The fastest-rising baby name of 2018, in terms of a relative increase, was Maleni (pronounced mah-LEH-nee). The name Maleni was given to 6 baby girls in 2017, then shot up to a whopping 63 baby girls the next year.
What gave it a boost?
Maleni Cruz, one half of Insta-famous Brooklyn couple Chicklet and Maleni, who together had a breakout year in 2018.
Most Instagram feeds are carefully curated and filtered, but Chicklet and Maleni’s feeds feature funny clips of the pair butting heads (sometimes viciously) over everything from phone etiquette to the fact that they still live in Chicklet’s mom’s house. As one writer put it, Chicklet and Maleni “accumulated millions of fans by embracing everything you’re not supposed to be on social media.”
I think it’s particularly interesting to compare the rise of the name Maleni from 2017 to 2018 with the drop of the similar-sounding, FLOTUS-associated name Melania over the same stretch of time:
So today let’s check out another fun set of “top” names: the top rises. The names below are those that increased the most in usage, percentage-wise, from one year to the next according to the SSA data.
Here’s the format: girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the percentages represent single-year jumps in usage. (For example, from 1880 to 1881, usage of the girl name Isa grew 240% and usage of the boy name Noble grew 333%.)
The SSA data isn’t perfect, but it does get a lot more accurate starting in the late 1930s, because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data” (SSA). Now, back to the list…
(Did you catch all the doubles? Tula, Delano, Tammy, Jermaine, and Davey/Davy.)
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and I plan to write about many of the others. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to beat me to it! Leave a comment and let us know what popularized Dorla in 1929, or Lauren in 1945, or Dustin in 1968, or Kayleigh in 1985, or Talan in 2005…