The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been compiling baby name data since 1880; however, the details are sparse. We are able to see the most popular baby appellations for any given year, but what about the names that don’t hold up and are eventually changed? The Washington Post got the SSA to release the most regretted and changed baby names from 2017 through 2022. The two most changed baby names result from parents misspelling their choice on the birth certificate. This is totally understandable because labor is no joke, and after hours of pushing through, one can be forgiven if they’re not thinking clearly.
If you’ve ever wondered about names that parents regret, we’ve got the top ten most changed names and the top ten most adopted names that parents chose instead. We think you will find many rather surprising. Take a look and learn from other’s mistakes.
Most Changed Baby Names
The number one most changed name of the last few years was Issac. This should tip you off to the most adopted name, but stick a pin in that for now. Issac is a misspelling of Isaac, a name of Hebrew origin meaning “laughter.”
Chole is just unfortunate. Of course, parents were trying to get Chloe but had a mixup along the way. Chloe is a name of Greek origin meaning “new green sprout.”
It’s completely acceptable to spell Aiden with an E or as Aidan. Both are established spellings which makes this one a mystery to us. We have no idea why parents regretted this choice. Aiden is a unisex name of Irish origin, meaning “little fiery one.” Don’t abandon this one, new parents.
Conner is an archaic term for a person who tests or examines. The more established and traditional spelling is Connor. But, parents have gone the Conner route fairly often, making it a top 500 choice in the US today. As you might expect, parents change from Conner to Connor often.
Elliot is spelled correctly, so this changed name must reflect parents’ desire to go in a different direction with their first-chosen appellation. Elliot is an Anglicized form of the name Elijah, of Hebrew origin, meaning “Jehovah is God.”
Michael is a rare example of a name that’s both changed and adopted the most. Historically, it’s one of America’s most beloved names for boys, ranking in the top 100 since 1880. This makes it fairly obvious why this popular appellation is given and taken away so much.
We’re not sure why the name James is regretted. It’s an established choice and one of America’s most cherished appellations. James is even more popular than Michael, ranking in the top 25 since 1880. Perhaps new parents realized the name was too ubiquitous and chose a more unique option.
Isabella is a hugely successful name for girls today, but that was not always the case. From 1948-1990 the name went virtually unused. Today, it’s a top-ten name, and we assume it is changed so often because parents wanted a more underutilized option. Isabella is the Italian and Spanish form of Elizabeth, a name of Hebrew origin meaning “pledged to God.”
Sophia has been a top-ten name for girls since 2006. The name is so popular that it’s also one of the most changed. Sophia is a name of Greek origin, meaning “wisdom.”
As with the past several appellations, David is changed not because of a spelling error. David has been a popular choice, in the top 50, since 1880. We believe parents wanted something more distinctive and chose to leave David behind. Don’t worry. This name is going to remain popular for generations to come.
Most Adopted Baby Names
As promised, Isaac is the most adopted name due to parents accidentally choosing Issac. Isaac is among the most popular names for boys in the US today, ranking in the top 50 most-chosen names. It’s easy to understand why the spelling mistake happens so often.
Chole is frequently changed to Chloe. Thus, Chloe is the second most adopted name these days. Chloe is one of the many names for the goddess Demeter who holds dominion over agriculture and fertility in Greek mythology. Chloe is extremely popular today and is among the top 25 most popular appellations for girls.
Sebastian seems like it should be one of the most misspelled names but that’s actually not the case. It’s one of the most adopted names for boys. The name has been in the top 25 for years now, so it’s not controversial that parents would choose it over something like David or James.
With a rock-solid name like William, we imagine parents had a change of heart over their more unusual first choice and decided to go back to basics with William. The name is a favorite, landing in the top 25 since 1880. William is an English name of German origin, meaning “steadfast protector.”
Olivia has been the number one most-given name for girls over the last few years, so it’s not surprising to find it as one of the most adopted as well. Olivia is of Latin origin and means “olive tree.”
We meet Michael again as a name that parents have chosen instead of their first choice. Michael is a name of Hebrew origin, meaning “who is like God?” This evergreen favorite will be given to baby boys for generations to come as a solid, worry-free choice.
Are new parents changing Elliot to Elijah? There’s no way to know, but it could be a possibility. Since 2001, Elijah has been a top 50 choice for boys. It’s a name folks can turn to that does not disappoint. Elijah is of Hebrew origin and means “Jehovah is God.”
