Top 100 Baby Names: Be Different, but Not Too Different

Filed under: Babies

Changing up letters -- such as trading a "C" for a "K" -- as in Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian -- is a way to change up a popular name. Credit: Moises De Pena, Getty Images

Choosing a name for your baby is serious business. Maybe you want a name that sounds exotic, but isn't completely unusual. After all, how many more Jacobs or Bellas can the world handle? (Sorry, "Twilight" fans.)

One place to start your search for the perfect moniker is the Social Security Administration's (SSA) list of the top 100 baby names. This will give you a peek at baby names that are popular, but not too popular.

If you want a name for your female bundle of joy that won't be shared by too many of her friends, move down the top 100 list a bit. Savannah is number 40 on the SSA's list of girls' names for 2009.

According to, the name Savannah stems from "the Spanish savannah" meaning "a treeless plain." It also is the name of a character in the popular novel and film "The Prince of Tides" and the name of a city in Georgia.

Aaliyah is number 63 on the 2009 SSA top 100 baby names list. This is a lovely name that was shared by an R&B singer who died in 2001 at the age of 22. Parents should consider whether or not they mind having their child's name associated with a famous person who died so young.

On the boys' side, the name Xavier lands at number 68 on the top 100 baby names list. Apart from being difficult for young ones to pronounce, this name is shared by Professor Charles Xavier, leader of the "X-Men." If you want to stick with a sci-fi theme, Luke (number 48) is always a good choice. And it gives dads the chance to say "Luke ... I am your father."

Further down the list of the top 100 boy names are names that are not currently in vogue, but still aren't very unusual. Henry appears on the top 100 baby names list at number 71, and Brian is way down at number 94. Both names are not unfamiliar, but were not very common in 2009.

These days choosing a baby name means deciding how to spell that name, as well. Katelyn is number 89 on the SSA list of the top 100 baby names for girls; the traditional spelling is Caitlin, or at least it used to be. Then there is Chloe. Spelled with a C, Chloe is number nine. But change that C to a K and you get Khloe (as in Kardashian), which is way down at number 95. Of course, if you go with the K, people may think you named your baby after a reality show star. But, what the heck, odds are the Kardashians won't be famous anymore by the time your child grows up.

No matter what name you choose, remember that for many people, choosing the right baby name is a big deal. Don't believe us? Read the comments on these articles by The Name Lady at Everyone has a point of view when it comes to what name you should give your child. Since opinion is such a factor in baby-naming, turn off the voices for a while and try to select a name for your baby that you and she will be happy with. After all, she's going to have that name for the rest of her life.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.