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Video: ‘Glee,’ Palin inspiring baby-name trends

  1. Closed captioning of: ‘Glee,’ Palin inspiring baby-name trends

    >>> it's a big decision faced by every parent, what name should you pick. this morning, we're out with the list of the top 22 baby names . 60% of parents surveyed said a child's name contributes to his or her success in life. the editor in chief, linda, good morning. important to get the name right.

    >> the first big decision of parenthood.

    >> absolutely. topping the list again for the sixth year for boys is aiden! no surprise there really.

    >> we're surprised it's been sticking around so long. part of the reason is you can spell that name 46 different ways. change the i to a y and e to an a and that's part of what keeps it popular is lots of ways to spell it.

    >> other names, top 10 , jacob, jackson, aiden, jason, lucas, i have a lucas at home. and liam. a any clu?

    >> you can hear the end sound. people like the strong name , have a couple of syllables. new to the top 10 is liam. that surprised us a little bit. also seeing more modern names for boys we didn't expect. parents like something classic for boys that stands the test of time. they're experimenting more with boys.

    >> they used to be biblical names , when i was naming my children. it's modern okay.

    >>> girls names in the top 10 list . sophia has taken over the top 10 list from isabella.

    >> it has. that was also a surprise. you can hear feminine sounds, sophia, isabella.

    >> a lot of as.

    >> and madison and addison.

    >> parents are drawn to feminine name, pretty names that sound like girl's names. we had the unisex trend 20 tore 30 years ago, that's gone for girls. parents want a name that's feminine.

    >> defines them as a girl. what are the pop culture trends in 2010 ?

    >> parents hate to say it influences them by what they're watching on tv, but they are. this year we saw a "glee" trend. finn and quinn.

    >> i love those names.

    >> they are great. jumped up hundreds of points.

    >> and roger is back and freddie and jane and dawn.

    >> and one of our senior producers will be happy to hear that. disney princess , tiprincess,tiaa.

    >> it surprised me. tiana and the real life , principle se princesses are doing well.

    >> if you're having a boy, the winter olympics is having a big influence. bode, sean.

    >> and girls, bristol and willow and piper.

    >> boys names aren't doing very well but girls names are very popular.

    >> isla for girls and bentley for boys.

    >> and maybe kates and williams, i would imagine. maybe that will start coming back up.

    >> kate has been trending down but people seem to really like her. if she is a good princess, we'll see.

    >> so much fun, i always love seeing the names. thank you.

updated 12/2/2010 1:02:03 PM ET 2010-12-02T18:02:03

OK, parents. You know who you are. There you were on the couch, all snuggled up watching TV, when it hit you: You adored the name Quinn from the show “Glee.” Or the name Betty from “Mad Men.” Or the name Tiana from that adorable Disney princess movie.

And then it became clear: You had found the perfect baby name.

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The folks at pregnancy and parenting website BabyCenter have been seeing such name choices so often that they’ve coined terms for the trend: “The ‘Glee’ Effect.” “‘Mad Men’ Madness.” “Disney Princess Magic.” There’s no denying it: We grown-ups love our TV and movie characters.

“Celebrities are our royalty and consciously or unconsciously, parents want a bit of that shine to rub off on their kids,” said BabyCenter Editor-in-Chief Linda Murray.

The most popular baby names of the century

BabyCenter just released its list of Top 100 Baby Names for 2010 and also highlighted names that are clearly growing in popularity for generations to come. The names Quinn (and Finn) from “Glee,” Betty from “Mad Men” and Demi and Tiana of Disney princess fame didn’t crack the top 100, but they’re rising fast. So are monikers that became household names during the Winter Olympics: Bode, Shaun and Apollo. And so are the widely publicized names of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughters: Bristol, Willow and Piper. (But Palin’s sons’ names, Track and Trig? Not so much.)

During this year’s analysis, 36 percent of mothers said famous people and characters inspired their name choices, Murray said.

Baby names reveal more about parents than ever before

“This is the first time we’ve seen parents really own up to the influence of pop culture,” she said.

That’s not to say that classic names aren’t holding their own. After sifting through more than 350,000 names of babies born in 2010 from moms registered with BabyCenter, here’s what came to light: Aiden soared to the No. 1 spot for the sixth year in a row, and Sophia nabbed the No. 1 ranking away from Isabella.

TODAY Moms: What does your child’s name say about you?

Other top-ranking girl names included Olivia, Emma, Chloe and Ava, and other top-ranking boy names included Jacob, Jackson, Ethan and Jayden. The names Abigail and Liam both ascended to Top 10 status this year.

BabyCenter isn’t the only source for baby-name rankings; the U.S. Social Security Administration also unveils a list of top baby names each year. BabyCenter said its list “combines names that sound the same but have different spellings making it a true measure of baby name popularity.”

