivia for girls. Olivia is the independent name I encounter most often, but I know far more named things like Maddie/Madi/Maddy/Madison/Madelynn...

I live in Illinois-not-Chicago. 

February 9, 2016 3:16 PM

Interesting! I only know one Will and one Zach, and both were named after their fathers. Traditional names like that are rare here; the style for boys where I live tilts strongly towards surnames and occupational names.

Almost all of the Maddies I know are now upper-elementary to middle school age.

April 29, 2016 2:36 PM

All of our Maddies are high school/college!  

February 9, 2016 3:46 PM

I can't really think of a girl name that I encounter more often than others (well, besides the Juli- names -- but my mom, daughter, and I account for three of those, so I don't think it counts). For boys, it's hands down Jack(son): two boys on our street, at least one classmate through each of three years of preschool now, plus at least two younger siblings of classmates. Runner-up is Max.

February 12, 2016 3:09 AM

There is a running joke at my kids' elementary school that if you can't remember a boy's name, it's probably Max, Henry or Owen. So many!

For girls we know a surprising amount of Miras.

February 12, 2016 1:55 PM

We are in the same Mira pocket. We have a lot of Henrys, too, but also Finn seems way over-represented.

By EVie
February 12, 2016 3:28 PM

James, Henry, Liam and Miles for boys. I don't know as many girls--for some reason we seem to be in a major boy pocket--but the ones I know multiples of are Juliet, Eleanor and Lucy. 

February 15, 2016 7:27 PM

I'm in Iowa, in a small farming/college community (with slightly different naming patterns depending on whether you're looking at town or gown kids). I don't hear individual names over and over so much as sounds--this could partly be because it's quite possible to find out ahead of time whether anyone in preschool through high school currently has the name you're considering. The most I know of any one name repeating in the same grade is probably two or three.

My ex-utero kids are a little older--4th and 7th grades--so I'm not quite as familiar with trends for the preschool set. However, for my kids' general cohort, the most common sound is definitely hard-C + L. Looking at recent rosters for archery and theatre, which includes a broad spectrum of kids from K-12, I identified a Caleb, Cayla and Kayla, Cailyn and Kaylynn, Clara, Clarie, Clayton, Collin, Colton, 2 Kaels, Kailey, Karlyn, Kaylia, Kelan, Kyler, and Quinlan (plus a Lucas, Nicole, and Skyler). The closest runner-up is the J + hard-C sound, with 6 Jake/Jacob/Jakobs, one Jack, one Jackson, and one Jessica. I guess the most common individual name must be the Jacob variants, though I hadn't noticed that before (they're spread out in grades).

The weirdest "pocket" here is Sage--there's a "boy Sage" and a "girl Sage" in my twins' grade. For a while in preschool there was also a "girl Wiley" and "boy Wiley" until R-articulation got clearer, and then there was just Wiley (boy) and Riley (girl) ;-).

April 21, 2016 11:32 PM

It's hard to say for girls one particular name. I've managed to narrow it down to three. I know so many girls under 18 in my area named Chloe, Emily/Emilie, or Michaela/Mikayla/etc, that chances are if you don't know one's name and ask her, she'll say one of them. (And in particular, Chloe is most popular in under 10 or 16-18, Emily/Emilie in 10-16, and Michaela/Mikayla/etc. in 14-18.)

Boys is hands down Harry. While I wouldn't say it matches the popularity of the three girl names above, I've read many birth announcements of baby boys in the last few years with the name.

April 29, 2016 2:25 PM

Kennedy is everywhere for girls in Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma.  There were three different very young Kennedys at Target in a single, two hour shopping trip. 

Presley for girls may be an emerging trend.  Two babies in the past two weeks have been christened "Presley."


I haven't noticed any significant boy trends.  

May 1, 2016 1:25 PM

In boy's names, what I've noticed recently is the sheer diversity in both sounds and individual names in the under-fives. Sure, there are multiple Henry, Liam, Noah, Ben, Finn, Jack(son) and Elliots in my local area, but it's not like the Aidan-Caden-Jayden-Brayden-Clayton-Grayson-Owen-Gavin epidemic; those two-syllable ends-in-en kids are middle-schoolers and high-schoolers here. And it's nothing like the 60% of men my age (~30) who are one of Matt, Mike, Dave, Dan, Chris, Josh, Alex, Andrew, or Ryan. The under-5s around here are a diverse (but uniformly over-educated) group which includes Lennox, Hamish, Clarence, Louis, Arlo, Mackenzie (Mack), and Ambrose. 

In girl's names, I've noticed that the distinctly quirky-sounding prominent 'P' seems to have taken over from the L, M, and V sounds which have been the fashionable consonants over the last decade or so. Penelope, Piper, Juniper, Poppy, Posy (for Josephine), Pearl--and the ubiquitous Harper even has it!  In the local library, the trend also seems to be movie away from the elaborately long names and towards shorter, snappier girls' names--five years ago, the 6-12 mos group was full of Isabella, Sophia, Amelia, Addison/Adaline, Gabriella, and Alexandra who all went by their full names; now the balance seems to have shifted to Claire, Sadie, Evie, Lucy, Isla, and Josephine-called-Posy, Penelope-called-Nell. 

October 6, 2019 1:16 AM

I’m in somewhat rural BC. Ditto Jackson and other -son, -ton names for boys. Seems to be a theme of word/nature names for girls, such as Ember and Nova. Oh and place names for girls and boys alike.