Well, that was short-lived! Emma's reign as Queen of the girls' names lasted all of one year, from 2008 to 2009, before being bumped by the name Isabella, the new top girl's name in the United States for 2009.
That's the shortest reign at the top of the most popular girls' names list in the last 100 years. Most often, when a name reaches the top of the heap, it stays in that spot for a long time. Emma may go down in history as a one-year fluke.
Isabella hit the top spot after placing number two for the past two years, so it comes as no surprise to see Isabella grabbing the crown. The name Isabella is of Spanish origin. It derives from the name Elizabeth, meaning "God's Promise".
Continuing its run as the top boy's name in America is Jacob, now in its eleventh year at number one. One meaning attributed to the name Jacob is "may God protect".
New top ten boys' names include Jayden and Noah, and Mia for girls.
Digging down a little into the results, on the girls' side, Olivia moved from four to three, while once-hot Emily slipped to number six, a clear signal that Emily's popularity is waning fast. Sophia, which means "wisdom" in Greek, jumped from seven to four. Ava remained at number five, Madison dropped from six to seven, Abigail, an ancient Hebrew name, remained at eight, Chloe inched up from ten to nine, and Mia, possibly reflecting the popularity of soccer star Mia Hamm, jumped from fourteen to ten. Elizabeth, meanwhile, slipped from nine to eleven.
Over in the boys' column, Jacob, Ethan, and Michael are still the top three names in the U.S. Jayden, experiencing an enormous surge in popularity in the last few years, jumped from eleven to number eight, and Noah made an impressive leap from fifteen to nine. Christopher and Matthew dropped out of the top ten to make room for the newcomers. That's the first time Christopher, now number eleven, has dropped out of the top ten since 1966. For Matthew, which slipped to fifteen, it's the first time out of the top flight since 1971. Meanwhile, Alexander moved from six to four, and William from eight to five. Joshua and Daniel slipped from four and five to six and seven respectively, and long-time favorite Anthony dropped three spots to number ten.
A cool feature found at the Social Security website shows which names are moving up or down the fastest. Besides Maliyah, the girls' name Isla was a big gainer, going from 619 to 346. Other fast-rising girls' names include Caylee, Kinley, and, surprisingly, the classic name Arabella. And the biggest losers? Jaslene, Mylee, and Marely.
Here is the latest list of the top 100 baby names.