Story: Most popular baby names of 2009

The website also carries out an annual survey to get at the psychology behind people’s baby-naming decisions. This year’s survey revealed that:

  • 34 percent of moms say they hate a friend or family member’s baby name, but 90 percent of them would never admit it.
  • One out of three moms used her cell phone to decide on a name, either by browsing the Internet for inspiration (27 percent) or texting baby-name ideas to others (15 percent).

Harry Pitts? The worst baby names of all time

Here are the full Top 10 lists of boys’ and girls’ names for 2010:

Top 10 girls’ names

  1. Sophia
  2. Isabella
  3. Olivia
  4. Emma
  5. Chloe
  6. Ava
  7. Lily
  8. Madison
  9. Addison
  10. Abigail

Top 10 boys’ names

  1. Aiden
  2. Jacob
  3. Jackson
  4. Ethan
  5. Jayden
  6. Noah
  7. Logan
  8. Caden
  9. Lucas
  10. Liam

And here are names that are growing most in popularity, according to BabyCenter’s analysis. The website said to expect to see these names more often in 2011 and beyond:

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Girls’ names growing in popularity                    

  1. Isla
  2. Adalyn
  3. Giuliana
  4. Olive
  5. Kinsley
  6. Evangeline
  7. Paisley
  8. Vivienne
  9. Maci
  10. Kinley

Boys’ names growing in popularity

  1. Bentley
  2. Kellan
  3. Kingston
  4. Aarav
  5. Ryker
  6. Beckett
  7. Colt
  8. Paxton
  9. Jax
  10. Lincoln

To see the full BabyCenter analysis of popular names for 2010, click here.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Explainer: The most popular baby names of the last century

  • Deciding whether to give your unborn child a traditional or unique name? Wondering if your favorite name is becoming more or less popular?

    Giving a child a name is one of the most memorable and important parenting moments — a name can help nurture a child’s personality and help them identify with a culture, an icon, or a loved one who has passed away.

    TODAY highlights the hottest names from 1900 to the present, lists the strangest celebrity picks, looks at popular politicians' names and takes a look at TODAY hosts' names.

  • Most popular names by year

    If you're debating naming your next tyke "Apple" or "Obama," check out the latest statistics. TODAY lists the hottest names from 1900 to the present — find out if yours made it into the top 10 list of each decade.

  • 2009

    Female names
    1. Isabella
    2. Emma
    3. Olivia
    4. Sophia
    5. Ava
    6. Emily
    7. Madison
    8. Abigail
    9. Chloe
    10. Mia

    Male names
    1. Jacob
    2. Ethan
    3. Michael
    4. Alexander
    5. William
    6. Joshua
    7. Daniel
    8. Jayden
    9. Noah
    10. Anthony

  • 2008

    Female names
    1. Emma
    2. Isabella
    3. Emily
    4. Madison
    5. Ava
    6. Olivia
    7. Sophia
    8. Abigail
    9. Elizabeth
    10. Chloe

    Male names
    1. Jacob
    2. Michael
    3. Ethan
    4. Joshua
    5. Daniel
    6. Alexander
    7. Anthony
    8. William
    9. Christopher
    10. Matthew

  • 2007

    Female names
    1. Emily
    2. Isabella
    3. Emma
    4. Ava
    5. Madison
    6. Sophia
    7. Olivia
    8. Abigail
    9. Hannah
    10. Elizabeth

    Male names
    1. Jacob
    2. Michael
    3. Ethan
    4. Joshua
    5. Daniel
    6. Christopher
    7. Anthony
    8. William
    9. Matthew
    10. Andrew

  • 2000

    Female names
    1. Emily
    2. Hannah
    3. Madison
    4. Ashley
    5. Sarah
    6. Alexis
    7. Samantha
    8. Jessica
    9. Taylor
    10. Elizabeth

    Male names
    1. Jacob
    2. Michael
    3. Matthew
    4. Joshua
    5. Christopher
    6. Nicholas
    7. Andrew
    8. Joseph
    9. Daniel
    10. Tyler

  • 1990

    Female names
    1. Jessica
    2. Ashley
    3. Brittany
    4. Amanda
    5. Samantha
    6. Sarah
    7. Stephanie
    8. Jennifer
    9. Elizabeth
    10. Lauren

    Male names
    1. Michael
    2. Christopher
    3. Matthew
    4. Joshua
    5. Daniel
    6. David
    7. Andrew
    8. James
    9. Justin
    10. Joseph

  • 1980

    Female names
    1. Jennifer
    2. Amanda
    3. Jessica
    4. Melissa
    5. Sarah
    6. Heather
    7. Nicole
    8. Amy
    9. Elizabeth
    10. Michelle

    Male names
    1. Michael
    2. Christopher
    3. Jason
    4. David
    5. James
    6. Matthew
    7. Joshua
    8. John
    9. Robert
    10. Joseph

