Name Popularity List: Two new Latin names and how they got there
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.
For those interested in other names appearing in 2009 for the first time on the SSA lists, here is a selection, including some cultural crossovers, yooneek spellings and out-of-the-box word names:
- Amazen 5
- Anime 5
- Anistin 7
- Chastelyn 150 + Shastelyn 34 + Chastelin 33 + Chasteline 11 + Chastelyne 8
- Elisabella 6
- Emagine 7
- Embrey 6
- Evangelena 5
- Fiamma 6
- Finna 5
- Greidys 186 + Greydis 100 + Greidy 25 + Greidis 13 + Greydi 10 + Greydys 8 + Gradys 5
- Harlequin 6
- Hunny 7
- Iceland 5
- Ivanya 6
- Izzabel 9
- Jessabella 5
- Kellia 5
- Knightley 6
- Kouture 5
- Lexii 12
- Lilani 5
- Malila 6
- Merlot 5
- Millia 5
- Olana 5
- Pailyn 23 + Paelyn 16 + Paylan 6 + Paylen 6
- Pippin 5
- Prayze 6
- Renesmee 17 + Renesme 5
- Sofiana 5
- Sophialauren 5
- Sovereign 5
- Temperence 6
- Theoni 5
- Trillium 5
- Violeth 6
- Yafa 5
- Zephyra 7
- Zimora 5
- Zolie 8
- Aceon 5
- Anatoli 6
- Arjit 8
- Arkangel 6
- Braddox 7
- Brecon 5
- Brex 5
- Brox 9
- Carbon 5
- Cashmiere 5
- Castiel 13
- Danger 5
- Ezekio 5
- Fawkes 5
- Fender 8
- Fenway 5
- Hopper 6
- Issay 5
- Jaico 7
- Jeshaiah 5
- Jurian 7
- Kado 5
- Kix 7
- Knighton 6
- Knoxx 10
- Kypton 17
- Lenoxx 5
- Luck 5
- Maxxon 6
- Mercutio 5
- Oli 5
- Padric 7
- Parson 8
- Pennington 6
- Quirt 6
- Rodion 6
- Scottland 8
- Serj 5
- Sonic 5
- Tavern 5
- Tevez 6
- Thiego 5
- Trigger 15
- Wake 8
- Wilde 5
- Zabriel 5
- Zao 5
- Zaxton 8
- Zekariah 5
- Zepplin 5
- Zim 5
*Nuestra Belleza Latina (English: Our Latin Beauty) is a reality TV show] revolving around young women competing with each other to become a personality for the Spanish television network Univision, which has aired the show since March 27, 2007. The show returned for a fourth season on March 9, 2010.
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on September 21st, 2010 at 1:38 am
Anime: Feminine name for those parents who can’t come to reality long enough to find a name for their newborn daughter
Emagine: Feminine, new twist on the classic virtue names, spelled uneekleigh
Harlequin: Feminine, name given to expected class clown
Merlot: Feminine, name given to girls so that they always remember what to give their mom to drink
Pailyn/Paelyn/Paylan/Paylen: The less I say about this name, the better off I am. I can’t even pretend to be polite here, so I’ll leave it to somebody else
Renesmee/Renesme: Name given to girls to show just how young and immature your mother was when she had you. Older, more mature Twilight fans will split this name in two when it must be used in combo at all
Sonic: Masculine, a name given to boys who will spend all of their time eating burgers and playing video games
on September 21st, 2010 at 2:02 am
Sonic = Hedgehog
Just putting that out there.
on September 21st, 2010 at 7:45 am
Kouture will probably change her name to Kate before she can afford couture.
I like Pippin. I LOVE Temperance. But I couldn’t use it because I LOVE alcohol. I like Wilde too, but then he’d be straight and I would be dissapointed.
I love that Braddox came about so transparently. I want to see the name Brangeloxoh. that has an oxo in it! Come on pregnant teens, where is your sense of humour!
on September 21st, 2010 at 8:57 am
Your comments are cracking me up! I’m surprised no one has paired “Tavern” with “Merlot” yet. Seems those two are destined to find each other someday and marry.
Back to popular culture’s influence on baby names — another example can be seen in the appearance of the boy’s name “Pennington” on the list. Clearly the parents of those six little Penningtons must have been Miami Dolphins fans, as Chad Pennington was the 2009 season starter for the Miami Dolphins.
Has anyone else here spotted any other popular cultural influences responsible for some of these new names?
on September 21st, 2010 at 10:31 am
Honestly? Most of these names I can’t believe that five seperate people thought of them! Prayze? Come on, poor children. I did run into a little girl named Cadilac nn Caddy the other day. She was about four years old and her mom was pregnant again… wonder what her sibbling will be named?
on September 21st, 2010 at 10:37 am
I’m surprised there’s only 6 Hoppers. I thought it was a trendy celebrity name, which ought to translate into at least a couple dozen ordinary people thinking it’s a good idea. Maybe it will be higher next year.
