What Are The Most Popular Baby Names?

May 14, 2017
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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

A note now on this Mother's Day for soon-to-be moms. If you're looking for a boy's name, looks like the Bible is still a popular source of inspiration. According to the Social Security Administration, Noah topped the list for most popular boy name in 2016. For girls, though, Emma came in number one.

LAURA WATTENBERG: There is less consensus in baby names than ever before.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Laura Wattenberg founded Babynamewizard.com.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Names used to be very much object of tradition. Today, they are pure object of style, and they change faster than ever before. For example, Michael is one of the most popular names in U.S. history, but it's now out of fashion with fewer than 14,000 baby boys so named last year - the lowest on record. The fastest rising boy's name on the list...

WATTENBERG: Kylo - a name of a character from a recent Star Wars movie. Don't want to give any spoilers, but not the kind of character you would expect people to want to name their kids after.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'll spoil it. He kills his father in the film. For girls, the biggest climber was Kehlani - possibly a nod to Kehlani Parrish, a singer nominated for a Grammy this year. So, OK, how did Lulu fare? Laura Wattenberg says, don't look for it at the top of the list.

WATTENBERG: Lulu and Kiki - those short names like that - Coco - are names that Americans love as nicknames and are scared to give as given names.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ouch, that hurts.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NAME GAME")

SHIRLEY ELLIS: (Singing) Very good. Let's do Marsha. Marsha, Marsha, bo-bar-sha Bo-na-na fanna fo-far-sha (ph)...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You could also name your baby B.J. Leiderman. He wrote our theme music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NAME GAME")

ELLIS: (Singing) A little trick with Nick. Nick, Nick, bo-bick, bo-na-na fanna fo fick, fee fi mo-mick. Nick. The name game (ph). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.