Why Celebrity Baby Names Are More Popular Than Ever

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The latest trend in baby-naming is as macabre as the batshit-crazy times we live in. While romantic names like Ava, Isabella, and Liam have been dominating the most-popular charts for years, there's a dark trend on the horizon, at least according to baby-name site Nameberry.
After comparing Social Security baby-names data for 2016 with 2006 to find out which names have taken off over the past 10 years and looking for patterns among the "hotter than hot" picks, Nameberry found that people are more into dead celebrities than ever.
Lennon and Monroe — names that carry a whiskey-soaked American nostalgia, but also an air of tragedy — are among the rising stars for girls, up 19 and 13 times, respectively. Hendrix, as in rocker Jimi, is 18 times more popular for boys than it was in 2006.
Perhaps it's our reality-TV culture, or our general propensity to like things big (think Trump's "tremendous"), but another big trend is superlative names. Everyone wants to be a legend or a queen: "Legend" is 18 times more popular for boys now than it was 10 years ago; we wonder if John Legend has played a role. Major and King are each 12 times more popular. Royalty, for girls, is up 58 times from 2006, while Reign is up 13 times.
"Names like Legend, Lennon, and Monroe barely existed when today's parents were being named — there were NO babies recorded named Legend in 1985 and only a handful of boys named Lennon and Monroe, but no girls," Pamela Redmond Satran, Nameberry's cofounder, tells Refinery29.
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Just as Shirley Temple launched a million Shirleys in the 1930s and Debbie Reynolds spawned a Debbie craze in the 1950s, naming your kids after celebrities is not fading away. "Isla," as in Fisher, is up by 27 times; Leighton (Meester, Gossip Girl) is up 20 times; Bristol (as in Palin) up 19 times; and Mila (as in Kunis) up 13 times.
Another unexpected hot name this year is Jayceon — another take on Jason, most likely inspired by rapper The Game — which is up 31 times from 2006.
It makes perfect sense that our naming habits reflect the culture's obsession with celebrity, as well as our striving to be something bigger than ourselves. We wouldn't be mad if names like Styles (Harry), Cyrus (Miley), and maybe even Winter (Ariel) were on the rise next.
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