The 12 Biggest Baby Name Influencers of Our Time
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.
- Liam can be directly tied to the ascendance of action hero star Liam Neeson. The name began its steep climb to the top in the early 90s, closely tied to the growing fame of Neeson. The name originated as an Irish short form of William, which is in fact the Irish actor’s full name. In recent years, the popularity of Liam, Number 1 in several states, has been further bolstered by that of musicians Liam Gallagher and Liam Payne." >
- Harper Lee’s first name entered the girls’ Top 1000 in 2004, the same year her beloved book To Kill A Mockingbird was widely chosen for the One City, One Book reading program. The name has zoomed up the charts in the decade since then, reaching Number 11 in 2014 and climbing to Number 1 in North and South Dakota. Parents not directly inspired by the writer may have heard of the name via its high-profile choice for the daughter of Victoria and David Beckham, picked by the little girl’s older brothers after their favorite Disney character Harper Finkle on Wizards of Waverly Place." >
- Bob Dylan famously adopted his name from Dylan Thomas and then made it more famous than the Welsh poet ever had. Dylan first appeared on the Top 1000 for boys in 1966, the year the folk singer’s Blonde on Blonde album was released. It’s been in the Top 35 for boys for more than two decades now, most recently at Number 29. Dylan was given in 2014 to more than 10,000 baby boys….and nearly 1,000 baby girls." >
- Audrey Hepburn undoubtedly helped the modern popularity of this old saint’s name, but it was the appearance of charming French star Audrey Tautou in 2001’s breakout hit Amelie that propelled the name into the Top 1000 in 2002. In the dozen years since, the two stars have helped make Audrey the Number 36 girls’ name in the US, its highest standing ever." >
- 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." >
- Aaliyah’s first album was released, and crossed into the Top 100 in 2001, the year the singer was killed in a plane crash. But the true popularity of the name is obscured by all the also-popular variations, from Aliyah (Number 168) to Aliya (Number 186) to Aleah (Number 423) to Alia (Number 729) and onward. Taken together, all the variations put the name near the Top 10." >
- John F. Kennedy certainly helps burnish the image of this name, but what turned it into a hit name for girls was the gorgeous, romantic JFK Jr., whose emergence in the national spotlight in the mid-90s was directly tied to the emergence of the name. Kennedy debuted at Number 524 on the girls’ chart in 1994 and then hopped all the way up to Number 230 in 1995, the year JFK Jr. launched George Magazine. The fame of the name only grew as he married the following year. Today, Kennedy is the Number 54 girls’ name in the US." >
- Peyton Manning has made his name popular for both girls and boys. Peyton crossed over into the girls’ Top 100 in 2008, two years after Manning’s Super Bowl win. Spelling variation Payton ranks at Number 134 for girls with Peyton standing at Number 210 for boys. The name entered the Top 1000 for both genders in the early 1990s and rose steeply in the late 90s and early 2000s, as Manning won MVP awards and the Super Bowl." >
- Michael Jordan has accomplished something highly unusual for his surname: Made it more popular for boys and at the same time less popular for girls. While the name Jordan was widely-used for both genders throughout Michael Jordan’s active playing days in the 1980s and 90s, Jordan left the Top 100 for girls in 2008 but remains at Number 55 for boys." >
- Lincoln is one of those names you may be surprised to learn has ranked among the Top 1000 since the list was founded in 1880. But it only reached the Top 100 in 2013, the year after the movie Lincoln was released to wide acclaim, winning Daniel Day-Lewis the Oscar for Best Actor. Lincoln is now Number 87 for boys in the US, and an astonishing Number 2 in South Dakota. Nearly 5000 baby boys were named Lincoln last year, but so were more than 100 girls." >
- Hadley Richardson became famous by association when her husband author Ernest Hemingway penned the novelistic memoir The Sun Also Rises. But her name became widely-used for babies only after her star turn in the hugely popular novel The Paris Wife, published in 2011. Hadley entered the girls’ Top 100 in 2014." >
- Miles is another surprising name that’s always been among the Top 1000 but it didn’t take a decided turn toward the top until 1995. Although jazz great Miles Davis died in 1991, he was nominated for Grammy Awards in 1992 and 1993 and made the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998. Last year Miles hit Number 108 on the boys’ popularity list, its highest rank ever." >
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on October 8th, 2015 at 11:10 pm
Yeeeesh, the only one I like is Miles. I feel like a lot of these names are super trendy.
on October 8th, 2015 at 11:32 pm
The fact that these names are “super trendy” is the point of the article!
on October 9th, 2015 at 3:53 am
I began my love for the name Ariana in the early-mid 1990s thanks to Ariana Richards, the young actress in Jurassic Park! I wish it hadn’t become so popular/trendy. While I still really like it, it’s now so strongly associated with both Huffington and Grande. It’s no longer slightly unusual, and I liked that it used to be (to my name knowledge anyway)!
on October 9th, 2015 at 5:46 am
While it might be true, I personally don’t think that Ariana Huffington and Ariana Grande had anything to do with the rise in the name. In fact, I’m pretty sure it rose from virtually non-existant to super trendy shortly after the Harry Potter books, alongside Luna. But, that’s just a thought. Either way, I enjoyed the post, though I admit that I don’t fancy any of them given how watered-down and standard they all are but, they’re still perfectly viable options for others.
on October 9th, 2015 at 9:08 am
Lesliemarion: The biggest name influencers of our time could mean popular names, not necessarily trendy. There is a difference.
on October 11th, 2015 at 8:16 am
The advertisements completely blocked the article! I know they are a necessity but I kept being taken off the site even when I didn’t select the ads. It made accessing the website difficult and I was given a warning about a potential virus on my phone after I was taken to one of the ads.
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