Category: baby name Kingston
by Linda Rosenkrantz
It’s an inarguable fact that celebrity baby name choices have an impact on the rest of the population. But which of them have had a lasting influence and which luminaries have hit the sweet spot more than once?
With some names it was not a single celeb but a confluence of several that helped propel a name to stardom– among these are the namers of Becketts, Dashiells, Harpers, Romys, Romans and, perhaps most of all, the now ubiquitous Ava. And we see that even a middle name can pack an impact, as in Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s (Blue) Ivy.
Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn introduced a whole style of names with their three daughters, Avery, Emery and Finley, all boyish names ending in ‘y.’ First came Finley, born in 2003, when that name was nowhere to be seen on the girls’ Top 1000. It appeared there two years later, and is now at Number 349, with close to a thousand baby girls bearing that name annually. Daughter Avery was born in 2005; there were approximately 4,000 girl Averys born the year before her arrival, 5,000+ the year after, and 8,000+ this past year. The third daughter, Emery, was born three years later, when the name was Number 467; it is now at 211.
Two of the Jolie-Pitt kids’ names have made their mark. The eldest, Maddox, was born in 2001, the name popped onto the list two years later, and is now at Number 167, accounting for almost 2,300 baby Maddoxes. Another x-ending Jolie-Pitt boy name, Knox, also stuck a chord. He arrived in 2008 with twin sister Vivienne (whose name is also rising); the following year Knox entered the list, and it is now Number 368.
Rock musicians have gotten the rap of being the most extreme baby namers, which certainly is true for some but by no means all. This led me to wonder if their choices bore any relationship to the kind of music they played: would the Dixie Chicks, for example, pick names with a countryish flavor, Atomic Kitten more edgy?
And how about within the groups– were their choices in sync? Since they functioned basically as families on the road, how did their kids’ names work as sibsets? In the examples listed below, you can see certain similarities—such as a Beatles theme running through the Oasis offspring, and several other musical references, including Jagger, Les Paul, Elvis, Madonna, Bebop and even Rock .
There’s an entire generation of new baby names that are moving rapidly up the popularity list and that distinguish themselves by being recently minted–and by the fact that grandparents do a double take the first time they hear them. For even if they existed as surnames or place names or occupations, they’ve rarely been used before as first names. Many of these new baby names are morphed versions of names that were used in another form earlier, while others have been spun from thin air.
Some are clearly celebrity-sourced—as when Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale gave their son a name inspired by their own personal associations with the island of Jamaica—and it wasn’t long before the name Kingston jumped onto the list. Similarly, the singular name Miley has spread like wildfire with the fame of its onetime exclusive bearer.
Putting aside the legion of offshoots and variations—in rhyming and spelling—of names related to Riley, Ryan, Bailey, Aiden, Tyler and Tyson, which already seem so 20th century– we’ve come up with a list of some of the most prominent nouveau names. Although a precise demarcation can’t be drawn, and some of them were coming onto the radar in the 90s, these are the new baby names that definitely have a 21st century feel.