The Social Security Administration has released data on last year's most popular baby names, and, as Entertainment Weekly points out, many of the names are tied to popular movies and TV characters and celebrities.
As it has for the last decade and a half, Jacob is the top boy name, buoyed recently perhaps by the popularity of the
creepy island spirit from Lost nice handsome werewolf from Twilight. On the girls' side, once-dominant Isabella (inspired perhaps by both Bella from Twilight and the Izzie monster from Grey's Anatomy) has ceded first position to Sophia. A-ending names are really popular for girls these days (all of the top five end in a), and Sophia is pretty and so is Sofia Vergara, so OK, Sophia.
Things get a little weirder, obviously, the further down you go. For example, the increasingly popular boys name Jayden was number four this year, meaning, get ready for this, sixteen thousand Jaydens were born in 2011. Sixteen thousand! That's, like, a Big Ten campus entirely full of Jaydens! Or how about the nearly nine thousand Braydens (#37)? What will the world be like when the seven thousand Brooklyns (#21) born last year come of age?
There were more Jaxons (nearly five thousand) this year than there were Maxes (only four thousand). In this bizarrely named future you'll be more likely to meet a girl named Kennedy (#90) than you will one named Maria (#92). At least there were more Garys (#494) than there were Armanis (#500). Good ol' Gary still has a little fight left in him. And Erica (#481) has at least beat out Raelynn (#496), though she fell prey to Melany (#465), Mckinley (#451), and Kadence (#468). Mckinley?? What, will she change her name to Denali at 18 or something? And what does Kadence even mean? "This is Kadence and this is her brother, Rithim." The world has gone mad!
Down in the nether reaches of the list are the two hundred and seven Ralphs born last year (really though, who is naming their little baby "Ralph"?) and, all the way down at #996, poor simple Ann. Two hundred and fifty-two girls named Ann were born last year, meaning there were 36 times more Addisons than there were Anns. Thank you very much once again, Shonda Rhimes. And the less said about the popularity of Heaven/Nevaeh twin pairings (also Hope/Faith) the better.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.