Baby names have been all over the news lately, most notably that “Noah” unseated “Jacob” as the most popular boys’ name after a decade-plus run at the top of the list. As baby names trend away from more traditional ones (looking at you, Michael, king of the chart for nearly 40 years) it’s interesting to wonder where all these newfangled monikers are coming from.
We blame TMZ.
Thanks to the internet, the 24-hour news cycle, and our celeb-obsessed culture, unusual names are rocketing up both the girls and boys names charts. Let’s take a look at where we think some of 2014’s most popular names may be coming from…
Undoubtedly, “The Notebook” and its romantic hero, played by Ryan Gosling, are at least partially to blame for Noah’s sharp rise. Of course, Biblical Noah and the recent Russell Crowe film couldn’t hurt.
Who wouldn’t want to name their son after one of the greatest action heroes of our time, Liam Neeson? Aussie Liam Hemsworth, former fiancé of Miley Cyrus and co-star of “The Hunger Games,” probably had something to do with it too. Sometimes Liam is used as shorthand for William, oddly enough.
We want to say Jacob’s high place on the list is thanks to the eponymous “Twilight” wolf with killer abs (a.k.a. Taylor Lautner) but since it’s topped the list since 2000, it’s probably a coincidence.
The very first Kardashian grandbaby, son of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, is a four-year-old named Mason and he’s often splashed all over the tabloids as a child trendsetter. Mason Lockwood is a popular character on the series “Vampire Diaries.” Perhaps also helping the name creep up the list since the early 2000s, the popularity of mason jars in home and event decor? Kidding!
William’s a classic, so it doesn’t really need a reason to be ranked so high. However, the U.S. obsession with all things royal likely has something to do with this princely name maintaining its rank.
We can’t really explain why this name’s so popular, but we can guess that hunky stars like Ethan Hawk make mamas-to-been swoon and may have an influence!
Another classic, Michael has stood the test of time thanks to its many iterations and shortened versions. Michael Phelps’ phenomenal runs at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games gave the name a boost, as has the popularity of “Arrested Development”s (and “Superbad”s) Michael Cera.
How regal! Alexander’s been on the list for decades and actually peaked back in the early aughts. We attribute this name’s consistency to the ever-popular athletes. Hockey player Alex Ovechkin and baseball player Alex Rodriguez are doing their parts to keep it popular.
Truly a standout, Jayden wasn’t even in the Top 100 a decade ago and now it’s New York City’s most popular boy name. Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith) is an up-and-coming rapper and child actor. Britney Spears named her son Jayden back in 2006, as have several other celebs. It’s got numerous spellings and has actually been popular in Australia for decades.
Classic favorite Daniel has been in the Top 100 since the late 1880s and peaked in the U.S. in the 90s. Action star Daniel Craig, comedian Daniel Tosh, and Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe have helped keep it so high.
Stay tuned! Tomorrow we’ll bring you the celeb rationales behind the most popular baby girl names!