Is it possible that the popularity of babies named after tech companies says something about that company's overall appeal? Maybe. Parents who name their baby Google — this, as we will see, actually happened — may not have intended to pay homage to their favorite search engine. But giving a name to your child would seem to suggest some sort of gigantic subconscious affinity. That logic might as well suggest that the rise and fall in popularity of names like Apple, Mac, Acer, Excel, and Siri say a little something about the prominence of the corresponding tech giant. Maybe.
None of those names made this year's new list the most popular baby names, and we're not even going to get back into how bad a name Hashtag is. But, in addition to the annual list, the Baby Center offers stats and trends for all the new names over the past year. And we get not only the current ranking and number of children by name, but also, too, data from year's past. It's fun! Go look yourself up. And look at this little breakdown:
The same year that Apple's stock broke records — making it not only the most valuable American company, but the most valuable company of all time — the name shot up as well.
In fact, the naming trends over the years follow a similar trend to Apple's stock over the same time period. A rise in 2007 and 2008 follows a dip in 2009.
Of course, not everyone who names their child Apple has to have an unhealthy affinity for the company. The female version might come from Apple, the daughter of Gwenyth Paltrow and Coldplay's Chris Martin. She was named after the fruit, as Paltrow explained to Oprah (obviously). Following this famous female Apple's birth in 2004, the name got a bit of a popularity boost, but has since leveled off.
Speaking of Apple, how did that bot with a female-sounding voice do on the naming list? Not too many people want their kids associated with a personal assistant. A lot of people say they use Siri, but we wouldn't call it a hit, either. After the initial shiny new toy excitement, the bot turned into more of a joke than the revolutionary tool that the techies talked it up as. Some might want to give their children names that seemingly build character, but it's a little cruel associate your kid with a robot and a robot that everyone's already kind of laughing at.
Even fewer people than before have gone with this name. Could it be related to all the privacy and anti-trust stuff that Google got into this year? Maybe it's just the fact that Google was, is, and always will be the most nerdy. Maybe.
Microsoft would like us to think the downward trend has to do with all the company's missteps. But not a single child has ever gotten Microsoft of Windows as their namesake. Excel for a boy, however, is on the rise. (Maybe those anti-Google Docs YouTube clips are working?)
Just like its sales, Acer is on the decline.
Like we said, it's hard to know if any of these parents went with Siri or Apple because of their fanhuman obsession with technology. But there is something to this. Maybe. So for those couples going for unique or unusual names, which BabyCenter Global Editor in Chief Linda Murray says is a top priority for parents these days, we suggest looking at dying tech companies. RIM and HP will be the only one's with that name in their classes, for sure.
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 email@example.com.