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Top 10 Most Popular Baby Names for Girls in New York City

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On the most recent list of New York's most popular baby names for girls, old-fashioned choices from Grandma's time dominate. These melodious names (Isabella, Sophia, Olivia) have knocked long-time modern favorites like Ashley and Nicole out of the top 10, though newer choices like Madison continue to gain popularity.

This data on most popular baby names for girls in New York in 2010 is based on Social Security card application data (also see Top Ten Baby Names for Boys in New York).

1. Isabella

The regal Isabella swept into the top spot. The name Isabella comes from Italian for "consecrated to God." The latest popularity surge is likely partially inspired by Twilight's heroine Bella.

2. Sophia

At #2, Sophia is from the Greek for "wisdom" and conjures images of Italian bombshell Sophia Loren.

3. Olivia

Olivia brought a touch of old-fashioned glamour to the top ten. The name Olivia is from the Latin for "peace (of the olive tree)" and was originally introduced (in its modern spelling) by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.

4. Emma

The popularity of Emma is on the rise again (after inspiring the names of classic heroines for Austen and Flaubert). The name Emma can be traced back to a German root meaning "universal."

5. Ava

Ava is short and sweet with a bit of old Hollywood glamour courtesy of actress Ava Gardner. The name was likely originally inspired by the Latin for "bird."

6. Madison

It used to be that Madison was just a New York City avenue (and a surname for prominent Americans including a U.S. president). In the 1984 movie Splash, Daryl Hannah's mermaid character chooses the first name Madison after seeing a street sign. Since then, the name has become extremely popular for both boys and girls.

7. Emily

Emily remains one of the most popular baby girl names in New York -- the name has been in the top ten since 1995. The name Emily is said to mean "industrious."

8. Mia

Mia has long been popular as a pet name or nickname for Maria. In recent years, the name Mia has gained popularity in its own right -- starting with actress Mia Farrow.

9. Abigail

The name Abigail can be traced back to the Old Testament. It was a very popular name during Colonial times and has been rediscovered by today's generation of parents.

10. Chloe

Chloe is from the ancient Greek for "young shoot or plant" and was one of the names used by Greek earth goddess Demeter. Chloe has long been popular in the UK and is enjoying a new surge of interest in the US.

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