How Will Brüno (the Movie) Affect Bruno (the Name)?

In 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen introduced the world to Borat — a journalist from Kazakhstan who did shockingly offensive things while traveling the U.S. in search of Pamela Anderson.

This Friday, he’ll be introducing the world to Brüno — a journalist from Austria who does shockingly offensive things while traveling the U.S. in search of celebrity.

The most interesting difference between these two characters? Their names.

The name Borat has never been a common here (or anywhere, I believe). So the character Borat wasn’t going to be making his name any less popular.

But the name Bruno has something to lose. Every year, babies born in the U.S. and many other countries worldwide are named Bruno. If international audiences are as captivated (and offended) by Brüno as they were by Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, the name Bruno may suffer (globally!) as a result.

What kind of impact do you think the movie Brüno will have on the name Bruno?

More specifically: Bruno was the 801st most popular baby name in the U.S. in 2008. How do you think it will fare in 2009?

4 thoughts on “How Will Brüno (the Movie) Affect Bruno (the Name)?

  1. Hi !

    I think Bruno is a fairly generic name, so shouldn’t suffer due to the controversial character in Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie. As you say, Borat is a pretty unique (nonexistent?) name – so perhaps only children of die-hard Cohen fans will be named that. ;)

    BTW, don’t think this is the last of Borat either! We checked around and discovered at least two ‘sightings’ of Borat in the past 9 months.. even though Cohen ‘retired’ him in December of 2007. That character still has a huge fan base (over 550,000 fans on Facebook alone) and there are still some far reaches of the globe where he could get away with shenanigans, like parts of Asia.

    We did a tongue-in-cheek video report about Borat and these recent sightings and linked it to my name here [re: (Borat & Bruno)], just in case you or your readers are interested.


    ~ Fox Krieger | ENN

  2. My kids have a cousin Bruno – he’s not quite one – so I’ve been watching Bruno closely.

    And I do think that the Bruno character could easily be the kind of thing that causes parents to avoid Bruno in favor of another choice – so perhaps Rocco, Cosmo and Marco will rise instead.

  3. Speaking of Rocco, if my sister’s baby is a boy, he’ll be Rocco Anthony — The only Rocco I’ll have met in real life.

    Either it will rise a bit because of those who thought it was a great movie, or because it was brought into the mainstream, or it’ll drop severely because of those afraid it will associate their son with a gay Austrian.

  4. Here’s some recent data. Notice how the raw numbers rise until we hit 2009.

    2002 – 220 boys named Bruno (ranked 783rd)
    2003 – 224 (779th)
    2004 – 229 (788th)
    2005 – 239 (801st)
    2006 – 258 (795th)
    2007 – 263 (808th)
    2008 – 274 (795th)
    2009 – 243 (861st)

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