Baby Names: The Ultimate Celebrity Popularity Index


According to the list of 2009’s most popular baby names, parents are drawing inspiration from pop culture. Specifically, Twilight: Cullen skyrocketed in popularity and Isabella’s the top girl name. But other celeb-inspired names are out, namely Lindsay, Kimora, and Rihanna.

The Social Security Administration released its annual list today, and the Associated Press reports that Jacob is the most popular boys name for the 11th year in a row, while Isabella has usurped Emma, which spent only two years at the top. Jacob’s longevity means its spot at the top can’t be attributed to parents naming their kids after their favorite underage werewolf. However, parents do want their boys to take after the Sparkle Vamp: Cullen is the male name that changed the most in popularity, rising 297 spots in the last year.

Before Twilight-haters get too discouraged about the future of our society, the fastest riser for girls names this year was Maliyah, with Malia (the way the First Daughter spells her nickname) coming in ninth. But even being the first African-American president isn’t enough to convince parents to name their son Barack; it’s a little more popular, but only 69 parents picked the name.

Though the AP was too polite to point it out, the list of the biggest changes in popularity also illustrates which celebrities’ reputations were sullied in the last year. Lindsay made the sixth biggest drop, and Kimora, Rihanna, Jonas, and Miley (plus Mylee) all became significantly less-desirable names in the last year. (The author of this rant from The New York Times against unconventional spelling must be happy to see Mylee plummet to the bottom of the list.)

All this goes to show that giving your baby a pop culture-inspired moniker is a risky venture. Naming your child after a movie/book franchise also means putting a lot of faith into its durability. Sure, Star Wars is still incredibly popular, and Leia is kind of nerdy-chic. But what if your parents’ had really bad taste? You could’ve ended up living the rest of your life as or Rambo, Qui-Gon, or Urkel.

Future parents, consider this a warning. Will the pressures of fame finally drive Robert Pattinson insane in 2010, causing him to lash out at fans in a neck-biting rampage? Probably not, but you never know.

Popular Baby Names 2009 [SSA]
Isabella Top Name For Girls; Jacob No. 1 For Boys [AP]
Change In Name Popularity 2009 [SSA]
Complaint Box | Brittney, Brittny, Brittneigh [NYT]

[Image via TV Guide.]

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