Celebs inspire 2011's most, least popular baby names
December 2nd, 2011
10:52 AM ET

Celebs inspire 2011's most, least popular baby names

As far as new parents are concerned, Mason is the most popular Kardashian.

The name of the youngest member (for now) of the Kardashian clan climbed eight spots on BabyCenter’s list of top names, becoming the third most popular boy’s name of 2011.

“We see it on the list every year, parents being influenced by the media,” said Linda Murray, BabyCenter’s global editor-in-chief. "Fifty percent said, ‘I’m influenced by celebrities, pop culture, what I see in the news.’ If it's someone you really admire, you’ll see a big jump.”

But it goes both ways. It’s surprisingly easy for a public figure to tarnish a name, as BabyCenter saw last year with the name Jesse - thanks to Jesse James. This year, that name is Charlie.

Despite being 2011’s most popular Halloween costume, it seems parents aren’t too keen on having a mini Charlie Sheen running around the house.

Parents look to celebrities who are masculine, smart and strong when choosing a name, Murray said. Thanks to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, she adds, the name Anderson jumped more than 100 spots on the list.

The third most popular girl’s name, Isabella, could be attributed to “The Twilight Saga’s” Bella. Whether the name’s slight dip (Isabella held the second spot in 2010) is due to the character’s portrayal in the latest installment, we’re not sure.

But, just like with the boys, celebrities, TV characters and reality stars can taint a girl’s name.

Mackenzie, the name of the now infamous “Pretty Woman” pageant contestant on “Toddlers and Tiaras,” sat at No. 24 on last year’s list. The name dropped to 78 in 2011.

And while Murray says Snooki has yet to make it on the list, the name Jersey is on the rise. It’s the downmarket London or Paris, she joked.

It’s tough to tell what names will make the list next year, though there’s a good chance Beyonce’s impending bundle of joy will have some influence. Victoria and David Beckham’s baby Harper might have helped the girl’s name rise more than 30 spots.

The top 10 girl’s names of 2011:

  • Sophia
  • Emma
  • Isabella
  • Olivia
  • Ava
  • Lily
  • Chloe
  • Madison
  • Emily
  • Abigail

The top 10 boy’s names of 2011:

  • Aiden
  • Jackson
  • Mason
  • Liam
  • Jacob
  • Jayden
  • Ethan
  • Noah
  • Lucas
  • Logan
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soundoff (121 Responses)
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    March 17, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. xdougx

    Soft names make soft people.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PeterHansson

    Find a funny comment on snooki´s name on http://www.imean.me 😀

    December 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. GINA

    how about tomasso if its a boy and tomassa if its a girl? works for me...

    December 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. meadowmuffin

    When I was a younger I always thought I would give my children really different names..Sebastian, or Fallon...than god I had my children when I was older..they have Kenneth John, and Owen Ronald...they still have the different names at school though..their classes are fille with Jacobs, Aidens, Mackinzies...

    December 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sue

    eddie munster?

    December 5, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. A naughty Moose

    why not name a kid carlos.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. obbop

    Doubtful if I am ever involved with yet another unneeded vile spawn but if a very sad accident happened I would name the loathsome creature Ghengis Kahn and teach the thing how to effective use a sharp pointy thing to get what it wants out of life.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  16. baybay

    Here at the social security admin., http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/ you can check the list of popular baby names back until 1879. From the looks of it, Isabelle, Sophia and male biblical names seem to be the norm the past decade or so; not so much influenced by celebrities. But if you go further back you'll see names like Debbie, Susan or Walter popping up. You can also check out the top names for pets which also happen to be identical to baby names. It's very interesting to say the least.

    December 4, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  17. Shannon

    Guess who doesn't care what anyone thinks of the names I gave my children? Me! I have a Bailee Elizabeth, Christian Andrew and Kaylyn Gale. My niece and nephews all have "normal names". Bret Michael, Patricia Laike(Lake was my grandmother's first name. She's Native American.), Daniel Napier(Another family name), Robert William and Shawn Charles. The name Bailee wasn't as popular 10 yrs ago for girls as it is now. None of my family liked the name Bailee when I first told them what I was gonna name her. Now they say they couldn't imagine her with any other name.

    December 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Name messed up by Pediatric Nurse

    The Nurses altered my names when my Mother filled out the forms as they thought she was still on drugs. They changed one letter in my frist name (Christapher became Christopher) not realizing it was family spelling from the old country. And my middle name is Mikael (Finnish spelling), they changed it to Micheal which she caught and changed back but she missed the small letter change. That small change gave me a name so common for my year that I actually went to school with someone who had both our first and last name the same, not related, and not an very common last name, in a small town. I never had a year in school, in two seperate towns, that didn't have at least four guys with the same first name.

