A baby suckles a pacifier whilst resting in a cot. (credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

DALLAS — ‘Jacob’ and ‘Sophia’ top the Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names List for 2012. ‘Jacob’ has held the top spot for 14 consecutive years; this is the second consecutive year for ‘Sophia’.

The information is supplied to the agency when parents apply for a child’s Social Security number at the time of the child’s birth.

Here are the top 10 boys and girls names for 2012.

  1. Jacob
  2. Mason
  3. Ethan
  4. Noah
  5. William
  6. Liam
  7. Jayden
  8. Michael
  9. Alexander
  10. Aiden
  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Isabella
  4. Olivia
  5. Ava
  6. Emily
  7. Abigail
  8. Mia
  9. Madison
  10. Elizabeth

Jennifer Moss, the founder of Babynames.com, says that popular culture can often influence parents’ decisions on their children’s names.

For girls, the biggest riser on the chart is ‘Arya’, which jumped 298 spots to 413th.  The drastic change might be attributed to the name’s use in the popular TV series “Game of Thrones.”

‘Major’ saw the largest gain for boys, moving up 505 spots to 483rd.

“I have no doubt Major’s rising popularity as a boy’s name is in tribute to the brave members of the U.S. military, and maybe we’ll see more boys named General in the future,” said Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin.

Other names like ‘Messiah’ and ‘Chastity’, which Moss labels as “expectation names”, also found their way onto the list.

“Those are names that we generally don’t advise giving to your children,” says Moss. “It puts an undue expectation on them of a particular characteristic or value that they may not be able to live up to.”

The oddest name she’s ever heard? A couple from New Zealand once tried to give their child the first name “Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii”.

For a full look at the list, visit the Social Security’s website.

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