The Short of It
The Social Security Administration has released its list of what the top baby names were in 2015.
If your baby's name is Emma, Olivia, Noah or Liam, you better have a nickname at the ready by the time your kid hits preschool. Because, according to the latest baby name data from the Social Security Administration, those four names top the list of baby monikers for 2015.
It's the second year in a row that both Emma and Noah have landed in the top spots. In fact, 9 out of the 10 names on both the boy's and girl's lists remained the same as 2014, although their order has switched around a bit.
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But two new names were added to the mix. For girls, it's Harper—perhaps that's due, in part, to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee finally releasing a new book last year. The English name (which means "harp player," naturally) also carries some major celeb cred: Bill Hader and his wife, Maggie Carey; David and Victoria Beckham; Neil Patrick Harris; Tiffani Thiessen; Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl; and Lisa Marie Presley all have daughters named Harper.
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Interestingly enough, Presley also has a son named Benjamin, which happens to be the newest addition to the boy's list this year. Coincidence? Probably. We'd like to think the surge has more to do with Zootopia Police Department's most charming cheetah, Benjamin Clawhauser, or that Ben Obi Wan Kenobi is one of the best "Star Wars" characters of all time.
Of course, we could just chalk the popularity of both names up to musician Ben Harper, who won a Grammy for Best Blues Album in 2014!
Here's how the rest of the top 10 list plays out:
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Choosing a name is a personal decision, and whether you go with something popular or select something a little more obscure, there are pros and cons either way. My name isn't necessarily obscure, but the spelling is—and it was something I HATED growing up. Which is why I vowed to give my kids more classic, easy-to-spell designations.
It turns out, I was pregnant at the same time as Jennifer Aniston's character Rachel on the hit show "Friends," and I will never forget the night she revealed on TV that her baby's name was Emma. Because that was our baby's name! And while it seems impossible to imagine a time when there weren't 15 Emmas running around on every playground, way back in 2002, the name was rather obscure. But the minute I heard those two syllables come out of Rachel's mouth, I knew it was all over. And I was right—my kid's been known as "Emma B." ever since she started school.
On the bright side, at least her name wins for being the most popular this year. Go big or go home, right?