The Pokemon GO effect on baby name trends
Pokemon GO

Naming your new baby is a big decision and there are many things to consider. While there are some names that remain consistently popular  some names seem to enjoy a relatively short period of popularity before disappearing almost altogether . We don’t hear many Ethel’s, Bethels or Gordon’s being called in the school roll each day.

Name trends

Parents look widely for baby name inspiration and there are many factors that can influence their choice. In June 2016,  U.S. based BabyCentre noted politics and patriotism having an impact on baby naming trends with an 142% increase (in the past year) in the use of the name Hillary while Bill increased 113%. Donald hasn’t been overlooked – it has increased by 8% while Melania had risen by 36%.

Pop cultures influence

Pop culture has often inspired baby name trends. Huffington Post noted the release of Game of Thrones on HBO was responsible for  a huge upsurge in the popularity of the name ‘Arya’ going from the 942nd most popular name in the year prior to its release to as high as the 27th most popular. Tyrion, arguably one of the most heroic GOT characters, rose in popularity.¹

Other names recently made more popular by pop culture include Skyler (from Breaking Bad), Hazel (from Fault in our Stars) while the 1985 movie ‘Splash’ is held responsible for the rise in popularity of Madison.  

The Pokemon GO effect

The current upsurge in popularity of Pokemon GO is likely to stimulate a new baby name trend, according to BabyCentre. Linda Murray, BabyCentre Global Editor in Chief said “It’s possible that parents’ enthusiasm for the game will reignite their love for the brand and spark a full-fledged naming trend…” BabyCentre noted since the rise of Pokemon GO , the name Star has risen in popularity (from Pokemon Starmie or Staryu) which Shay for boys is also more popular (after Pokemon Shayman).

Eevee has already risen in popularity by 1377 spots since last year, Onyx has gone up 2184 spots, and Roselia has jumped a whopping 5859 spots!

There are more than 721 Pokemon characters – all with fantastic names. Here are some picks for names that may be trendsetters.

  • Jynx
  • Eevee
  • Articus for Articuno
  • Seadra
  • Blossom for Bellossom
  • Skip for Skiploom
  • Sunny for Sunkern or Sunflora
  • Lilli for Lileep and Lillipup
  • Shelgon
  • Finn for Finneon

We are guessing names that are less likely to gain in popularity include Probopass, Tepig and Stoutland.

Did pop culture influence your baby name choice?

¹ Huffington Post

This article was written for Kidspot NZ . The information contained herein is to the best of our knowledge true and correct at the time of publication. Please note all comments are moderated and should not contravene our Terms of Service

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