January 18, 2008

Public Service Announcement: Baby Names

The "most popular baby names of 2007" baby name list put out by Baby Center is a TOTAL SHAM. It's based on survey results or whatevs from their readership.

The REAL list, put out by The Social Security Administration and based on birth certificates, will be out in May.

The more you know! *musical ding!*

38 comments:

ttsc said...

Hi Swistle, I read your blog but don't comment too much. Sorry for that. I remember once you wrote a post about sister names when looking for baby names. Where do you find the site listing sister names? Thanks.

Jess said...

Is that the list that Sundry was referring to when she complained that the name they chose for their baby is in the top 40 for the first time ever? Because I remember looking at that list and thinking, "Really? THESE names are in the top 40?" and suspiciously wondering if that list was for real.

Not that they were BAD names. Just that they seemed awfully uncommon.

Swistle said...

TTSC- I found sibling names in this book, which is my top favorite baby name book OF ALL TIME.

Swistle said...

Jess- Yes, the list is ALL OVER THE PLACE. To show you what a fussypants (word credit: Tessie) I am, I actually EMAIL BABY CENTER EVERY YEAR TO COMPLAIN. They act as if it is an official list, when IT IS NOT, and they don't say what their results are based on (my guess: MAKING IT UP). And furthermore, an official list DOES EXIST! So what is their DEAL?

bananafana said...

May will be too late for me! oh what will I dooooooo? due in april . . . I can't make my baby naming decisions based on a list that is almost entirely out of date . . . you'll just have to name this one for me

desperate housewife said...

Thanks for the lowdown, Swistle. Who else but you can we turn to for this sort of hard-hitting, late-breaking info?

Jana said...

Speaking of baby names, oh wise Swistle, do you have any suggestions on how to get motivated to choose a name? Baby #3 (gender unknown) is due in May and we are at a standstill. We weren't this lazy with #1 and #2, but this time around, we just can't seem to find the energy to even think about it.

Tessie said...

I am dying to know what the BC list IS based on. Is it just people who are signed up as members, and OF THOSE just the people who claimed their kids correct birth years and OF THOSE just the people who claimed their kids correct names? BAH.

Seriously, though, what happens when the REAL list comes out and it DOESN'T MATCH? Do they just pretend like THEIR list never happened? I mean, assuming people are stupid DOES seem to be how they roll, but STILL.

Swistle said...

Jana- What I do is start leafing half-heartedly through my favorite baby name book (where is the link to the book I recommended earlier in this comments section? Oh, here it is!) Before I know it, I'm starting to Have Opinions. I find that getting to week 36 and not having a name yet is also Extremely Motivating.

Tessie- They act like their list is just as legitimate--and in fact BETTER, since it's available SOONER. Plus, they probably know that WAY more people are aware of THEIR list, so they sit there all SMUG and DECEPTIVE and STATISTICALLY-INACCURATE.

d e v a n said...

They suck. That list is a fraud!

Nowheymama said...

Babycenter annoys me in so many little ways.

But I will not get sucked into an 11th hour name discussion! We have our name! I can't hear you, Babycenter, la la la!

LoriD said...

Noted. :-)

Mairzy said...

I couldn't open that link (apparently BabyCenter's server doesn't condescend to serve dialup) so I'm glad you've taken care of it. Since I can't see it, can you post their top three Girl and Boy names?

I enthusiastically second the baby-name-book recommendation. That book is actually the foundation of my and Swistle's friendship.

Jana said...

That looks like a great book - thanks, Swistle!!

Sleepynita said...

Baby Center annoys me with that list. They really "think" they know what is up with names each year, yet it does not correspond well with the national names list.

I prefer my method; watch tacky 80s movies and end up naming your kid after a cracked out Doctor from Back tot he Future and a cranky British Chef who runs Hells Kitchen.....

Joanne said...

Ha, you can totally tell it's Babycenter because Neveah is on it. I don't think Neveah is really that popular anywhere except Babycenter. :)

Farrell said...

damn! I totally fell for it too!

Lauren said...

I'll have to check this out. I googled "popular baby names" after we decided our kids names and found out that BOTH the older two had the #3 most common name. So much for originality. Hopefully SSA will give me better news...

Stacie said...

...and knowing is half the battle!

Someone Being Me said...

I try not to pay attention to the popular name list. I pick a name I like whether it is #4 or #401. That is pretty shady of BC though.

Swistle said...

Mairzy- I didn't want to link to the SHAM list in my post, but here it is if you want to go snort derisively at it: The Sham List

Mairzy said...

No, my point was, I can't open BabyCenter links at all. The server just sits there, staring at me like I'm a caterpillar in the salad (to quote Wodehouse). So that's why I wanted you to list what they claim the top 3 names are, because I can't see for myself.

