This was posted on BNW and I'm having trouble finding the source. If I CAN find the source, I'll link it here.
Top baby name trends of 2006
Many parents think of baby naming as a private process of reflection, discussion, and ultimately, a choice of the heart. But it's also a sport! Every year we watch baby names rise and fall on the chart like stocks on Wall Street. Here's a roundup of the most interesting activity in the 2006 baby names list, from fun stats and analysis to predictions of what lies ahead.
The 2006 baby name playbook
Names zoom up and down the chart, and newcomers pop in while some old favorites head for the exit. Here's the 2006 play-by-play.
New to the Top 100
Nevaeh (most intriguing new addition: "heaven" spelled backwards)
Addison (up 57 places; fastest riser)
Camryn (up 30 places)
Charlotte (up 22 places)
Claire (up 23 places)
Chloe (new to top 20)
Lily (up 12; break Top 10 next year?)
On the way out?
Makayla (down 29; fastest fall)
Bailey (down 25; on its way out)
Mackenzie (most spelling variations: 45)
Jayden (back in Top 100)
New to the Top 100
Peyton(this is placeholder text, because we need this table to wider)
Landon (up 19 places; fastest riser
Brayden (up 15 places; second-fastest riser)
Logan (up 9 places; new to Top 10)
Noah (up 9 places)
On the way out?
Julian (down 17; fastest fall to 95)
Tyler (down 8; out of Top 10 for first time since 2001)
Zachary (down 6; booted from Top 20 after five years)
Caden (most spelling variations: 32)
Steven (first time in Top 100 since 2001)
If you look at the past five years or so of baby names, you'll be forgiven for thinking that many parents lack imagination. The same names appear again and again, perhaps sliding modestly up or down a few spaces.
But the truth is, behind the numbers lies a wealth of experimentation and innovation. Today's parents are actually far more creative than their parents were, and their imagination may astound you. And it all comes down to spelling.
Look at the more than 30 ways parents have spelled a single name: Caden, Cadin, Cayden, Caiden, Caeden, Caidan, Cadyn, Caydan, Caydn, Caidyn, Cadan, Cadon, Cadaan, Caedon, Caedan, Kaidan, Kaiden, Kayden, Kaidyn, Kaidynn, Kaidon, Kaidin, Kaden, Kaeden, Kadin, Kaedyn, Kaedan, Kadyn, Kaedon, Kaedin, Kadan, Kadon.
Now that's creativity!
Here are some spelling trends we've seen in 2006:
Y not? — The letter "y" has become a popular replacement for "i": Madyson, Aydan, Mychael.
Silent additions — The letter "h" gets dropped in here and there as a silent decoration: Rhyon, Jhordyn, Loghan.
Punctuation variation — Creative use of apostrophes is a popular way of jazzing up names: Ky'Lee, Jaz'Myne, Jay'Den.
Vowel play — Parents create variety by spelling a common vowel sound in different ways, like the sound "ee" (Hayley, Haylee, Haleigh) or the sound "ay" (Jayden, Jaiden, Jaeden).
Consonant swap — Instead of "c," pick "k" (Konner, Kaleb, Khloe). Instead of "ph," simplify with "f" (Cristofer, Sofee, Josef). And opt for "x" instead of "cks" (Jaxxon), or "z" instead of "s" (Izabella).
Sounds like ...
We also found trends in the way today's popular names sound:
• Single-syllable names are quite popular for boys (nearly 20 percent of the Top 100), but not popular for girls (only 6 percent).
• Almost 40 percent of the top 100 boys' names have a suffix with the sound "—en": Logan, Landon, Devin.
• Nearly 40 percent of the top 100 girls' names have a suffix with the sound "—ah": Alyssa, Amanda, Amelia.
• And almost 30 percent of the top 100 girls' names have a suffix with the sound "—ee": Hailey, Riley, Kaylee.
So in other words, all of the names that are described as being "soooo unique and special!!!111!!!" are just part of a trend and more common than dirt. If they're not part of the insanely overused trendy names, they're misspelled versions of the trendy names OR they're sound-alikes that might as well be the trendy name they're copying. And yet people insist that they're unique. Riley on a girl is "unique." Um, no it's not. Thousands of people are naming their daughters Riley/Rylie/Ryleigh or some other perversion of this ugly surname. Thousands of people are naming their daughters with boys names because they've decided it "sounds keyewt on a girl." Like Ryan = Ryanne = Rian yet they don't realize that each one would be pronounced differently. They insist that Evan = Evanne and Tristan = Tristanne. NO! NO IT DOESN'T! Trista is the feminine form of Tristan! Go look it up in an onomastics database instead of a baby book or baby name site whose only research was the local kindergarten class!
