A Look Into How Pop Culture Influences Our Baby Names and Where I Want It To Go From Here
I wanted to write about the relationship between pop culture and babies again because a) I wanted to put my new sociology degree to good use and b) as of moments ago it has become my goal to slowly and secretly become the official baby writer for HelloGiggles. (Stay tuned for “Baby Nails of the Day,” “Illustrated Baby of the Day” and “Baby Playlist of the Week”.)
I’m obsessed with babies. I have a list of baby names I like on my phone, which is insane, I know. Also, I don’t even know if I want kids so really I’m just wasting valuable phone storage space/ keeping what looks like a hit list on my mobile device.
Regardless of how sane I may or may not be, you can’t deny that when new parents name their babies after a celebrity or a fictional character it is at least a little bit interesting. This year, The Sun reports that 146 babies were named Khaleesi after the Game of Thrones character. So join me in this look back on instances when pop culture has influenced the names of our future leaders aka our children!
Babble.com explains that the first episode of Family Ties aired on September 22, 1982 and the older sister is named Mallory. Interestingly, the name Mallory doesn’t show up at ALL on the top 1,000 until 1983 and it made its debut at spot 333.
In the 1990s, the name Claire appeared on the list of names at 126, seen here. Could it because of Molly Ringwald’s character Claire in The Breakfast Club?
In 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered and as you probably know, one of Buffy’s best friends is named Willow. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that in 1998, the name Willow first shows up in the top 1,000 at spot 853.
Remember in season 8 of Friends, when Rachel has her baby and names her Emma? That is what I will say caused the name Emma to be number four on this list of baby names in 2002.
The TV show featuring everyone’s favorite serial killer, Dexter, premiered in 2006 and ever since the name has been climbing the charts and went from number 832 in 2007 to number 362 in 2012.
In 2010, the names Jacob and Bella cracked the top ten lists for boy and girl baby names, no doubt inspired by Twilight. (Please note that in 2012 the name Cullen appeared at number 551. There are babies named Cullen! As in Edward Cullen!) Also in 2010, Maci Brooke and her young son Bentley both of Teen Mom fame helped get the Bentley into the top trending Boy Names List. I was kind of surprised to see that Katniss hasn’t cracked the top 10 list yet, but there is still time.
Fear not, though! Well renowned literary characters made the list, too! In 2012 the name Atticus was at number 410 – I assume because of To Kill A Mocking Bird‘s Atticus Finch? But also because Atticus is the coolest name.
I think pop culture’s influence on name trends is so cool. It’s a great way to study the relationship of society and the media (TV, literature, etc) we consume. To conclude this brief sociological study/my feeble attempt to talk about babies, I composed a short list of names from pop culture that we should start using:
1. A – Just the letter A, named after the mysterious and dangerous character A from Pretty Little Liars – or as my dad likes to call it, Purple Little People.
2. Ikea – Kids are hard work and so is putting together a dresser.
3. Kale – Short for LookAtHowTrendyMyParentsAreForNamingMeKale.
4. Dash – A cool name to honor the Kardashian empire.
5. Blog and Reblog – Intended use for twins only.
6. FroYo – Why not? Kids named Apple exist so what’s the difference, really? Note: There is a huge difference. Apple is an adorable name.
7. Royal Baby – Again, why not?
8. Venti – Coffee is usually the first thing I want to see in the morning and I’m sure I’d feel that way about my kid if I had one.
9. Siri – It’s a cool name.
10. Heisenberg – Only use if you want your kid to be an anti-hero.
(Also, I found this cool graph where you can see the popularity of a baby name through the years! Give it a go here!)
Featured image via ShutterStock.