    December 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  19. rooney

    If I ever have kids, I would name a girl Drusilla or a boy Trent. Also if your pregnant, never tell another pregnant lady what your going to name your kid. She might steal the name! It happened to my grandmom.

    December 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  20. ashley


    December 3, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  21. madhater

    Don't have kids iBod!

    December 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  22. madhater

    I would like to have 2 daughters someday, and name them Myrtle and Alice. I named my boy after Layne Staley.

    December 2, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Stephanie

    i'm kind of an artsy type when it comes to naming your child so when i have a child someday, i would like the names to be for a girl Magnolia Kane and for a boy Riley Rock

    December 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cappello

      – Found your blog through Freckled Nest. i love the rmeaca straps in your etsy shop and this journal is inspiring! your Joy bingo-type cover reminds me of my mom. your post inspires me to create my own december art journal. ^_^ thanks for sharing!

      March 17, 2012 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  24. anonymous

    I had aunts and uncles named Warren, Leonard, Martha, Shirley, Dorothy, Floyd, Helen, Phyllis, Hazel, Ruth, Clifford, Clyde, etc.. Lol

    December 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  25. SG

    Around my area, I see a lot of the names Mason, Noah, Payson, Lily, Sophia and Emma. Some of the older names seem to be coming back.

    December 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Tgif

    I named my Jack Charles. In his class he has aiden, Liam, Jacob, Madison, Isabella, Jordan, Logan, Caitlyn, Abigail, Amit, etc.....

    December 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  27. iBod

    Isabella used to be such a beautiful name....Then Twilight ruined it. Same goes for Jacob on the guy's side, and all the other ones that are only up on top because of that Twilight sh**.

    You have all these idiots naming their kids after "iconic" names in Pop Culture!
    God, I'm staying far away from that. First kid, if a boy, is getting my name–attached with "III"...simple as that. Second boy is getting the middle name of the 32nd President Of The United States as his primary and the last name of the 4th President Of The United States as his secondary. If I have a girl, she's getting the first name of the first woman Supreme Court Justice as her primary and the middle name of the co-founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association as her secondary name.
    Am I exaggerating? Of course. But there's some actual important figures in American culture we should all account for! And if you need to actually look up who the 32nd President, the 4th President, the first woman Supreme Court Justice, and the co-founder of the NWSA are, you are exactly who I am referring to as the central issue of the problem.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  28. letsgomets2012

    Charles is a good solid name for a boy - and Isabella is just plain pretty and classy.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Maximus Decimus Meridius

    this is my real name. best name evar

    December 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Jose

    "wanna hear a real name? Eddie."

    The only grown man named Eddie that I have ever known got arrested for giving BJs in a public restroom.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddie O.

      Dude... only because your wife caught us!

      December 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • letsgomets2012

      Edward is a good solid name, too - I know of several Edwards. That was a popular name back in the day.

      The worse they can call you is Eddie Speghetti. whoopie.:)

      December 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Canderson

    Thank goodness the name TREY is not on the list. Seems like so many men of color have had that name the past 10 years or so.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  32. ksig162

    I'm still going with Rambo McGyver (then my last name) for a boy or Aereola Pinky (then my last name) for a girl

    (Somehow this posted as a reply to an earlier comment, instead of a stand-alone comment)

    December 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  33. RRRRRR

    I named my daughter after the children's book Ramona Quimby. It's different but at least she has a NORMAL name. geez.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Al

    i'm getting really sick of guys named Todd.

    Taylor, Tyler, Jordan, Flynn. These are not real names. You wanna hear a real name? Eddie. Eddie is a real name. "What happened to Eddie? He was hear a minute ago!". Jackie and Johnny and Tommy and Bill. Danny, Larry, Johnny, and Phil. What happened? Todd. And Cody, and Dillon, and Cameron, and Tucker. Hi Tucker, i'm Todd. Hi Todd, i'm Tucker.

    And Kyle – thats another soft name for a boy. Kyle. Soft names make soft people. I'll bet you ten times out of ten, Nicky, Vinnie, and Tony would beat the crap out of Todd, Kyle, and Tucker.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Heather

    When choosing a name for each of my children, I checked the naming trends lists and made sure none of their names were in the top 100. I only wish the lists had been available in the mid 70's when I was born.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Tell me about it! I've got the most boring name on the planet!

