Would You Name Your Baby Harland for $11,000?

These days, not many babies are named Harland. But we may end up seeing more Harlands than expected in 2018 now that KFC is spotlighting the name as part of a silly marketing campaign.

KFC wants to give $11,000 to a U.S. baby born this September 9 who has the first name Harland. If more than one eligible baby is entered into the contest via the Name Your Baby Harland contest page, then the baby born earliest in the day will be declared the winner.

So why that name, that date, and that amount? Col. Harland Sanders was the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, September 9th was his birthday, and $11,000 represents the “11 herbs and spices” in KFC’s original fried chicken recipe.

…Do you think anyone will enter?

Source: KFC will give $11,000 to first baby born on Sept. 9 who’s named Harland

P.S. Here’s my running list of for-profit baby names.

Names in the News: Ryder, Saynt, Crew

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Blu (rejected): A baby girl born in late 2016 in Italy was almost named Blu, but the Italian government rejected the name because it didn’t correspond to her gender. (The Local)

Betsy and Emory: Twin baby girls born in January of 2018 to singer Hillary Scott were named Betsy Mack and Emory JoAnn. Their older sister Eisele was behind the debut of Eisele in 2014. (Taste of Country)

Brianna: A baby girl born in Sacramento in early 2018 with the help of firefighter Brian Hoffer was named Brianna Renee in his honor. (CBS Sacramento)

Crew: A baby boy born in June of 2018 to reality TV stars Joanna and Chip Gaines was named Crew. (Motherly)

Harry and Meghan: Twin foals born in Wales the day before the royal wedding were named Harry and Meghan. (BBC)

Hayes: A baby boy born on the last day of 2017 to actress Jessica Alba was named Hayes. (People)

Marvel: A baby girl born in May of 2018 to musician Pete Wentz was named Marvel Jane. Her older brother Bronx was behind the rise of Bronx in 2009. (Business Insider)

Knight: A baby boy born in Vegas in during the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals was named Haizen Knight in part after the Vegas Golden Knights, who ultimately lost to the Washington Capitals. (KTNV Las Vegas, video)

Neve: A baby girl born in June of 2018 to Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, was named Neve Te Aroha. (NZ Herald)

Riley: A baby girl born in Vegas on the day the Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the playoffs was named Riley after player Reilly Smith. Her parents were survivors of the Las Vegas shooting. (NY Post)

Ryder: A baby boy born in May of 2018 was named Ryder after the Ryder Cup. (Ryder Cup…and here’s the follow-up post that mentions several more babies named Ryder)

Saynt: A baby boy born in February of 2018 to Australian actress Tessa James was named Saynt — a respelling of Saint, which would have been illegal in Australia. (news.com.au)

Sheboygan: A baby boy born in April of 2018 to a Michigan couple already famous for being prodigious producers of sons was named Finley Sheboygan — middle name derived from the phrase “she is a boy again.” (Today)

Stormi: A baby girl born in February to reality TV star Kylie Jenner was named Stormi. (People)

“Top Ten” Gender Gap Flips in 2017

Percentage of U.S. babies with a top ten name: Boys vs. Girls, 2008-2017

From 1880 until relatively recently, there was a sizeable gap between the percentage of baby boys given a name in the top ten (higher) and the percentage of baby girls given a name in the top ten (lower).

But the gender gap began narrowing in the late 20th century. It continued eroding in the early 21st century. It was down to just one hundredth of a percent in 2016. And finally, last year, the tables turned: more girls than boys got a top ten name for the very first time.

I was clued into this by sociologist Tristan Bridges, who wrote the blog post “Gender Gap in Top Ten Baby Names” right after the 2017 data was released in mid-May.

What do think the percentages will look like in the coming years? What are your predictions?

Will Alexa and Siri Become ‘Servant’ Names?

amazon echo, alexaLast month, Marion Times columnist Dan Brawner wrote an essay about the Alexa in which he asked: “Are we training a new generation to give orders to servants?”

It’s a good question. Lots of us make demands of AI assistants as if they’re servants. No need to be polite to technology, right?

But I’m curious how this might affect the names of the assistants. Looking at history, we can point to many female names that fell out of favor as soon as they became linked to lower class activities (e.g., servitude, prostitution). Examples include Abigail, Joan, Nan/Nanny, Jill, and Parnel.

Will society come to see AI assistant names like Alexa and Siri as “servant” names over time? If so, will this stigma influence baby names — maybe even long after the original devices/technology are gone?

Sources:

Names in the News: Revy, Cali, Jameson

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Abbey: A baby girl born in England in November of 2017 was named Abbey in honor of Dr. Abey Eapen, her parents’ fertility doctor. (Mirror)

Blake Ramsey: A baby girl born in Florida in January of 2018 was named Blake Ramsey after Jaguars football players Blake Bortles and Jalen Ramsey. (First Coast News)

Cali: A baby girl born into the Perry family of Kentucky in July of 2017 was named Cali Perry in honor of John Calipari, head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team. (SEC Country)

  • Here’s another Cali from a couple of weeks ago.

Derc’hen (rejected): A baby boy born in France in August of 2017 was almost named Derc’hen, but the French government rejected the name because of the apostrophe. (The c’h is “a combination widely used in Breton language.”) (The Local)

Fañch (rejected): A baby boy born in France in May of 2017 was almost named Fañch, a traditional Breton diminutive of François, but the French government rejected the name because of the tilde over the n. (The Local)

Harveigh: A calf born in Texas a few days after Hurricane Harvey was named Harveigh. (Today)

Jameson: A baby boy born in Missouri in February of 2018 — and whose birth was broadcast live on his mom’s St. Louis radio show — was named Jameson, thanks to radio listeners who’d voted in a name poll held in January. (Newsweek)

Joshua: A baby boy born in Wisconsin in September of 2017 was named Joshua in honor of Dr. Josh Medow, the doctor who’d saved his mother’s life two years earlier. (Fox47)

Lucifer (rejected): A baby boy born in Germany in 2017 was almost named Lucifer, but the government rejected the name due to the association with evil. He’s now known as Lucian. (Deutsche Welle)

Olivia: A baby girl born into the Garton family of Arkansas in December of 2017 was named Olivia Garton as a tribute to Olive Garden restaurant. (ABC News)

Pilzner (rejected): A baby boy born in Sweden in August of 2017 was almost named Pilzner after his grandfather (nicknamed Pilzner), his father (nicknamed Pilzner), and Pilsner lager (clearly a family favorite), but the government rejected the name. (The Local)

Revy: A baby girl born in California in November of 2017 was named Revy after the ski town of Revelstoke, British Columbia. (CBC)

Brady Ruben Nuno: A baby boy born in England in December of 2017 was named Brady Ruben Nuno after: American football player Tom Brady, Portuguese footballer Ruben Neves, and Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. head coach Nuno Espirito Santo. (Express & Star)

Swachhata: A baby girl born in India in February of 2018 was named “Swachhata” in recognition of the country’s cleanliness campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. (Hindustan Times)