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10 Most Popular Baby Names of All Time


10
Thomas and Jessica

While Thomas has never been a top five name in any decade, over 2.1 million baby Thomases have been born in the last century. The name, meaning "twin" is a classic, traditional name, given to presidents, saints, and generals. However, it's also got a everyman aspect to it, popular enough to coin the phrase "every Tom, Dick and Harry."

Thomas plays well with others, standing as a first name, a middle name or shortened to Tom or Tommy. You can even find Thomas in initials like TJ, JT, or RT.

Famous Thomases include Jefferson, U.S. president and Declaration of Independence author and inventor Thomas Alva Edison. Film aficionados love Tom Cruise, Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Hanks, while sports fans cheer for Tom Brady.

Jessica holds 10th place with Thomas. Jessica, meaning "God's grace" in Hebrew, didn't gain popularity until recent decades, reigning as the most popular girl's name from 1985-1990 and 1993-1995). Jessica is a more modern name, so you won't find many Queen Jessicas or Lady Jessicas, but Hollywood has several, like actresses Lange, Biel, and Alba and pop star Simpson.

There's no single story on what made Jessica so popular, but famous Jessicas in the '80s include Baby Jessica, the 18-month- old who was trapped in a pipe for almost three days in 1987 and Jessica Hahn, the church secretary who brought down televangelist Jim Bakker after their 1980 sexual affair went public. But regardless, Jessica reigned supreme until Emily came along in 1996.


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