Every year, the Social Security Administration releases data that reveals the most popular baby names for each state. In the United States, Utah has the highest birth rate, and its baby name lists feature unique names like Brooks, Hudson, and Jack for boys and Eleanor, Hazel, Lucy, and Nora for girls. However, overall, Utah reflects the trend toward classic baby names from the past. It also reflects the trending popularity of girl names with the A-sound, like Emma, Amelia, and Mia.
In addition, there is a trend of nicknames becoming given names. In the past, Jack was rarely given as a boy's name. Instead, it was a nickname for boys named John or James. Nowadays, it is a trendy given name and appears on the Utah baby name list. It may eventually appear on the national list. Furthermore, names that offer the opportunity for nicknames, such as Theodore or Eleanor, are also trending. With those observations, here are the top baby names for the state of Utah in 2023.
Top Baby Names for Boys in Utah
Overall, Utah's list reflects the current trend toward strong, traditional names for boys. William and James are two stalwarts that always seem to be in style. Both names date back to the Middle Ages. Vintage names like Oliver and Theodore are also popular choices for parents at the moment. Although these types of names were not as popular in the latter part of the twentieth century, they have made a comeback. Of all the names on the list, Brooks is the real outlier. While not unheard of, this name rarely appears on the top ten lists.
Oliver comes from “Olivier,” the Old French name which means “kind one” or “peace.” It may also be related to the Latin term “olivarius,” meaning “olive tree.” Dating back to the Middle Ages, this boy's name was first brought to England when the Normans invaded.
Oliver is a classic name that is currently ranked as the 369th most popular boys' name of all time. Since the start of this decade, Oliver has been rising in popularity and ranked the third most popular boy's name in 2021. Famous people with this name include singer and songwriter Oliver Murs, better known as Olly Murs, and actor Oliver Platt.
Jack is a popular boy's name that originated as a nickname for John, Jacob, and James. In the Middle Ages, it referred to someone who could do many jobs, a “jack of all trades.” The name Jack and Jacob both mean “supplanter” or “God is gracious.”
As of 2021, Jack is the eleventh most popular boy's name in the United States and is on track to become one of the most popular boy's names of the twenties. It is no longer just a nickname, but a traditional name in its own right.
The name Liam is an Irish variation of William, which means “strong-willed warrior” and “protector”. The name ranked 75th in popularity for baby boys in America in 2008 but quickly rose to be one of the top ten boys' names. Many believe that this sudden rise in popularity was due to the immense fame of actors Liam Neeson, star of Taken, and Liam Hemsworth, star of The Hunger Games. Other famous men with this strong, traditional Irish name include Liam Payne, a member of the boy band One Direction, and Liam Gallagher, the lead singer of the British band Oasis.
Since the Social Security Administration began tracking name trends, William has consistently ranked among the top ten most popular boy names. The name has also been a favorite choice for royal babies, from William the Conqueror to Prince William.
The name's lasting popularity may be due to its strong sound and meaning. William means “resolute protector” or “valiant protector.” It also has many nicknames associated with it, such as Bill, Billy, Will, and Willie. Names that have nicknames are quite popular at the moment. Liam, which is currently one of the most popular boy's names, is the Irish version of William.
Henry is an old-fashioned name that originated as the French version of the German name Heinrich. It means “estate ruler” or “home ruler” and is associated with the concept of home. Interestingly, this vintage name has recently become popular again, and it is currently more popular than it has been in approximately 120 years.
Meaning “God's gift,” this name was last popular when Theodore Roosevelt was president. Like other boy's names on this list, Theodore lends itself to adorable nicknames like Theo or Teddy. This name originated from the Greek name “Theodoros,” which also produced the classic girl names Dorothy and Theodora.
It has been almost a century since Hudson was a popular name for boys, but it is now gaining popularity again. Initially, it was a patronymic surname in English and German, meaning “son of Hudd.” Hudson means “brave and hardy,” and it was the name of famous explorers like English sea explorer Henry Hudson. Although it is currently more commonly used for boys, Hudson is also sometimes used as a girl's name, as in the case of American actress Hudson Leick.
The name Noah originates from the Hebrew word “nuach,” which means “rest.” In the Old Testament, Noah is known for rescuing two of every animal and saving them from the flood on his ark. But there is also a less-known story about Noah that tells how he planted the world's first vineyard and created the very first wine.
Today, the name Noah is considered a unisex name. However, it is currently more popular for boys. There are approximately thirty variations of the name in languages around the world, including Naoi in Irish and Nuh in Turkish. Some of the most common middle names for Noah are James, Joseph, and Theodore.
James is a timeless baby name that has remained popular over the years. Its roots are traced to the Latin word “Iacomus” and the Hebrew name “Ya'aqov,” which means “supplanter” or “one who follows.” The name has been used by six United States Presidents and numerous British Kings, including King James VI, who commissioned the publication of the King James version of the Bible.
Like many other boy's names, James has several nicknames, such as Jim, Jimmy, Jay, and Jamie. Jack is also a common nickname for James, although it has now become a popular boy's name on its own.
Meaning “running water,” Brooks is not in the national top ten, but it did make Utah's list. In fact, Brooks is ranked #117 nationally, so this is an unusual outlier. However, the natural beauty of Utah may be one of the reasons Utah parents are picking this name. Famous people with this first name include baseball player Brooks Robinson, stand-up comedian Brooks Wheelan, and rock musician Brooks Wackerman.
