New baby names: Girls revert a couple of centuries and Boys weather the Great Flood

This year’s top baby names list from BabyNames.com were released today. The winners are Liam and Charlotte. Charlotte — incidentally the name of a former sister-in-law and a wonderful lady who went by the nickname “Wendy” — is very attractive, very Southern-sounding. As for the Liam, of Irish Gaelic origin, I can speculate comes from actor Liam Neeson or perhaps any number of Irish and English soccer stars.

Jennifer Moss, Founder and CEO of BabyNames.com, said the popularity of such names  it could stem from pop culture to celebrity babies.

“Recently I’ve seen many TV characters influencing baby names,” says Moss. “Charlotte is, of course, from Sex and the City. Other TV names in the top 100 include Aria and Ezra, characters from Pretty Little Liars as well as Finn, Quinn and Noah from Glee.”

BabyNames.com compiles baby names which are submitted by more than a half-million site members.

The "First Lady" (Daughter?) of Texas, Miss Ima Hogg

Having received a name which, when shortened to nickname form, is also slang for a part of the male anatomy perhaps I think more about the names that others are given. Not that I regret my name. I can look at any number of names and wonder how people made it through life without going postal. Take the name of a long-ago Texas governor’s daughter, Ima Hogg.

Miss Ima, as she was called until her death at 98, was known for her philanthropy which came from oil which was found on her family’s plantation in West Columbia, Texas. Her father, Gov. James Stephen Hogg, died some 14 years — in 1906 — before the oil strike he believed was inevitable on the place in Brazoria County, some 40 miles south-southwest of Houston. She was known as “The First Lady of Texas, I suppose for her many good deeds. It was long rumored that Miss Ima had sisters named Ura, Wera and maybe even Hoosa but she had only brothers. Her name reportedly came from an epic Civil War poem written by her uncle in which two characters existed named Ima and Leila. I guess being rich helps take any sting she might have felt from her “unusual ” name, although Miss Ima seemed to get along quite well.

Most of this year’s names do not seem a target for a great deal of scorn from folks who might be predisposed to teasing about names. I suppose that all depends upon on which order the first and middle as well as what surnames the children are handed. The girl’s names in particular — most are also very feminine — seem to evoke the late 19th and early¬† 20th centuries. A couple of the boy’s names are somewhat biblical but as a couple of others, well, let’s hope the choices end up middle names.

Here is a listing of the top baby names for 2011:

GIRLS

  1. Charlotte
  2. Sophia
  3. Amelia
  4. Olivia
  5. Ava
  6. Lily
  7. Emma
  8. Scarlett
  9. Audrey
  10. Harper

BOYS

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Aidan
  4. Jackson
  5. Caleb
  6. Oliver
  7. Grayson
  8. Ethan
  9. Alexander
  10. Owen

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