Your fav baby name is probably down to popular culture

Would you name your baby after your favourite TV character?

When it comes to baby names, there are always a few that are perennially popular. Amelia and Olivia, for example (this year’s highest ranking names), have topped the polls as the UK’s most popular baby names for a third year running.

But what is it that makes certain baby names popular while others die out? The answer, apparently, is popular culture.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), our favourite films and TV series have a massive influence on a name’s popularity – particularly when it comes to girls.

For example, the sudden increase in babies called Clara has been attributed to Jenna Coleman’s character in Doctor Who. After Clara Oswold appeared on the show in 2012, Clara began to climb the ranks on the list of most popular names, going from 250 in 2011 to 605 in 2015.

The Hunger Games also made its mark, with 192 babies being named Primrose, after Primrose Everdeen in 2015. Meanwhile, 138 babies were called Effie, taking after the flamboyant Effie Trinket.

Meanwhile, the actresses behind our favourite characters also have the ability to sway opinion. For example, the name Mila has skyrocketed in popularity since 2010, when Mila Kunis appeared in Black Swan. In 2009, just 100 babies were named Mila. Fast-forward six years and 692 girls were given the name in 2015.

Also influencing the polls is Australian actress Margot Robbie, who starred in The Wolf of Wall Street alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in 2013. Since then, Margot has become the 273rd most popular girls’ name, climbing up from 1914th place back in 1996. That’s one serious comeback.

Unsurprisingly, Disney princess names prove ever popular. Over the course of 2015, there were 1182 Jasmines, 417 Auroras, 186 Belles, 143 Tianas, 35 Ariels and 10 Meridas born across England and Wales. There were also eight babies called ‘Snow’ born last year, but whether that’s down to Snow White or Game of Thrones is anyone’s guess.

One things for sure though – next year you can expect a serious number of babies to be named Belle… 

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