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The Daily Journal


January 21, 2006


By Dana Yates



Sophia, Daniel top baby names in 2005



Maybe there was too much attention paid to celebrity names such as Apple, Pilot Inspektor and Rocket. Last year's top baby names in San Mateo County had a much more traditional appeal with names grandparents are more likely to know.


"They have changed in the last year or so. Now it's back to the traditional names like Alex, Joseph, Sophia," said Angie Grech of Happy Campers Preschool and Infant Center in San Carlos.


Sophia was the only name that made the county's top 10 list twice since new parents couldn't decide whether to spell the name with a "ph" or a "f.' The top 10 girls names - in order of popularity - for 2005 were: Sophia, Isabella, Mia, Alexandra, Ashley, Emma, Olivia, Samantha, Madison and Sofia, according to a report released by the county assessor's office last week.


The top 10 boys names in order of popularity were: Daniel, Ryan, Alexander, Joshua, Michael, Anthony, Andrew, Nathan, Tyler and Jacob.


Emma, Sophia, Isabella, Madison, Olivia, Ryan, Tyler, Joshua and Andrew are also popular nationwide, according to a Baby Center poll of more than 320,000 of its Web site members.


Baby Center also reports that about nearly 41 percent of its members with children under 2 years old picked a names because "they just loved it," 12.1 percent picked it because it honors a relative or a friend and 11.9 picked it because its unusual. Most people - 55 percent - chose to honor a relative or friend with their child's middle name.


Only 29 percent turned to family and 23 percent to friends for suggested names. People were most likely to consult their spouse or a Web site first, according to the report. Just 3.3 percent of the people polled found advice from friends helpful and 81 percent disagreed with their spouse about the name.


Respondents reported they were looking for individuality and femininity in a girls name and strength and individuality in a boys name.


What's really is in a name?


Most of the names rooted in the Bible. Sophia means wisdom and Ryan means "a little king." Mean means "mine," Ashley originated from old English and means ash-tree. Emma means "all embracing" and Olivia means "peace."


It probably takes some strength to be a Tyler, which originated from Middle English for a roofer or a tiler.


Dana Yates can be reached by e-mail: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106. What do you think of this story? Send a letter to the editor: