Special Report

12 American Names Popular for the First Time

5. Mila

The Slavic name Mila comes from a derivation of the word milu, meaning dear. It may very well be that Ukrainian-born celebrity actress Mila Kunis has been the sole driver for the name’s popularity, as it was more or less unused in the United States before Kunis’s breakout role in 2008’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” It was the 72nd most popular girls’ name last year, its most popular year.

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6. Paisley

Few popular girls’ names have had a sharper increase in popularity than Paisley. Less than a decade ago, Paisley was effectively unused. It debuted within the top 1,000 newborn female names in 2006 at 831. Just a few years later, the name had jumped to 72nd in 2014, when it was more popular than ever. Parents who choose the name may be thinking of the Scottish village, or the floral pattern of the same name with Persian roots.

7. Penelope

Unlike some of the names on this list, Penelope is a name that has been used on and off throughout the century. The name’s most popular year before its recent surge was in 1944, when it ranked 265th. It actually fell completely out of the top 1,000 baby girls’ names in 1976 and didn’t reappeared among the top 1,000 until 2001. It has has become more common every year since. Parents naming their daughter Penelope may be thinking of the Spanish actress Penelope Cruz. In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, Penelope is Odysseus’ wife.

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8. Easton

Easton is an old English word meaning “east town.” It is also a city in England as well as the name of several places in the United States. Since it debuted among the 1,000 most popular boys names in 1995, it has increased in use every year to date. In 2014, roughly 5,000 newborn boys were named Easton, making it the 83rd most popular choice for males that year.

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