Will the Name Peregrine Get a Boost in 2016?

Miss PeregrineThe movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children came out in late September. It’s a dark fantasy based on the best-selling 2011 novel of the same name.

I haven’t seen the movie, but the usage of “Miss Peregrine” in the title has me wondering whether we’ll see a corresponding uptick in the usage of Peregrine-the-girl-name in 2016.

Peregrine is traditionally a male name, of course, but it has started seeing regular usage as a girl name recently. In fact, in 2012 and 2014 it was bestowed more often upon baby girls:

  • 2015: 15 baby boys, 8 baby girls named Peregrine
  • 2014: 6 baby boys, 7 baby girls named Peregrine
  • 2013: 6 baby boys, (0-4) baby girls named Peregrine
  • 2012: 6 baby boys, 7 baby girls named Peregrine
  • 2011: 9 baby boys, 5 baby girls named Peregrine [debut]
  • 2010: 12 baby boys, (0-4) baby girls named Peregrine

The character Miss Peregrine — actually “Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine,” played by actress Eva Green — could easily tip the scale back to to majority-female in 2016.

What do you think of the name Peregrine? Do you think it works better as a boy name or as a girl name?

P.S. A more explicitly feminine form of the name is Peregrina, which was a one-hit wonder on the charts in 2006 thanks to the Mexican telenovela Peregrina.

Sources: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Wikipedia, Peregrina – IMDb


Baby Names to Watch – Lyanna, Juno, Jupiter, Onyx, Solace

lyanna mormontHere are five names that have gotten some attention recently. Do you think this attention will translate into higher-than-expected usage in 2016? (I say “higher-than-expected” because all five are already on the rise.)

  • Lyanna: The 10-year-old Game of Thrones character Lyanna Mormont was introduced to viewers in June.
  • Juno & Jupiter: NASA’s space probe Juno entered orbit around Jupiter in July. (Jupiter’s jump in usage last year coincides with the release of the movie Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones.)
  • Onyx & Solace: Alanis Morissette announced the arrival of her daughter Onyx Solace via Instagram in July.

Which of the five do you like best?

Catholic Names to Watch – Teresa and Fatima

children of fatima, lucia, francisco, jacinta, 1917The baby names Teresa and Fatima might see higher usage in 2016 and 2017, respectively, thanks to Catholic influence.

Teresa

On September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa will officially be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.

Mother Teresa’s religious name honors St. Thérèse de Lisieux, but she opted for the Spanish spelling “Teresa” when she took her religious vows (back in 1931) because another nun in the convent was already using the name “Thérèse.”

Her birth name was Anjezë, an Albanian form of Agnes, which can be traced back to the Ancient Greek word hagnos, meaning “pure, chaste.”

Fatima

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions seen by three shepherd children (Lúcia, Francisco, and Jacinta) near the town of Fátima, Portugal.

The place name Fátima is based on the Arabic personal name Fatimah, meaning “to wean.”

If the usage of Fatima does rise in the U.S. in 2017, I’ll be curious to see how much of that increase comes from states with large Portuguese populations (like Massachusetts, California, and Rhode Island).

Which of the two do you prefer?

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Will the Baby Name Bison Get a Boost?

Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Bison in Yellowstone, 2012 © Nancy’s anonymous husband

Early last month, the North American bison — which was brought back from the brink of extinction in the late 1800s — was given a special honor: it was declared the national mammal of the United States via the newly enacted National Bison Legacy Act.

Though the baby name Bison is rare, it’s been used often enough to appear on the national baby name list twice: once in 2011, and again in 2013. Do you think this recent national focus on the bison could give the name boost in 2016?

(BTW, slightly more common than Bison on the baby name charts is Eagle.)

Sources: 15 Facts About Our National Mammal: The American Bison, Frequently Asked Questions: Bison

How Will the Remake of “Roots” Influence Baby Names?

"I am Kunta" ad, Roots, History Channel

The phenomenally popular mini-series Roots (1977) didn’t just set TV viewership records and win a slew of awards. It also had a big impact on U.S. baby names — the biggest impact of any pop culture event of the 20th century, in fact.

But I’ve already posted about the influence of Roots on baby names. So why am I bringing it up again?

Because it’s back! The History Channel will be airing a 4-part remake of Roots in a couple of weeks, starting on May 30.

Many of the ads I’ve seen so far happen to be name-focused, ironically. Several of the teaser clips on YouTube feature a voice saying, “Your name is your spirit. Your name is your shield. Your name is Kunta Kinte.”