Changing a baby’s name from something that doesn’t fit to Matthew is a popular proposition. The name has always been a favored fit in the US and feels safe for many parents. The name is of Hebrew origin and means “gift from God.”
The Connor spelling is one of the most adopted baby names, and we believe that parallels why the Conner spelling is so often changed. Connor is a top 100 name in the US for boys. It is a unisex option of Irish origin, meaning “hound lover.”
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There you go! Now you know the baby names that are changed the most and what names new parents are turning to instead. For even more baby appellation fun, keep reading. We’ve got the weirdest celebrity baby names to share with you!
Emma Roberts and Garrett Hedlund announced the birth of their son early this year. They chose the name Rhodes Robert and we think Rhodes was a wise choice. Rhodes is a posh baby name with Greek origins that means “where roses grow.” It has never appeared in the US top 1000 most popular baby names, making it a distinct option!
Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden turned heads after they named their daughter Raddix Chloe Wildflower Madden after her birth in 2020. This most novel of baby names comes from Latin origins and means “root.” Raddix seems suitable for both boys and girls to us!
Lyra is a musical baby name that comes from Greek and means “lyre.” It was a very appropriate choice for Ed Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn (as well as Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum). Lyra has long been a popular baby name for girls in England, and it finally debuted in the top 1000 here in the US in 2015. Sheeran chose the middle name Antarctica, but you most certainly do not.
Son of actor Jason Lee received the name Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee after his birth in 2003. Pilot is an occupational name for an individual who takes the steering wheel. Pilot works well as a baby name for boys and girls and would be an offbeat option for adventurous parents. As the Sheeran, you do not need to follow Lee in choosing the middle name. Inspektor is a bit much.
Sunday is one of those baby names that sounds attractively vintage yet completely approachable. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban thought so as they named their daughter Sunday Rose Kidman Urban for their baby girl born in 2008. Mike Myers followed suit 6 years later giving the name to one of his daughters.
Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied named their son Aleph. The ancient name refers to the origins of the universe in the Kabbalah. It also refers to the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Aleph has Hebrew origins and means “chief” or “number one.”
Demi Moore and Bruce Willis caused a splash when they named their now-grown firstborn after novelist Rumer Godden. Rumer Glenn Willis might have received the attractive name in 1988 but few others can say the same. This is still a very rare baby name. Rumer comes from an English surname that means “fame.”
Blue is a popular unisex baby name among many celebrity parents. Blue Ivy is of course the name of Beyonce and Jay-Z‘s talented daughter. Blue is a color name that is often used as a middle name as well. Adele‘s middle name is Blue. Elijah Blue Allman is the son of Cher. Needless to say, this name is wildly popular among celebs but has not completely caught on with the rest of the population.
Busy Philipps named her baby Birdie (after First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), as did soap star Maura West. Birdie was last popular as a given name in the US in 1948. This name has typically gone to baby girls but we think it works as a unisex baby name owing to its natural meaning. We would love for this adorable name to make comeback.
Bear debuted in the US top 1000 for the first time last year. However, it only barely made it onto the list. That means there is still plenty of room for Bear to grow. Bear typically goes to little boys as it did for Alicia Silverstone‘s son Bear Blu Jarecki and Kate Winslet‘s Bear Blaze Winslet.
Son of director Robert Rodriguez, Rogue Rodriquez, has a one of the most unique baby names. Rogue, a character from X-Men, proves a great name that means “rascal.” Rogue will not be for everyone, as evident in the US top 1000 baby names in which this name has never ranked.
We look to Busy Philipps once more for inspiration as she has named her other daughter Cricket Pearl. Cricket is a distinct nature baby name that parents have not fully adopted yet, but that could certainly change in the coming years. We think this appellation would be a winner for a little boy or a little girl.
Nicole Richie and another Madden, Joel Madden named their son Sparrow James Midnight. However, they are not the only celebs to choose it. Singer Tony Lucca named his daughter Sparrow Jane. We love a good bird baby name so this one is most welcome on the list. This name is not remotely popular in the US today.
Titan has emerged as a top 1000 baby name over the last several years. Singer Kelly Rowland & Tim Weatherspoon named one of their sons Titan Jewell after his birth in 2014. Titan has roots in Greek mythology as immortal giants called Titans. Titan means “defender.”