I’m thinking the Fawkes parents are mostly Harry Potter fans (Dumbledore’s phoenix, I believe). I know of the historical person, but Harry Potter seems a more likely source of baby name influence to me.
The Renesmees make my soul ache. And the Kryptons. I think Krypton is worse than Nicolas Cage’s Kal-El, personally. At least that kid can go by Kal as a nickname.
A trillium is a kind of flower. Although to me it sounds like a radioactive element.
Isn’t Pennington also the last name of the guy who does Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? Maybe there were some grateful recipients of houses last year? (Just trying to be positive)
I really don’t understand Violeth. Is it possible that six people were trying to name their daughters something like Violet Hannah, and just messed up the paperwork?
on September 21st, 2010 at 10:42 am
Nephele–of course there’s Fenway (Park), and my own personal favorite–though probably unintended–sophialauren.
on September 21st, 2010 at 10:45 am
I am cheering for Zephyra!
This is my very favorite. Too bad I would never use a god/goddess name.
on September 21st, 2010 at 12:51 pm
That is terrible! Pippin is a male name.
I am surprised to learn that Chastelyn and Greidys are Latina names. Chastelyn just looks like an English (American) smush, while Greidys almost looks Old Norse.
I can see the appeal in both names, actually.
I am excited to see the Medieval Italian, Fiamma, appear for the first time.
on September 21st, 2010 at 1:12 pm
Trigger will forever be a horse name for me.
Pippin (basketball or LOTR, I wonder)
Sovereign (really?) is it the sister to Prayze. I bet their last name is Lord.
Trillium sounds like something they use to fuel the Starship Enterprise
Danger – full name is probably Danger Will Robinson
Fender – Is Daddy a rock star?
Krypton – Why not just go for Lex or Luther
Now for the ones I like!
Knightley (gives me Jane Austen vibes)
Knoxx – I’m digging the x at the end of these
Kix – see above. Also reminds me of Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn. Not that I would want to name my kid after him. I just like the name.
on September 21st, 2010 at 1:22 pm
Excellent sleuthing, everyone, in finding those pop culture explanations for some of these new names on the SSA lists!
SJ, I think you may be right about Fawkes and the Harry Potter connection, although I would have expected Fawkes to make an earlier appearance on the SSA list, as the movie with Fawkes in it (Chamber of Secrets) was released in 2002. And I didn’t make the connection at all between Pennington and the Extreme Makeover guy – well spotted!
Linda, I think you’re spot on about Fenway Park has being the inspiration for the appearance of Fenway for the first time on the 2009 list. Especially considering that Fenway Park celebrated a special even in 2009 – its 500th consecutive Red Sox sellout.
Bella, I was cheering for Zephyra, too! But I’ll really be cheering when the name Hypatia finally makes it to a future SSA list. Come on, there have got to be at least five moms out there who like Hypatia!
Legitbabenames, I agree with you about how surprising it was to see Greidys and Chastelyn as Latina names. I think the only explanation for it is that even parents in non-English speaking countries are going for unusual names these days!
on September 21st, 2010 at 1:30 pm
I live in Ontario, and the Trillium is our provincial flower (They’re on any provincial “logo” and they’re illegal to pick!). I wish we had better name stats here because there’s a chance that it’s in use… though I’ve definitely never met one! I can’t imagine calling a kid “Trill” though.
on September 21st, 2010 at 1:55 pm
Ugh! Why does Renesmee exist!?!? I’m from Utah, and unfortunately, so is this name (thanks a million, Stephenie Meyer). This ridiculous name-smashing trend is actually seen quite often here. People don’t seem to realize that you can be unique without making up a name (or a spelling!). I feel so so so sorry for those little girls.
on September 21st, 2010 at 2:10 pm
I’m going to put Sonic in the “I craved this during my pregnancy, so this is what I named my kid” category.
on September 21st, 2010 at 2:10 pm
I noticed all of the Palens with multiple spellings too but never got around to tallying up the spellings. I’d predict that one will be even more popular next year. I’d like to see a state by state ranking. I’d predict they’d be more popular in red states and rural areas. Bristol, Tripp, Willow, Piper and even Tryg all seem to be in use more than last year too.
on September 21st, 2010 at 3:28 pm
wow, these are all sorts of awful! amazen? merlot? kouture? carbon?heinous! the only decent name of the lot is fiamma.
on September 21st, 2010 at 5:53 pm
We named him Tavern because that’s where he was–
on September 22nd, 2010 at 3:24 pm
Can’t decide whether her middle name is Grace or Ebay.
