The Fastest-Rising Baby Names of 2010: Triumph of the Teen Mom
Remember the Freakonomics theory that baby names "trickle down" the economic ladder, as strivers try to emulate the upper classes? I wonder how they'd account for the fact that an unwed pregnant teenager from Chattanooga, Tennessee is America's top baby name stylemaker.
Since mid-2008, the MTV reality shows "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" have followed young Maci Bookout through her pregnancy, the birth of her son Bentley, and her subsequent struggles to balance school and parenthood. In 2010 Maci was America's fastest-rising girl's name...and Bentley was tops for boys.
Here's the full list of top risers:
Hottest Boy's Names
The big story in boy's names was uber-preppy surnames going country.
A generation ago, Jason established a new all-American masculine sound. Grayson updates that sound with a fashionable surname spin. The 2010 jump comes courtesy of young YouTube singing sensation Greyson Chance. (The spelling Greyson was also a top-10 riser.) Props to NameCandy.com blogger Lane for pegging this name a year ago!
Last year's top rising boy's name keeps on chugging. Here's what I wrote last time around: "Twilight alert: vampire Emmett Cullen is played in the movies by actor Kellan Lutz. Mr. Lutz has also signed on as a Calvin Klein underwear model. Need I say more?"
Reality tv personality Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to a son Mason in December 2009. It was already a name on the upswing -- a surname with a classic feeling. And what did I just say about the sound of Grayson?
Country singer Easton Corbin's hit debut album came out in Spring 2010. Note that Easton is a perfect blend of the already popular names Ethan and Austin, making it an easy sell to parents.
Bentley was the #4 riser in 2009 with the help of "16 and Pregnant," and was the 2010 champ as sequel "Teen Mom" became a phenomenon. For many years the name was a non-starter, as parents saw Bentley as either a stuffed-shirt name or a luxury brand name. But that was before country music star Dierks Bentley came along.
Hottest girl's names
What's the surest recipe for a celebrity name boost? Take a name that's already hot and give it a little twist.
Giuliana Rancic, E! Network celebrity news anchor, crossed the line from reporter to subject last year as the star of the reality series "Giuliana and Bill." Her Italian name offered a fresh take on the popular Juliana.
Ooh, intriguing! No major media events, no updates on a classic name...looks like we may have a genuine, organic style phenomenon brewing here. Rhyming names Finley, Brinley and McKinley also rose, but Kinley really soared.
Incredibly, this name has made the hottest-rising list three years running on the reality-tv coattails of Khloe Kardashian. Four years ago Khloe was just a fringe "kreative" spelling of the hit traditional name Chloe. Now it's a top-50 hit.
This year the number of female Quinns leaped to catch up with the boys. A character on the much talked-about tv series Glee helped parents see the name as a feminine option.
A soap-opera heroine and a singer led the name Macy up the charts for years, but the name had hit a plateau. Last year Teen Mom Maci Bookout gave it new juice, and a new top spelling.
The full top-1000 baby names list