Wednesday, June 16, 2004

More on the Trendy Names

Well, Courtney Cox Arquette just named her baby girl Coco. This may not qualify up there with Rumor and Scout, and certainly it's no Moonunit, but my oh my is it stupid. The ability that celebrities have to give their kids the most retarded names ever conceived is just stunning.

Occasionally, you find an exception. David Letterman just named his baby Harry, and should be applauded.

But we all know that celebrities give kids dumb names. Let's talk about dumb ordinary people naming their babies after celebrities and the fictional characters they play.

Let's start with Aaliyah. This is a stupid name. For most of the 90s, (according to the social security website Aaliyah hovered in the 200s in terms of the most popular girls names. It was slightly more popular than Tori, Priscilla and Kassandra; slightly less popular than Tessa, Sandra and Kylee. For most of the 90s, about a thousand girls a year were being named Aaliyah. Then of course in 2001, the single-named celebrity Aaliyah died in a plane crash.

By the time the figures were in for 2002 baby names, the damage had been done. Aaliyah shot up the ranks to no.63, beating out mainstays like 64-Sierra, 73-Autumn, and 78-Jada. 4,754 girls were named Aaliyah in 2002.

What this means, is that in 2002, (if you take into account that about 1,000 girls would have been named Aaliyah anyway) about 3 and a half thousand girls were named after Aaliyah the singer.

But hey, at least Aaliyah the celebrity was a real person. How about babies named after fictional characters?

Throughout the late 90s and into the 2000s, Emma has been a popular name, averaging about 11,000 girls per year. Then, in October 2002, Rachel from Friends gave birth and named her baby Emma. In 2003, 22,543 girls were named Emma. Emma, in fact, was the number #2 for girls nationwide that year, with only Emily beating it.

So in one year, the number of Emma's grew by 100%. In a single year. Anyone who doesn't think that Friends had anything to do with that raise your hand. 11,000 girls were named after a sitcom last year.

And last, let's turn to "Trinity". Now at least Aailyah is a real person, and at least Emma is a real name. Trinity is just... well, a word. Like "Shirt". Or "Thirsty". In 1993, only 217 sets of parents were stupid enough to name girls "Trinity". At no.951, it wasn't as popular as no.944-Kalie or no.949-Kailee, but it easily beat no.958-Kailyn and no.982-Kalene.

Then of course, we got The Matrix. Let's look at what happened.

In 2000, the year after the Matrix, Trinity jumped to name no.74, only two spots below the juggernaut no.72-Kaylee. 4,215 girls were named Trinity that year. Discounting the normal 200 or so Trinities we usually get, that's about 4,000 human beings named after a fictional character from a sci-fi movie.

People, we need to do a little better when naming the next generation. Look, I like the Matrix as much as the next person. But in 30 years, no one is going to remember the Matrix. Think about it. 30 years ago, the biggest action special effects movie (winning the Oscar for special effects by the way) was "Earthquake". How many of you have seen that? That's your Matrix in 30 years.

No comments: