How popular is the baby name Kanye in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Kanye.
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 Chadwick – movie,
actor Black Panther Chevel – TV,
The Voice contestant Chicago – celebrity baby (Kim Kardashian & Kanye West)
Coco – movie,
Coco Cress – TV,
Black Lightning actor Crew – celebrity baby (Chip & Joanna Gaines)
Cullinan – car, Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Doria – news, royal wedding (Doria Ragland)
Dua – music, singer Dua Lipa
Elanese – TV,
The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant Ella Mai – music, singer Ella Mai
Garrix – music, DJ Martin Garrix
Gio – celebrity baby (Adam Levine)
Grayson – news, winter storm Grayson
Havana – music, song “Havana”
Hayes – celebrity babies (both Jessica Alba and Meghan King Edmonds)
Joji – music, singer Joji
Jumanji – movie,
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Kaavia – celebrity baby (Dwyane Wade & Gabrielle Union)
Kane – music, singer Kane Brown**
Karamo – TV,
Queer Eye expert Keala – music/movie, singer/actress Keala Settle (“This Is Me”)
Kiki – music/dance,
“In My Feelings” challenge Mahomes – sports, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Majeste – TV,
The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant Maquia – movie,
Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Meghan – news, royal wedding (Meghan Markle)
Mera – movie,
Aquaman character Miles – celebrity baby (John Legend & Chrissy Teigen)
Nafessa – TV,
Black Lightning actress Nakia – movie,
Black Panther character Osaka – sports, U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka – suggested by
elbowin Qira (Qi’ra) – movie,
Solo: A Star Wars Story character Rami – movie,
Bohemian Rhapsody actor Ramirez – video game, Fortnite character (female)
Reileen – TV,
Altered Carbon character Sharaya – TV,
The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant Shuri – movie,
Black Panther character Storm – movie,
A Wrinkle in Time actress Stormi – celebrity baby (Kylie Jenner)
Swae – music, rapper Swae Lee
Takeshi – TV,
Altered Carbon character T’challa – movie,
Black Panther character True – celebrity baby (Khloe Kardashian)
Tully – movie,
Tully Velar – car, Range Rover Velar
Venom – movie,
Venom Villanelle – TV,
Killing Eve character Wade – movies, both
Ready Player One and Deadpool 2 characters Xolo – Web TV,
Cobra Kai actor Yanny – news, the
Yanny/Laurel audio clip – suggested by elbowin Zhavia – TV,
The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant Zaytoven – music, producer Zaytoven
Zaxai – TV,
The Voice contestant Zazie – movie,
Deadpool 2 actress
What other names should be on this list? Let me know by commenting below. And don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence!
I’ll post the game results in May of 2019, a few days after the SSA releases the 2018 baby name data.
If you don’t want to miss the results post, just
subscribe to NBN in some way so that you’ll be notified once it’s out.
*Elvis would have been 84 today.
**The first baby born in Richland County, OH, in 2019 was named after Kane Brown.
Late last year, SB Nation (the SB stands for “Sports Blogs”) ran an article on NBA-inspired baby names. I won’t summarize the whole thing here, but I will repost their graphic:
And, in case it isn’t obvious..
Shaquille refers to Shaquille O’Neal
Kobe refers to Kobe Bryant
Kanye refers to Kanye West (he’s not in the NBA, but he did name his kid North West)
Carmelo refers to Carmelo Anthony
“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.
Amare refers to Amar’e Stoudemire
Kyrie refers to Kyrie Irving
Click below if you want to see more (including a long discussion of the name Jordan).
A comprehensive guide to NBA baby names
Here are the results of the
2013 pop culture baby name game!
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.
The links will take you to popularity graphs.
Increase: +1,649 baby boys (4,692 to 6,341) and +8 baby girls (36 to 44).
Inspiration: “Duck Dynasty” character Jason “Jase” Robertson.
Even more impressive, the name
Jase increased +3,410 and +13.
Increase: +1,112 baby boys (2,898 to 4,010) and +28 baby girls (33 to 61).
Inspiration: The film
Increase: +816 baby girls (3,568 to 4,384).
Inspiration: Singer/actress Ariana Grande.
4,384 baby girls is a new all-time high for Ariana. The previous high was 4,322 baby girls in 2007.
Increase: +517 baby girls (287 to 804).
Inspiration: Celebrity baby Everly, daughter of Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan.
Increase: +472 baby boys (570 to 1,042).
Inspiration: Hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar.
1,042 baby boys is a new all-time high for Kendrick. The previous high was 763 baby boys in 1991.
Increase: +333 baby boys (151 to 484) and +89 baby girls (382 to 471).
Inspiration: Celebrity baby Milan, son of Shakira and Gerard Pique.
Increase: +194 baby boys (2,328 to 2,522).
Inspiration: Royal baby George, son of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Increase: +101 baby boys (429 to 530) and +13 baby girls (44 to 57).
Inspiration: The election of Pope Francis.
Even more impressive, the name
Francisco increased +125.
Increase: +91 baby boys (284 to 375).
Inspiration: Singer Bruno Mars.
375 baby boys is a new all-time high for Bruno. The previous high was 353 in 1916.
Increase: +78 baby boys (1,939 to 2,017).
Inspiration: The death of actor Paul Walker.
Walker saw an even bigger increase (+128) but I thought Paul’s rise was more compelling as it went against a decades-long decline in usage.
Increase: +48 baby boys (104 to 152).
Inspiration: Singer Robin Thicke.
Increase: +41 baby girls (345 to 386).
Inspiration: Rihanna song “Diamonds” (2012).
Increase: +37 baby girls (357 to 394).
Inspiration: Texas politician Wendy Davis.
I’m dying to see how much of Wendy’s increase can be attributed to Texas specifically. The SSA’s state lists haven’t been updated yet, though.
Increase: +18 baby girls (11 to 29).
Inspiration: Celebrity baby “Nori” (North), daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
29 baby girls is a new high for Nori. The previous high was 20 in 2009.
Increase: +17 baby girls (17 to 34).
Hunger Games (2012) character Primrose Everdeen. Prim, a nickname for Primrose, debuted with 7 baby girls.
Increase: +14 baby girls (13 to 27).
Inspiration: “Girls” character Marnie Michaels.
Increase: +9 baby girls (7 to 16).
Inspiration: Celebrity baby Rainbow, daughter of Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella.
Debuted with 16 baby boys.
After Earth (2013) character Kitai Raige. Cypher, the name of another
After Earth character, increased +4.
Debuted with 11 baby girls.
Inspiration: “Game of Thrones” character Sansa Stark.
Debuted with 9 baby girls.
Inspiration: Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.
Did any of the above surprise you?
Past PCBNG results:
2012, 2011, 2010.
Last week, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian welcomed a baby girl. Most people (including me) thought the couple would opt for a K-name.
They settled on
And there’s no middle name, so the full name is
Even though Kim had laughed at the suggestion of “North West” on Jay Leno just a few weeks ago.
The internet has been abuzz with reactions, mostly negative:
The name quickly spawned plenty of punchlines, with many Twitter users joking that “Key” and “Wild” must already have been taken.
Now, I have no problem with the name North.
But “North West” is ridiculous. It’s a pun name, like
Soda Popp, Mason Dixon, Strong Beer, Pullman Carr, Mud Brown, Married Young and Cole Sellar.
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.
Others named North praise Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby name choice
Pearl 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
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.
Pearl Jam Fest Wows With Chris Cornell/Temple of The Dog, Multiple Guest