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.