’90s Alt-Rock Baby Names

guitarsPearl Jam held a festival over Labor Day weekend to mark the 20th anniversary of the band’s debut album, Ten.

The news reminded me that I’ve seen the name Vedder (the surname of Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder) on the SSA’s baby name list.

But I didn’t see it on the SSA lists of the early ’90s, which was when when Pearl Jam was at the height of their fame. Nope–Vedder didn’t start popping up until more than a decade later, surprisingly:

  • 2010: 7 baby boys named Vedder
  • 2009: 6 baby boys named Vedder
  • 2008: not listed
  • 2007: 6 baby boys named Vedder
  • 2006: not listed
  • 2005: 5 baby boys named Vedder [debut]
  • 2004: not listed
  • 2003: not listed

The same thing happened to Cobain, surname of Nirvana vocalist Kurt Cobain:

  • 2010: 8 baby boys named Cobain
  • 2009: 5 baby boys named Cobain
  • 2008: 7 baby boys named Cobain
  • 2007: 5 baby boys named Cobain
  • 2006: not listed
  • 2005: 6 baby boys named Cobain
  • 2004: 5 baby boys named Cobain [debut]
  • 2003: not listed

And to Reznor, surname of Trent Reznor of NIN:

  • 2010: 6 baby boys named Reznor
  • 2009: 9 baby boys named Reznor
  • 2008: 8 baby boys named Reznor
  • 2007: not listed
  • 2006: 6 baby boys named Reznor
  • 2005: not listed
  • 2004: 5 baby boys named Reznor [debut]
  • 2003: not listed

Interesting, isn’t it? These names didn’t become trendy while the associated acts were big, but they’ve begun trickling in years after the fact. As if the teens of the ’90s needed a few years to grow up and start having their own kids first.

Contrast this with names like Rihanna, Beyonce, Kanye and Shania. These names became popular on a much larger scale while the corresponding pop stars were hitting it big. Quite a difference.

Source: Pearl Jam Fest Wows With Chris Cornell/Temple of The Dog, Multiple Guest


4 thoughts on “’90s Alt-Rock Baby Names

  1. Two updates:

    1. I forgot to mention the baby name Weiland, possibly inspired by Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots. Debuted in 2002.

    2. Usage for all three names went up a bit in 2011:

    Vedder: 12 baby boys
    Cobain: 12 baby boys
    Reznor: 14 baby boys

  2. Usage in 2012:

    Vedder: 13 baby boys
    Cobain: 6 baby boys
    Reznor: 11 baby boys

    Just a few days ago was the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Do you think usage of the name Cobain could spike in 2014 because of this?

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