What's in a baby name?: Social Security Administration releases top names for 2011Mason remains the top boys name in North Dakota, but Emma slipped past Sophia on the Social Security Administration’s 2011 Top 100 baby names.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
Mason remains the top boys name in North Dakota, but Emma slipped past Sophia on the Social Security Administration’s 2011 Top 100 baby names.
The state list, released Friday, was a follow-up to the national 2011 most popular baby names list made public earlier this week.
Sophia unseated Isabella, which had reigned as the top girls name nationally for the last two years, but Jacob held steady as the most popular boys name for the 13th year.
Jacob was also the most popular boys name on St. Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center’s web nursery list. Harper was the top girls name.
Some may scramble to see where their children’s names stack up, but Twila Forgy of Dickinson said she and her daughter prefer to pluck names from the family tree, not a list.
“I chose Barry, Brock and Cassia as the names for my kids,” she said. “We just wanted names that fit in with our family, like naming the oldest after his uncle. And I just loved when my daughter decided to call her daughter Jaicee Shay.
“It’s not too common but isn’t crazy either. She chose the middle name Shay because that is also my daughter’s middle name, and it makes Jaicee a third generation Shay.”
Forgy prefers older names that are growing in popularity.
“It seems to me that names are like clothes,” she said. “If you wait long enough, what’s old will come back into style and I think that’s awesome.”
An oldie became a goodie again when Liz Bollinger, Dickinson, named her daughter Olive Mae.
“Once that name came up, it just clicked and that was it,” she said. “My cousin named their little girl Hattie, so I guess my family likes older names not typically heard anymore. It’s difficult to pick names that aren’t too common but also aren’t too far out there.
“My grandma was worried when I named my daughter Olive because she thought people would think of Popeye. You always have to remember to go through a list of nicknames that the name could conjure up and make sure it won’t get a kid picked on.”
But when a name clicks, it clicks, said Alicia Mehrer of Dickinson.
“My son, Cole Taylor, got his named because I loved it and my son, Robert Austin, is named after my dad, and my son, Daniel Jay, was named after my husband’s favorite actor,” she said. “It didn’t take long for us to choose their names, though, because I just looked at my kids and I just knew their names fit them.”
When all else fails, parents can turn to Facebook for feedback, said Kara Hochhalter of Dickinson, whose son Kamden was born at 3 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph Hospital & Health Center in Dickinson.
“I thought I had come up with Kamden’s name myself, but then I got to looking back at a Facebook post I did asking for name ideas,” she said. “Kamden was suggested on there by my friend who wanted to name her son that but said the name got vetoed.”
Hochhalter, now a mother of three, knows the trouble of nailing down the perfect name.
“My son Gavin was going to be Gage until he was born,” she said. “When I looked at him I decided to call him Gavin. We had a real issue naming my daughter, though. We couldn’t come up with a girl’s name we liked, but they wouldn’t let us leave until she had a name. That’s when her dad came up with Breanne.”
Dickinson residents Alyson and Jeremy Lippert like to spice up traditional names with unique spellings like they did with their oldest daughter Alivia and her sister, Alayna Adalee, who was born Thursday morning.
“We don’t want our kids to have names exactly like everyone else, but we don’t want them crazy either,” he said. “We also found a lot of cute boy names but not many of them translate well into adult male names. Girls names seem to translate better as they get older.”
It was a good thing the Lipperts had a girl.
“A boy probably would have been nameless,” Alyson Lippert laughed.
Hot baby names at St. Joseph Hospital & Health Center in Dickinson, based on data from Thursday’s web nursery
Top 10 boy names in North Dakota in 2011
Top 10 girl names in North Dakota in 2011
2011 most popular baby names nationwide: