The Rise and Fall of (the Baby Name) LeBron

LeBron James
LeBron James

Before basketball player LeBron James signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, only a handful of U.S. baby boys were named Lebron every year. After he turned pro, though, usage shot up to roughly a hundred babies per year from 2004 to 2010:

Here’s the data:

  • 2011: 57 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2010: 99 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2009: 97 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2008: 84 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2007: 110 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2006: 100 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2005: 90 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2004: 96 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2003: 42 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2002: 6 baby boys named Lebron
  • 2001: 6 baby boys named Lebron

That drop in usage in 2011 was likely influenced by LeBron’s controversial move to the Miami Heat in mid-2010.

I don’t know for sure where Lebron’s name came from, but it may have been inspired by the Spanish surname Lebrón, which is based on the word liebre, meaning “hare” (the original implication being “timid” or “cowardly”).

Do you like the name LeBron?

Sources:

Image: LeBron James by Keith Allison under CC BY SA 2.0.

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