There’s actually a reason why people give their baby girls unusual names (and not baby boys)

Apparently celebs aren’t the only ones who like to pick out unusual names for their offspring. Based on the Social Security Administration’s data for 2015, it’s been reported that baby girls ended up with 18,993 unique names whereas boys’ birth certificates display a total of 13,959 uncommon titles. There’s a specific reason for this difference.

For every one boy with a rare name, there are at least three girls. That’s because parents are more comfortable giving girls uncommon names (like Victory, Echo, and Navy) – especially since new parents feel that girls will get picked on less for these names. This is also known as the “playground effect,” which reveals that parents attempt to pick names that won’t get their child bullied during recess.


“The culture is much more accepting of out-there girls’ names,” biology professor Matthew Hahn told Time. “The same goes for inventing new names.” We can think of several examples. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s daughter is named North West. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their baby girl Apple. There’s also Esmeralda and Amada: Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes’ little girls.

As for boys, Hahn states that they’re much more likely to be named after a relative such as their dad or grandpa. “There’s no question that traditionally, girls’ names are more subject to trends than boys,” baby name expert Laura Wattenberg told Cosmopolitan.


Now, whenever we hear an unusual name, we’ll know that society and psychology are also responsible.

Filed Under