Meghan was the fastest rising girls’ name, moving 701 spots to number 703 from number 1,404 in 2017. This jump speaks to the popularity of Meghan Markle, an American who joined the royal family when she married Prince Harry in 2018. Tune in next year to see how newborn Archie influences Moms and Dads in 2019. The name Archie actually reappears in the top 1,000 in 2018 for the first time since 1988, and he will likely continue climbing up the list after the latest royal news.
Winter is coming for “Game of Thrones” fans. The name Yara voyaged 314 spots from number 986 in 2017 to number 672 in 2018 on the girls’ side. Followers of the hit HBO show know this probably is due to Yara Greyjoy, a character on the popular series.
For the boys, Genesis is the fastest rising name for 2018, shuffling his way 608 spots to number 984 from number 1,592 in 2017. There has been a resurgence of classic names in the top 10 baby names in recent years, so perhaps Genesis is a harkening back to the classic English rock band led by Phil Collins. Speaking of Genesis, award winning Grammy singer and coach on “The Voice,” Alicia Keys named her son Genesis after his birth.
Which girl names increased the most in popularity from 2016 to 2017? And which ones decreased the most?
There are a few different ways to answer this question. The SSA, for instance, likes to look at ranking differences within the top 1,000. And I like to augment their list by looking at raw number differences across all the data.
Did Saudi Arabia really ban 51 baby names recently? I’m not sure.
Last week, the country’s Civil Affairs Department supposedly released a list of 51 unacceptable baby names — names that were either “not in line with social traditions,” “not appropriate in terms of religion,” or of Western origin.*
Over the weekend, though, a spokesperson from the Civil Affairs Department said that, while the department does regulate baby names, it didn’t release the list in question.
Here are the 51 (possibly) banned baby names:
Malak (“angel” in Arabic)
Abdul Nasser (“servant of the helper” in Arabic)
Emir (“prince” in Arabic)
Al-Mamlaka (“the kingdom” in Arabic)
Malika (“queen” in Arabic)
Mamlaka (“kingdom” in Arabic)
Basmalah (“in the name of God” in Arabic)
Rama (“pleasing” in Sanskrit; Hindu god)
Binyameen (Arabic form of Benjamin)
Abdul Rasool (“servant of the messenger” in Arabic)
Jibreel (Arabic form of Gabriel)
*The Gulf News believes some of the names were included for political reasons — Abdul Nasser because of Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Nasser, for instance, and Binyamin because of Israeli’s current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.