We turn to Kate Winslet once more as she chose Blaze as a middle name for her son. Actor Jennifer Gareis and Bobby Ghassemieh chose it as the first name for their son born in 2010. Blaze is given about twenty times more often to baby boys than girls, but it is still and unisex option. Blaze means “fire” and we expect to light a fire to the top 1000 baby names in the US in coming years but it’s not there yet!
Robert Downey, Jr., and Susan Downey chose the name Exton for their baby boy’s name. Exton has English and Celtic origins and means “town on the River Exe” or simply “near the water.” Exton is a highly unusual pick and not one of the most popular baby names on this list. We hope that changes because Exton is a very handsome moniker.
Esmeralda has been climbing the top 1000 list since the 1950s and it enjoyed its most popular year ever in the US last year. Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling named their first daughter Esmeralda. The name is popular with Hispanic parents and non-Spanish speakers alike. The name has Spanish and Portuguese origins meaning “emerald.”
Suri, a once unknown, exotic name, made headlines after it was chosen by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise for their daughter in 2007. Popular in a number of naming traditions, Suri means “the sun” in Sanskrit, “rose” in Persian. Most notably, it’s a form of the Hebrew name Sara which means “princess.”
As promised, Brad and Angelina’s baby’s name, Shiloh, makes the list. This attractive Hebrew name means “tranquil.” The name was virtually unheard in the US until the celebrity couple helped garner attention for it. Today, Shiloh is a top 500 name!
Memphis has Greek and Coptic origins that mean “enduring” and “beautiful.” Memphis is a much more common appellation for boys than girls, but it was given to at least one notable celebrity child. Bono and Ali Hewson chose the name Memphis Eve Sunny Day Hewson after her birth in 1991. Memphis makes the top 1000 for boys but not girls.
Ocean King PenaVega is son of actors Carlos and Alexa PenaVega. Ocean is a delightful nature, water name that could bring a little brightness to your child’s moniker. Ocean has yet to becomes as widespread as similar names Brooke and River, but we think it will be very trendy soon enough.
Forest Whitaker is an adventurous baby-namer as he has a son named Ocean and a daughter named Sonnet. We think he’s got a knack for discovering amazing words to turn into names. Sonnet comes from Italian roots that mean “little song.” We think this name is perfect for poetry-loving parents looking for plenty of inspiration.
Moms are following Reese Witherspoon‘s lead after she named her son Tennessee James after the iconic playwright Tennessee Williams. Tennessee, the state, gets its name from a Cherokee town that means “meeting place.” An offbeat choice for sure, we find it energetic and enduring.
Steven Spielberg chose the name Destry for his daughter born in 1996. It’s a gender-neutral name that comes from French origins that mean “warhorse.” Destry was once popular in the 1960s for baby boys thanks to a TV western series that aired at the time. Since then, the name has not appeared on the top 1000 baby names list.
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Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy chose the polarizing name Bingham for their son who goes by “Bing.” The only reference we know for the name is the late crooner Bing Crosby. Bingham is a British surname-name that means “homestead hollow.” As in, a property near a hollow. This name has never been popular in the US, but that could surely change!
There you go! What did you think of these rare celebrity baby names? Would you use one for your child? We think celebs tend to choose names on the forefront making them good people to look to for baby name inspiration. We hope you feel inspired by these famous baby names and will consider using one for your baby boy or girl. Whatever you decide, happy baby name hunting! And, congrats!
- 1 Most Changed Baby Names
- 2 Most Adopted Baby Names
- 2.1 Isaac
- 2.2 Chloe
- 2.3 Sebastian
- 2.4 William
- 2.5 Olivia
- 2.6 Michael
- 2.7 Elijah
- 2.8 Matthew
- 2.9 Connor
- 2.10 Jonathan
- 2.11 25. Rhodes
- 2.12 24. Raddix
- 2.13 23. Lyra
- 2.14 22. Pilot
- 2.15 21. Sunday
- 2.16 20. Aleph
- 2.17 19. Rumer
- 2.18 18. Blue
- 2.19 17. Birdie
- 2.20 16. Bear
- 2.21 15. Rogue
- 2.22 14. Cricket
- 2.23 13. Sparrow
- 2.24 12. Titan
- 2.25 11. Blaze
- 2.26 10. Exton
- 2.27 9. Esmeralda
- 2.28 8. Suri
- 2.29 7. Shiloh
- 2.30 6. Memphis
- 2.31 5. Ocean
- 2.32 4. Sonnet
- 2.33 3. Tennessee
- 2.34 2. Destry
- 2.35 1. Bingham
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Baby Name Generator
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