Baby Names Like "Kale" Are Rising The Ranks In This Year's List Of Popular Names

What’s in a name? Well, everything if you’re an expecting parent and are trying to choose the perfect moniker for your impending offspring. There’s so much to think about, from how the name will look at the top of a resume, to how it will sound when called out for an Oscar. Parents can dream right? This week, BabyCenter released its annual list of most popular baby names. A few expected ones made the cut, but others made their first appearance. Either way, the most popular names of 2018 might surprise you.

Sophia and Jackson are the top names again this year, although this is certainly not a big surprise. This is Sophia’s ninth year in that position and Jackson’s sixth time as the top choice for parents across the nation.

Of course, pop culture played a big role in landing some of the names on the list, according to the report from BabyCenter. Ramirez jumped 57 percent on the list thanks to the Fortnite phenomenon, an online player versus player video game. Names of the skins used to dress the characters, Bunny and Leviathan, also saw a rise thanks to millennial and Gen Z gamers-turned-parents. And of course the Kardashian-Jenner clan made an impact. Stormi, Kylie Jenner’s baby’s name, rose a whopping 63 percent. Not to be outdone, Kanye rose 22 percent in popularity and Kim rose 14 percent.

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Perhaps the chaotic state of politics and the world in general inspired this next one. Names that evoke peacefulness and an overall Zen feeling moved way up on the list, the site reported. Peace rose by 66 percent, Harmony jumped 15 percent, and Hope gained 10 percent. The Sanskrit word meaning peace, Shanti, is up 34 percent for boys.

Additionally, some of the year's most popular names were inspired by food. But not just any food. Each name on the list was associated with healthy, wholesome eating. (Side note: Was Gwyneth Paltrow among the first to do this with daughter Apple?) For girls, Kale and Kiwi were both more popular this year, moving up 35 and 40 percent respectively. Some took name cues from the spice rack with Rosemary, Saffron, and Sage all jumping about 10 percentage points or more.

Without further ado, here is the complete list as researched by BabyCenter.

Most Popular Girl Names

  1. Sophia
  2. Olivia
  3. Emma
  4. Ava
  5. Isabella
  6. Aria
  7. Riley
  8. Amelia
  9. Mia
  10. Layla

Most Popular Boy Names

  1. Jackson
  2. Liam
  3. Noah
  4. Aiden
  5. Caden
  6. Grayson
  7. Lucas
  8. Mason
  9. Oliver
  10. Elijah

While Evan and London were still on the list this year, they fell at the very bottom, meaning they're not nearly as popular as all of the names at the very top. Perhaps these are just the sorts of names parents should consider more in 2019. If a name is less popular, it makes it a bit more unique. Just think of it. Come kindergarten, your child might not be one of five Evans or Londons. Now that's refreshing!

Judging by the factors that influence a parent’s decision, many are wondering what baby name trends 2019 will bring. Only time will tell for sure. Happy naming!

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