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Published January 30, 2012, 11:30 PM

Brackets lead to list of America’s best-liked names

What are America’s favorite baby names? Not the top names on the Social Security list, not even Nameberry’s own favorites, but the most well-liked names chosen by popular opinion.

By: Nameberry.com, INFORUM

What are America’s favorite baby names? Not the top names on the Social Security list, not even Nameberry’s own favorites, but the most well-liked names chosen by popular opinion.

Recently we collaborated with Huffington Post Parents to create a brackets challenge, asking readers to vote for America’s favorite baby name. We picked the 16 contenders for each sex from the ranks of Nameberry favorites, pitting Henry against James, Scarlett vs. Charlotte, Hudson against River (how could we resist?).

Through a series of elimination rounds, thousands of parents voted for their favorites. And today we have the winners! Read on to find out which the finalists were, and the identity of America’s favorite baby names.

Amelia

A finalist is Amelia, a German name that means “work,” is rising to take the place of former No. 1 names Emily and Emma.

Aiden

Aiden is an old Irish name that means “fiery” and was virtually unknown in the U.S. until the advent of actor Aidan Quinn and boyfriend Aidan on “Sex & the City.” Now it’s heading, with the Aiden spelling, toward the top of the list _ but it’s not the America’s favorite baby name winner.

Lila

Finalist Lila is a new darling of parents enchanted by its lilting loveliness. Lila is one of a raft of double-L names including Layla, Leila, Lily, and even Lola and Delilah that are on the rise.

Finn

Third place Finn, one of Nameberry’s favorites, is the name of the greatest hero of Irish mythology, Finn McCool. More recently, he’s the hunk on “Glee.”

Ava

Runner-up Ava, “bird” in Latin, is an ancient saints’ name that also feels sleek and modern. Glamour girl Ava Gardner helped launch its revival, and Reese Witherspoon catapulted it to a new generation of stardom when she chose it for her daughter.

Jackson

Second place boys’ name Jackson is now more popular than father names John or Jack. Artistic references include painter Jackson Pollock and musicians Jackson Browne and Michael Jackson.

Charlotte

America’s favorite baby name for girls: Charlotte! Charlotte has also been Nameberry’s No. 1 baby name for girls for the past two years. The feminine for Charles, Charlotte is a royal name also notably the name of one of the Bronte sisters and the literary spider.

James

And America’s favorite boys’ name is: James! A premiere fashionable classic, James derives from the same root as No. 1 name Jacob and has the same meaning, “supplanter.” Attractive James include Bond, Dean and Franco.

Nameberry is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of 10 bestselling baby name guides, including the newest, “Beyond Ave and Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby.” See more at http://nameberry.com

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