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May 24, 2012
Well, the list we’ve all been waiting for is out.
Sophia made its debut at the top of the most popular baby names for girls in America in 2011, dethroning Isabella.
For the thirteenth year in a row Jacob was the most popular male baby name.
If you’re interested in getting ahead of the curve, Brantley made the biggest leap in 2011, jumping 416 places from a relatively obscure 736th most popular name to No. 320.
Can the top ten be far behind?
Harper, a girl’s name, broke into the top 100 names after hopping 64 places.
Both names to watch.
While a surname is inherited, a given name, at least in the West, is the name we're all stuck with, which supposedly differentiates your name from the rest of the family.
(Unless you do as boxing legend George Foreman did and name each of his five sons, George, so he could get the names right.)
Angus Baxter in "In Search of Your British and Irish Roots" describes a pattern that was popular in England in the 1700-1875 period:
The first son was named after the father's father.
The second son after the mother's father.
The third son after the father.
The fourth son after the father's eldest brother.
The first daughter after the mother's mother.
The second daughter after the father's mother.
At least there was a plan.
So, given the circumstances, if you could have had a say in the decision, what name would you have chosen?