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The 12 Biggest Baby Name Influencers of Our Time

October 8, 2015 Pamela Redmond
baby name Dylan

Which famous figures have the largest influence on baby names right now?The most important baby name influencers are a fascinating mix of actors, writers, sports stars, musicians, and historical figures. What they all share: A charismatic and sometimes heroic image that can inspire parents….and their young namesakes.

Here, based on their names’ standings in the current US list of most popular names, are the biggest baby name influencers of our time.
Pamela Redmond Satran


ARIANNA (Huffington) and ARIANA (Grande)

Both spellings of this name, a Latinate variation of the Greek Ariadne, have been very popular over the past few decades. The rise of the Arianna form can be closely tied with that of media empress Arianna Huffington: Arianna entered the Top 100 in 2003, the same year Arianna Huffington ran for governor of California. Its standing only increased with the 2005 founding of Huffington Post, reaching Number 40 today. The Ariana spelling is slightly more popular at Number 37, bolstered by pop star Ariana Grande, who has 45 million Instagram followers.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show of the same name.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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