When we published our exclusive lists of most popular urban baby names around the world a few months ago, you cheered….and complained.
But you wanted more. You were curious about name popularity in not just Anglophone cities, but in a diverse range of metropolises on every continent from a variety of cultures.
So we analyzed the most-visited names of the past year in a far-flung collection of 23 cities. We tried to balance traffic numbers and city size and diversity. Sure, we have more visitors from Houston and Manchester than we do from Berlin and Lagos, but we wanted to include more cities where English was not the primarily language. And yes, Mexico City and Lima are much larger cities than Kingston, but we have twice as many visitors from the Jamaican capital.
A few observations: A handful of names such as Olivia, Cora, and Amara for girls, various forms of Alexander and Jack for boys are favored in such a wide range of cities that they can truly be considered international favorites.
Other names that rank highly in one city do so for understandable reasons: Of course parents in Tel Aviv search for Israeli favorite Noa while Dublin parents choose the Irish Laoise and Donnacha, while parents in Lagos like Desmond after African human rights activist tutu and parents in Kingston favor Kymani, the name of a son of Bob Marley, along with place-name Kingston.
And then there are those names whose popularity can be understood only by a native. Why is Antonious a top boys’ name in Berlin, for instance, while Parisians love the Welsh girls’ name Sian? What makes Celestine a favorite for girls in Manila while in Nairobi parents favor Byron? Please, enlighten us!!