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Baby names: An open letter to Jacob and Sophia

  • Pros and cons of having a popular name, for parents and kids
  • 'Your best friend, Jacob, is Jacob. This has proven weird and tricky. Though also kind of funny.'
Baby names: An open letter to Jacob and Sophia

Dear Jacob and Sophia,

You should know that your mother and I spent the better part of both her pregnancies agonizing over your names. We did the bookstore thing. Surfed Nameberry til we fell asleep. Many nights. Had wayyy too much fun on NameVoyager and Nymbler. Talked to friends, made mental notes of names we heard shouted at playgrounds and malls.

We tested out hundreds of candidates to see how each sounded with our last name, what possible nicknames there were, teasing likelihood for each, whether we enjoyed alliterative names or hated them. And in the end, we happily selected Jacob and Sophia -- or Jake and Sophie depending on whether or not you're in trouble. And for that, we're sorry.

Your beautiful names are once again the most popular in America, confirmed today by the Social Security Administration, which keeps track of such things. And retirement funds. Different departments, I assume. We know it's been tough as, respectively, one of 8 and 12 kids in your class named Jacob or Sophia.

All your personalized pencils and notebooks keep going home with the wrong kids. You never know if your teacher is talking to you or those other children. Every time you think your drink order is ready at Starbucks, someone else comes and grabs it first. And Sophia, you're 11, what are you even doing at Starbucks? We'll talk about this later.

Your best friend, Jacob, is Jacob. This has proven weird and tricky. Though also kind of funny. It's just what happens when your name is the most popular for newborns every single year since 1999.

Honestly, mom and I still love your names. I know you sometimes wish you had something funky and original like your little friends Flip-Flop and Bavaria, but you know what? Their parents are weird. And your names are great. And also make it remarkably easy to find personalized souvenirs at Disney World and the state fair.

If you're still upset, you can always commiserate one day with Mrs. Davis' new baby. Her son, Mason, has the second most popular boy's name. Even worse? He was named after some Kardashian kid.


PS -- Since you're interested, here's the full list of most popular names. The top 5 for boys and girls is below.


1. Jacob (sorry!)
2. Mason
3. Ethan
4. Noah
5. William


1. Sophia (oh well!)
2. Emma
3. Isabella
4. Olivia
5. Ava

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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