First, Happy Birthday to me. Well, actually, my birthday is tomorrow. And so I’ll be doing something I haven’t done since shortly after I started writing Name of the Day posts in May 2008 – I’m choosing the names. All week. And I’m starting with my discarded given name tomorrow.

But enough about that. The big news in baby naming this week was Baby Name Wizard’s report on the fastest rising names of 2010. As usual, the coverage missed the critical fine print: these are the fastest gaining searched names, not names being inked on birth certificates by parents. Not everyone searching is expecting a child; not everyone searching and expecting would ever choose a daring name. And yet, it’s interesting to see the list, and there are definitely trends to be spotting among the fastest rising.

They are as follows, girls first:

1. Tenley
3. Everleigh
4. Martina
5. Sookie
6. Navi – There’s been plenty of speculation about Avatar’s impact on baby naming. Combined with actress Navi Rawat, could this be the film’s big contribution?
7. Charlotte
8. Eloise
10. Ursula
11. Briella
12. Kinley

13. Tinsley – The next Kimora?
14. Mhairi – It’s a twist on the Scottish form of Mary, but would probably be pronounced Mary in the US, so is she anything more than an impressively creative spelling?
15. Leighton
16. Maelle
17. Ever
18. Kinsley
19. Lux
20. Everly

There are some interesting picks for boys, too:

1. Castiel
2. Bentley
3. Eoin
4. Easton
6. Aarav
7. Zion

8. St. John
9. Kaiden
11. Callan
12. Leland
14. Mikah
16. Eliah
17. Dawson
18. Kayden

19. Lennon
20. Dorian

Other than the rise of the Ever- names, my real take-away is this: I suspect Charlotte is headed for the US Top Ten. She’s gently French, literary, and feminine without being fussy. Her nickname options are great. She’s also climbing rapidly, without any sign of hitting a plateau.

Putting my crystal ball away, here’s the rest of the news:

  • Here’s a list that’s subject to the same flaws, yet seems more likely to suggest future US name trends: Luke Eales of guest posted at Nameberry, sharing the fastest rising names on his site. Jude and India, anybody?;
  • Nymbler posted their June 2010 update. The Top Ten were the usual snooze of nice-but-oft-heard choices: Charlotte, Ava, Noah, Oliver, Owen, Amelia, Ella, Olivia, Grace, Henry. But the Top Four brand new names? A delight as always: Saylor, Loki, Zadie and Sookie;
  • Speaking of Sookie, anyone want to take the over/under on when we’ll hear of a baby girl named Snooki? For real, that is … Jersey Shore’s Snooki was born Nicole;
  • Forget New Jersey – what’s up with North Carolina? Check out these names spotted by For Real Baby Names: Fanny Celeste Marin, Jenton Stone, River Cruz, Kwynn Patricia, Mayden Jane. There are some really unexpected combos on that list. But she also found some lovelies: Ingrid Julieth, Emily Miranda. If Maylee is the new Kaylee, I guess Mayden might be the next Jaidyn;
  • Speaking of -ayden, check out Nancy’s tally of boys receiving -ayden names in 2009. I won’t spoil the grand tally, but there were lots. No, really. There are more than you think, including seven Xhaidens and six Sheadons. All of a sudden, Castiel and Jenton sound as sensible as Joseph and James;
  • This one is just for fun: Listicles posted the 12 Worst Name-Generating Websites. My Sarah Palin baby name is Fire Patriot. My vampire name? Mary Maundrell. What does it say when Twi-fying yourself produces the better result;
  • File this under Only Vaguely Related: Mr. Clean’s first name is Veritably;
  • While I’m on a random tangent, here’s another, this time via Fritinancy. The French word for weasel is belette. I had no trouble finding Bellette listed on baby name websites;
  • Let’s end where we began – remember Lennon from the Baby Name Wizard list? If you’re a fan of the Fab Four, John, George and Paul are fair game, and Lennon and Harrison, why not? But Ringo? Names4Real spotted a Ringo Isaac.

It was a quiet week for starbabies. Juan Pablo Montoya – who is racing on our TV as I type this – welcomed a daughter, Manuela. The NASCAR notable is also dad to Sebastian and Paulina.

That’s all for this week, as always thank you for reading!

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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  1. Wow, Everly/Everleigh, has a certain appeal, but I wonder why so many people are looking it up. Also, Castiel is interesting as I have never heard of it.

    Bellette was used as a nickname for Isabelle in the middle ages, I don’t know if they still use it though. It is very similar to belette.

  2. Happy birthday, Abby!

    Also, while I like my name, I’m selfish enough to wish that every other little girl I meet was not named Charlotte. Sadly, it seems like little Charlottes are springing up everywhere. Furthermore, almost every new acquaintance I make tends to call me Roseanna and my daughter Charlotte, not vice versa. I guess that’s what happens when your own name is suddenly popular and your daughter bears your late mother-in-law’s name.