A cohort full of Masons, Liams, Emmas: For N.D., Minnesota, these were top baby names in 2012In the land of Norwegians and Germans from Russia, an Irish name and an English last name meaning stoneworker were the top names for newborn boys in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration.
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks Herald
In the land of Norwegians and Germans from Russia, an Irish name and an English last name meaning stoneworker were the top names for newborn boys in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration.
There were 60 North Dakota newborns named Liam and 60 named Mason, both of which have skyrocketed in popularity the past 10 years nationally.
Among girls, there were 64 newborns named Emma, making it the top female name in the state. Here, at least, there is some cultural connection. The name Emma was brought to England by Normans, Norwegians by way of northern France.
In neighboring Minnesota, also rich in Norwegian-American culture, Mason was also a top name for newborn boys with 363. William, with 350, was a close second. The top name for newborn girls was again Emma, with 367.
Nationwide, the top name for boys was Jacob with 18,899 followed very closely by Mason with 18,856. Liam was No. 6 with 16,687. The top name for girls was Sophia with 22,158, followed by Emma with 20,791.
The Social Security Administration released its data last month.
Mason, which follows the last-name-as-first-name trend, has enjoyed popularity both regionally and nationally. It’s been among the Top 10 in North Dakota since 2007, in Minnesota since 2008 and nationally since 2011.
According to BehindtheName.com, a website that tracks baby names, Mason as a first name first appeared in small numbers in North Dakota in 1988. Social Security data say there were 11 newborn boys with the name that year.
Among the better known Masons in the world are Mason Jennings, a folk singer whose career took off in Minneapolis in the late 1990s; Mason Crosby, starting placekicker for the Green Bay Packers; and Mason Disick, the son of reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian, born in 2009.
The rise of Liam has also been relatively recent. It didn’t break the Top 10 in North Dakota until 2010, in Minnesota until 2011 and nationwide until last year.
The better known Liams are actor Liam Neeson and Liam Payne, a member of the boy-band One Direction.
As for Emma, this is a comeback. It had been among the Top 10 nationally in the 1880s and 1890s, but fell out of popularity. Emma again made the Top 10 nationally in 2002. It made the Top 10 in North Dakota in 1999 and in Minnesota in 1998.
The better known Emmas are actresses Emma Watson and Emma Thompson; Emma, the titular character of the 1815 book and 1996 film; and singer Emma Bunton of the Spice Girls, a girl band popular in the 1990s.
On the Web: The Social Security baby name website is at 1.usa.gov/Ujsr7.
Call Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1248; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.