The most popular baby names of 2023 include some interesting trends

Half of the top 10 boys' names start with the letter "L," for starters.

smiling baby
Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash

Naming a baby is a big decision.

Few things prompt people's interest—and approval or disapproval—as quickly as what someone decides to name their child. It's this weird phenomenon where the tension between traditional-but-not-too-traditional, popular-but-not-too-popular, and unique-but-not-too-unique all blend together to push the evolution of naming humans forward.

It's always interesting to look at trends in baby names, as the question of how the ubiquitousness of Jennifer and Angela shifted to Emma and Olivia remains. It's not like society decides as a whole that some names are out and others are in; it just seems to happen organically.

However, as BabyCenter's annual baby names report shows, there are sometimes specific reasons certain names climb in the chart while others dip. Sometimes it's a hit television show. Sometimes it's a beloved celebrity or public figure. Sometimes it's a resurgence of naming kids after grandparents or great-grandparents, bringing back names that had long fallen out of favor.

So what are the latest name trends? BabyCenter analyzed the data from over 300,000 parents who registered their baby's names, and here the top 10 names that popped up for girls and boys in 2023:

Top 10 Girls' Names of 2023

1. Olivia

2. Emma

3. Amelia

4. Sophia

5. Charlotte

6. Ava

7. Isabella

8. Mia

9. Luna

10. Evelyn

Top 10 Boys' Names of 2023

1. Noah

2. Liam

3. Oliver

4. Elijah

5. Mateo

6. Lucas

7. Levi

8. Leo

9. Ezra

10. Luca

This is the first time in five years that Liam has not been in the No. 1 spot for boys, being taken over by Noah. The top 3 girls' names are the same as they were in 2022.

Ezra and Luca are new additions to the boys' top 10, booting Asher and James into No. 11 and No. 12. For girls, Charlotte climbed the furthest up the latter, from No. 9 to No. 5. Names starting with "M" appear to be making a move for girls as well, with names like Miley, McKinley, Mavis, and Milan all climbing the charts by three digits.

Oddly, half of the boys' top 10 names start with the letter "L" and 9 out of 10 of the girls' top 10 end with the letter "A." Any explanation? Who knows.

BabyCenter shared some other trends in the baby naming world as well:

- Names are getting shorter and sweeter as nicknames take over "proper" names: For instance, Ellie (No. 15) is more popular than Elizabeth (No. 41) and Eleanor (No. 31); Josie (No. 85) outranks Josephine (No. 146); Theo (No. 20) has bested Theodore (No. 38); and Leo (No. 8) is much preferred to Leonardo (No. 141).

- London is falling, along with other travel-inspired names: It's been popular for some time to name kids after popular cities and states, but that trend is slowing as shown by: Cali (down 137 spots), Paris (down 136 spots), Sydney (down 116 spots), Memphis (down 78 spots), London (down 56 spots), Cairo (down 55 spots), Phoenix (down 46 spots), Aspen (down 43 spots), and Dakota (down 25 spots).

- Rihanna and Lionel climb thanks to football and soccer: Rihanna's pregnant halftime performance at the 2023 Super Bowl appears to have inspired some parents as Rihanna has climbed the baby name chart 261 spots, to No. 1,721. And Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi's move to Major League Soccer appears to have inspired a name shift as Lionel is up 283 spots this year to No. 456.

- Wednesday's child is not so full of woe, apparently: The popularity of Netflix's Wednesday series seems to have launched the name Wednesday, as it's up 1,425 spots in the rankings, to No. 1,183.

- Barbie has also launched a few names of her own: Barbie’s full name, Barbara, is up a whopping 994 spots, to No. 1,336. Greta (as in Greta Gerwig, Barbie director) is up 313 spots, to No. 95; and Margot (as in Robbie) is up 65 spots, to No. 221.

- The rise of the Ya Ya Sisterhood: More girls are being given names that feature the sound and spelling “ya” with names like Siya, Haya, Inaya, Aadhya, and Ariyah.

- We may be approaching the end of the -en endings: Boys' names that end in -en are on their way down, so all of those Jaydens and Kaydens you know may start seeing less of themselves in the younger set.

People tend to have fairly strong feelings about baby names, especially when they stray too far off the beaten path. But every generation sees it's popular names rise and fall and there's always an influx of new names that start rising in the ranks, so name your kiddo whatever you darn well please. As long as your kid's name isn't offensive or completely unpronounceable (looking at you, Elon), the possibilities are wide open.

You can follow BabyCenter on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and X/Twitter.


Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."


There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less

Millenial names are now "old" names.

You can’t turn back the hands of time and so it’s impossible to avoid being labeled “old” by younger generations, no matter how hard you try. For many of us, our names are tied to the times when we were born and can start to sound really dated, no matter how fashionable they were at one point.

TikTokker Amber Cimotti found this out the hard way when her daughter noted that she has an “old” person's name.

“My daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names and I never thought about it this way,” Amber explained in a video with over 3 million views.

Keep ReadingShow less

Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

Keep ReadingShow less

Woman shows her misbehaving cat to 'the trenches'

You always hear about a "bad dog," giving the furry goofballs a reputation for getting into mischief, but what about bad cats. Not all cats are angels just lounging around the house until someone gives them food while fanning them with a giant palm leaf. Some cats have a sketchy "catigree" and every once in a while they let that wild streak show. When that happens, what is a cat owner to do?

A cat mom that goes by the user name Lambo Licia on Instagram posted a video showing exactly how she gets her cat in line when he's misbehaving. No, it's not with a spray bottle. She shows him what life is like in "the trenches." You know, the area of town where homeless cats roam and cat burglars have real whiskers and thumbs that don't work, leaving a strange fish smell wherever they lurk.

If Scared Straight: Cat Edition was an actual thing, Mega, the orange tabby would be the first to turn his life around. He looks absolutely petrified from all of the unruly cat behavior he sees out the window and his mom's commentary.

Keep ReadingShow less

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
Keep ReadingShow less
Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

Shaquille O'Neal retired from pro basketball in 2011, but he's still one of the most famous players ever.

Fame comes with a lot of challenges, but it also comes with some pretty obvious perks. There's the money that frequently follows fame, of course, but there's also the special treatment people automatically offer you.

Some famous folks might revel in that special treatment and some might even express gratitude for it. But occasionally, you find a celebrity who refuses it altogether.

Take basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, for instance.

Keep ReadingShow less