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News / Clark County News

Top baby names in 2017: Jaxon, Sophia

Most popular names of babies born at Legacy Salmon Creek show challenge parents face in trying for distinctive pick

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian Health Reporter
Published: January 17, 2018, 6:01am
6 Photos
(Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian)
(Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Part of Nicole Thornton’s reason for naming her son Wyatt was that the moniker wasn’t as popular as her other favorite name, Liam.

Or so she thought.

Turns out, Wyatt was the third most popular name given to boys born at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in 2017. The other name Thornton considered, Liam, wasn’t on Legacy’s list of popular names. (Liam was, however, the top male name in Washington in 2016, according to the Social Security Administration.)

“I have heard of people with Wyatts, but I was surprised to see it was in the top five,” Thornton said.

Still, Thornton said it’s unlikely she and her husband, Steve, would have given Wyatt any other name when he arrived in June.

Top Baby Names of 2017

Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center welcomed 3,429 babies into the world in 2017. These are the most popular names given to babies born at the hospital last year:


1. Jaxon

2. Greyson/Grayson

3. Wyatt

4. Hudson

5. Alexander, Benjamin, Mason (tie)


1. Sophia

2. Avery

3. Ruby

4. Emma

5. Amelia

“There weren’t a whole lot of other names that we both agreed on,” said Thornton, who lives in La Center.

Last year, Legacy Salmon Creek welcomed 3,429 babies. The top name given to boys was Jaxon; Sophia was the most popular name given to girls.

Other top names for boys born at Legacy Salmon Creek were Greyson/Grayson, Wyatt, Hudson and — in a three-way tie for fifth — Alexander, Benjamin and Mason.

Other popular names for girls born at the hospital were Avery, Ruby, Emma and Amelia.

Similar data for PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center was not available.

Felicia Stevens knew she wanted to name her daughter Emma long before the name was popular. When she was a child, Stevens’ sisters read Jane Austen books, which prominently featured the name Emma.

“I loved that name,” she said. “It was so old-fashioned.”

When Stevens found out she was pregnant with a girl, she told her husband, Bryan, she wanted to name their daughter Emma or her other favorite name, Lucy. They decided the name Emma went better with the middle name Marie, which is a family name.

“I got one of my dream names,” said Stevens, who lives in Ridgefield.

Emma was also Jennifer Kim’s favorite name for a baby girl. She was set on the name after watching the TV series, “Once Upon a Time” with main character Emma Swan.

“I liked that the name represented a strong female lead character,” Kim said.

Kim, of Vancouver, didn’t realize just how popular the name was until her cousin had her baby in September — five months before Kim — and named her Emma.

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“Luckily, they live in Iowa,” she said. “So there’s no competition.”

While the popularity made her husband hesitate on the name, Kim wasn’t bothered.

“I don’t know enough babies for it to make a difference,” she said.

Kaylynn Shaner of Vancouver had years ago decided on the name she would give her daughter: Ruby. Shaner’s birth stone is the ruby.

“I wanted something not common, but apparently I didn’t do well there,” Shaner said. “And I wanted something easy to spell since everyone butchered my name.”

Shaner, whose daughter was born in April, said she might have considered another name if she had known how popular Ruby would be in 2017.

“When she goes to school, I feel like she’s going to be in a class with a bunch of Rubys,” she said. “Her best friend is probably going to be named Ruby.”

Perhaps that best friend will be Ruby James of Battle Ground, who was born in November.

Lauryl James decided to name her daughter Ruby after her maternal great-great-grandmother and paternal great-grandmother.

“Everyone talks so wonderfully about both of them, and we fell in love with the name,” James said.

James was surprised to see Ruby on the top names list and isn’t thrilled about the idea of her daughter being one of several Rubys in her class. Still, she said she wouldn’t have chosen another name for her daughter.

“I think it fits her really well,” James said. “She looks like a Ruby. It’s just perfect for her.”

Columbian Health Reporter