Top Baby Names for 2022: Report


Photo of a newborn (Photo by Kimberly Vardeman, CC-BY-2.0)

Buzzfeed reports on the latest report from documenting the most popular baby names of 2022. The top ten boys names are:

1. Liam
2. Noah
3. Oliver
4. Elijah
5. Mateo
6. Lucas
7. Levi
8. Asher
9. James
10. Leo

And the top ten girls names are:

1. Olivia
2. Emma
3. Amelia
4. Ava
5. Sophia
6. Isabella
7. Luna
8. Mia
9. Charlotte
10. Evelyn

Read more over at Buzzfeed and the original report from

About Names: “Cleveland Evans: Amber still a somewhat rare jewel among first names”

Amber Ruffin, star of “The Amber Ruffin Show” on Peacock (Public Domain)

Amber Ruffin, star of “The Amber Ruffin Show” on Peacock (Public Domain)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his November 20th column, he looks at the name Amber.

Amber and Lacey hit bookstores again on Tuesday.

Last year, Omaha-raised comedian Amber Ruffin and sister Lacey Lamar’s “You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey”, a humorous look at the serious subject of racism, was a bestseller. November 22 their sequel, “The World Record Book of Racist Stories”, goes on sale.

Amber is a fossilized tree resin, usually brownish-yellow, used as a gemstone since the Stone Age. The word comes from Arabic “’anbar”, originally meaning “ambergris”, a substance secreted by sperm whales used in perfumes. Both ambergris and amber are commonly found along the shores of the Baltic Sea.

In the early 19th century parents, inspired by flower names like Lily and Violet, started naming daughters after gems like Ruby, Pearl and Opal.

Unlike flower names, at first gem names like Pearl, Garnet and Beryl were also given to boys. In the 1850 census, there were 29 male and 16 female Ambers. Some male Ambers were probably inspired by the rare surname Amber, itself perhaps a form of Ambler (“enameller”).

The oldest two women Ambers in 1850 were free Black women. Amber Whorton, age 90, lived with husband, Wellcome, also 90, in Cherokee County, Alabama. New Jersey-born Amber Harris, 57, lived with 25-year-old waiter Charles Harris in New York City.

As neither of these women appear in the 1860 census, it’s possible their names are mistakes. The oldest example in multiple censuses, Amber Read of Swanzey, New Hampshire, was born in 1821.

Though by 1880, Amber became primarily female, it stayed rare and vanished from the top 1,000 in 1917. It was revived by Kathleen Winsor’s 1944 novel “Forever Amber”.

About Names: “Cleveland Evans: Now uncommon, Sally was found on stage, screen and sky”

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space (Image: Public Domain)

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his November 6th column, he looks at the name Sally.

Happy birthday to Sister Bertrille, Nora Walker, and Sybil’s 16 personalities!

Actress Sally Field turns 76 today. First starring in sitcom “Gidget” (1965-66), Field played Bertrille in “The Flying Nun” (1967-70), where her huge headpiece combined with her small size let her catch the wind and fly.

Field overcame silly sitcom typecasting in 1976, winning an Emmy for “Sybil,” a TV movie about a young woman with multiple personalities. She went on to win Best Actress Oscars in “Norma Rae” (1979) and “Places in the Heart” (1984), and a Best Actress Emmy in 2007 as matriarch Nora in “Brothers and Sisters” (2006-2011).

Sally is an English pet form of Sarah, name of the biblical matriarch, from Hebrew “princess.” One of the few purely Old Testament names used in medieval England, Sarah boomed after the Reformation to rank fourth between 1660 and 1700.

Internal “r” is hard for small children to say, and so Sally developed from Sarah just as Hallie, Lolly and Dolly come from Harriet, Laura and Dorothy.

In the late 18th century, Sally became a name in its own right, as well as a nickname for Sarah. In the 1850 United States census, there were 56,800 Sallys and 2,066 Sallies.

The preferred spelling then shifted. In 1870, 42,399 Sallys and 70,587 Sallies were found. When Social Security’s baby name lists start in 1880, Sallie ranked 64th and Sally 166th. Only in 1911, did Sally again became more common.

Call for Papers: Dis/continuity in the representation of gender in names across languages (Online Workshop, September 2023)

From Ivona Barešová, EACS The Vice-General Secretary:

Dear colleagues,

We invite you to submit an abstract of 150 words on gender and personal names for inclusion in an online workshop to be held in September 2023. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of a Scopus-listed journal in 2024.

