baby names

Story highlights

Top baby names searched on include Isabella and Jacob

Grandparentish names like Betty and Gus are still pretty cool

English and Irish names are capitalizing on Royal baby name fever

Naming your baby is the first major decision you make for your babe, but how do you choose?

Here, we share the baby names readers searched for most in 2012 and the baby name trends we’ll be seeing in 2013.

Top 10 Searched Baby Girl Names:

1. Isabella
2. Millie
3. Sookie
4. Ann
5. Ella
6. Betty
7. Ellie
8. Emma
9. Eithne
10. Charlotte

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    Top 10 Searched Baby Boy Names:

    1. Jacob
    2. Max
    3. Liam
    4. Ted
    5. Mo
    6. Aiden
    7. Andy
    8. Bertie
    9. Ned
    10. Gus

    Top picks
    Isabella (Italian, God’s oath) and Jacob (Hebrew, supplanter, substitute) were the top baby names in 2011, and these classic names won’t soon lose their appeal. But there’s a new name in second place on the girls’ list: Millie (English, short of Millicent, Amelia, Camilla, Mildred), which ranked eighth last year. Max (Latin, short for Maximillan, Maxwell), the rising star in boys’ names, was in second place again this year and has become a celeb darling, chosen by Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez. The ultimate baby name guide

    Golden oldies
    Names that you’d likely find in a retirement home are coming back, proving our grandparents, or at least their names, are still pretty cool. With Millie in second place for girls, accompanied by Ann, Ellie (English, short for Eleanor, Ellen Elaine) and Betty (English, short for Elizabeth), spunky grandma names are making a stylish comeback. Grandpa names are back, too, with Max, Ted (Greek, short for Theodore, Edward), Mo (English, short for Moses), Bertie and Gus (Latin, short for Augustus, Gustave, Angus) all in the top ten names for boys. And one of the most popular baby name lists this year?

    Grandparents’ Names that are Cool Again. Unique baby names

    Royal baby name fever
    If the 2011 royal wedding had an effect on baby name trends, with both Kate (English, pure) and William (English, German, protector) skyrocketing in popularity last year, then the yet-to-be-named royal baby certainly will make its mark. For a girl, many speculate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will go with Diana (Latin, divine); for a boy, they could potentially choose from one of William’s names (his full name: William Arthur Philip Louis). Most popular girl names

    While the birth of a royal baby will power a surge in English name popularity, Irish names are also enjoying a comeback. Unique Eithne was a top ten girl name and Aiden (Irish, fiery) and Liam (Irish, short for William) were favorites for boys. The lyrical, storied qualities of these names make them soulful picks. Top boy baby names

    Celebrity baby names: Places and colors
    Three celebs have chosen geographically inspired names for their kids. Reese Witherspoon named her third child, a boy, Tennessee (Cherokee, mighty warrior) in a nod to her home state. Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey each choose African country names for their sons: Egypt and Morocco, respectively. Kristin Cavallari and Vanessa Lachey may have crowned the new celeb boy “it” name with Camden (Scottish, winding valley); each new mom chose it for their son, and its evocation of the hipster London neighborhood makes it an edgy pick.

    Celebs also looked to colors for baby name inspiration. Two new celeb moms went serene with blue: Beyonce with Blue Ivy for her daughter, and Alicia Silverstone with Blu as a middle name for her son Bear. Drew Barrymore picked Olive (Latin, olive tree) for her daughter, a shorter, quirkier alternative to the popular Olivia. We tip our hat to Jennifer Garner for starting this trend when she named her firstborn sweet, sassy Violet (Latin, purple flower).

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    Elegant girl names
    Feminine names have risen in popularity since 2009, and their mass appeal will keep them in favor for a while. The top ten baby girl names list was peppered with beauties like Isabella, Ella (English, beautiful fairy), Emma (German, universal) and Charlotte (English, strong). In 2013, expect to see some pithy alternatives that take the ultra-girly edge off, like Ellie instead of Ella.

    Short and sweet
    Many of the top baby names have one thing in common: they’re three or four letters long. One of readers’ top searches was for one-syllable baby names, meaning new parents may be giving formal names the boot; think Ted instead of Theodore (Greek, gift of God) and Andy in lieu of Andrew (Greek, strong and manly).