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Baby Name Trends 2011

The Biggest Baby Naming Trends of the Year

We're excited to share this post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we will be bringing you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post from Lindsay Weiss about the most popular baby names of 2011.

Drum roll please…Babycenter just released the results of its highly anticipated annual Top 100 Baby Names of 2011.

(Note: am I the only one whose heart starts pounding when I read this list? Don’t get me wrong, I love the names but my palms are sweating because I do not want to see my kids names on this list! Sadly, they are. Darn Kate Middleton…it’s all her fault.)

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As Carolyn noted, there’s no surprise on the most popular names — Aiden tops the boys’ list for the seventh consecutive year while Sophia holds tight to the lead for girls for the second year in a row. But never fear, 2011 definitely yielded some interesting trends in naming:


The Anderson Cooper Effect
He’s got a new talk show and, apparently, a lot of ‘mini-Coopers’ too. While Cooper rose 3 percent to number 58 on the list, the name Anderson made a meteoric ascent, up more than 100 spots!

Fist Pump…Jersey Style
In addition, this year’s list reflects America’s obsession with the Garden State, as names like Nicole (Jersey Shore) make their way up four spots while Briella (Jerseylicious), Jacqueline and Caroline (The Real Housewives of New Jersey), and Kimberly (Jersey Couture) all experienced hair-raising leaps. And if that’s not enough, the name Jersey itself is up 16 percent!

Keeping Up With…Mason?
Another reality baby name star to take note of is Mason, Kourtney Kardashian’s son, who toddled up eight spots to claim the number three spot for boys. Not to be outdone, the first names of power couple Victoria and David Beckham are both on the rise as well as that of their newborn daughter, Harper, whose name is up an impressive 34 spots.

The Royal and the Political
Keeping the reality show stars in check is the royal duo William and Kate, whose names are both on the rise along with Harry and Pippa, whose name is up a whopping 45 percent. Moms also looked to politics, as evidenced by the rise of inspirational congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ name, as well as the names of the Palin, Obama, and Clinton daughters.

Superheroes…Real and Fictional
Additional inspiration for this year’s crop of top baby names came from superheroes, with names like May (Spider-Girl) swooping up 98 spots and Peter (Spiderman) climbing 22 spots. NASCAR and nature also left their mark on this year’s list, with names like Matt (Kenseth) and Kyle (Busch) on the rise along with Summer and Storm.

Do any of these trends resonate with you?

P.S. full disclosure: I may need to get pregnant (with a girl, please) in 2012 so I can name her Pippa. Who wouldn’t love to squeeze the cheeks on a little Pippa?

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