You are here's Best Baby Names of 2010



While Jacob and Emma reigned as the top baby names of 2009 on Social Security's list, readers set their own naming trends. From vampires and Harry Potter to Obamarama and celeb picks, here's what you named your kids in '09 -- and what you might be naming them in 2010.


Top Picks: Aiden, Ella

Tons of readers searched for Wmffre (variation of Humphrey, German, peaceful, pronounced OOM-fre) and Eithne (Irish, fairy, pronounced ITH-nee) - though we've yet to meet a child of either name, so we're guessing you were just curious! Not surprisingly, perennial faves Ella (English, beautiful fairy) and Aiden (Irish, fiery) came in tops this year; and though we're not sure if Britney's made a complete comeback, her son's name Jayden (Hebrew, God has heard) is still a hot pick. Gossip Girl stayed strong this year as well, with Leighton (English, from the meadow) moving up from spot 50 into 15, and First Family names are solid contenders with Sasha (Russian, nickname for Alexandra) at 16 and Barack (Hebrew, lightning bolt) still in at 37 (down from spot 28 in '08).

Movie-Inspired Monikers: Max, Daniel, Emma

In 2008 the name Max (Latin, short for Maximillian, Maxwell) came in at 19; now it's a top 5 boys' name, riding on the success of the Where the Wild Things Are movie. Harry Potter continues to works its magic - not with character names, but with the actors'. Daniel (Hebrew, God is my judge) Radcliffe, the actor who plays Harry (English, form of Henry or Harold), made the top 100 for boys, while Emma (German, universal) Watson, who plays Hermione (Greek, earthy), is a top 5 girls' pick. Both Miley (American, short for Milo or Miles) Cyrus and her alter ego Hannah (Hebrew, gracious) Montana's first names came in the top 100.

Vampire Mania: Bella, Jacob, Sookie

Vampires have invaded pop culture: books, movies, TV shows - why not baby names? Bella (Latin, beautiful) is a top 10 girls' pick, while readers are decidedly Team Jacob, at least when it comes to the name; Edward (English, prosperous guardian) didn't even make the top 100 (though Team Edward fans can rest easy knowing Jacob means "substitute".)

The name Sookie (American, unknown) has crept into the top list for girls, which could be attributed to the star of Charlaine Harris' vampire series True Blood. But Sookie may also be a throwback to Gilmore Girls; Lorelei (German, seductress), Rory (Irish, famous brilliance), Luke (Latin, form of Lucius), and Logan (Irish, meadow), also characters on the show, are all top-100 names. 

Celebs: The Bold and the Beautiful: Charlotte, Seraphina, Sophia

We're going to see some very girly girls in the future, if their names are any indicator. Feminine names like Aurora (Latin, dawn), Ava (German, form of Eve), Grace (Latin, graceful), Isabella (Italian, God's oath), Olivia (Latin, olive tree), and Charlotte (English, strong) dominated the tops girls' names. Even celebs jumped on that bandwagon: Sarah Michelle Gellar named her daughter Charlotte Grace, Jennifer Garner's second child was christened Seraphina (Hebrew, winged angel) Rose (Latin, rose) and Jude Law's newborn daughter is Sophia (Greek, wise).

But true to their nature, some celebs went well off the conventional path to concoct some - ahem - unique names for their kids. Nicole Ritchie's son Sparrow was (surprise!) not on the top list for boys, though it came up in a few searches as a middle name. Actress Jennifer Hudson and supermodel Gisele looked to classics for their sons David (Hebrew, beloved) and Benjamin (Hebrew, son of my right hand), respectively. (We're gonna need some 'splaining from Heidi Klum, who named her daughter Lou.)

Predictions for 2010:

  • We're thinking quirky monikers like Wmffre will take a hiatus; people are looking for a solid start to the '10s, and are giving their kids names to match. One of the top lists readers searched for is Grandparents' Names That Are Cool Again, including Max and Charlotte -- Opal (Hindi, Latin, gemstone) and Millie (English, short for Millicent) were also in this year's top 100. Sarah Jessica Parker picked some golden oldies for new twin daughters Marion (Hebrew, bitter) and Tabitha (Greek, Aramaic, gazelle).
  • But parents are also looking for cool, but not too weird names, too; Addison (English, son of Adam), Dylan (Welsh, sea), Riley (Irish, valiant) and Jayden are unisex examples, and all were already in high demand this year. Readers also checked out feel-good hippie names.
  • The vampire craze will stay strong with the impending release of the third Twlight movie Eclipse.
  • Genevieve (French, German, white wave) will become the new "it" girls' name; it jumped from 49 in '08 to 24 this year. For boys, English and Irish names are topping the charts, including this year's Aiden, Avery (English, elf counselor), Liam (Irish, short for William), Riley and James (English, supplanter).


If you're still searching for the perfect name, check out our full baby names search and baby names lists.