Planning on naming your baby Jacob or Emily? Be forewarned, those two names topped the US most popular list again last year -- Emily for the 11th year running.
The 2007 top baby names list released by the US Social Security Administration for Mother's Day on Sunday showed Americans consistent in their love for classical names: Michael, Ethan, Joshua and Daniel topped out the top five on the boys side, while Isabella, Emma, Ava and Madison were favorites for girls.
But the list showed that plenty were striving to be unique, creating wholly new names like Nevaeh -- "heaven" spelled backwards -- or sometimes just taking extreme orthographical liberty with better-known monikers.
"For reasons likely to puzzle baby name experts around the world, American parents have become infatuated by names, particularly for their sons, that rhyme with the word 'maiden,'" the SSA said.
It counted 34 such names in the top 1,000 for boys, including homonymic variations Jayden (No. 18), Jaden (No. 76), Jaiden (No. 191) Jaydon (No. 415), Jadon (No. 423), Jaeden (No. 593), Jadyn (No. 696), Jaydin (No. 757), Jaidyn (No. 841) and Jaydan (No. 887).
Despite the freewheeling spellings, spokesman Mark Lassiter said the SSA "would resist any legislative efforts to standardize the spelling of names," according to an agency statement.
Aside from variants on "heaven," the SSA pointed to the popularity of philosophical ideals for girls' names: Destiny (No. 41), Trinity (No. 72), Serenity (No. 126), Harmony (No. 315) and Miracle (No. 461).
Fast-rising names included Danica, now at No. 307, for top female race car driver Danica Patrick, and JaMarcus, No. 743, for football star JaMarcus Russell.