But first: Happy birthday, Elvis Presley! (He would have been 85 today.)
So now, think back to 2018. Think of all the pop culture that caught your attention. Think of movies, music, TV shows, social media, sports, video games, news, politics, products, and so forth.
Which of these things had an influence on U.S. baby names last year, do you think? Which baby names will see higher usage (or appear for the very first time) in the 2018 data thanks to 2018 pop culture?
Here are some names to start with:
Adeya – from celebrity baby Adeya (born in March to Kehlani)
Alita – from the movie Alita: Battle Angel
Archie – from royal baby Archie (born in May to Harry & Meghan)
Billie – from singer Billie Eilish
Brixton – from the movie Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Deckard – from the movie Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
It’s Elvis Presley’s birthday* — that means it’s time to kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!
So how do you play the game? Simply brainstorm for baby names that could have gotten a boost in usage in 2018 thanks to the influence popular culture: movies, music, television, social media, video games, sports, politics, products, trends, etc.
Here are some names we can start with:
Araminta – movie, Crazy Rich Asians character
Astrid – movie, Crazy Rich Asians character
Avicii – music/news, the late Swedish DJ Avicii
Banks – celebrity baby (Hilary Duff)
Billion – celebrity baby (Rick Ross)
Braven – movie, Braven
Canon – celebrity baby (Stephen Curry)
Cardi – music, rapper Cardi B
Carson – sports, Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (particularly in PA)
Carvena – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
“The name saw a huge bump in popularity in 2011, which happens to be when Melo was traded to the Knicks. I do not think that’s a coincidence.” It’s not: the state that saw the biggest increase in the number of babies named Carmelo from 2010 to 2011 was New York, with a jump of 42 babies. Next-highest were CT and CA, both with just 15.
But I’m writing them up a bit differently this year — I’m only focusing on 20 big winners.
How did I choose these 20? First, I eliminated all the names that didn’t see increased usage in 2013. Then I eliminated the names that saw relatively small increases in usage. Then I eliminated the names that saw more or less expected increases in usage, given their trajectories.
That left me with about 20 names that became more popular in 2013 due mainly (in some cases entirely) to pop culture influence.
Their baby is just days old and already she’s the butt of countless jokes. So sad.
I’d like to think that most people cringe when they hear a name like “North West.” But I’m sure other people out there genuinely like it. With this in mind, here’s my question:
Do you think “North West” will inspire more parents to bestow pun names this year?
I don’t have a way to measure pun name frequency, unfortunately, so we’ll have to rely on anecdotal evidence for this one. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for pun names in the coming months. If you spot any, please let me know.