NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Do you know a child named Aiden or Madeline? Chances are someone will as they are the top names for boys and girls in 2009, while Jacob and Emma were the most popular of the decade.
"We've seen more spelling variations of both of this year's top names than we imagined possible -- Aiden has also been Ayden, Aidyn, Aden, and Aaden and Madeline can be spelled Madeleine, Maddelin, and Madalen," said Candace Alper, the creator/executive producer of the musical web site nameyourtune.com.
"Parents like the sound of traditional names, but they also want to show the individuality of their children. Parents realize that the name they give their child will become part of the child's identity," Alper said.
She said that variations on the name Aiden are also dominating both boys and girls names, such as Jayden, Brayden and Hayden, because the names are gender-neutral and can be spelled so many ways.
Her prediction for the next decade is that there will be more Edwards and a lot more Bellas being born due to the success of the Twilight film franchise.
Rounding out the top names for boys in 2009 were Matthew, Owen, Ethan, Jackson, Evan, Braden, Noah, Jack and Zachary.
For girls it was Madison, Emma, Hannah, Olivia, Audrey, Isabella, Grace, Taylor and Emily.
Top boy names of the decade were Jacob, Michael, Ethan, Christopher, Jack, Daniel, Aiden, William, Joshua and Ryder.
Top girl names of the decade were Emma, Madison, Emily, Hannah, Olivia, Samantha, Ashley. Ava, Elizabeth and Madelyn.
Reporting by Bernard Orr; Editing by Patricia Reaney