It is always stressful picking out a name for one's baby.
"1. British Kate
Who didn’t see this trend coming? Although the Royal Wedding bonanza is long gone, the new Duchess’ nickname Kate (English, short for Katherine, pure) has skyrocketed in popularity. It ranked 14th this year, up from spot 33 last year. While her formal name Catherine (Greek, pure) wasn’t in the top 50, readers have also expressed interest in Kate’s sister Pippa’s (English, short for Philippa) name, which claimed the 21st spot this year.
William (English, German, protector) has also risen in popularity, ranking 31st for boys up from 91 last year. Liam (Irish, short for William), a shortened version of William, is still flying high at number 5. English classics like James (English, derived from Jacob, supplanter), John (Hebrew, God is gracious) and Henry (German, ruler of the household) are all ranking in the top 50 for boys as well, while the regal Elizabeth (Hebrew, God's oath) took the 11th spot for girls.
2. Feminine Names
Although readers are beginning to favor short and sweet names for girls, the widespread appeal of ethereal, ultra-fem names has kept them in vogue. Favorites like Emma (German, universal), Charlotte (English, strong), Grace (Latin, graceful), Olivia (Latin, olive tree) and Amelia (Latin, variation of Emily) will all stick around for 2012 and beyond.
3. New Boys On The Block
Last year gender benders like Riley (Irish, valiant), Rory (Irish, famous brilliance) and Aiden (Irish, fiery) were all the rage. This is a trend on its way out; while Aiden held on to spot four, Rory and Riley didn’t rank in the top 50 for boys this year.
So what’s new for boys’ names? Readers still like a slightly offbeat slant mixed with some classic appeal, which is why boy names including Alexander (Greek, defender of mankind), Owen (Irish, young warrior), Connor (Scottish, wise), Benjamin (Hebrew, son of my right hand), Gavin (Welsh, white hawk) and Nicholas (Greek, victorious people) all peppered the top 50 list. They’re a bit quirkier than straight-up classics, but still have a strong, solid resonance."