Pop culture baby name game, 2018

pop culture baby name game 2018

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, Black Panther actor
  • 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 & Behati Prinsloo)
  • 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 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.

18 thoughts on “Pop culture baby name game, 2018

  1. Akash, movie, Andhadhun
    Billie, singer Billie Eilish and actress Billie Lourd
    Dash, movie, Incredibles 2
    Elsie, actress Elsie Fisher
    Halsey, singer Halsey
    Jojo, music, singer Jojo Siwa
    Khalid, singer Khalid
    Logan for girls, actress Logan Browning
    Rani, celebrity baby, Kate Hudson
    Story, celebrity baby, Aaron Paul
    Violet, movie, Incredibles 2
    Zia, movie, Jurassic World

  2. A UK-specific reason we might see a rise in the usage of Kane across the pond: “Harry Kane, England footballer and winner of the World Cup golden boot” (from Dr Katy Scott on Twitter – thanks!)

  3. People have been saying Astrid’s going to take off for years now, and I don’t buy it. It’s simply too weird. I can see it making it into the 600s, but no higher.

    Will Stormi get a boost or an anti-boost by Stormy Daniels?

    I’m going to add Yarishna as a outside-the-top-1000-but-jumps-a-lot name; it’s the name of a Puerto Rican bodybuilder, and there’s a baby with that as a middle name in my favorite online nursery, so people are definitely using it.

    And Shay, for boys and girls, which I believe is already on the top 1000. There’s a popular country duo named Dan + Shay, and Shay feels very on trend. There’s another country singer named Granger and I think that could rise a little.

  4. Thanks for the ideas, G! Also, interesting thoughts on Astrid.


    For Kiki, a second current pop culture association: actress Kiandra “KiKi” Layne, star of the film If Beale Street Could Talk.

    And two names to keep an eye on for 2019:

    • “Chanco,” for wild-haired Japanese Instagram star babychanco, Pantene’s newest spokesperson (spokesbaby?).
    • Kelleth, for “Fiji Water Girl” Kelleth Cuthbert, who went viral following the Golden Globes. (Edit 1/27 – Just learned from Abby’s Sunday Summary that Kelleth will be a Super Bowl correspondent this year and has landed a small role on The Bold and The Beautiful.)
  5. Wow, that baby has a lot of hair!

    I just don’t see anything in Astrid that could make it super hot. It sounds easy to tease from. It has no obvious or familiar nicknames, in contrast with, say, Jennifer, which is kind of weird and foreign but has an obvious nickname that was already well used in English. It doesn’t fit in with any current trends, outside of maybe ‘vintage revival’, but only in a very few parts of the country would people have great-grandmas or other older relatives named Astrid.

    But we’ll see! It’s definitely in the ‘hip parents baby name’ world right now, which is a good incubator for hit names. I’m sure 10 years ago nobody would’ve believed Hazel would be a top 50 name.

  6. I definitely see what you’re saying about Astrid, particularly when it comes to the potential for teasing. (Same goes for the flower name Aster, sadly.) The usage of Astrid has been accelerating lately, and I think the movie might give it a boost as well, but maybe it will only ever go so high. (Barring the arrival of some huge new pop star named Astrid, of course.)

  7. I remember there were rumors that Kylie Jenner would name her baby Mariposa, which I quite like. It’s possible that that might get a boost.

  8. Two more possibilities: Koe (male name) and Sanni (female name). Koe Wetzel is a country singer and Cassandra “Sanni” McCandless is the girlfriend of climber Alex Honnold in the documentary Free Solo, which won an Oscar a few weeks ago.

  9. This might be more for 2019 than 2018, but: Priyanka, for Priyanka Chopra.

    (Also, I wanted to note somewhere that the Cardi-like Kardi debuted as a girl name in 2017.)

  10. This may be ridiculous, but I’m putting it out there anyway: Pineapple. Because everywhere I traveled earlier this month I saw pineapples: on shirts, on bags, in decor, in tattoos, etc. I feel like we’re hitting peak pineapple.

  11. Maybe 2018, maybe 2019: Marsai, for young actress Marsai Martin (she’s been on Black-ish since 2014, but is now co-starring in the 2019 film Little)

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