Novelist Jodi Picoult said, “When you love someone, you say their name different. Like it’s safe inside your mouth.” So maybe when we name a child, that intimate act of connecting their identity to our own sense of taste and identity, we are finding a safe space for them, a way of speaking them into comfort, of saying you belong.
For some, naming is a way of tying into tradition and announcing that the designation places them with the many. Perhaps, that’s why so many biblical names are popular. For others, the act of naming is a statement of individuality, a way to create for a child an identity that stands out from the crowd. Whichever camp you come from, you have to know what names are most popular before you can decide whether the name you’re choosing makes the child unique or offers them the ties of tradition.
For 2022, Ohio names, for both boys and girls, seem to have embraced the dominant vowel of their state origin. The most popular boy’s name in the state, according to census data, will be Oliver, while the most popular girl’s name will be Olivia. In case you’re wondering what the most popular names are in Ohio, before you make a name decision, here are the top 10 for each gender:
If you’re looking for a popular name that has a local flavor, try Owen, Lincoln, or Theodore, which are not likely to make it into the National Top 10 List. For girls, Harper and Eleanor are not predicted to be National contenders. Want something sure to be less popular in your area? Try Nathan or Lyla, which just barely make the top 100 names in Ohio.
Ivan Young is a writer in partnership with Italian linen retailer, Linoto.