Jennifer, I’d bet, though I’m not sure on the spelling
Evangelina is much better but this is okay
Like a romance novel?
Not fond of this but I see the appeal.
A plural of Lexus?
All I can think is baby pimples
Pailyn 23 + Paelyn 16 + Paylan 6 + Paylen 6
I’ve been expecting Palin to show up, but I thought it would be spelled correctly at least some.
Not for a girl, Or a boy, really.
Praise could be fun, but this I don’t like
Temperence is lovely; Sovereign I don’t think works as a name… though maybe Sovereign Grace would be okay.
Also a character from hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.
The perfect name for a silicon-based lifeform looking to blend….
I have seen the mom of one of the Castiels online! He’s the same age as my Peter.
Not real familiar but I think this is Irish?
Sounds like a version of Ezekiel?
Looks like a fake or smushed Biblical name… Nope, it’s real, 7 mentions in the OT:
Kix Brooks was my first thought too. Cereal was my second.
This just looks like “Kyp can’t be a full name, it’s too short”
English does have rules. There’s a reason for them.
From Oliver/Olivier, I assume?
Occupation, last name, ends in son… right on trend.
A form of Diego, I’d guess?
In honor of Trigg Palin?
I like Sarah Palin, but I don’t care for her taste in names, especially boys’ names.
Nice in sound, a bit funereal
Too strong an association, unless it’s a family name.
Zechariah is miles better…. I do like Zechariah.
on September 23rd, 2010 at 12:42 pm
I am sure that Violeth is just a latinized version of Violet, spelt with an H on the end to make it more pronounceable to Spanish-speakers. I see names like that all the time in Mexico- i.e. Lizzeth, Yanneth (“Janet”), Yveth, etc.
on September 24th, 2010 at 11:51 pm
some of these names make me weep for the children but there’s a few i really like!
* Zephyra (LOVE it)
I was almost a Zepplin myself. It has such a cute nickname in Zeppy. I’m almost sad my parents got the dog before i arrived
on December 6th, 2010 at 5:14 am
Temperence could be from the TV show bones–it’s the name of the main character.
I guess the parents just messed up on the spelling?
And Mercutio is from Romeo and Juliet, of course. Not sure why you’d want to name a kid after a character who gets killed, though….
on April 20th, 2011 at 9:11 pm
Some of these seemed cute and usable:
Elisabella- Why not? It’s a logical combination.
Fiamma- Very pretty! (I prefer Fiametta though.)
Finna- Same appeal as Finn, but people will know she’s a girl.
Iceland- Cooler than most place names. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) I actually really like this one. Would work for a boy, too.
Ivanya- Sorta pretty and exotic sounding.
Jessabella- Why not? (Although this seems more far-fetched than Elisabella.)
Kellia- Nice feminized (sp?) version of Kelly.
Lilani- Beautiful and exotic, with the fashionable “lil” begining.
Malila- see Lilani
Millia- Like Millie, but more grown up. This works!
Olana- Kinda like Olga, but pretty.
Trillium- Can’t decide if this is super awesome or ridiculously sci-fi. The fact that it’s a flower adds some appeal.
As a quick side note…
ALL OF THOSE PALIN VARIATIONS MAKE ME SAD AND NAUSEUS! UGH!
Now that I’ve gotten that out… When you think about it, it fits all criteria for a tryndee name: “ay” and “in” sounds, last name, almost unisex… For a really republican couple with NO sense of name syle, why wouldn’t you name your daughter Paelyn?
Brex- Cool, I guess.
Fawkes- Usable enough.
Fenway- I grew up in Boston, so I have a soft spot for this one.
Hopper- Pretty darn adorable. (Too uber-celebrity for me, though.)
Lenoxx- I really love this name– when it’s spelled correctly.
Maxxon- Cool way to get Max, but I’m not sure about the “xx” spelling.
Oli- Cute, but to nicknamey… For some reason it strikes me as something you would name a pet goldfish.
Scottland- This would go under the “cool place names” category if it was spelled correctly.
Rodion- Sounds like a radioactive element and a hero from Greek mythology. Not bad, actually.
Wake- Fresh word name… And that thingy you have before a funeral. Oh, well. Still cool and interesting to me.
Wilde- Part word name, part last name. Cool enough.
on December 29th, 2011 at 6:22 am
on May 4th, 2012 at 11:44 am
Very resourceful… but I grew up disliking my name, because I would hear jokes at school, some people would say ”is it a guy or a girl?”, some would ask me about the Indian boy from the J. Quest cartoon…and it went on and on through my adult life. Oh, and the endless misprinting and mispronunciation…
So, our child will have an issue-free name.
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