What factors do you use to pick your baby name pool entrants?

Laura W. asked about baby name pool entrants over in the Name Game forum, and while I wrote out a whole essay there, I realised the interesting part of the discussion was really about how you go about choosing just three of the many names you suspect are rising, and gamble on which will have the most immediate and dramatic effect, which is perhaps more of a 'names and society' discussion. Anyhow, I dunno if people want to discuss (I've never succesfully chosen more than one name on the Hot List), but I thought it might be interesting.

In the past I've usually gone for the obvious (e.g. Miley circa 2007), and then ones that seem to fit broader trends, but which are missing from the current top 1000 (e.g. Nola, which did break on to the top 1000 the year I picked it, but was definitely not as hot as other options that year...). Occasionally I've tried to be clever about it, googling around for a breakout music star or such like, but I've never managed to get it right (e.g. Leona in 2008). This year I went for all pop-culture references--two girls' names already in the top 1000 with a single, high-profile, boost (Adele and Harper), and one very rarely used boy's name with three potential 'boost factors' (Flynn).  Between musical superstars, celebrity babies, Disney characters, and sports figures I think I have all the basic factors covered--but knowing my luck they'll all fall!

I guess it's probably worth keeping the baby name pool discussion over in the Name Games forum where Laura put it, but I thought I'd put something over here, just in case :)


By Jill
April 21, 2012 12:43 PM

I admit I am not very good at the pool! I even attempted a "hotness predictor" formula in my own spreadsheet, but I combine spellings so it doesn't catch risers like Khloe.  I should go back to the drawing board with my formula with the raw top 100 data and see if I can do any better...