For some parents, choosing a name for their baby is easy. But others worry about the decision, and as the due date nears, questions about the baby’s name will increase. Naming a child is a lot of pressure — and it’s a big decision. We don’t want to get it wrong, but it’s hard to narrow down a list with so many options.
Unfortunately, some parents give their baby a name only for it to feel like it doesn’t fit after all the paperwork that comes with welcoming a baby. (Like Kylie Jenner famously changing the name of her son, who was formerly known as Wolf.) So, they have to change the name — it happens. But have you ever wondered which names are changed the most often?
The Washington Post wanted to find out, so they tapped the Social Security Administration to dig up a list. The administration has been keeping track of baby names and all sorts of data surrounding them since the late 1800s.
“Inspired by Mississippi-based journalist Sarah Fowler’s brilliant Washington Post story on the folks who changed their baby’s first name — 30,000 in the past five years alone — we asked the Social Security Administration for a list of the most-changed names,” the publication reports.
The Social Security Administration came through with a list of the top 10 names that are changed the most in the United States, dating back to 2017. Although there wasn’t any information about why these names were changed or why these names specifically were changed more often, the first two at least seem to point to a change in spelling instead of changing the name altogether.
“It’s hard to spell after you or your partner have just gone through labor,” the publication jokes. And this holds for what Fowler wrote in her article, revealing how many baby name changes have happened in the past five years — to fix lousy spelling.
Another reason parents opted to change their baby’s name was to “abandon names that are falling rapidly in the ranks.”
So, which baby names are the ones most often changed?
In the United States, the laws and process for changing a baby’s name differ for each state. Some give parents a 12-month period to change their baby’s name without too much hassle, while others require a much longer process.