Category: reality TV names
I’ll admit it. I’m name-obsessed. When I’m handed a business card, I have to stifle the impulse to ask about the middle initial. (Is that D for David or Dennison – or Danger?) My loved ones have long understood that they cannot call to report that so-and-so had the baby without also sharing the child’s given name. I eavesdrop. I ask. Rarely is there a waking hour in which the topic does not cross my mind.
And yet, we name nerds mostly travel through the world in anonymity. Sure, our closest friends know that we’ll have something to say about every choice, whether the newborn in question is Harper Seven Beckham or the little boy down the street.
But there’s never a good time to reveal that you’ve been quietly judging, and so being outed is always the tiniest bit awkward. It happened to me earlier this week, with someone I’ve known for only a few months. Her first question – well, what do you think of my kid’s name?
Never have I been so grateful that she had chosen the sparky, stylish Milo long before we’d met.
Here are my nine picks for the most newsworthy hot baby names this week:
Amy – The new Christina Applegate/Will Arnett/Maya Rudolph sitcom Up All Night, billed as a “modern take on parenting,” debuts in a few weeks. Since all the stars are the parents of nicely-named youngsters themselves, I expected that the fictional daughter of Applegate and Arnett would have a great name. Piper, maybe. Or Adelaide. I watched the previews, listening and listening, not believing what I was hearing. Amy? The name that was second only to Jennifer in the 1970s? The name of Will’s real-life wife? Others have pointed out that Amy isn’t so outlandish. She’s a logical nickname for the popular vintage choice Amelia, and feels at home with favorites like Zoe and Mia. She’s been falling since 1977. Could the show reverse her fortunes?
Now that the Social Security Administration has released its annual baby names listings beyond the top 1,000 (including all names that had at least five occurrences in any given year), names researchers can better track the influence of popular culture on our names.
For example, a girl’s name appearing in 2009 for the first time on the SSA lists is “Greidys” – with an astonishing count of 186 baby girls having been given that name in 2009. Its variants “Greydis” and “Greidy” also appear for the first time on the 2009 list, again in the astonishing numbers of 100 and 25 occurrences respectively.
Another girl’s name appearing in 2009 for the first time on the SSA lists is “Chastelyn” with 150 occurrences. Its variants “Shastelyn” and “Chastelin” also appear for the first time in 2009, with 34 and 33 occurrences respectively.
While we may expect new names to appear on the SSA lists each year, these new names generally don’t have more than a dozen occurrences, if even that. Why are the names “Greidys” and “Chastelyn” (with their variants) suddenly so prominent in their first appearance on the SSA list?
Our Latin friends can answer that question easily enough. These names shot to popularity with those who watch the Spanish television network Univision’s reality TV show called Nuestra Belleza Latina * (which translates into “Our Latin Beauty”). The winning contestant in the show’s third season (2009) was a Latin beauty from Cuba, named Greidys Gil. Another popular contestant was Chastelyn Rodriguez from Puerto Rico. And thus were two new names embraced by American moms (or dads!) in search of baby names.