Top Baby Names for Girls in Utah
The list of popular baby girl names in Utah is similar to the national top ten, except for four unique names: Eleanor, Hazel, Lucy, and Nora. Like the national list, Utah is trending toward sweet-sounding girl names, especially those with the popular A-sound. Names like Olivia, Mia, and even Nora have this quality.
Moreover, traditional baby girl names are also popular with parents in Utah. Names like Evelyn and Eleanor have a long tradition but were less popular in the twentieth century. Hazel, not in the national top ten, is the most indicative of this trend toward old-fashioned names. Additionally, while Lucy is not an uncommon name, it does not frequently appear on top baby name lists.
Finally, names that lend themselves to nicknames are also popular among Utah's parents. Names like Eleanor and Olivia offer a variety of nicknames for parents to choose from. Nationally, parents also seem to be thinking of nicknames when considering a name for their child. So, here are the top ten names for baby girls in the state of Utah.
Olivia is a classic girl's name that originates from the Latin word for “olive tree,” just like the name Oliver. Since 2001, this name has consistently been in the top ten names for girls in the United States, and it was the most popular name for girls in both 2019 and 2020. Olivia has various nicknames, such as Liv, Livvy, and Ollie, as is common with many popular names of the moment. The popularity of singer Olivia Rodrigo and writer, director, and screenwriter Olivia Wilde may be contributing to the name's popularity.
The name Emma has been a popular choice for girls since the Middle Ages. Stemming from the German word for “universal” or “whole,” it has been one of the most commonly given names since 2003. Some speculate that Emma's popularity rose after the characters Rachel and Ross from the TV show Friends named their daughter Emma. Jane Austen also titled one of her novels Emma, after the main character, who was rich and beautiful but made disastrous attempts at matchmaking.
The name Charlotte is the feminine version of the French name Charles, which means “free” or “petite.” This name has been a popular choice among royalty for a long time and has recently gained even more popularity due to the Netflix series Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte. The character Queen Charlotte in the series is loosely based on the real-life Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who was the wife of King George II. The German-born queen has had many cities named after her, including Charlotte, North Carolina, which is also known as “The Queen City.”
Evelyn is a unisex baby name that has gained popularity as a girl's name in recent years. The name is derived from the French name “Aveline,” which was brought to England during the Norman invasion. The name “Evelyn” means “desired” or “wished for.” Some sources suggest that it may also have a connection to “water” or “island.” This timeless name offers parents a range of nicknames to choose from, including Eve, Evie, and Lynn. Some famous fictional characters named Evelyn include Evelyn Napier from Downton Abbey and Evelyn Robin from Disney's Christopher Robin.
Amelia is the English variation of the Hebrew word “amal,” meaning “to work.” Some people believe that it may also have originated from a Latin term meaning “industrious” or “striving.” This name has many variations around the world, including Amélie in French, Ama in Polish, and Nuela in Spanish. It reflects the popularity of the letter A-sound in baby girl names, which is evident in the growing popularity of names like Ava, Emma, and Mia.
Hazel has not been popular since the early twentieth century and does not appear in the United States' top ten names for girls. However, it is in Utah's top ten and reflects the overall trend toward once-unfashionable baby names. Parents seem to be embracing the classic names of past centuries right now. Recently, author John Green used the name for his character Hazel Lancaster in the popular young adult novel The Fault In Our Stars.
Hazel comes from the English word meaning “light brown” or “hazelnut tree.” The ancient Celts believed that eating the fruit of the hazel tree would grant wisdom, and people have long prized witch hazel for its medicinal properties.
The name Eleanor has a mysterious origin, but historians speculate that it may have come from the name “Aliénor,” which is believed to have originated from the German name “Aldenor,” meaning “old north.” Others think that the name might have come from the Arabic name “Nurah,” which means “light” or “radiance.” However, the meaning of the name is still a topic of debate. Eleanor of Aquitaine, a medieval queen, is one of the first people on record to have this name.
The name Lucy has its origins in the Latin word “lux,” which means “light.” It is a popular girl's name that dates back to the Middle Ages. Although it is not among the top ten names in the United States, parents in Utah seem to have a fondness for it. Lucy is a timeless name that has remained in fashion over the years, as evidenced by its frequent appearances in pop culture. The character of Lucy in the Peanuts cartoons and the Beatles' song “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds” are examples of this.
The name Mia has various meanings and associations. In Scandinavian, it means “star of the sea,” but it can also mean “ocean goddess” or “queen.” In Hebrew, it translates to “bitter,” while in Italian, it means “mine.” Despite its different translations, Mia is a popular name for girls. Mia Farrow and Mia Tyler are two famous actresses who share this name. Moreover, Mia Farrow's popularity in the 1960s may have contributed to the name's initial popularity.
Nora has two distinct origins: the Irish and Anglo-Norman versions come from the Latin word “Honora,” meaning “light,” while in Hungary, Nora was a variation of the name Eleanor. Occasionally, the name is spelled “Norah,” as in the case of singer Norah Jones. While Nora is twenty-eight on the national baby name list, it cracked the top ten in Utah.
The Top Ten Baby Names for Girls and Boys in Utah
Here is the combined list of the most popular boys' and girls' baby names for Utah in 2023.
Utah's top ten list of baby names for 2023 includes traditional names like Emma and Liam, along with unique options like Brooks and Nora. Additionally, regional preferences influence the baby name list of each state. Since Utah has the largest birth rate in the country, its state list may provide a glimpse of future naming trends. Overall, Utah's baby name list for 2023 offers a range of options for parents to consider, whether they are looking for popular or unusual names for their child.
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