Every year around Mother's Day, the Social Security Administration (SSA) releases its findings on the most popular baby names of the previous year. As such, it's no surprise that we've just been graced with the list of the most popular baby names of 2015. The annual SSA baby name list has become almost as much of a Mother's Day tradition as buying our moms chocolate and thanking them for bringing us into this world — and, if we're being honest, it's fun to pore over the list and see how your name stacks up (or your kids', if you have any). I have two little ones, and while I don't expect their relatively quirky names to show up on the SSA's annual list anytime soon, I still eagerly devour the data as soon as it comes out. As for the major motif in 2015 baby names? Apparently everything that was old is new again.
Really, though, despite how much is made of unique titles and eccentric celebrity baby naming trends, this news shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The top five boy names and top five girls names in the United States honestly haven't wavered too much in the last five years (and, for some of the names on the list, much longer than that). Still, it always does catch us off guard a little, doesn't it? While there are a few classic names in my daughter's preschool, many of her schoolmates have non-traditional names like Tallon, Bentley, Everest, Mimi, Paxon and, of course, my Marlow. Each year, I expect SSA's list to reflect this eclecticism, but it stands to reason the quirky names just jump out in my mind. As the latest data shows, there are lots of adorable kids out there sporting timeless monikers that have been around for much of the nation's history.
Here are the top 10 most popular baby names, according to the SSA's just-released data; head over to the Social Security Administration's website to see the list of all 20 most popular baby names of 2015.
Meaning: "Universal." German.
While Emma has consistently been one of the most popular girls' names since Rachel and Ross gave it to their daughter on Friends, it has ebbed several times over the last few years. But now, thanks to the popularity of empowering actress like Emma Stone and Emma Watson, the classic name has reclaimed its spot at the top.
Meaning: "Rest" or "wandering." Hebrew.
Noah has managed to hold onto the number one spot for three years running, when it unseated Jacob's impressive 13-year reign. So, yeah, this Biblical name likely won't wash up anytime soon.
Meaning: "Olive tree." Latin.
This name may be Shakespearean, but its popularity today may very well be due to two modern TV characters: Scandal's Olivia Pope and Law & Order: SVU's Olivia Benson. Oh, and possibly also Taylor Swift's cat, who is named after the latter character.
Meaning: "Resolute protection." Irish.
Liam is the fastest-rising Irish name in the United States, and has been the second most popular boy's name since 2013. Although it is technically a shortened form of William, many parents opt to use it as a standalone name.
Meaning: "Wisdom." Greek.
Sophia is ranked number three for girls this year, but it held the top spot for several years in a row starting in 2011. A beautiful and decidedly feminine name, Sophia is hugely popular and probably will be for many, many years to come.
Meaning: "Worker in stone." English.
I'm a bit partial to this name and have been since long before Kourtney Kardashian chose it for her son in 2009. Rather, one of my first friends my freshman year of college was named Mason, and he remains one of my favorite people to this day. In my experience, Masons are good people.
Meaning: "Life." Latin.
Ava Gardner, a siren of the silver screen, always comes to my mind when I hear this name. Although short in length, the name has a lot of impact and is a popular choice for many parents, celebrity or otherwise.
Meaning: "Supplanter." Hebrew.
Another extremely popular Biblical name, Jacob hasn't strayed far from the top 20 most popular boys' names since the '80s. Of course, it got quite a boost during the Twilight film franchise's heyday, thanks to the handsome and likable Taylor Lautner.
Meaning: "Pledged to God." Spanish, Italian, Hebrew.
Speaking of Twilight, I suppose it's entirely possible this ever-popular moniker lingers close to the top of the charts because of it; it was the name of the heroine, after all. Still, the name far predates Kristen Stewart, stretching back to Shakespearean times.
Meaning: "Resolute protection." English from German.
William remains a solid contender, as it has for much of our nation's history. For a whopping 400 years, it was said to be the number two boy's name in the Anglophone world (second only to John, natch).