The Most Popular and Weirdest Baby Names of 2013

Baby girl in a hat
Melodius girl names such as Sophia, Emma and Olivia are all currently popular. (Image credit: GTeam, Shutterstock)

What will be the top baby names of 2013? If parenting website BabyCenter is to be believed, Sophia and Jackson are tops this year.

The official tally of the top baby names of 2013 won't be out until May. But BabyCenter collects name data on the parents who shared their new kiddos' names with the site, a sample of about a half-million.

Because of that unscientific sampling, the BabyCenter list rarely predicts the official most popular baby names as collected by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) each year. Nevertheless, some trends are present. In 2012, for example, Sophia topped the girls' list from both BabyCenter and the SSA. And many of the top 10 baby names overlap on both lists. For example, BabyCenter's 2012 top 10 boy names of the year included Aiden, Ethan, Liam, Mason, Noah, Jacob and Jayden, all of which appeared on the SSA list, albeit in a different order. [Sophia's Secret: The 10 Most Popular Baby Names]

Sophia wasn't the only overlap on the girls' list, either. Emma, Isabella, Olivia, Ava, Madison and Mia appeared on the top 10 of both. Names BabyCenter included in their top 10 tend to be popular overall; for example, Chloe was No. 8 on the BabyCenter list in 2012 and No. 11 on the SSA list.

2013 Names

On to the 2013 list: Sophia remains queen of the girls' names. Jackson rules the boys. (In 2012, Jackson was the 22nd most popular boys' name in America, according to the SSA). The rest of the top ten on the BabyCenter list were:


1. Sophia

2. Emma

3. Olivia

4. Isabella

5. Mia

6. Ava

7. Lily

8. Zoe

9. Emily

10. Chloe


1. Jackson

2. Aiden

3. Liam

4. Lucas

5. Noah

6. Mason

7. Jayden

8. Ethan

9. Jacob

10. Jack

Strange names

Of course, some parents like to pick rare names for their bouncing bundles of joy. Forty-three percent of parents surveyed by BabyCenter said they were looking for a unique name for their baby. Some of them succeeded. The website tracked odd names given to at least three babies this year. Among the honorees:

For girls: Blip, Blue, Chevy, Fairy, Feline, Harlowe, Kinzly, Kalliope, Kiwi, Nyx, Tulip and Ziggo.

For boys: Ajax, Apollo, Cheese, Daxx, Holmes, Hurricane, Kazz, Kodiak, Panda, Stetson and Zion. 

Naming practices in the United States are becoming increasingly diverse, both as the cultural diversity of the country changes and as parents seek out custom-fit names for their families. A study published in January 2010 in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, about 5 percent of babies shared the top baby name of their year. Now, only about 1 percent of babies each year have the top baby name.

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Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.