The 2010 baby name list is out, and the classics are reigning supreme once again. But new parents are also finding name inspiration in interesting places, including the "Teen Mom" reality show, "Twilight" and even Angelina Jolie's kids.
The Social Security Administration, which tracks baby names in the U.S., announced the top baby names of 2010 exclusively on TODAY. The most popular names for girls are:
And the top boys' names are:
While the favorite names remained mostly unchanged since last year, there were some surprises. On the boys' list, Joshua dropped off the top 10 for the first time since 1978. Replacing it is Aiden, which has been rocketing in popularity over the past few years.
The SSA also tracks which names are trending -- that is, which have the biggest jumps in popularity. While MTV's "Teen Mom" reality series might be viewed as a cautionary tale by some, others are clearly finding inspiration -- at least for names.The two names that saw the biggest increases in popularity are Maci and Bentley. Maci Bookout and her baby son, Bentley, were featured on "Teen Mom."
The second-biggest trending boys' name is Kellan -- actor Kellan Lutz portrays Emmett Cullen in the popular series of movies based on the "Twilight" books, which inspired their own naming trend last year.
Rounding out the top trendy boys' names is Knox, one of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's toddler twins.
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The full list of top trending names:
The popularity of Maci and Bentley show where Americans are getting their name ideas, said Laura Wattenberg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard."
"This will be the year people pay attention to the effect that reality TV has on baby names," she said Thursday morning, shortly after the release of the name list. "A pregnant teenager is America's top name-style maven."
In Wattenberg's world of baby-name watchers, the SSA release date is like the Super Bowl and NFL draft day all rolled into one. Seconds after the 2010 list went public, moms started e-mailing her to bemoan the rise in popularity of their children's names.
Parents these days want names that sound new and different -- but also familiar, Wattenberg said.
"We like names that feel familiar, but we don't actually know anybody with that name," Wattenberg said. "Familiar but fresh."
While Jacob and Isabella are both names featured in "Twilight," their popularity predates the books, Wattenberg said. Jacob has captured the No. 1 spot for 11 years in a row, and has been in the top 20 for 20 years. Isabella, meanwhile, has the "ella" ending that is so popular with parents right now.
"Ella, Isabella, Annabella: It's the sound of the moment," Wattenberg said. And while it's true that classic, grandma-sounding names like Ava, Sophia and Olivia are popular, parents are only picking a certain type of grandma names: Gertrude, Myrtle and Dorothy aren't going to break the top 10 anytime soon. (And, Wattenberg points out, babies born now likely have grandmothers born in the 1960s, when names like Karen, Susan and Donna were popular.)
The commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Michael Astrue, did have some sad news to report: Elvis has left the building. For the first time since 1954, the name Elvis didn't make the top 1,000 list. Astrue, apparently a big fan, said: "This news about Elvis has me all shook up. But that's all right mama. I'm confident that, next year, America's new parents can't help falling in love with Elvis again and moving it back into the top 1,000."
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