Pop culture baby name game, 2012

Britney Spears album

Happy Birthday, Britney Spears!

And you guys know what happens every year on Brit’s birthday…we kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Which baby names have become more popular in 2012, thanks to popular culture?

We won’t have definitive answers until the SSA releases its next batch of data (in mid-2013). But 2012 is almost over, so we have all the information we need to start making guesses.

Some possibilities I’ve already blogged about:

Plus a few I forgot to blog about:

  • Blue, Ivy – Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy, born way back in January. (Only 7 girls and 11 boys were named Blue in 2011. I have a feeling both of these numbers will be going up.)
  • Maxwell (for a girl) – Jessica Simpson’s daughter Maxwell, born in May.
  • Mitt, Romney – Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney

Want to play? Leave a comment with your name predictions and the pop culture event(s) you think gave those names a boost this year.

UPDATE, May 2013: Here are the results!

16 thoughts on “Pop culture baby name game, 2012

  1. I think the Hunger Games will be influential, but I suspect Rue is the breakout name. She’s somewhere between the enduring Ruth and the trending Blue. Plus, Ruby, Lucy and Mae. I think Rue works.

    Or maybe Primrose?

    And I’ve noticed an uptick in Cato. Cato seems crazy to me, but for parents too young to remember the OJ Simpson trial, I guess Cato would be a logical Cade/Cole cousin with Leo/Matteo’s -o ending …

    How about Uma’s baby? Another boost for the already pop culture-influenced Luna? Or maybe even Altaluna?

  2. I think the boys from One Direction will have an influence – their names are Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis.

    Names connected to The Avengers movie which came out earlier this year may also get a boost, such as Joss, Whedon, Thor, Loki, Tony, Fury, Hawk, Hulk and Pepper.

  3. Great ideas — thank you!

    Wreck-It Ralph might’ve been released too late in 2012 to have much impact, but who knows — character names include Ralph, Felix and Vanellope (pronounced like Penelope).

  4. Another possibility – Mavis, a character in the animated film Hotel Transylvania. Voiced by Selena Gomez.

    [Did you know that usage of the name Mavis more than doubled from 18 babies in 2010 to 38 in 2011? I had no idea. Maybe it was Charlize Theron’s character Mavis Gary from Young Adult?]

  5. What about:

    * Selina / Selena (from The Dark Knight Rises, or the spelling influenced by Selena Gomez)
    * London (The Olympics)
    * Gabrielle, McKayla, Ryan, Melissa/Missy, Destinee (or other Olympians)
    * Jubilee (the British one and the Duggar one)
    * Elizabeth (timeless name, but the Queen was everywhere this year; Kate, Catherine and Katherine had huge boosts in 2011)
    * Whitney (Houston)
    * Adele
    * Arya (or other names from Game of Thrones)

    Names from last years Oscar movies
    * Hugo
    * Viola
    * Berenice
    * Octavia
    * Rooney
    * Lisbeth
    Names from last years Grammys

  6. Sarina – Good Morning America’s Josh Elliot has a young daughter named Sarina and he mentions her frequently by name.

  7. Lincoln — I’m surprised no one else mentioned it, because it’s almost funny how many BA I’ve seen with this name.

  8. Cassadee, for Cassadee Pope, winner of the 3rd season of The Voice. (The season might have aired too late in the year, though, for it to make any impact.)

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