‘Hunger Games’, pop culture influence 2012 baby names

Little baby Rue.

The buzz surrounding some of pop culture’s hottest trends has trickled down to 2012′s growing list of hot baby names. Where Sophia and Aiden (2011′s most popular boys and girls names) once reigned, the monikers of young adult book characters and celebrity children now dominate.

Nameberry analyzed more than 3 million views of the site’s individual name pages so far in 2012, then compared the numbers with this time last year. A handful of names have jumped in status and are on a path to being some of the year’s most popular choices on the part of new parents. You’ll surely recognize them when you see them.

1. Rue — the lovable underdog who met her fate at age 12 in ‘The Hunger Games’ has succeeded in more than just winning our hearts. We’re now naming our babies after her.

2. Emmett and other “-ett” names. “Think of -ett at the newest “it” ending for boys’ names,” Nameberry says. Let’s not forget it’s also the name of one of “Twilight’s” sexiest vampires, Emmett Cullen.

3. Ivy. Made famous by the equally famous infant daughter of two of the world’s most famous music stars. Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, made headlines as soon as she came into this world, both for her unique celebrity name and for the ridiculous way her parents commandeered an entire floor of the maternity ward.

4. Weston, Wesley, and West. The age old debate between the West and East coasts seems to be settled, at least when it comes to baby names. Jenna Fischer from “The Office” led the trend when she named her son Weston.

5. Adele. A rather old-fashioned name made popular once again with the rise of Grammy award-winning singer Adele. But unlike most of the girls who are named Adele, the starlet vocalist dropped her last name.

6. Grayson and Gray. “Is Grayson the new Jason?” Nameberry asks. It’s certainly a new twist on the old classic. The site also suggests the new television series “Revenge,” which centers around characters in the Grayson family, could be inspiring the new popularity.  

7. Cyrus. While primarily a boys name, it’s also the last name of teen pop star Miley Cyrus — though we hope that’s not why the name seems to be making a comeback.

8. Cato. With its catchy two syllabus, it’s easy to see why this edgy name is gaining momentum. Its also the name of another “Hunger Games” character — the male villain who serves as the major threat.


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