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How celebrities influence baby names

09/28/2005 at 05:40 AM ET

A celebrity’s popularity (or lack thereof) has been shown to have an influence on the name new parents select for their child.  For instance, when Britney Spears rocketed to fame in 1999, the name Britney also gained steam.  Prior to Paris Hilton becoming famous, Paris was often seen as a name for boys, but after the launch of her reality show The Simple Life, it became more popular for girls.  And when stars give their children unique names such as Jaden (the son of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith), it can quickly become a trend.

The characters celebrities play can also impact what parents name their children.  After the launch of the hit show Friends in 1995, the name Monica (the character played by Courteney Cox) was revived.  However, after the Monica Lewinsky scandal, its popularity once again declined.

There’s also an online reference provided by the Social Security Administration that lists the popularity of names each year (dating back to 1880).  Last year’s top picks include Jacob, Michael, and Joshua (for boys) and Emma, Emily, and Madison (for girls).

Source: Yahoo! News

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