The Fastest-Rising Girls' Names of 2013: Something For Everyone

May 9th 2014

We live in a world of 500 cable channels: entertainment custom-tuned to your personal interests. More and more, baby name style is going the same way. There's not just one current style but many, and names that seem over-trendy in one neighborhood may be totally unknown in another.

The fastest-rising* girls' names in the year all sport different styles, and the queen of them all is a very literal representation of the richness of your cable dial. 

(For Fastest-Rising Boys' Names of 2013 click here)

#1 Daleyza. (#585, up from #3,769) America has been struck by Larrymania! It's a reality tv series, following the personal life of popular singer Larry Hernandez. If you've missed it, Larrymania airs on Spanish-language cable station mun2, a junior sibling of Telemundo. Tune in and and you'll learn that Mr. Hernandez has an adorable little daughter named Daleyza. (P.S. at the end of 2013, Daleyza's little sister Dalary was born. Just a thought for the future, Baby Name Pool entrants!)

#2 Everly. (#383, up from #907) This name has been a regular on the "Why Not?" list in my book, which collects little-used names with top style potential. Everly hits multiple targets: it's a surname with fashionable sounds. It's a classic rock & roll name, via the Everly Brothers. And it's an "off with their heads" name that freshens up a familiar name by, well, decapitating it. As Addison is to Madison, so Everly is to Beverly. This year, actor Channing Tatum put Everly over the top when he gave the name to his daughter.

#3 Sadie. (#50, up from #120) Few names have undergone such a dramatic image makeover as Sadie. To your parents, Sadie probably conjures up either Sadie Hawkins Day or an old-fashioned Jewish lady. But Sadie has become a fast-rising hit by appealing to two different audiences. To traditional namers, Sadie matches the nostalgic sweetness of names like Lily and Sophie. (It's a traditional nickname for Sarah.) And to creative namers -- especially Southerners who relate to the hit reality tv series Duck Dynasty, which features a Sadie -- it adds a sassy old-time kick to names of the Macy and Hadley family.

#4 Kendra. (#187, up from #387) This name bucks the trends. By the standards of today's vowels-first fashion, it's a heaping helping of consonants. It's also an uncommonly resiliant name, a 1980s hit that keeps fading but then finding new bursts of life. More than once that new spark has come from Playboy model-turned reality tv star Kendra Wilkinson, who has had a remarkably resiliant career hersef. This time jewelry designer Kendra Scott (also an occasional tv personality) helped out.

#5 Penelope. (#56, up from #125) Penelope is the hottest classic of the moment. It has a celebrity standard-bearer in actress Penelope Cruz, and has been chosen by Hollywood parents from Tina Fey to Kourtney Kardashian. The name's own distinctive galloping rhythm, though, is the real draw. Its appeal is powerful enough that it has even drawn the Baby Boomer nickname Penny back into the top 1,000 for the first time in decades.

* Rising names calculated with the Baby Name Wizard hotness formula, which balances the percentage rise with absolute number of names affected.


May 9, 2014 10:03 AM

Thanks for the background on these names!

May 9, 2014 11:34 AM

Kendra is also the name of the main character in a popular book series for children, Fablehaven.  Perhaps parents are reading this series to their older children and are realizing they like the name.

May 9, 2014 3:57 PM

My granddaughter Mabel, born last September, was one of the baby girls who helped that name make it back into the Top 1000 after being off the chart for almost 50 years. I've been following Mabel name news and expected to find Mabel in the 2013 list, probably with a rank in the 900s, so I was very surprised when I saw Mabel ranking at 707! Mabel was 11th among girls' names that increased from 2012-2013. I'm delighted!

May 9, 2014 4:04 PM

I'm wondering about the Hotness -- or lack thereof -- of Mabel, but your Hotness Formula is too complex for me. Can someone help me out? (I'm sure Mabel's mom hopes the name isn't "hot" at all; not being in the Top 1000 has been part of the name's appeal for her.)

May 9, 2014 5:47 PM

Wow, Patricia! My son's best buddy is named Mabel. She'll be three this summer.

May 15, 2014 9:53 PM

Ha, re: Sadie. My husband and I considered the name (for each of our two daughters) and my mother always said it sounded like an old Jewish grandmother. She grew up in the Bronx, I in rural Michigan and my husband in small-town Kentucky. Needless to say we had no idea what she was talking about but this shows me it wasn't just her opinion of the name!