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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7 Responses to “Stars, pop culture propel unusual names up the charts”

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miloowen Says:

June 20th, 2014 at 6:44 am

I think Marjorie is a great name, although I prefer the Scottish spelling (which is where I suspect George got his): Margery. Margery Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce, married Walter the Steward and gave us the line of Stewart kings.

And I love Alma.

sorciereblanche Says:

June 20th, 2014 at 10:51 am

I love Castiel, Alma, and Marjorie. I really dislike Camden, because I know the MEANEST girl in the world named Camden. Urghh.

namesage Says:

June 20th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

I like Marjorie as a way to get to Jory, myself. I think Alma has also been influenced by the character on the children’s show Doc McStuffins. Maybe that’s just me…I watch a lot of Doc McStuffins. 😉

labelo Says:

June 20th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

I like Marjorie very much, but I also prefer the Margery spelling. It’s on my Top 5 list, but hubby’s vetoed it, as he thinks it’s too evocative of margarine. I’m curious to see how much more popular it will become!

ottertails Says:

June 21st, 2014 at 1:05 am

I don’t think the association to place names has been lost; instead, the association is influenced by where you live. If someone were to name their kid Camden people in my area (baseball and non-baseball fans) would likely consider the parents big baseball fans. A non-baseball fan in Washington or California probably wouldn’t make that association at all.

Aurra Says:

June 21st, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I think Gannon is an awesome name, but it reminds me way too much of the villain Ganon from the Legend of Zelda series. I also love Alma and Marjorie, and while I’m not a fan of Supernatural, I can’t deny the appeal of Castiel.

befx217 Says:

June 21st, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I really like Marjorie, Castiel & Azalea. I really am not a fan of Gannon at all, it’s the kind of name that just sounds totally made up to me but each to their own!

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