Want to Name Your New baby? Well, Get Out Your Torah.


The Social Security Administration released name data for babies born in the U.S. in 2010, and, according to a CNN blog, “it still looks very much like a Jewish nation, at least in our pediatric wards.” Let’s not debate the use of the word “still” – I don’t think the US can really be considered a “Jewish nation”–but there’s no doubt that Hebrew names are flexing some muscle among the newborn set.

Six of the top 10 boys names in the US in 2010 were of Hebrew origin. Jacob was the number one name for newborn boys in the US, followed by Ethan (2), Michael (3), Jayden (4), Noah (6) and Daniel (7). While Aiden (9) is not deemed to be of Hebrew origin, it very much is, as the Hebrew translation of the Garden of Eden.

The top name for girls, Isabella, is also of Hebrew origin, meaning “God’s promise.” Abigail (7). While CNN doesn’t recognize it as such, Ava (5) is also potentially derived from the Hebrew name Chaya.

So that’s Jewish-oriented names composing half of the top 20 baby names in the US. CNN’s blog notes, “this is an astonishing showing for a religious tradition that claims only 1-2% of the American population.” Well, blush modestly and give yourselves a hand, everyone.

Jordana Horn

Jordana Horn is a contributing editor to Kveller. She is a journalist, lawyer, writer, mother of six, travel aficionado, and self-declared karaoke superstar. Before her life got too crazy, she was the New York correspondent for the Jerusalem Post. She has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Forward and Tablet. She has appeared as a 'parenting expert' on NBC's TODAY Show and FOX and Friends. She enjoys writing about herself in the third person and, one far-off day when everyone is in school, hopes to get back to work on her novel.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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