Or I could just wait for August to go back to work, open it on his fast connection, and email the names to me. That will be Monday, of course. I guess until then I could just sneer in anticipation. No need to feel sorry for me. I like being left out.

Swistle said...

Mairzy- Oh oh oh oh oh! I see! I'm going to do Top 10 for boys and for girls:

Boys:
Aiden
Ethan
Jacob
Jayden
Caden
Noah
Jackson
Jack
Logan
Matthew

Girls:
Sophia
Isabella
Emma
Madison
Ava
Addison
Hailey
Emily
Kaitlyn
Olivia

Sheila Ann said...

My little guy's name is Jacob- seems everyone else likes this too!

Brianna my middle one too!

No one seems to go for gabrielle though but I meet different gabriellas all the time.

Mairzy said...

This is terrible to admit in Swistle's presence, but I will: Maybe it's because I know kids by all these names, but I wouldn't have spotted it as a sham. They all appear legitimately common to me. But then, I come from a region of the country where Braylie is considered a viable option, so maybe that's the problem.

Thanks for posting the names, Swistle. I really didn't want to wait till Monday.

Swistle said...

Mairzy- I think their list ends up being close--but they act as if it's a scientific, national thing, when actually it's just their own list. Hate that!

samantha jo campen said...

I thought it seemed fishy.

Not to be all snobby or anything, but my name has been on the top 10 for years--usually between 4-8. And that BabyCenter list had it down near 20! I thought WTF could have happened all of a sudden to make it a crap name?

Thanks for setting us all straight. I look forward to May, even though I'm sure you'll post a reminder. You DO have it on your calendar, don't you? :-)

Erica said...

Thank goodness you opened my eyes to the SHAM list! I was VERY UPSET that Maddie's full name was in the top 15 (spelled a little differently, tho). Her name has been in the 300s on the REAL list for years. I'd prefer it stay that way.

Take THAT! Sham-y list!

Jerseygirl89 said...

Do you know how much time I just wasted on the SSA site? And I'm not even pregnant!

nanann said...

Samantha Jo -- the SSA list always comes out for Mother's Day. makes it easy to remember! I check it out every year like the Monday after Mother's Day. (also dedicated like Swistle and always annoyed with the babycenter list)

and yeah, the Babycenter list is sometimes close, but I really doubt Emily fell from being number 1 for a decade down to #8.

Stimey said...

You know what I liked about the SSA list? Under the list there is a note: "Note: Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth."

Because otherwise it would have been waaaay too confusing.

Mandy said...

Speaking of names, I ended up very happy with choosing "Bridget" for my second baby (back in November) after the naming post you had. And the nurse that was in the delivery room said it was her first Bridget in her 19 years at the hospital!

Giselle said...

I knew the Baby Center list is a sham, but it is WAY closer to what I actually meet at playgrounds and stuff. On last year's SSA list, I think Michael was #2...and I have literally NEVER met a kid named Michael since Andrew was born in 2003. But Aidan and Jack/Jackson...holy crap! I meet several everywhere I go, and I feel like all my cousins have named a child that. It's not even in the top ten in the SSA list. Is that because of spelling...Aidan may not show up in SSA because of Ayden and Aiden, etc etc? Or is it not really that common, but because I live in the suburbs, all the whitey WASPy moms at my playground are the same ones who actually vote in the BabyCenter name poll?

Mairzy said...

Gotcha and agreed, Swistle.

I'll bet Giselle has a good point: the SSA is taken from all over the country, all levels of society, all ethnic backgrounds. BabyCenter is populated by techno-savvy women (some of them not necessarily moms yet) who have time to sit and consider names. So BC has a much narrower naming field, giving them a more familiar but not as accurate list.

As for the popularity of "Michael," my husband has suggested that Michael often may be an unused first name. So it would show up on birth certificates and the SSA list, but not on the playground.

Erin said...

Thanks Swistle. That baby center list confused me (obviously). Now I'll just have to sit tight until May for the real deal. WHY does it take them until MAY to come up with the list? Are they writing the names in STONE somewhere? Sheesh. Government workers. Sheesh.

ocdcontrolfreak said...

my twins are due the first week in April, so I guess I'm either outta luck or my boy and girl will remain nameless until the Social Security Administration gets on thier toes.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Swistle! I'm a loyal reader and I just found out today that I am pregnant again! I haven't even told my husband yet. I'm just here to torture you and tease you....because soon we will need to discuss baby names for me. Soon. Like in a month when I tell everyone. Mwuu haa ha haaaaa

Swistle said...

Anonymous- AAAAAAAAAAAAGHHH!!!! You mean, mean tease! Oh this is so exciting! Who oh who could you be? A MONTH??? NOOOOOOooooooooo!