I don’t expect the new version of Roots to have the same impact that the original did. But I’m sure it will raise the profile (and thereby increase the usage) of at least a few baby names — likely a mix of names we’re already familiar with (e.g., Kizzy, Kunta) and names that are new this time around, such as:

  • Malachi – the name of the actor who plays Kunta Kinte
  • Regé-Jean – the name of the actor who plays Chicken George
  • Emayatzy – the name of the actress who plays Belle
  • E’myri – the name of the actress who plays young Kizzy
  • Cyrus – the name of a (new?) character, played by hip-hop artist T.I.*

Which baby name do you think will get the biggest boost from the remake of Roots?

*The baby names Major, Messiah and King made big gains in 2012 thanks to T.I.’s reality show T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle.

Top Boy Name Debuts of 2015

top baby name debuts of 2015
More boy name debuts below. Here are the girl name debuts.

The television-inspired name Gotham was the top debut name for baby boys in 2015.

In order for a rare baby name to debut on the Social Security Administration’s annual baby name list, it has to be given to at least 5 U.S. babies of either one gender or the other within a given year.

Of all the boy names that debuted in 2015, the following were the most popular:

1. Gotham, 46 baby boys
2. Jersen, 21
3. Meshilem, 16
4. Jacquees, 15
5. Oberyn, 14
6. Macklyn, 12
7. Nihan, 12
8. Aniv, 11
9. Jidenna, 11
10. Mega, 11
11. Oxley, 11

And a handful from the 10-and-under group: Princeamir, Salix, Maxxis, Mendeecee, Kingmessiah, Mowgli, Nirvik, Obsa, Stoic, Baelfire, Jotaro, Precieux, Axiom, Ayoola, Bilol, Fennec, Finland, Flex, Jesco, Mayceon, Neemias, Vegeta.

Where do the names above come from? Here are some explanations:

  • Gotham – from the Batman-based TV show Gotham, on the air since mid-2014.
  • Mendeecee – from Mendeecees Harris of Love & Hip Hop: New York.
  • Mowgli – from the Jungle Book character.
  • Baelfire – from the Once Upon a Time character.
  • Vegeta – from the Dragon Ball character.

Can you come up with explanations for any of the others?

Here are the top boy name debuts of 2014.

U.S. Baby Names 2015: Most Popular Baby Names, Top Debuts: Girl Names, Top Debuts: Boy Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Girl Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Boy Names, First Letter Popularity, Name Length Popularity

Top Girl Name Debuts of 2015

top baby name debuts of 2015
More girl name debuts below. Here are the boy name debuts.

The music-inspired name Kehlani was the top debut name for baby girls in 2015.

In order for a rare baby name to debut on the Social Security Administration’s annual baby name list, it has to be given to at least 5 U.S. babies of either one gender or the other within a given year.

Of all the girl names that debuted in 2015, the following were the most popular:

1. Kehlani, 48 baby girls
2. Dayelin, 34
3. Abrish, 29
4. Alahia, 22
5. Hazelgrace, 22
6. Brave, 17
7. Nadyalee, 17
8. Hoorain, 15
9. Aitanna, 14
10. Aithana, 14
11. Aytana, 14
12. Brexley, 14
13. Jeshia, 14
14. Averyrose, 13
15. Absalat, 12
16. Kassiani, 12
17. Ovi, 12
18. Viyona, 12
19. Charlestyn, 11
20. Ditya, 11
21. Kylierae, 11
22. Mansirat, 11

And a handful from the 10-and-under group: Tanvika, Espn (it arrives for girls, finally!), Heavenlyjoy, Wylder, Yemariam, Carver, Edelweiss, Gloricely, Darasimi, Elshaddai, Ezoza, Maggiemae, Zeppelyn, Amitis, Anthem, Moxley, Wellesley, Witten, Gatsby, Skyland, Adorable, Brizleth, Lameese, Ludovica, Maleficent (Maleficent!), Maori, Stellaluna, Vaiga, Vydia.

Where do the names above come from? Here are a few explanations:

  • Kehlani – from Kehlani Parrish (stage name Kehlani), American R&B singer.
  • Hazelgrace – from Hazel Grace Lancaster, a character from The Fault in Our Stars (2014).
  • Nadyalee – from Nadyalee Torres, Puerto Rican model, finalist on Nuestra Belleza Latina 2015.
  • Hoorain – from celebrity baby Hoorain, born in July of 2015 to Pakistani actors Ayeza Khan and Danish Taimoor.
  • Aitanna, Aithana, and Aytana – from celebrity baby Aitana, born in August of 2014 to Mexican actors Alessandra Rosaldo and Eugenio Derbez.

Can you come up with explanations for any of the others?

Here are the top girl name debuts of 2014.

U.S. Baby Names 2015: Most Popular Baby Names, Top Debuts: Girl Names, Top Debuts: Boy Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Girl Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Boy Names, First Letter Popularity, Name Length Popularity