Kamala is in, but Karen is out. And Alexa, well, it’s time to log off.
These are some of the discoveries that surfaced from the annual list of the most popular baby names nationwide compiled by the online pregnancy resource center BabyCenter.
The top 10 picks for both boys and girls didn’t change much from the 2019 tally. Liam repeated as the most popular boy’s name, a distinction it claimed for the first time last year, while Sophia, which has the held top spot for girls since 2010, added yet another year to the streak.
As for the rest of the top 10, a few names changed places in the rankings, but there is only one new moniker among the combined 20 names. Mateo — Spanish for Matthew — grabbed the No. 10 spot on the boys’ list, bumping Muhammed down a slot.
The list was based on more than 500,000 babies born so far this year. It combines names that are pronounced the same but spelled differently — Sophia and Sofia, for example.
BabyCenter doesn’t ask for the reasons behind the newborns’ names, but some of the logic is easy to extrapolate. Take Karen, for instance, which fell off the list of the top 100 names after it became associated with a social media put-down of women who demonstrate rude and often racist behavior.
And it’s easy to trace the sudden interest in Kamala, which skyrocketed from relative obscurity after Sen. Kamala Harris became the Democratic VP nominee.
But what’s up with Alexa losing its elite status? The number-crunchers behind the survey think it’s because people have gotten tired of calling out to their kids only to have their computers answer.
As for the increased interest in Mateo, the supposition is that it’s tied to a character on the hit TV show “Jane the Virgin.” It’s also what soccer superstar Lionel Messi named his son, which would explain why there are a lot of newborn Mateos in Argentina.
High-profile deaths were a source of inspiration. Following the January helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, both names climbed significantly in the rankings.
“2020 has been an especially emotional year for families, filled with stress, loss and uncertainty,” Linda Murray, BabyCenter’s global editor in chief, said in a statement. “At a time like this, parents are seeking comfort by naming their babies after people they admire, especially those who’ve passed on. ”
Crossover names — ones that used to be gender-specific — also continue to gain popularity.
“Today’s parents are increasingly comfortable with choosing traditional boys’ names for girls and girls’ names for boys,” the statement said. Among such names gaining ground this year were Riley, Noah, Palmer and Sutton.
The top names for girls:
1. Sophia (still the pack leader)
2. Olivia (was No. 2 last year)
3. Riley (was 9)
4. Emma (was 3)
5. Ava (was 4)
6. Isabella (was 6)
7. Aria (was 5)
8. Aaliyah (was 10)
9. Amelia (was 7)
10. Mia (was 8).
The top names for boys
1. Liam (was 1)
2. Noah (was 3)
3. Jackson (was 2)
4. Alden (was 4)
5. Elijah (was 8)
6. Grayson (was 5)
7. Lucas (was 7)
8. Oliver (was 9)
9. Caden (was 6)
10. Mateo (new to the list).
Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392