It's official -- we're all keeping up with the Kardashians now. Even when it comes to baby names.
The Social Security Administration released its top 1,000 baby name list for 2011 on Monday morning. This is the mother of all baby-name lists, eagerly awaited by name nerds and anxious parents (most of whom are praying that their kids' names don't see a sudden jump in popularity).
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Mommy's little trend-setter: Kourtney Kardashian's son, Mason, is inspiring lots of baby namers.
Mason is the big story of 2011, jumping to No. 2 and bumping Anthony from the top 10 -- it's the only new name to crack the top 10 for either boys or girls. The name has been in the top 100 for a while, but experts credit its sudden surge in popularity to Kourtney Kardashian, who named her son Mason in 2009 (and she's currently expecting baby No. 2).
The top ten names in 2011 (click here to search a name and see the full list of 1,000 on the Social Security Administration website):
So do people just idolize those Kardashians? Not necessarily.
While a few expectant parents may have named a baby Mason in homage to the reality-TV stars, the vast majority probably just heard the name thanks to the Kardashian clan's ubiquity, and thought it sounded nice. Mason boasts the -N ending that seems to resonate with today's parents of boys -- four of the top 10 names on the boy's list end with an N. (Parents of girls seem to favor the -A ending, with six of the top 10 names ending that way.)
Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard book and blog, does a great job breaking down the allure of the -N ending in this post here.
On her blog, Wattenberg notes that Mason may owe its popularity to an even earlier pop-culture inspiration:
Yes, having a little Mason on tabloid covers in every supermarket in the country makes a difference. But the critical spur to Mason's rise happened 25 years earlier, when the name first appeared in the soap opera "Santa Barbara." The national Mason rate rose ten-fold during the soap's run, and it's been climbing ever since.
This is the thirteenth year in a row that Jacob has topped the boy's list. Sophia swapped places with Isabella this year to take the No. 1 spot.
The real fun in the baby names list, though, is in the trending list -- those names that are moving fastest up the popular list. Could Aria and Archer be the next Aiden or Ava? How about Nylah and Nico for a trendy sibling set? Here is the social security administration's list of top trenders:
What do you think of the most popular names in 2011? And how did your favorite names fare in popularity? Tell us on our Facebook page.
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