Friday, May 16, 2014

Didn't See That Coming

In case you missed it, last Friday, the Social Security Administration posted a list of the most popular baby names from 2013. I'm obsessed with baby names and was basically waiting by my computer for the list to post, like a total lunatic with a disheveled side pony tail and sleepy crust at the corner of my eyes. I quickly gave you my initial reaction last Friday and today, after a full week to look through the new list, I'm ready to present some extensive cliff notes. Is that an oxymoron - extensive cliff notes? Anyway, the theme of the 2013 list (for me) is - didn't see that coming. There was so much that I didn't predict or predicted the opposite. Ooops.

Ladies First.

Geraldine - Just a month ago I told you that Geraldine was "right on trend" and would rise in popularity. Wrong. Geraldine had the 2nd biggest drop in popularity of any girl name last year. It sunk from 990 in 2012 to 1402 last year. That's 412 spots downward.

Adele - Another name that I could have sworn would rise in popularity dropped 109 spots last year. Have we already forgotten about the British song bird? Perhaps so given that she hasn't come out with a new album since 2011. Her third studio album is expected to release in August, so maybe her name will rebound this year.

Daleyza - This name increased in popularity more than any other girl name last year, times three. It jumped from 3715 in 2012 to 585 last year. That's a massive jump in popularity. Enormous. So, where did this name come from? Who or what drove the sudden and extreme popularity? After some Google research, I found the answer: Larry Hernandez. He is a really popular Latin musician with a reality TV series. Larry's daughter is named Daleyza. Aha. Clearly I didn't see this coming, I had no idea who Larry Hernandez was until writing this post.

Last Name Trend - The last name as a first name trend has been steady and strong on the boy side, but, as I mentioned last week, I never considered it to be a trend for girl names. Again, didn't see this one coming. Many of the girl names that saw a noteworthy increase in popularity last year fall into this trend: Lennon, Henley, Oakley, Hunter, Saylor, Wynter, Sutton and Carter.

The Kardashian Effect - The names Kourtney and Khloe lost popularity last year, but there were several other Kardashian influenced names that rose in popularity. Mercy, the name of the kitten that Kanye gave Kim jumped 143 spots to 854. Kaidence, the name that we all thought Kim and Kanye were going to name their daughter, had its first year in the Top 1,000. Penelope, the name of Kourtney's daughter, broke into the Top 100.

Flower Power - Many people gave their daughter flower and plant names last year. All of the following names had a big rise in popularity: Saige, Azalea, Rosie, Juniper, Magnolia and Rosemary.

Geography - I immediately noticed a trend in geography related names when I posted last week. This is a crossover trend for both boys and girls. Dallas, India and Ireland had major popularity growth last year, each jumping more than 200 spots. On the boys side, Milan, Atlas and Memphis took big jumps.

Gentlemen Next.

Jayceon - Jayceon Terrell Taylor, better known as The Game, had quite the impact on pop culture last year. His name rose in popularity more than any other boy name. The second season of Marrying The Game aired on VH1 last year. If you don't watch, it's a dating show where contestants vie to marry The Game. Spoiler Alert: season two worked as well as season one (not at all), which you may already know because two episodes of season three have already aired. So, apparently, people love The Game and his (real) name.

Castiel - I don't watch the CW television series Super Natural, but a lot of people do. I know this because Super Natural has an upcoming ninth season and because Castiel is the name of a character. Last year, the name Castiel rose 418 spots and broke into the Top 1,000 list for the first time.

Uber Masculine Names - We get it, you had a son. The rise in hyper-masculine boy names last year was the hands down biggest trend for either gender. Check out this list of boy names that jumped at least 100 spots in popularity: Duke, Magnus, Stetson, Mack, Bruno, Major, Royal and Legend. If we include boy names that jumped 50 or more spots we can add Maverick, King and Titan. 

Ethnic Boy Names - American parents have always borrowed names from other countries when it comes to daughters. More and more, they're getting comfortable with borrowing boy names as well. A big handful of boy names that had a significant rise in popularity came from overseas:  Lochlan (Irish), Thiago (Brazilian), Niko (Greek), Santana (Spanish) and Otto (German).

Hebrew Names - Hebrew and Biblical names have always reigned on the boy's side, but last year was a bit of a banner year for these names. Noah, a Hebrew name, was the most popular boy's name last year. We also saw a rise in popularity with some lesser known choices including Azariah, Jair, Yair and Enoch.

And that's that.  

No comments: