It's an answer to a question that I feel is plaguing my favorite baby name website, Nameberry. I check it out on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. I love the witty blog articles. I love scrolling through all the name lists like "Geezer Names for Girls" and "Nouveau Names on the Rise". And, I love checking out the "Today's Most Popular Name" feature, which is a cluster of the most searched names on Nameberry on any given day. It's a great website to kill fifteen minutes or two hours (click here for other websites that I kill time on).
For the past several months, Katniss has been a name featured in Nameberry's "Today's Most Popular Name". It's always there. Front and center, large and pink. The larger the name the more times it's been searched. Everytime I pop over to check out the latest in baby names I see Seraphina (thanks Ben and Jen) and Katniss.
A screenshot from Nameberry yesterday.
You'll notice the prominence with which Katniss is featured.
For those of you who are thinking, KATNISS? WTF? I can explain its popularity, in part: The Hunger Games. You've heard of The Hunger Games, yes? It's followed in the footsteps of the Twilight Saga as the next, best, cheesy, teenage, science fiction, drama, romance series. The heroine of the Hunger Games series, who will be played by Jennifer Lawrence when it comes to movie theaters everywhere in March 2012, is Katniss. Just as Bella and Isabella became wildly popular baby names thanks to the Twilight Saga, it seems that Katniss is becoming a top baby name choice thanks to The Hunger Games.
|Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. Fierce.|
Looks like she could kick Kristen Stewart's ass.
The part I can't explain is why people have decided that Katniss is a real name (versus the name of a science fiction heroine). Katniss is like Spock - it's a character, not a name. People didn't have to make that distinction with Bella or Isabella, because both had been within the top 1,000 most popular baby names (per the social security website) since 1880. Katniss has never been on the social security website's top 1,000 baby names. Will it join those ranks in the next couple years? If it's popularity on Nameberry is any indication, then yes.
What do you think - is Katniss a "real life" name? Am I being a baby name party pooper? Will I be eating my words in a couple decades? And, more importantly, have you read The Hunger Games and how does it compare to the Twilight Saga?