      I named my daughters Sacha Rae (who's now 17 and prefers to spell her name Sasha) and Angelina Isabella (who's almost 7) I personally don't care what others think, I think I gave them beautiful names.

      December 5, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  36. Boy named Sue

    A name says little about the person but speaks volumes about the parents.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Summer

    My name is Summer. Unique without being off-the-wall and happy sounding. I've always liked it and gotten compliments. I was nervous when I entered the professional world because I thought I wouldn't be taken as seriously but people just say it's pretty and move on. Named my daughter Aubrey. It's a good, classic name that you don't hear every day yet it's not weird. She has a Skylinn, Skylar, Mercadies (like the car...for real), Jayden, Cayden, Braden, several Madisons and about a million Caitlins (with various spellings) in her class (year, not classroom). It's unreal! I swear parents just look at the top 10 or 20 names and pick one. I have 4 nieces and every one of them has a name from the top 5 girl names in the year they were born.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shareef

      Only 4 months to go aadrley? Crazy. I don't have any brilliant ideas because my husband's native tongue and last name are French so we had to go with French names (or very neutral names) to make it sound right. But we did find kind of old names that we liked and that aren't very common in these parts.Did want to say though, that I LOVE the name Mia, as someone suggested. Not Amelia though, just Mia. Plain and simple. I think Mia Lyker sounds lovely. I've also always liked the name Kate or Katie. I'm a fan of skipping the long name part and just having the nick name be the actual name obviously not a crazy nick name, I mean the kind like those two examples. A little girl in our family was just named Alex. Not Alexandra, just Alex. A little confusing for gender on paper, but I like it anyway. Oh, and we have another little girl in our family named Billie. I like that one too. At least that one has a girl spelling.Last thing might want to have a reserve list of boy names I've got a friend that was surprised with a boy after being told they were having a girl.

      March 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Blanket

    I turned up the propofol on my Dad for naming me Blanket!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • cornellw/2ls

      You're hysterical!!

      December 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • stevenfbrackett

      Actually, The Pedo of Pop gave the second boy the exact same name as the first boy and then gave him the dehumanizing 'Blanket' nickname. Ever been more obvious in telling a kid he doesn't really matter? But then, Poor little Prince II had the misfortune of being born brown and everyone knows how much the Pedo of Pop HATED brown skin.

      December 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Kim

    The Toddlers and Tiaras girl is named Paisley, not Mackenzie.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  40. stevenfbrackett

    Most of those names are 'putting on airs' as they say.

    My rule of thumb – if the name requires any explanation other than "named after a relative", it's a bad choice. And that includes ridiculous spellings. Especially the ridiculous spellings. No parents, B-O-B does not rhyme with "Rex". It just doesn't.

    Really, it is all about insecure parents wanting everyone to think they are so clever and original. Real parents don't need to stunt-name their kids.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • TotallyAgree


      December 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Stunt-name. Perfect succinct description. As though the parent/s went through a bunch of mental gymnastics, consulted with their celebrity coaches in a traditional montage, then nailed the triple bizarro name flip: TA DA!

      December 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  41. whybother

    My son, William, has had daycare and kindergarten 'friends' named: Sohei (boy), Aarthi(girl),Olina (girl), Esme (girl), Ky'rha (girl), Kahrin (boy), 2 boy Aidan's (Aaden, Aidan), 1 girl Aydinn, Toshi (boy), Noki (boy), Shasha (girl), Varun & Vippin (twin boys), Amit(girl–pronounced Ahmeet) there has also been 1 Liam, 1 Noah. The most common name was Jonah (he's known 5 Jonah's all boys) and he's also known 3 girls named Sarah.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Summer

      I love the name William! It's a family name for us and I plan on naming a son that if I ever have one. Such a sturdy, classic name. Hard to find these days!

      December 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      @ Summer – Just don't nickname him "Willie" trust me on that 😉

      December 5, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  42. fred

    how about fudpucker? why not, its only a name.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Mary

    Most of the names are from soap operas.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Its-Me

      WHich is why im naming my boy either Victor Kiriakis or Stefano DiMera

      December 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  44. gladnotfirstborn

    Ha..my older sister born in 1972 is Gidget! I got a nice 'normal' Jennifer. I was the only Jennifer in my class but there were 2 other Gidget's I've met (one in college and one was a nurse). Funny thing is their parents like mine probably liked the names because the actor who portrayed her was considered child-like, dainty but my sister and the nurse where both obese (and I mean obese not overweight, 300+ lbs but under 5'5").

