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Emma overtakes Emily as top baby name for girls

WASHINGTON – Move over, baby Emily. Emma is the new top name among baby girls, ending Emily’s 12-year reign.

Jacob remained king among the boys in 2008, his 10th straight year at the top, the Social Security Administration said Friday.

Biblical names dominate the top choices for boys while popular culture appears to have influenced some of the girls’ names.

Emma debuted in the top 10 in 2002, the same year that Jennifer Aniston’s character on “Friends” gave the name to her TV show baby. In the latest lineup, Emma was followed by Isabella, Emily, Madison and Ava.

The top five boys names remained unchanged from 2007. Jacob was followed by Michael, Ethan, Joshua and Daniel.

Little else changed among the top 10 for either sex. Alexander joined the top 10 at No. 6, while Andrew dropped out. Among the girls, Chloe inched her way up to No. 10 while Hannah dropped out.

“There’s something about naming a child that’s a very existential statement,” said Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue. “As you read through this you see the influence of recent immigration, religion, popular culture. Sometimes, it’s just people who are admired.”

The Social Security Administration started compiling name lists in 1997. The agency offers lists of baby names dating to 1880.

New girl names in the top 1,000 included Isla (623), Mareli (718), Milagros (731), Dayami (750) and Nylah (821).

Debuting among the boys were Aaden (343), Chace (655), Marley (764) Kash (779) and Kymani (836). Beckham debuted at 893, perhaps a nod to the British soccer star, David Beckham, who now plays for a team in Los Angeles.

Elvis is still in the building, but he fell from 673 to 713.

Barack won the White House but he didn’t quite crack the top 1,000. He did, however, move up a record 10,126 spots, to No. 2,409.



Social Security Administration: www.ssa.gov

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