It’s an inarguable fact that celebrity baby name choices have an impact on the rest of the population. But which of them have had a lasting influence and which luminaries have hit the sweet spot more than once?
With some names, it was not a single celebrity but a confluence of several that helped propel a name to stardom — among these are the namers of Becketts, Dashiells, Harpers, Romys, Romans and, perhaps most of all, the now-ubiquitous Ava. And we see that even a middle name can pack an impact, as in Beyonce and Jay-Z’s (Blue) Ivy.
Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn introduced a whole style of names with their three daughters — Avery, Emery and Finley, all boyish names ending in “y.” First came Finley, born in 2003, when the name was nowhere to be seen on the girls’ Top 1,000. It appeared there two years later, and is now at No. 349, with close to a thousand baby girls bearing that name annually.
Daughter Avery was born in 2005; there were approximately 4,000 girl Averys born the year before her arrival, more than 5,000 the year after, and more than 8,000 this past year. The third daughter, Emery, was born three years later when the name was No. 467; it is now at 211.
Two of the Jolie-Pitt kids’ names have made their mark. The eldest, Maddox, was born in 2001; the name popped onto the list two years later, and is now at No. 167, accounting for almost 2,300 baby Maddoxes. Another x-ending Jolie-Pitt boy name, Knox, also struck a chord. He arrived in 2008 with twin sister Vivienne — whose name is also rising. The following year, Knox entered the list, and it is now No. 368.
Going back a few years, we can thank, at least in part, the Will Smiths for inciting the Jaden et al et al explosion, and as for sister Willow, who would become a tween singing sensation, her name was No. 760 when she was born in 2000 and is now 171.
And yes, several celebs were there before with Mason and yes, Tina Fey had started the Penelope renaissance, but the consensus is that Kourtney Kardashian, with her legions of reality show followers, gave these two names the biggest push with her boy and girl. Mason is again the second highest boys’ name this year, and Penelope, which came back onto the list at No. 946 in 2001 for the first time since 1975, has now leaped to No. 125.
Some other celeb kids who have had a less clear-cut influence: Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr’s Flynn, Julianna Margulies’ Kieran, Liam Gallagher’s Lennon, Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey’s Levi, Will Ferrell’s Matthias and Magnus, Jamie Oliver’s Poppy, Kate Hudson’s Ryder, and Patrick Dempsey’s Sullivan.