For Sale: Baby Names

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“If people name kids after singers and athletes, why not after record labels or sneakers? It’s a personal choice.”

For the first time in 35 years, Michael is not the most popular name for newborn boys, according to, which researches social security documents for its annual list.

Jacob is now the No. 1 boy’s name. Followed by Michael, Matthew, Nicholas and Christopher. The top girls names are Emily, Sarah, Brianna and Samantha.

Girls’ names tend to be more trendy than boys’, and no one denies that pop culture plays a role in the choosing. In 1998, one out of every 200 girls was named Monica. But by the end of the year, a certain White House intern forever entered the American consciousness. Last year, fewer than one in 400 little girls bore that name.

Those of you still assigning blame in last year’s political scandal, please note that William (as in William Jefferson Clinton), remains the name of choice of about 1 percent of new parents, dipping only slightly in popularity, according to

Of course, what if baby Iuma turns to crime? Would the corporation be at risk? Certainly, Hertz might want to take back its association with O.J. Simpson.

“There’s risk in anything,” says Brydon. “We’re just confident that a child exposed to great music has a better chance of turning out good.” Buck Wolf is a producer at The Wolf Files is a weekly feature of the U.S. Section. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.