98 Brand New Baby Names on the Verge
Every year, a new crop of baby names stakes its claim to a place in our culture. I call them the "100 Club": names given to 100 American boys or girls for the first time ever.
Some of the 100 Club members are doubtless one-hit wonders that will fade from view. Others, though, point to the future. This year's top-1000 name chart features many 100 Club honorees of recent years, including 2016's top risers Kehlani and Kylo.
Meet some more of this year's notable new names that just might be on the verge of big things.
Bowie (M) – In the year of music legend David Bowie's passing, parents used names as memorials.
Finnick (M) – I've written about Finnick, a character from the Hunger Games saga, as one of the "names everyone wonders about." The popularity of the name Finn and the coming of age of some Hunger Games fans has pushed the trend from just wondering to naming babies.
Ripley (F) – 37 years after the first Alien film, kickass heroine Ripley is finally making baby name waves.
Daenerys (F) – Four years ago the name Khaleesi, the regal title of a Game of Thrones character, was a 100 Club debutante. This year the same character's given name, Daenerys, joins the party.
Lyanna (F) – Another Game of Thrones name, Lyanna leapt up in popularity after the much-discussed Lyanna Stark finally made an appearance on the tv series.
Elon (M) – Entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has raised the profile of this previously obscure biblical name.
Calder (M) – This is one of the "new generation -er names" that take their style cues from tradesman names like Cooper and Tanner but have very different cultural associations, in this case with sculptor Alexander Calder.
Linkin (M) – This spelling of Lincoln transforms the popular presidential name into a tribute to rock band Linkin Park. Some parents are motivated by the spelling of the nickname Link.
Ivanka (F) – Americans don't name after current political figures any more, but we do name after their children, who are treated more like regular celebrities. It's worth noting that these little Ivankas were born before Ivanka Trump took an official White House role, potentially moving her name into the "political" column.
Wells (M) – Last year's news headlines were filled with stories of widespread fraud at Wells Fargo Bank. The sports headlines were filled with the controversial Wells Report, with its physics-defying claims of a "more probable than not" plot to deflate footballs. It's unlikely that many babies were named after either scandal, but their names certainly stuck in parents' heads. Babies named Wells were up 40%.
The Full 2016 100 Club: