Stars, pop culture propel unusual names up the charts

This year, more than ever, pop culture has been the driving force behind the most steeply climbing baby names. Those that saw the greatest upswings in popularity were inspired by rappers, reality and scripted TV, by sports stars and by starbabies. And they also reflected some broad general trends, such as exotic flower names, boys’ names for girls, ancient boy and vintage girl names, and geographic place names. Here are some of the most striking examples.


Thanks to rapper Jayceon Taylor, aka The Game, this was the fastest rising boys’ name of the year, with a stupendous increase of 845 places. This is one of the few rap artists’ names to have caught on: Kanye, for instance, was only on the list briefly, from 2004 to 2005.

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