Askamum story: New parents take inspiration from celebrity baby names

Celebrity and film culture are now strongly informing how parents name their babies.

Babies in a line - baby names

By Soraya Auer

Celebrities are strongly influencing parents when naming their babies, according to an analysis of 23 million page views on a baby-names website.

Pam Satran, the developer of the nameberry.comwebsite, said: “Five years ago, I might have said that the biggest overarching factor was personal meaning, now the biggest factor is celebrities.”

Satran believes the number of searches for a particular name is a better indicator of how parents will act when it comes to naming their child in the more immediate future.

Of the girls names the name Pippa, she explained, rose in popularity after Pippa Middleton caught the world’s attention when she was the maid of honour at her sister Kate’s wedding to Prince William in April. “She seems to have the power of celebrity propelling her name and style,” Satran said.

At the moment, the U.S. Social Security Administration annually tracks and releases the number of babies with a particular name after birth. Jacob, Ethan and Michael were the top boy names for the US in 2010 while Isabella, Sophia and Emma were the favourites for girls.

More unusual names have also been celebrity inspired, such as Elula, daughter of actress Isla Fisher and actor-comedian Sasha Baron Cohen. Elula was not in the database in 2010 but so far into 2011, it is the 38th most searched for name. According to Satran, this is essentially because the celebrity couple chose not to publicize the name until well after their child’s birth.

“There is a culture of the celebrity baby,” she said. “The whole world goes on name watch. By not telling the name, it becomes a big news event.”

Other popular celebrity inspired searches include Flynn, son of actor Orlando Bloom and his Australian model wife Miranda Kerr, Hadley, from the bestselling book “The Paris Wife”, and Mila, which Satran points to actress Mila Kunis’ success in the past year.

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