It seems like no coincidence that Meghan was the name that had the biggest growth in popularity between 2017 and last year, when Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle.
The British royal wedding last May helped boost the name Meghan from a 2017 ranking of 1,404 to 703 last year, meaning 701 more American baby girls were given the moniker. That was the biggest jump on the Social Security Administration’s list of the top baby names for 2018, out Friday.
While most of the top 10 slots were predictable and repeats from recent years, some of the names that soared in popularity but didn’t make it to the top are clearly pop culture influenced.
Saint — the name that Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West gave to their second child, born in 2015 — jumped 438 slots, from a 1,297 ranking in 2017 to an 859 ranking last year. Last year was the first time the name cracked the top 1,000. Only time will tell if Kim and Kanye’s new son, who was born this week and whose name has not yet been made public, will also be a trendsetter.
We’ll know next year if the birth — and Harry and Meghan’s new baby boy Archie — will shake things up.
Kylo Ren, the “Star Wars” villain played by Adam Driver who was introduced in the 2015 film “The Force Awakens,” has had an awakening on the baby name list. Kylo first cracked the top 1,000 in 2016, a year after the movie came out with a 905 ranking. It dipped to 1,152 in 2017, but then rose 287 spots to 865 last year.
The HBO blockbuster series “Game of Thrones,” now in its final season, also seems to have impacted how Americans name their kids.
Yara Greyjoy, the heroic female warrior with a claim to rule the Iron Islands, would be happy to know that Yara climbed 314 spots from a 986 ranking in 2017 to a 672 last year. And the show’s ultimate protagonist, Arya Stark, who saved the human race in a recent episode, has become increasingly popular since the show debuted in 2011.
The girl’s name Arya has soared from a 714 ranking way back in 2011 to a 119 last year. The character is played by English actress Maisie Williams.
The top three names on both the boys and girls lists this year weren’t nearly as exciting and remained unchanged from last year. For boys, Liam came in at Number 1, followed by Noah and William. Emma ruled the girls list, followed by Olivia and Ava.