    December 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • GeezLouise91

      I actually really like the name Gidget!

      I know a lot of little Isabella(s) but they all seem to be born to girls my age (20) or younger, so it does seem to have some kind of sparkly vampire-y influence.

      January 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Mel

    We didn't find out what we having and were kicking around Olivia having not heard of anyone using it. I am guess I am glad we ended up having a boy as his name (a completely normal good old fashioned name!) is no where on the list!

    December 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  46. tracie

    I have a husband. I also work in a nursing home and part time at childrens daycare.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Leonidas

    My name is Leonidas and im glad its not widely used. It makes me unique and a badass.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Billy Brubeck

    I play world of Warcraft and I named my daughter Kara Shawn.. kinda like the coolest dungeon in the game

    December 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dervviment

      You win

      December 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Degrin

      You should have named her Alexstraza.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      When our youngest was not quite five, he was running around WoW on his own little character and managed to get into a battleground. Came out second on the leader boards. I was so proud of my little player killer and realized his middle and last initials were very fitting – PK.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  49. anonymous

    I have great nephews named Noah, Ashton, Ethan, Gabriel, Luke, Levi and Landon. Guess where they came from. Lol

    December 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Joe

    masculine, smart and strong = Anderson Cooper???? I'll agree he is smart enough but that is it LOL

    December 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  51. gale

    Why would anyone let a celebrity influence anything they do? Let alone choose their childs name. Puppets.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vicki

      That is just what I was thinking. I would hope parents could think of a name for their kid without needing inspiration from some celebrity stranger.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • kelly

      I let a celebrity influence my child's name, but i am no way, shape or form, a "puppet". I heard the name, i liked it..it's as simple as that.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Mr. Ed

    I'm proud of my name! You wish you had that name-lmao

    December 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Lana

    And do you really think enough people watch "Toddlers and Tiaras" to be influenced by it?

    December 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  54. big trucker marsha

    Ed or Mr. Ed is the g@yest name of the year. Pure hoomogross.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Cher

    Yo, edit your story.
    "Mackenzie, the name of the now infamous “Pretty Woman” pageant contestant on “Toddlers and Tiaras,” sat at No. 24 on last year’s list. The name dropped to 78 in 2011."
    Follow the link – the name is Paisley, not McKenzie

    December 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • kc

      Was going to post the same thing. Makenzie was not the Pretty Woman kid!

      January 13, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  56. Adrian

    Good thing for Charlie Sheen that he can just start going by his given name Carlos. And I think they must have some different metric for popular baby names because I would think a name like Michael or John would dominate. I've never met a Liam or Aiden except in Ireland.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  57. TruAmerickan

    Jayden = Gayden

    Ethan - Like Ethan Hawke? That boy always looks like he's about to break out in tears.

    Jackson is a last name.

    Logan and Noah are cool.

    Others are just so-so.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      RE: "Ethan – Like Ethan Hawke? That boy always looks like he's about to break out in tears"

      Ethan is a very nice name. Plus, Ethan Hawke can cry on my shoulder any time! LOL

      December 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  58. FParanha

    Anything's better than "Brittney"

    December 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Emma

    people are so ridiculous, it is not even funny and by the way i LOVE LOVE LOVE Charlie as a name, it can be classy with Charles or fun, cool with Charlie..when i will have a son i will call him Charlie no matter what.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  60. hawaiiduude

    I'm naming my kid Osama Netanyahu Smith

    December 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  61. anonymous1

    Wow, my name is Alex and i know a ton of them. Hard to believe that's not in the top 10 of boy or girl names. What happened to Chris, Alan, Jesse, Justin, James, etc. WOW!

    December 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  62. dooode

    Im a doooooode.

    December 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  63. anonymous

    I was named after a popular star back then. Hope no girl is named Snooki – what a mess they'll grow up to be. @tracie How are you gonna have a baby if no man likes your doo doo fetish?

    December 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  64. dooode


    December 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  65. xdougx

    Aiden is the number 1 boy name! Aiden is a fat kid who eats paste.

    December 2, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Say What

      It's funny you say that. I have a friend who named her son Aiden and your discription fits him.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • MLS

      Sad; I always liked that name.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Thats Eliot who eats paste, you want a guy with a name like Nick. Nick's your buddy, Nicks your pal.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  66. tracie

    I'm gonna name my baby Doo Doo Deluxe.

    December 2, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  67. chrissy

    Im going to name my next daughter Shasta. I think it is a cool name. Kind of like a soda. A good fizzy peppy name.

    December 2, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |

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