Category: Trends and Predictions
In this year’s third-grade classes, teachers might have noticed an unusual number of Kaylas, Katies and Kyles. This follows an earlier bump for Alexes and Amandas, and other names that start with A. Why? One factor might be…the weather.
As part of our research on trends and how ideas catch on, my colleagues and I analyzed more than 125 years of data on the popularity of baby names. We found that names that begin with K increased 9 percent after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And names that start with A were 7 percent more common after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It wasn’t that people named their babies after the storms. (In fact, fewer people named their children Katrina and Andrew after each respective hurricane.) Rather, it was similar sounding names that spiked after particular storms. Predicting cultural trends is of great interest to companies, consumers and cultural critics. Will a new song be a hit or a flop? Will turquoise be the new black? Will a particular public policy idea catch on or fizzle fast? There are big stakes — big rewards — in being able to accurately forecast cultural trends.
by Tara Ryazansky
It seems like I can’t check my email or stand in a grocery store line these days without being bombarded with images of pregnant celebrities. I’m not complaining though. A new pregnancy announcement means we can expect an interesting name announcement to be coming. But instead of waiting around I’ll make another round of predictions myself.
Singer Kelly Clarkson and her new husband are expecting their first child together. Baby will join siblings Savannah and Seth from their dad’s previous relationship. Kelly is already gushing that she has names picked out and hopes to have a girl. Will she share her husband’s love of ‘S’ names?
My guesses: Samuel, Levi, Wyatt, Scarlett, Aubrey, Cassidy
Once Upon A Time co-stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas are expecting their first baby. I hope that whatever they pick is as ethereal and sweet as Ginnifer seems to be. I could see this couple picking something straight out of a fairytale.
My guesses: Miles, Jem, Digby, Fern, Plum, Ione
There’s a theory that baby names come back in style about every 80-100 years. Names that come back in style after 80-100 years are often called vintage or revival names.
Based on that theory, baby names from the 1930s (about 80 years from time of writing) should be the next wave of vintage revival names, poised to appear on monogrammed nursery accessories within the next 10-30 years.
But here’s the thing: the biggest revival names aren’t usually the mega-hit top 10 names from 80-100 years ago. The biggest revival names are usually the names that were moderately popular the first time around.
A perfect example of the 80-100 year rule is 2012’s top girl name, Sophia. Sophia had been somewhat popular over a century ago and then gradually declined, only to turn around in the 1990s when it rapidly climbed the Social Security list. However, Sophia is a lot more popular now than it was during its first peak back in 1882 at #116.
Based on that knowledge I set out to find names from the 1930s that weren’t always super common top 10 names, but rather names that peaked during that time and seem to represent the style of the decade.