Jacob is the #1 boys name of 2003 - WHY?

The new list of most popular names of 2003 is up. For the girls, it’s Emily for the 8th straight year - which seems to be a normal name - followed by Madison and Hannah (a little different). For the boys Jacob is #1, followed by Michael, Joshua, and Matthew. Now I can see why the latter 3 are popular since they’ve been pretty common for a long time, but why Jacob?!?! I’ve NEVER even met a Jacob in my entire life, why has this name all of a sudden become so popular? Did something happen recently to make this name popular? Was Jacob Dylan more of a hit than I thought?!?!

NOtice that Jacob has been #1 for four years in a row.

Bob55 Assuming you were born in 1955, you may have never met a Jacob because the name wasn’t popular in the timeframe in which you were born. It possibly only came into the top 20 in the 1990’s.

If you have a child who is 10 or under, the data would suggest that you would have noticed that name when you went to PTA or picked up your child from pre-school.

We used to have a dog named Jacob.

Hey! His name is my name tooooooo!

People name their sons Jacob because they think “Jake” sounds cool.

  1. It’s Biblical. Fundamentalism is on the upswing in the USA. Note that the great majority of all the top boy’s names are straight out of the Bible. Gives you an in with The Jeez.

  2. It’s Southern and “Jake” sounds like a NASCAR driver.

As to the girls’ names, the media seems to have a heavy impact on those. “Madison” was an obscure choice as a girl’s name until the little girls who saw “Splash” started having kids. “Jennifer” enjoyed a bit of an upswing after “Love Story,” although it had been popular before, too.

“Abigail”? :eek: Where does that come from? [I like Jacob]

Well this might be correct because I was born in ‘77, which puts me a little too old to notice friends named Jacob, and too young to be picking up kids from school and noticing their friends’ names. Also, I didn’t put it together that ‘Jake’ is short for Jacob!

Another name gleaned from the Bible.


  1. It’s Biblical. Fundamentalism is on the upswing in the USA. Note that the great majority of all the top boy’s names are straight out of the Bible. Gives you an in with The Jeez.

  2. It’s Southern and “Jake” sounds like a NASCAR driver.


How does it give you an in with Jesus? Parents might pick the name because they like it, or it’s based on family.

Jacob is not southern. How could it be southern if it’s derived from an ancient semitic name? BTW, there is currently no driver in the Nextel Cup series or Busch Grand National series named Jake. http://www.nascar.com/drivers/list/cup/dps/index.htmlke.

It’s Rue DeDay’s fault. He’s always talking about how everything is Jake. It was bound to happen.

On another not, my son’s name was 226th in popularity the year he was born and has climbed steadily, up into the top 100 now. My daughter’s name peaked somewhere within the top 200 and has fallen steadily, now down to just in the most popular 600.

When I read this post, I instantly thought about Jacob being a bibical name and with our country getting ever more religiously conservative (UGH) I figured that is why a name like that has become so popular.

And while I know nothing about NASCAR, even though I was born and rasied in the Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeppppppppppppp South, it sure sounds like a car driver name to me too.

But then again, I think all boys named Caleb/Kaleb are minions for the devil! :eek:

I’ve never been a fan of the name Jacob. Just don’t like the sound of it.

But my name is peaking right now at #89!! We’re comin’ for ya!

And a cat named Kalamazoo?

If you ask me, the reason that Jacob has become popular is that it hasn’t yet been used as a girl’s name.

I worked at a trophy shop for years, and it was enlightening to see what parents were naming their children. There were dozens of Tylers, Dylans, Codys, Madisons, Montanas, Dakotas, Hunters, Connors, Calebs, and a few Kellys and Leslies; there were girls named James and Michael and Bryann. We had to have our customers highlight the girls’ names because they were otherwise impossible to discern.

For some wacko reason, parents liked giving traditionally male names to their daughters, or if not, to gain ground for Wymym Powyrrr on the androgynous ones. (Okay, maybe I’m being snide, but why is this?) I reckon the “Jacob” and “Caleb” thing is a retreat back to traditionally and unambiguously masculine names for boys.

I think the girls’ list changes more often than the boys… parents with male children seem to prefer more traditional names. Or maybe they can’t think of any cool names for boys, I don’t know.

My name is a bit more popular than it was, but it’s still in the low 500s… for girls. I expect it’ll never crack the charts as a boys’ name. More than fine with me.

I think names like Jake and Jack are seen as very masculine as in there is no way my son is going to be a wimp. :wink: Look how many characters in action films are named Jack.

I really hate girls names lately. It’s almost like they are trying to give them brand names: something catchy, cute, supposedly unique and will stick in your head. I miss the Marys and Susans of yesteryear.

Damn! Thomas is still at #36!

I don’t want my name to be common, it just gets confusing after a while.

I was born in '77 too, and one of my best friends is named Jacob, though as long as I’ve known him, he’s gone by Jake. I also have a nephew named Jacob who’s 11, who goes by Jacob.

I was born in '77. Went to school with several Jacob/Jakobs. One of the first movies I remember watching is Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang. (Actually I’m watching the Jacob Two-Two cartoon right now.) That ‘Jacob’ was in any way an unusual name would never have occurred to me.