When it comes to popular baby names for 2012, everything old was new again.

As USA Today reports, if you check out the U.S. Social Security card applications for births, the most popular name in 2012 for boys was Jacob and for girls, it was Sophia. The names also topped the 2011 list.

Coming in second place was Mason for boys and Emma for girls; third was Ethan and Isabella. The one thing all of these names have in common? They are pretty old fashioned. After all, Jacob and Ethan are biblical names and just hearing the name Emma conjures up thoughts of our favorite Jane Austen’s 1815 novel.

So why are parents going so retro in their name-picking process? Those who choose biblical names know that one thing’s for sure — the name will never go out of style. Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard, says that deciding on a name can be difficult for some parents.

“Everybody wants to be unique,” she tells USA Today. :The sound today that parents are looking for is very smooth and bright — very heavy on long vowels. Names with a similar sound, like Mia and Noah, you can count on thriving.”

Considering Noah was fourth on the boy list and Mia was eighth for girls, Laura has a point. Other girl names that follow her long vowel theory on the top 10 list include Olivia, Ava, and, of course, Isabella.

The importance parents seem to be placing on names these days may have something to do with Hollywood. Celebrity parents like the Jolie-Pitts and Richie-Maddens have chosen unique names for their own kids like Shiloh, Knox, Harlow, and Sparrow, making the rest of us Johns and Janes feel a little ordinary — not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, while the name Major, which rose in popularity last year, might sound a little out of place years from now, John and Jane have major staying power.

Are your kids’ names more traditional or unique? Let us know in the comments.

Source: USA Today