  • 1970

    Female names
    1. Jennifer
    2. Lisa
    3. Kimberly
    4. Michelle
    5. Amy
    6. Angela
    7. Melissa
    8. Tammy
    9. Mary
    10. Tracy

    Male names
    1. Michael
    2. James
    3. David
    4. John
    5. Robert
    6. Christopher
    7. William
    8. Brian
    9. Mark
    10. Richard

  • 1960

    Female names
    1. Mary
    2. Susan
    3. Linda
    4. Karen
    5. Donna
    6. Lisa
    7. Patricia
    8. Debra
    9. Cynthia
    10. Deborah

    Male names
    1. David
    2. Michael
    3. James
    4. John
    5. Robert
    6. Mark
    7. William
    8. Richard
    9. Thomas
    10. Steven

  • 1950

    Female names
    1. Linda
    2. Mary
    3. Patricia
    4. Barbara
    5. Susan
    6. Nancy
    7. Deborah
    8. Sandra
    9. Carol
    10. Kathleen

    Male names
    1. James
    2. Robert
    3. John
    4. Michael
    5. David
    6. William
    7. Richard
    8. Thomas
    9. Charles
    10. Gary

  • 1940

    Female names
    1. Mary
    2. Barbara
    3. Patricia
    4. Judith
    5. Betty
    6. Carol
    7. Nancy
    8. Linda
    9. Shirley
    10. Sandra

    Male names
    1. James
    2. Robert
    3. John
    4. William
    5. Richard
    6. Charles
    7. David
    8. Thomas
    9. Donald
    10. Ronald

  • 1930

    Female names
    1. Mary
    2. Betty
    3. Dorothy
    4. Helen
    5. Margaret
    6. Barbara
    7. Patricia
    8. Joan
    9. Doris
    10. Ruth

    Male names
    1. Robert
    2. James
    3. John
    4. William
    5. Richard
    6. Charles
    7. Donald
    8. George
    9. Joseph
    10. Edward

  • 1920

    Female names
    1. Mary
    2. Dorothy
    3. Helen
    4. Margaret
    5. Ruth
    6. Mildred
    7. Virginia
    8. Elizabeth
    9. Frances
    10. Anna

    Male names
    1. John
    2. William
    3. Robert
    4. James
    5. Charles
    6. George
    7. Joseph
    8. Edward
    9. Frank
    10. Richard

  • 1910

    Female names
    1. Mary
    2. Helen
    3. Margaret
    4. Dorothy
    5. Ruth
    6. Anna
    7. Elizabeth
    8. Mildred
    9. Marie
    10. Alice

    Male names
    1. John
    2. James
    3. William
    4. Robert
    5. George
    6. Joseph
    7. Charles
    8. Frank
    9. Edward
    10. Henry

  • 1900

    Female names
    1. Mary
    2. Helen
    3. Anna
    4. Margaret
    5. Ruth
    6. Elizabeth
    7. Florence
    8. Ethel
    9. Marie
    10. Lillian

    Male names
    1. John
    2. William
    3. James
    4. George
    5. Charles
    6. Robert
    7. Joseph
    8. Frank
    9. Edward
    10. Henry

  • Ranking political names

  • Names of politicians, their kids

    Image: Malia, left, and Sasha Obama
    Larry Downing  /  Reuters file
    First Lady Michelle Obama can count her first name as the 103rd most popular among baby girls last year and her daughters’ names were fairly popular, too. The family name Obama, however, did not make the Top Thousand as a first name for boys or girls.

    As for former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin – her name ranked 20th in baby name popularity last year. However Bristol, her daughter’s name, did not rank in the Top Thousand.

    Rank: Not in the Top 1,000

    Rank: #363

    Rank: #345

    Rank: #103

    Rank: #20

    Rank: Not in the Top 1,000

    Rank: #117

  • Ranking TODAY names

    Find out whether TODAY Show hosts’ names rank:

  • Anchors' names

    Image: TODAY anchors

    Matt (Matthew)
    Meaning: A gift of god (Hebrew origin)
    Rank: #5

    Meaning: Guardian of the sea (Celtic/Welsh origin)
    Rank: #310

    Meaning: Grace and mercy (Hebrew/Greek origin)
    Rank: #731

    Al (Albert)
    Meaning: Brilliant, noble (Saxon origin)
    Rank: #354

    Meaning: Born on Christmas; to be born (Latin/French origin)
    Rank: #16

    Meaning: Praise, confession, enlightenment (Iranian/Hebrew origin)
    Rank: Not in the top 1000 names

  • TODAY other talents' names

    Meaning: Courageous (Teutonic/Anglo-Saxon origin)
    Rank: Not in the top 1000 names

    Meaning: Jade (Italian origin)
    Rank: Not in the top 1000 names

    Meaning: Spirit, god (Hawaiian/Polynesian origin)
    Rank: Not in the top 1000 names

    For more name meanings, visit the iVillage Baby Name Finder


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