Here’s one to put on your calendars.
In June of 2012 — exactly a year from now — Pixar is planning to release its 13th feature film, Brave. The movie is a fairy tale set in Scotland. The protagonist, a red-haired girl named Merida, is both a princess and an archer.
As far as I know, Merida is not a traditional Scottish name. Mairead, Murron, Morag…these are Scottish. But not Merida. (Perhaps it’s a creative take on Mairead? If so, Mairead is a Scottish form of Margaret, meaning “pearl.”)
Anyway, the film looks cute. I have no doubt it will do well at the box office. And what happens then? First, a surge in the number of kids who want to take archery lessons. Second, and more importantly, bazillions of baby girls named Merida.
But that’s a long way off. As of right now, this name’s best year in the data was 1949 (with 13 baby girls), and its most recent appearance was 2002 (with 5 baby girls).
Do you like the name Merida? Do you think it’s the sort of name that could really take off in the U.S.?