Hebrew Baby Names Most Popular in America

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What to name your child is one of the most significant decisions, at least in the linguistic department, that you will ever make. That's why it's interesting that while Israel sometimes gets bad press in the United States, when it comes to naming our children, Hebrew names top the list.

According to the Social Security Administration, Jacob is the most popular boy name in America for the 12th year running, followed by Ethan and Michael, with Noah and Daniel in 7th and 8th places.

The most popular girl's name is Isabella, a Spanish variant of the name Elizabeth, which also originates in Hebrew. The other top-ten girls' names of Hebrew origin are Ava (from Eve or Chava) and Abigail.

Several other American top-ten names have Hebrew homophones, and these are gaining popularity among Jewish and Israeli parents. Eden, for a boy or girl, is popular among Israelis and American Jews, and corresponds to the Gaelic name Aidan, the SSA's  9th most popular name for boys. Similarly Tzofia (looking to Zion, from the Hatikva) and Livia (crown) correspond to Sophia (#2) and Olivia (#4).

Over in Israel, the most popular boys' names are Noam, Itai, Ori, Daniel, David, Yonatan, Yosef, Ido, Moshe and Ariel while for girls the list is: Noa, Shira, Maya, Tamar, Yael, Talia, Sarah, Hila, Noya and Michal.

But as Freakonomics authors Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt have amply demonstrated, the most popular names are not necessarily the ones with the most cachet.

The truly prestigious names are the ones trending upward, that are currently the preserve of the few but may become the most popular names in several years time.

What were some of these names, predicted to peak in popularity in 2015?

The names Aviva, Maya and Asher made the list.

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