Daniel Frigolette of Hoboken has some advice for the 795 babies named “Daniel” last year in NYC – the second most popular name for male newborns.
“Embrace using the first letter of your last name,” because people will be tacking it on to differentiate you from other Dans, Dannys, and Daniels, notes Frigolette, 27, a comedian known during grade school as “Dan F.”
The list of the most popular baby names released yesterday by the city Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene sounds a bit like a cast list from a teen show: Jayden – no doubt boosted in popularity by the 12-year-old movie star Jaden Christopher Syre Smith and perhaps Britney Smith’s four-year-old son, Jayden James Federline – stayed at first place for boys, while Isabella overtook Sophia for first place in all categories.
Celebrity influence continues in the roster: Scarlett and Penelope (as in Johansson and Cruz) tied for 104th most popular girl name. Rihanna clocked in at number 107 and Usher took spot number 158 for boys.
Emily Aponte, 29, a New York State Department of Labor counselor, welcomed the 462 Emilys born last year in NYC, making her sobriquet the fourth most popular for girls. “It’s a nice, solid name – not like Apple or Orange,” noted Aponte.
Isabella Gonzalez, a fourth grader at the Upper East Side Brearley School, is thrilled to hear that the 544 city babies named Isabella in 2009 have catapulted her name into first place. “I think my name is really cool,” said Gonzalez. “This is a compliment! It’s a great name and a lot of other people probably deserve to have it.”
Her mother, Leticia Cruz, 32, of Fort Lee, NJ, is less generous. “I HATE that ‘Isabella’ is the most popular name!” said Cruz. She and her husband, Pedro Gonzalez, named their daughter after the town Isabella in Puerto Rico, where his family lives. “It has a deep cultural significance for us,” said Cruz. Other parents, she grumbled, probably don’t have such resonant reasons for their choice.