In a year with several successful franchises starring women, it’s no surprise that girls’ names are getting a pop-culture boost.
Nameberry.com has released its mid-year prediction of the most popular baby names of 2014. Imogen and Asher took the top spots, but the big news is the arrival of Khaleesi (of Game of Thrones at number 18) and Elsa (of Frozen at number 88) in the top 100 projections for most popular. They join Katniss (of The Hunger Games), which occupies an impressive spot as the predicted 14th most popular girls’ name, and Hazel, which got a Fault in Our Stars boost to land at number 13.
Grain of salt here, however: Nameberry’s system is based on the number of views each name attracted on its website for the first half of the year, so rather than predicting based on what people named their babies in the past, it gauges what names parents might be interested in using in the future. So parents could well search for Katniss and Khaleesi all they want before settling for a less striking option.
Either way, Nameberry’s list provides some insight into the way pop culture can deeply affect naming trends. Merida, the name of the hero of Brave, for instance, fell the furthest from its 2013 position, suggesting just how quickly a film fades from the popular consciousness.
Also, Cordelia and Archer are the fastest growing girls’ and boys’ names, respectively. Boys’ names tend to be less influenced by pop culture, so here’s to hoping (really hoping) that parents aren’t naming their children after the misanthropic hero of FX’s Archer.