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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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).
Here are the full Top 10 lists of boys’ and girls’ names for 2010:
Top 10 girls’ names
Top 10 boys’ names
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:
Girls’ names growing in popularity
Boys’ names growing in popularity
To see the full BabyCenter analysis of popular names for 2010, click here.