Sophia tops baby name list for U.S. girls; Messiah and King rising for boys

Sophia is top girl's name; Messiah and King on rise for boys
Sophia is top girl’s name; Messiah and King on rise for boys.

Sophia tops the list of names for American baby girls for the second year in a row, while King and Messiah are becoming increasingly popular names for boys, the U.S. Social Security Administration said.

Jacob has become a standby for boys’ names, topping that category for the 14th straight year. Liam and Elizabeth broke into the Top 10 at No. 6 and No. 10 respectively, the SSA said.

But rising on the list are a couple of less traditional, but more attention-grabbing names. Messiah was the fourth fastest-growing name for boys, rising to 387th in 2012 from the 633th spot in 2011, according to the federal agency.

King became the seventh fastest-growing boy’s name, reaching the 256th most popular spot in 2012, compared with 389th the year before, the agency said.

“Bold names for boys are very hot right now,” said Laura Wattenberg, creator of the website BabyNameWizard.com.

“So for people who are appalled by the idea, most of us are not appalled by names like Emmanuel, which is very common today, and it wasn’t that long ago that the name Emmanuel was shocking to a lot of people,” she said.

That is partly because a passage in the Bible’s Book of Matthew links the ancient Israelite name to Jesus Christ, which Wattenberg said was seen in the past as too jarring an allusion for a baby name.

The name Major ranked as the fastest-growing boy’s name on the SSA list, jumping to 483rd most popular in 2012 from 988th in 2011.

“I have no doubt Major’s rising popularity as a boy’s name is in tribute to the brave members of the U.S. military, and maybe we’ll see more boys named General in the future,” Carolyn Colvin, acting commissioner of the SSA, said in a statement.

For girls, the fastest-growing name was Cataleya, Wattenberg said. It jumped to 479th in 2012 from 1,680 the previous year, she said, adding that could be attributed to actress Zoe Saldana playing an alluring assassin with that name in the 2011 film “Colombiana.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…