It’s been an exciting week in the Name World as the United States Social Security Administration just released the list of the most popular baby names. I’ll add a link to my video chatting about the popularity at the end of this video. So like any dedicated name nut I’ve been combing the list and I must say I’m pleasantly surprised by many mid-popular names. What’s a mid-popular name? These are names that rank in the sweet spot, right around the middle of the Top 1,000 in spots 475 to 575. The great thing about a mid-popular name is that it’s usually familiar without being overly used. Here are a few name gems that rank right in the middle!
Benson – ranked at #474
Benson is an English surname meaning son of Ben. Of course you get the nickanames Ben, Benny, and Benji, without the popularity of Benjamin, the Number 6 most popular name. At 474 Benson dipped nearly 50 spots last year. Law & Order fans may be reminded of character Detective Olivia Benson when they hear this usable yet not overly used choice.
Blair – ranked at #511
Allow me to show my age in saying Blair will forever remind me of the character Blair Warner from the TV show The Facts of Life. Younger generations will recognize the name Blair from the show Gossip Girl. Blair took a small jump last year on the girls list rising ten spots to spot Number 511. Blair is a Scottish unisex name meaning dweller on the plain. It is not currently in the Top 1,000 for boys.
Colette – ranked at #531
Colette is one of the few names my partner and I both agree on and so it’s been on my personal name list for a few years. Colette is a chic, French feminine form of Nicholas meaning victory of the people. I love the nickname potential from Coco to Lettie or even Lottie. Colette decreased in popularity last year from 469 to 531.
Hattie – ranked at #480
If you love vintage old-timey diminutive names that Hattie is your girl. Originally a nickname for Harriet, meaning estate ruler, Hattie is slowly rising sitting today at Number 480. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for her performance in the epic film Gone with the Wind.
Leonidas – ranked at #498
I’m seeing lots of little Leo’s lately as Leo is now in the Top 100 and up over 70 spots in the last five years. If you love Leo and are looking for a large and unique show-stopper of a name, you may consider Leonidas! A Greek name meaning lion, Leonidas has a very strong, masculine sound. If Leo isn’t your bag of tea, Lee and Leon are other nickname contenders.
Liberty – ranked at #568
Word names are all the rage right now and Liberty is one of my favorites in the bunch. If I had a daughter born on the fourth of July I may be tempted to use Liberty. The nickname Libby is equally appealing as is Birdie. Liberty has never ranked higher than 406 and today ranks at 568.
Matilda – ranked at #521
I would use the name Matilda in a heartbeat if I could convince my partner. I love the nickname Tilly and the character in the Roald Dahl book and film. A German name meaning battle-worthy Matilda dropped almost 30 spots last year to 521. Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger chose the name Milda Rose for their daughter born in 2005.
Otto – ranked at # 478
I recently met a baby named Otto which really endeared me to this old-timey little palindrome name. A German name meaning wealthy, Otto dipped in popularity after the second World War, but has steadily been climbing the past five years. Currently ranked at Nmber 478, Otto hasn’t been this popular since 1946.
Rhys – ranked at #477
Rhys is another long-time favorite of mine. Rhys is a handsome Welsh name meaning ardor. Jonathan Rhys Meyers helped introduce this name to American audiences. Joey McIntyre chose the name Rhys Edward for his son born in 2009.
Wilder – ranker at #573
Are you wild about Wilder? I’ll be honest, it isn’t my style but I’m warming up to it and I do love the Laura Ingalls Wilder association. Many a name lover has Wilder on their list. Wilder is a rapidly rising name and will likely be too popular for my mid-popular names list in the years to come. Wilder first entered the Top 1,000 in 2015 and jumped nearly 400 spots to 573 just in two years!
What are your favorite mid-popular names?
Hear all about the New Most popular baby names in the US here: