Did the O. J. Simpson Trial Influence Baby Names?

Kato KaelinToday marks the 19th anniversary of O. J. Simpson’s acquittal.

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman were murdered on June 12, 1994. The heavily publicized trial began early the next year, and the “not guilty” verdict was handed down on October 3, 1995.

Believe it or not, several baby names saw increased usage in the mid-1990s thanks to the O. J. Simpson murder trial:

  • Arnelle & Arnell, which refer to Arnelle Simpson, O. J. Simpson’s daughter with his first wife.
  • Kaelin & Kato, which refer to Brian Jerard “Kato” Kaelin, the memorable witness who was living on Simpson’s property at the time of the murders. (His nickname comes from the Green Hornet character.)

Here’s how many U.S. babies got each name per year from 1993 through 1997:

Name 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Arnell (girls) 5 21 13 7
Arnelle (girls) 16 15 28 10
Kaelin (boys) 12 63 121 65 44
Kaelin (girls) 38 89 159 119 120
Kato (boys) 6 10 13 15 6

Does this surprise you at all, or would you have expected it?

(And these aren’t the only baby names to be popularized by murders and/or murder trials. Check out Evelyn, Delmas & Delphin, Rainelle & Rainell and Trayvon.)

Source: O. J. Simpson murder case – Wikipedia


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