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Brand Names Become Baby Names

November 10, 2020 Sophie Kihm
brand names

Brand names and baby names are in a never-ending loop of influence. You have brands that were named after people — such as MercedesBenz, named for entrepreneur Emil Jellinek’s eleven-year-old daughter Mercédès, and Maybelline, after cosmetic producer Thomas Lyle William’s sister Mabel.

And now babies are named after brands. If you meet a little Mercedes or Maybelline today, her name may have been inspired by the company so strongly associated with it — almost definitely in Maybelline’s case.

Discerning brand names from baby names gets even messier now that many startups are taking their names from up-and-coming baby names. How much of Casper’s rise is influenced by the mattress brand? Hard to say. Ditto for names like Billie, Arlo, Clara, Ollie — the list goes on.

For the sake of this article, I’ve excluded startup names and am focusing on established and recognizable brands — some of which do, in fact, have traditional baby names (looking at you, Zara).

Although many are rare, business names are undeniably catching the eyes of new parents. Below, the brand names turned baby names given to five or more children in 2019:

Transportation

We’ve all heard of people named Mercedes, Ford, and Bentley, which at this point feel as much (or more) like baby names as brand names. It helps that they were familiar names to begin with — either established first names or common English surnames. But with less familiar names such as Benz, Subaru, and Audi, the company connection is much more salient.

One car name you might be surprised to not see on this list — Porsche. It peaked in 1987 with 182 baby girls given the name and dropped off the charts entirely in 2018. Last year, more baby girls were named Polaris than Porsche.

Aston
Audi
Avis
Bentley
Benz
Chevy
DeLorean
Delta
Dodge
Ford
Infiniti
Jaguar
Kia
Lexus
Lincoln
Lotus
McLaren
Mercedes
Polaris
Subaru
Tesla

Fashion

Names from the fashion industry are some of the most, well, fashionable brand names for 2020. If you’re going to go with a brand name for your baby, this category is the one to choose from.

Designer names, in particular, made our list of trends to watch this decade, with Dior, Armani, and Kenzo recently heating up. Streetwear brand names such as Boden and Zara are on the rise as well — although it might have more to do with their on-trend sounds than business ties.

Aldo
Armani
Boden
Cartier
Celine
Chanel
Diesel
Dior
Dolce
Fendi
Hermes
Kenzo
Levi
Macy
Manolo
Marchesa
Nautica
Nike
Tiffany
Valentino
Zara

Beauty

Most of these beauty brand names have lives outside of their makeup and skincare associations. Nivéa, for example, is actually a well-used girl name in Brazil, as Sephora is in Japan. And yet every time I meet the mother of a Mac, I make sure to check her lipstick — is that Ruby Woo?

Aesop
Axe
Dove
Ivory
Mac
Maybelline
Nivea
Secret
Sephora
Venus

Around the House

Our homes are full of ideas for potential baby names. The Ajax and Dyson you clean with. The Brita in your fridge and the Dawn by your sink.

Drink names are heavily represented in this category, from bottled water to soda to alcohol. Thankfully it looks like we’re not going to meet babies named Nescafe or Clamato anytime soon (don’t worry, I checked).

Ajax
Brio
Brita
Callaway
Dasani
Dawn
Dyson
Evian
Fanta
Hennessy
Jameson
Kirkland
Reynolds
Saran
Solo
Tito

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug companies come up with brand names the same way inventive parents come up with baby names — by mixing and matching sounds until something sounds right. So, surprise surprise, sometimes they stumble upon the same combinations.

Don’t go looking in your medicine cabinet for baby names, but if your favorite name happens to be one of a medication, it’s not the end of the world. After all, Allegra and Yasmin were baby names first! Just do a quick search if you’re creating your own baby name so your daughter won’t one day share a name with her birth control.

Allegra
Calan
Jalyn
Kyleena
Lyrica
Skyla
Yasmin
Ziana

Entertainment, Finance, and Tech

For the increasingly large role that technology plays in our lives, it has inspired relatively few baby names. In fact, parents may be actively avoiding names related to tech — names like Alexa and Siri have been tainted for generations to come.

The brand names from the tech and entertainment sphere that get adopted as baby names tend to be similar to existing names. That means you can argue Espn is just a sportier way to spell Espen, and Kindle is a bookworm’s take on Kendall.

Abbott
Apple
Canon
Chase
Cisco
Espn
Fox
Kindle
Marvel
Quora

Would you ever use a brand name for a baby? Which name would you use?

About the author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top middle names of 2019, the top baby names in each state, and the hottest nickname names of 2018. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.

View all of Sophie Kihm's articles

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