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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Runaway popularity of Gael??

    I've long liked the name Gael, as it checks all my boxes as being easily pronounced in Spanish and English (pronounced guy-el, not like Gail), simple, and fairly unique. Or so I thought! Apparently I never took a glance at the popularity, but I just happened to run across it and it is far more popular than I would have guessed. Before 2002 it had never entered the top 1000, and by 2018 it was ranked 132, with most of that rise in the early 2000s.

    I would assume most of this popularity comes from the famous Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, but does anyone know of any other cultural influence causing this rise?

    Secondly, does anyone have a feeling if this name has already or is poised to have cross over potential between Spanish- and English-dominant Americans? I like to think I have a vague idea of naming trends in both the Anglo and Hispanic American communities, but this one definitely slipped past me. Is this rise exclusive to the Latino community and its national growth a result of a rapidly expanding population, or are a wider swath of Americans choosing this name? Mateo would be my go to example of a very popular cross over name.

    Some favorites:

    Alba ~ Liana ~ Soraya ~ Paola ~ Talita ~ Esperanza ~ Salma ~ Zulema ~ Dahlia

    Maceo ~ Pascal ~ Danilo ~ Bruno ~ Javier ~ Cosimo ~ Tiago ~ Gael ~ Orlán

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Midwest USA
    This is very interesting. I also would not have assumed it would jump that much! The only time I heard the name Gael in pop culture was in the TV show How I Met Your Mother in season 3 around 2007. Enrique Iglesias played a character by that name so that could have contributed to the name becoming more popular.

    As far as other names go the only one that sticks out in my mind right now is Emilio. I know a Hispanic Emilio and a Caucasian (not sure specifically what background though his parents have a German last name). Other names that are traditionally Hispanic (I think) that I know on people of different ethnic groups, other than Hispanic, though born in America are Antonio and Rafael.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    I would attribute Gael's popularity to the US Latino population. Camila, Mateo, Angel, Santiago, Jose, and Leonardo are all in the top 100, not to mention top 100 "crossover" names like Mia, Isabella, Sofia, Sebastian, Luna, Gabriel, etc. that could very well be getting a boost from Latino parents.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    East Coast
    I just came across this name a few months ago watching the show Good Trouble. One of the main love interests is named Gael. It’s a very recent show though, probably too new to affect the popularity.
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