In baby names, reality mimics reality TV.
Reality TV is giving birth to some of the most popular baby names. No, not Snooki. But Mason, as in Kourtney Kardashian’s son, jumped 10 spots to become the second most popular name for newborn boys in 2011.
The more traditional Sophia is the new top name for girls, while Jacob is No. 1 for boys for the 13th straight year, according to the list released yesterday by the Social Security Administration.
Kardashian, the reality TV star, gave birth to Mason in December 2009 after a heavily publicized pregnancy. In 2010, Mason jumped from No. 34 to No. 12. Last year, 19,396 baby boys were named Mason, an increase of nearly 4,600, by far the biggest jump for any name.
“It shows what we’re paying attention to, what we’re thinking about,” said Laura Wattenberg, creator of the website babynamewizard.com.
Rounding out the top five for boys: William, Jayden and Noah. Michael came in sixth, the lowest ranking since 1948.
Isabella, which had been the top girl’s name for two years, dropped to second place in 2011. Emma, Olivia and Ava rounded out the top five.
The Social Security Administration provides lists of baby names dating to 1880 on its website. The top two names that year were John and Mary. John is now No. 27 and Mary has fallen to No. 112 — the lowest for both names.
The list, which also includes top baby names by state, draws millions of viewers.
Top girl names tend to be more volatile while the top boy names are more stable, Astrue said. William, for example, has been a popular boy’s name for more than 100 years, never falling out of the top 20. Mason is the exception, entering the top 100 for the first time in 1997.
Sophia first cracked the top 100 in 1997. Isabella dropped off the list altogether from 1949 to 1990.
Social Security counts names with different spellings separately. Aiden was No. 9 among boys, while Aidan was No. 107 and Aaden was No. 797. Among the girls, Sophia was No. 1 while Sofia was No. 19. Sophie was No. 51. The fastest-rising name for girls: Briella, which jumped 394 spots, to No. 497. Briella Calafiore stars in Jerseylicious, a reality TV show about battling stylists at a beauty salon in Green Brook, N.J. She’s also in a spinoff called Glam Fairy.
Brantley was the fastest-rising name for boys, jumping 416 spots to No. 320. Brantley Gilbert is a singer who had a No. 1 country hit calledCountry Must Be Country Wide.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is the star of another reality TV show about New Jersey called Jersey Shore. Snooki has never cracked the list of top 1,000 names, but she is in the midst of a well-publicized pregnancy, so stay tuned.
Published in: Family