For some stupid reason, people naming their children today think that names don't follow the rules of grammar of the language they're speaking. The exception would be if you choose a name from another language that's legitimate, and insist on pronouncing it the anglicized way. For instance, Niamh is Irish, and pronounced as Neve, like Neve Campbell. Aiofe is also Irish, and is pronounced as Eef-uh, similarly to Eva. Ciara, also Irish, is NOT pronounced as see-air-uh, like the English word "tiara" but rather as "keer-uh." Somehow, some parents have decided that you can take a name like Aidan and spell it any old way you want to, and still pronounce it the same way. Aidan does not equal Adn. Yes, sadly, I've seen that as a suggestion for spelling Aidan. As well as Aydn, Aydin, Adin, etc. Makes me want to cry.
Why don't people understand that when you purposely misspell a name, it makes the parent look uneducated and that in most career situations, a badly spelled name affects that person's chance at getting the job? People do NOT take you seriously. If you come from parents who would name so poorly and appear so uneducated as to spell a lovely classic like Emily as Emmalie because they think it'll make the name yooneek somehow, then those same assumptions are passed to the child. If my parents had gone with a kree8tiff spelling of my name, I can tell you I'd have legally changed it long ago. Jessyka would NOT be welcome on any official documents of mine. Neither would Jesseigh'Kah.
The same people who seem to name itheir children as if they were 14 yr olds on AIM are the ones who are so used to not being corrected for their grammar. For quite a while, teachers were encouraged to teach children to spell and read with "intuitive spelling" or "spell a word how it sounds" and don't correct them on t. They'll eventually learn how to spell the word correctly anyway. Except those students NEVER learned to spell correctly, and either they're getting their college papers online or they make sure to use spell check and grammar check to get their work done. You wouldn't believe how often I see posts on line with the most atrocious spelling and grammar, but God forbid you say anything about it. The written word is the most important form of communication, and online, it's really the ONLY form of communication. How disrespectful is it to use chatspeak and purposefully misspell words when you're posting something online? Why would you intentionally make yourself look uneducated, lazy, and low class? Why put that in a NAME on your CHILD?
Yes, I feel strongly about this because names are important. I feel so badly for the children whose parents insist "My child will b uneek bcz her naym is speshul! I made it up! it's Nahvayuh, that's Heavan backwards, cept i changed it a litlle bit. isn't it prity?" No, no it's not. And it doesn't mean Butterfly in Slavic. Nor is the Empress of Heaven. It also does not mean fresh, white snow on a winter morning. It's only meaning is that it's the word Heaven spelled backwards.
Besides, there are so many beautiful, elegant, classy names that are legitimate and unusual! There are literally millions of names for each gender to choose from, from thousands of languages in hundreds of legitimate variations. Why make up something that defies the laws of grammar, has no meaning, no history, and doesn't even sound good? Why purposely put a bulls eye on your child's back? Children are made fun of for everything else already, why give them something that will just make it that much easier to pick apart?
Most children want to blend in with their peers. Standing out and trying to appear "more special than the other children" just makes a bad impression, if they're not just blending into a sea of other children whose names are exactly the same except for teh spelling. Mahkayla L. is still just another Michaela next to her BFFs Mikaelia, Makayluh and Meekalea. Sky and Skye will be playing with Jayden, Jaidon, Jaydinn, and the girl Jaedenn, plus Aidinn, Caeden, Caydin, and Raidyn. Emmaleigh will be playing with Emileigh, Rielie, Ryleigh, Brilee, Brylie, and the boy, Riley. Evan and Julian will be playing with Evanne, Ryan, Ryanne, and Brylan, Brianne, Madison, Maddiesen, Madeighsin, and Maddalyn, Madeline, and Madalynne. Then you'll have the truly yuneek, mostest specialist kids in the whole school: Unique, My'Rackle, Jazz'Lynn, Emmalynne, Audriannalauralyn, and a girl named (gulp) Micah.
Rant over. I could go on, but why bother?