Baby Names That Defined The Decade

This story was first published on December 6, 2019 in NYT Parenting.

If you named your child Freya or Theo at the start of this decade, I apologise. You most likely spent a lot of time and effort choosing a baby name that was both classic and odd

 And ten years ago, Freya and Theo were all of these things. Theo had not shown on Social Security.

The administration's official list of the top 1,000 American baby names since WWII. And the name Freya, the ancient Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, had never appeared on it.

Theo is now ranked No. 243 on the official United States list of popular newborn boy names, having been given to over 1,500 babies in 2018. 

And Freya is ranked No. 266, with around 1,200 baby girls. Barring a catastrophic storm or a horrible criminal with one of those names, kids called Freya and Theo are set to fill nurseries for years to come.

To discover the naming trends that have most influenced parents' decisions in the 2010s, we examined the more than 500 names that placed in the top 1,000 in 2018 — the most recent year tallied — but were not on the list in 2008.

 Here are some of the names and trends that shaped the last decade.

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