Dis/continuity in the representation of gender in names across languages

Editors: Ivona Barešová (Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic) and Jane Pilcher (Nottingham Trent University, UK)

Personal (or given) names in many countries are typically sex-specific, whether this is legally enforced or completely unregulated, and gender-neutral names are rather rare. In some languages, such as English and Japanese, names are not linguistically obligated to indicate a person’s sex category suggesting that the representation of sex and gender in names in these languages is socially motivated. Previous research on name selection in the United States pointed out that gender-neutral names tend to evolve from masculine names, and are seen as more advantageous for girls than boys, to whom sex stereotyping is more rigidly applied (Lieberson et al, 2000). However, recent developments suggest that such tendencies change over time and vary across cultures. For example, parenting and baby name websites report and reflect an increasing interest in names which do not indicate a child’s sex or gender. In Japan, not only are gender-neutral names on the rise but a number of them were originally used only for girls. In other languages, such as Czech, gender markings are linguistically obligatory, meaning that choosing to use gender-neutral names may have a larger impact on the language long-term.

Our main goal in this special issue is to advance the present state of knowledge about gender-related personal naming practices especially in contexts, observed in many countries, of recent shifts around gender equality and in conceptualizations of gender as non-binary. We aim to bring together a collection of studies dealing with gender in personal or given names across a range of languages and cultures. Contributions will incorporate the latest findings about current preferences for expressing gender in names, identifying regional and cultural specifics, and their interactions with more general trends.

We welcome contributions exploring recent trends in name selection with respect to gender in any language culture and from a variety of perspectives, and grounded in a range of disciplines – anthropology, linguistics, psychology, sociology, and other fields. Topics might include:

  • transitions in gender marking on names
  • the emergence of new gender-neutral names
  • linguistic expressions of gender in names
  • the nature and characteristics of current gender-specific and gender-neutral names
  • current gender-related naming practices and their background
  • motivations for the bestowal of gender-neutral names
  • the influence of a gender-neutral name on the young person’s self-perception
  • the perception of gender-neutral names bestowed upon girls/boys

Submissions must be in English and should be original research or general review papers about these topics.

Important dates:

Online workshop abstract deadline: 31 January 2023

Acceptance announcement: 31 March 2023

The date of the online workshop: 22 September 2023

Manuscript submission deadline: 30 November 2023

Abstracts should be e-mailed to

Please feel free to contact either Ivona or Jane ( if you have any queries.

Last Call for Nominations for the 2022 Names of the Year!

The American Name Society requests nominations for the “Names of the Year for 2022”. The names selected will be ones that best illustrate, through their creation and/or use during the past 12 months, important trends in the culture of the United States. It is not necessary, however, for a nominated name to have originated in the US. Any name can be nominated as long as it has been prominent in North American cultural discourse during the past year.

Nominations are called for in the following categories:

  • Personal Names: Names or nicknames of individual real people or individual animals.
  • Place Names: Names or nicknames of any real geographical location, including all natural features, political subdivisions, streets, and buildings. Names of national or ethnic groups based on place names could be included here.
  • Trade Names: Names of real commercial products, as well as names of both for-profit and non-profit incorporated companies and organizations, including businesses and universities.
  • Artistic & Literary Names: Names of fictional persons, places, or institutions, in any written, oral, or visual medium, as well as titles of art works, books, plays, television programs, or movies. Such names are deliberately given by the creator of the work.
  • E-Names: Names of persons, figures, places, products, businesses, institutions, operations, organizations, platforms, and movements that exist in the virtual world.
  • Miscellaneous Names: Any name which does not fit in the above five categories, such as names created by linguistic errors, names of particular inanimate objects, names of unorganized political movements, names of languages, etc. In most cases, such items would be capitalized in everyday English orthography.

Winners will be chosen in each category, and then a final vote will determine the overall Name of the Year for 2022. Anyone may nominate a name. All members of the American Name Society attending the annual meeting will select the winner from among the nominees at the annual ANS meeting on January 20-22 2023.

Survey Link

Advance nominations must be received before January 13, 2022. Nominations will be accepted from the floor at the annual meeting. You can also send your nominations, along with a brief rationale, by email to Deborah Walker:

Thank you for your nominations!